16 Jun 2010 4 Comments
After the breastfeeding post a couple days ago, I received an e-mail from a reader asking me how I managed to continue breastfeeding for eight months and asked me if I could share some tips. I am not a breastfeeding pro but I thought I’d add my bit on the reality of breastfeeding.
I started out breastfeeding about an hour after the Small Fry was born and it took 3 days for milk to come in. I have had a few problems in the beginning such as the Small Fry not latching on correctly, nipple bleeds and mastitis. But I have always been determined to feed my baby breast milk so I tried my best to continue to nurse him no matter how hard it was. Fortunately, we both adjusted to breastfeeding.
Invest In the Right Equipment.
If you plan on continuing breastfeeding when you go back to work, you must get a good double electric pump and you must pick the right breast pump for you. Not all breast pump are the same and what works for me may not work for you.
I was very excited when my cousin gave me the Medela Pump in Style because I heard great things about it. It’s one of the best and most popular electric breast pumps out there. However, I was only getting an ounce at the most per breast even after two months of using it. Out of desperation, I asked my husband to get me a manual pump (Avent Isis) that suppose to mimic the sucking motion of baby even though I was honestly very skeptical about it. I was thinking that I have a Medela electric pump that cost over $300 so how could I possibly express more milk with a $40 manual pump? Well to my surprise, I got 2 times the amount of milk if not more! With that, I immediately ordered the Avent Isis IQ Duo Electric Pump on Amazon and it’s been working great for me :)
Get Your Own Private Space
I’m lucky to have a great employer that has “Mother’s Room” equipped with a sink and refrigerator in our building so I always have a comfortable and private place to pump. Talk to your HR department about pumping before you go back to work so you can be prepared.
What’s been a lifesaver for me is storing my pump parts in the fridge in between pumps. It saves me so much time using the same parts throughout the day without washing them. Obviously, I wash and sterilize them at the end of the day when I get home.
I always schedule my pump sessions into my workday and I stick to my schedule as much as possible. I try to block off pump sessions on my calendar each day and I was able to organize meetings around those times.
Honestly, breastfeeding while working full time takes a lot of work (especially in the beginning) and it is not exactly the most comfortable thing in the world BUT the bond my son & I established through nursing was priceless.