Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Working Mamma Breastfeeds

14 months of breastfeeding.

I work full time, and have been breastfeeding and pumping at work since EG was 4 months old.  We struggled a lot initially.  I've never told my birth story here online, but lets say it ended in emergency surgery over 24 hours after she was born, and 4 units of blood transfused.  So, in other words, traumatic.  I ended up not responded to the blood well, and was transferred to a different unit and was trying to pump colostrum.  EG ended up in the NICU for a night, and we were all totally frazzled.

3 days later we got home on the 4th of July.  They sent me home with a breast pump (yeah Kaiser for being supportive!), and we used a syringe to supplement for at least a week.  We went back to the hospital every day to monitor her jaundice and her weight gain.

So, we started off difficult.  Once we got it though, we were golden.  She ate A LOT.  When I went to some breastfeeding support/weighing events EG could get over 7oz at a time from me.  So then I started pumping.  I pumped three times at work, and once when she went to bed.  On the weekends I pumped every night, just to ensure that I would have enough supply for her weeks as school.

Here was my routine:
Monday- Friday: bring pump, bottles, pumping parts (flange, etc. Monday only) and pumping bra.  Bring a cooler bag with ice pack.  Pump 9am, 1pm, 4pm.  Go Home with milk in bottles, and pump once more at home around 10pm after baby goes to bed.

I leave my pumpy parts in the fridge throughout the day, and only wash them at the end of the week.  I used to wash everyday, but my doctor pointed out that the milk in the bottle/parts was good at least as long as I was keeping the bottle of expressed milk.  Since we live by the rule of 5's (5 hours @ room temp, 5 days in fridge, 5 months in freezer), it seemed totally logical to only wash on Monday mornings.

The things that helped make it possible:
Hygeia Pump
I started with a Ameda pump, but after it broke two times, I moved to the Hygeia.  I chose this one because you can transfer it between people.  It's FDA approved to be resold.  I also thought this would be nice, since I would probably want to store it before having child #2.  It takes Medela parts, which means when I forgot all my pumpy parts one day, I was able to go to the local Target to buy more.

Hands Free Nursing Bra
I don't work while I pump.  I find it stresses me out to much.  But that doesn't mean I want to try to hold flanges to my breasts every time I pump.  This bra is easy to use, works with any pump (i've used 4 kinds!) and cleans up nice (though you do have to hand wash).  It's totally worth the investment.

Additionally I have my husband to thank.  He's the one who washes all of our bottles and sterilizes them at least once a week.  The way we work it is that his bottle washing is his contribution to EG's eating and development.  Since he can't do the feeding, he can at least do the cleaning.

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