Boobs & bottles

By Published On: September 5th, 2014

A little update on the whole breast pump situation—it’s no […]

A little update on the whole breast pump situation—it’s no longer freaking me out. Now, it’s judging me and my pathetic ounce and a half after 20 minutes of pumping. How does this happen? There has to be more than that in these things!
photoMaybe the devil is in the details–when I bought all the tubes and shields and valves and whatsits for my hand-me-down electric pump, I naively purchased enough gear for only one side. So yes, I’m pumping on one side at a time. Efficient, right? I had some notion of pumping on one side and nursing on the other? I don’t know.
But in reality, it means I’m hooked up to this thing, trying to relax and enjoy the forced down time but really thinking of the 8 million items I need to do today and listening hard because was that my baby? Then when I feel my milk let down, I press my forearm firmly against one breast so as not to waste even one precious drop while trying to think milky thoughts to keep the other side going.
By the time I’m done on the first side and ready to do the second, I’m over the whole thing—and yes, that’s definitely the baby. So yeah, 20 minutes for about an ounce and a half is my standard so far. Sidebar: Writing this post made me realize how ridiculous this is, and I just ordered all the necessities to do this properly.
All that hard work is yielding little reward. Seriously, I think there’s less than 10 ounces in the freezer, but it’s something. I’m back to teaching kickboxing, so at least my husband isn’t totally defenseless in the face of a wailing baby. When I came home from my first class, he reported that our daughter sucked back the bottle I left (two ounces or so of serious effort!) in less than 30 seconds. We’ve never used bottles before, and I haven’t the foggiest notion of how much a 7-week-old baby consumes at a time. When she wants to eat, she eats, and we move on. That makes finding either the time or the physical need to pump a bit of a challenge, but a friend passed along some sage advice recently.
She said to think of your milk supply in terms of demand and supply: If the demand is there, the supply will follow. I’ve heard it before, but it struck me that I’d been worrying about not having enough milk to nurse the baby if I was pumping too often. And that’s silly. So as soon as the gear for boob two shows up, I’m changing tack. I’m taking advantage of my husband’s availability, handing off the kiddos, closing the door, hooking myself up and catching up on my web gossip. I can practically see my stuffed freezer now.