Wow, look at me – on a roll with these blog posts, right?
Anyway- so back to pumping. I mentioned I didn’t like it, but here are a few things I discovered to help make it more bearable: First of all, this is not a photo of me. I only wish my waist were still this thin.
1- Hands-free pumping bra. This makes it SO much better. I remember when I was home on maternity leave, I was nursing so much that it was hard to squeeze in a pumping session (not that I really needed to pump- I just wanted to build a freezer stash). And so I would nurse C on one side while I pumped the other. This was a logistical nightmare. Trying to keep C latched on with one arm while I held the pump flange with the other. Ugh. But, the bra I got makes this totally easy. It’s basically swim suit material, and it wraps around your chest and connects in front with hooks and eyes. There are little slits in the material where you put the flange through. And then the fabric holds it up while you do whatever: nurse on the other side, work, write your blog, whatever. It’s great. I think I paid about 30 dollars maybe? And it’s super cute- black and white polka dot.
2- The Milk Memos. Great book. It was adapted from journals these women kept in the lactation room at IBM. Very informative and fun to read, too. [While googling for an image, I also noticed there’s a website: http://www.milkmemos.com with a blog that might be helpful.]
4- Drink lots of water and eat oatmeal/Life Cereal/oatmeal cookies/anything with oats.
5- Relax. This one’s super hard for me to do. Other people have told me think about your baby, bring something that smells like him to work, think about feeding your baby. But for me, relaxing is looking at the internet or instant chatting with Sean or checking my email or editing documents. It was killing me before I got the hands-free bra, just sitting at my desk not being able to do anything except sit with my hands on my chest looking at all the papers on my desk. Ack. Once I was able to do something, I relaxed. And my pumping output increased. So, do whatever it is that helps you to relax. It’ll help.
6- Squeeze in a pumping session first thing when you arrive at work. I get the most at this time of day. And no one’s usually at the office yet either. So, I hook myself up to the pump, unpack my bags, check my email, organize my files, and by the time I’m done, I’ve got 3-4 oz by 8:15! Then I can still pump at 10, 12, and 2 while I’m at work and then pump/nurse together at 5:30 when I get home.
7- Do breast compresses while you pump. They totally work. The pump’s just not as effective as babeh at getting the job done.
Guess that’s all the learnin’ I’ve got to impart on you. Talk soon.