Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tips About Pumping

I was really confused about pumping and storing breastmilk since baby was born and pumping just seemed not a fun thing to do at all (and a bit of an embarassing endeavor as well). Still I think it is worth it, and it's proved to be a saving grace when baby is just wanting to suck and suck for hours and I just want to go lie down and take a nap -- my partner can just give the baby a bottle.

I started out at first by just using the manual part of the Medela PISA, that took a while but it let me get a sense of what happens.

My pediatrician said that pumping after the morning nursing, when the supply is highest is best. At a new moms thing last week the nurse leading the event said that the most efficient way to get the most milk was to express in tandem to nursing. So when you are nursing on one side to express on the other. I tried this and it was hard to attend to my baby and the pump parts at the same time. Perhaps with a better set up or a hands-free bra or something it might work out better -- or maybe when he's a little older.

I looked around for different bottles and got the Sassy Mam after seeing a lot of positive reviews on target.com. My baby seems to try to latch onto the nipple similar to how he latched onto my nipple and its worked out fine.

I think the key thing with bottles is that it is easiest to have someone else give them such as your DH. When my baby seems me, even after he's just had a bottle his instinct is to want to cuddle close to nurse. That's not to say you can't give the bottle, but it might be more challenging.

I try to pump a day or so ahead of when I need the milk handy but one day last week I just really needed a nap so when my partner came home I just handed him the baby and told him to give him milk from the freezer stash. It takes a little longer to prepare but he didn't have any trouble and it gave me a chance to catch up on some sleep uninterupted (yeah!)

My friends IRL told me to try to pump up a stash while my milk is plentiful so we can have it for later. It only keeps in the freezer of our fridge for 6 months though so we'll have to plan around that or indulge in a deep freeze for longer storage. Oh, I also heard that you should store in 2-4 ounces so you can also just defrost a smaller amount if you need it. I'll have to see how that goes. The freezer stash is really helpful though -- I just freeze the milk in the Medela bags and when frozen add them to a freezer zipper bag for safe keeping).

1 comment:

Hilde said...

That is nice that Jonah will take a bottle. Karl had no problem going back and forth, too.

Just keep in mind that even if you are only occasionally pumping and giving Jonah something from your freezer stash, you will want to pump right away when you, say, wake up from your nap, to replace the missed feeding. This is to keep that balance between supply and demand.

Sounds like things are going really well, nursing-wise!