Thursday, January 25, 2018

pumping thoughts & questions (including the commute suggestion!)

1.  I switched to the Spectra pump this time, on several reader (and IRL) recommendations.  It's still a breast pump -- not a miracle device -- but I will say:

- it's quieter than the Medela models I have tried (PISA & Symphony)
- it's more comfortable than the Medela models
- it has a timer feature and more flexibility in settings than the Medela models
- it's cheaper than the Medela models
- it's possibly more efficient than the Medela models

That last point I'm not so sure of, because I found an old record of what I was expressing with C, and it was MORE than I'm getting this time around, but I also remember pumping for 25-30 minutes and this time I've just been doing 15.  I usually get 3 oz after her AM feed, and I've just been pumping once every day to gradually grow a stash.  G hasn't actually had a bottle yet.  I know this is counter to the advice to give it earlier, but neither of my two ever had any issues taking a bottle, and she takes a paci just fine so . . . I'm just not worried.

2.  My lactation abilities have not changed since 2012.  I guess that's not surprising, but I always feel like a bit of an outlier in this realm.  I can make plenty of milk to grow a chunky happy baby (SEE BELOW), but can't store a ton at one time, so I'm never the kind of person who can just pump out 8 oz.  I also never ever leak.  It takes a lot of effort to express milk, and even when I'm feeding G she needs some breast massage to be happy with the pace of letdown.  I was this way with all 3 kids.

photographic evidence that she is getting enough :) 
(as they say in MIA -- gordita linda!)

Unlike many I cannot just sit there all zen while baby or pump does all the work; I have to be an active participant.  Which brings me to . . .

3.  How many of you have had success pumping on the commute?  Because EVERYONE keeps suggesting this and of course I love the idea of saving time, but I don't see how it could work for me.  I have to literally use two hands to get a decent yield (despite wearing a 'hands-free' bra - I am always annoyed that it's marketed this way because for me it is NOT hands-free), and I think that would be disastrous/dangerous in the car.  I could just passively strap it on and see what happens, but from prior experience I expect I'd only get an ounce or two, max, especially if this was right after feeding G on my way out the door.

I also don't see how the timing really works - if I feed right her before I leave work, I might get a little bit out but then going until 12 noon probably isn't ideal, right?  And I definitely would never pump on the way home b/c I know I'll want to nurse on arrival.

My current plan is to pump around 5 am, feed her right before I leave (7-7:30), then pump at work at 9:30 or so (scheduled breaks between pts in exchange for a shortened lunch window).

4.  I am wondering what my goals should be this time around.  I am thinking of really only aiming to pump until G is 6 months, as I'm already dreading trying to fit it into a busy workday.  I also have some conferences I'd like to attend in the summer/fall and it's been a long time since my last focused endocrinology learning opportunity (missed last one due to Irma).  But maybe I should just see how things go.  I do plan on making things as convenient as possible in my office - my own mini-fridge (so I can just throw parts in there between pump sessions), a pump that stays at the office, etc.  So maybe I'll be more successful than I think with multiple short sessions?  We'll see.

Please explain your commute-pumping ways, if you do this.  Also, am I the only one with the issues above?  I feel like everyone is always talking about pumping 10 oz and spraying milk everywhere and despite successfully giving my kids a LOT of breastmilk over the years, I have never had those experiences.

current stash = 53 oz
(not a ton but not nothing either!)