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August 14, 2014

Pumping Essentials for the Moderate Pumper

Throughout my maternity leave I only pumped a few times. It was when I was at rehearsals and left Jaxon with Jake for some boy time. In those few and far between pumping sessions I did not learn too much. It was not until I was back to work for my second month that I realized that I needed up the ante. I was pumping about 7-9 oz a day and Jaxon was eating about that much while he was with SIL… Jake was still feeding him a bottle in the morning at home, so my pre-stocked stash was dwindling quickly!

Here is a compilation of items that I use on a daily basis specifically related to pumping.

Pumping is a bit of trial and error, just like anything else child related.

The things that ensure pumping success for me is water and continuing my prenatal. 
If a mom is eating a well balanced diet, a woman can get all the necessary vitamins and minerals... But it can be hard, really hard, to eat right when you are caring for a baby.
Prenatal vitamins are great for helping a breastfeeding momma the iron and calcium she needs, although not quite the recommended daily milligrams.

Another thing that I am sure to take daily, is Fenugreek. It’s an herbal supplement that is for digestion that actually helps boost milk production. I am a testament to it because on days when I don’t take any, it is evident in the amount I am able to produce and pump. It can be said that in order to get the most from the herb, you should take enough to make your sweat start smelling like maple syrup.
Yes, you read that right.
You will start smelling like maple syrup.
For me that means that I would be taking about 9 capsules a day.
I take 3 on a normal day and up the amount occasionally.
I’m sure that if I took enough to get the desired result, I would be a better milk machine than I am.
It’s one of my goals for this month.
Added bonus, my husband loves pancakes…. ;)

Now that I work half days, I was given a half hour lunch, which I spend in the lactation room, pumping away.
Yes, I pump for the whole time I am there… Which equals about 20 minutes of pump time, with a 5 minute set up and tear down.
The first thing that I bought for those long sessions was a hands free pump bra. I went three days without it, and that was 3 days too long. Holding both shields prevented me from doing anything else and I was so bored.
Money Saving Tip: Take an old sports bra and some scissors to make your own. If I had thought of that earlier, I could have saved myself some cash!

My work provides a hospital grade pump for mothers to use. I don’t have any experience with other brands, because Madela was what my insurance provided me with and is also what pump is provided at work.
With that, I use most of the parts that came with my set.
Bottles, ice pack and cooler.

A recent discovery that I have made is that the pump shields come in different sizes. It makes sense, every woman’s body is different.. Therefore pump shields are not a one size fits all. Buying the appropriate size shield made a huge difference in my daily pull.
Like an ounce difference on my finicky side. That’s big in my book!
Plus it was much more comfortable to pump and I did not feel as sore after a session.

I tend to wash everything with hot water and Dawn when I get home, but use wipes for when I have to pack everything up after a session. The last thing you want is to have dried milk all over your bag… It just makes me mad to see any wasted milk, even if I know that it’s unavoidable. At least when I wipe things down I don’t see it all over later.

After I get home I transfer my milk into freezer storage bags. This should be self-explanatory.
The only hard part is reminding Jake that the older bags from our stash need to be used before the newer ones.

In order to keep my calorie intake up, I try to eat a well-balanced diet… But I know that it’s not always possible. For those days, or times that I feel really snacky, I go for the protein bars. My favorite right now happens to be the Luna bars. They are the first protein bars that I have found that I actually like eating more than once a week.

Do you think I missed anything?
If you pump, or have in the past, what are some things you needed?

1 comment:

Darby Hawley said...

thank you for posting this!!! I will need these tips in a couple weeks!