Whoever said don’t cry over spilt milk never did the following:
– pump breast milk and then have it fall over
– forget to pump and have none to give
– have to little that it becomes a hack
– have too much and you feel like a diary queen
– leak all over your bed sheets and make a darn mess
Or in my case the first time around – not have the knowledge or motivation to make it happen.
Well… this time around I was determined to make it and become a mom that pumps… milk that is (not iron) he he.
With my first born I substituted her feeds once I went back to work with formula as I could not express enough for her for a full day at school. During my 4 months maternity leave I also did not ever leave her with anyone, she refused a bottle, until right before she had to go to crèche. That meant the whole time, I had no “me” time, and I did not mind, my life revolved and well still does around her.
I knew the second time around I wanted to do things differently for many reasons and I will explain it all. First of all, thank you to the team at Breast Pumps and Beyond for being a great support system during my journey and letting me try out their Medela range.
Why I chose to actively pump, store and part time bottle feed my babe….
1) My darling baby girl, her life would be changed forever as her brother joined our family. It was and still is important for me to give her time with just us. Be it an hour or a couple, that includes an outing or two, with brother being babysat.
2) When my first born arrived my husband was working away chunks at a time. I wanted him to get a chance to bond with my second in a way he could not before, and being able to nourish and feed his son.
3) I did not want a repeat occurrence of the battle of the bottle like his sister. She flat done refused a bottle till the last minute. And it totally stressed me out.
4) ME, me, me! I only learned this recently, you need to look after yourself too, you can’t look after your family if you don’t look after yourself too. Burning out or feeling overwhelmed is not good for anyone.
<hitting pause… I need to express now… got a meeting tomorrow and I want to bottle feed>….
okay…. resume blog 🙂
After Wyatt was born, I did not start expressing straight away, I waited 3 weeks and then gave it a go, I should of started from the start really… but not going back now. I was just so wrapped up in new baby and adjusting to life.
On the day I was ready – Breast Pumps and Beyond helped me with how to use my pumps and to do it properly. They really gave me the confidence I need.
I must be honest, I don’t struggle to produce milk, this blog post is not about that journey. I know many moms have had a really hard time with breastfeeding in general and even expressing can be a nightmare. I found the more educated I was on expressing the more confident I felt. I even watched a bunch of Medela YouTube uploads. Those were awesome to see the placement of the breasts etc. There are even cool videos on how to store and defrost your milk.
We used (and using) the Medela Calma bottles, they are designed for breastfeeding babies and only take expressed breast milk. Baby only gets milk with sucking like on the breast and it does not free flow to avoid too much air.
What Medela pumps am I using?
The Symphony and the Harmony… both different yet they work so well with my lifestyle.
The Symphony is what most hospitals use to help moms who need assistance with encouraging their milk supply. This industrial magic milk maker is the bomb.com – you can rent one for home see here , this is great if you want to build up a supply fast and efficiently. Mine has been my BFF in milk supply and I think I might shed a couple tears when it leaves.
My real sidekick has been the Harmony, it’s a manual hand pump from Medela. I really thought that I would not use it, or it would not work so well. I WAS WRONG. Maybe I am lucky because I can fill a bottle. But it is so easy to express anywhere with it. It’s the discreet, pop in your bag, on the go pump.
I had a goal that I wanted to express enough so that Wyatt could be babysat and especially for my cousins wedding. Where we would be away for a whole day. That would mean lots of milk needed…
I successfully reached that goal and built up a good supply with the Medela pumps. Plus the awesome lactation granola bars from Mrs Milk – I could eat them all day! Give them a try if you want to build up your supply, I can highly recommend them! Used and they worked for me.
The hand express pump was great to take out when I need to pump when my breasts were full. Especially when I went to the wedding. I could also pump and dump, had my first craft beer in over a year! Hubby and I went and sat in the car while I expressed and went back to the party.
Skylar and I also have had some outings- just her and I. I find this so important to be able to give her my full attention and I love those moments with her. This is probably the main and most important reason I have been expressing- it’s for her.
When do I pump?
Either in the morning after his first feed, I wait about 30 minutes after he has eaten. Or my usual lately has been after Wyatt goes to sleep. He has been sleeping from 7pm to 1am. So I have time then to sit and relax and watch Netflix and pump. I find the more chilled I am the better it goes. I also feel like I am not time pressured and then get stressed that it’s not flowing to fast/slow etc. A good tip is to always have a cloth to catch any milk when you stop. It can be messy if you don’t.
Time can also be a factor someday. And that can be especially true with having to sterilize your equipment. I got to try out the new microwave bags. They are too cool and quick I think they are awesome if you are traveling and want to save space or spending a night out somewhere.
If you have any questions about my breastfeeding or expressing journey- write a comment and let me know.