Thursday, November 1, 2012

Breast Pumping

Since exclusively pumping for 18 weeks I have acquired some pretty good knowledge on do’s and don’ts. Whether you’re able to nurse and pump or if you’re like me and only pump this information will come in handy to you.
What kind of pump?:I started out with a The First Years mipump. It worked great and did what I needed it to. Except I was pumping every three hours every day and after a few weeks it started to wear out. I then bit the bullet and purchased a Medela pump in style advance. This thing was well worth the money and was built in a bag which made it portable for on the go. The accessories for Medela pumps are sold at most major stores which makes replacing things, such as tubing, membranes and what have you, hassle free. The pump came with coupons and a booklet that was very informative.
Storage:Storing the breast milk is easy as long as you follow these simple guidelines.
     1. Never heat breast milk in the microwave. It creates hot spots and can burn the baby. It also kills live bacteria (good) that are essential for your little bundle of joy. There are all sorts of great bottle warmers out there. You can also warm it inside a bottle in a pot of warm water, like your momma probably did. If your baby doesn’t mind cold milk, like Wyatt, it is safe to feed straight from the fridge.
     2. Breast milk will keep in the fridge for up to a week. Putting the date and time on your storage bag is a MUST. You don’t want your baby to drink spoiled milk. Your milk will also keep in the freezer for about six months. Have a deep freeze? Breastmilk will keep in that bad boy for up to a year. Just make sure you thaw it out by putting in fridge or in a pot of warm water. NEVER MICROWAVE! Once the frozen milk is thawed use it within twenty four hours and don’t refreeze.
     3. Going somewhere? Take a cooler with freezer packs and your milk will be good for twenty four hours. Freshly pumped breast milk will keep up to six hours at room tempature.
How long to pump:When first starting out you should pump for at least thirty minutes each breast. Until your milk supply gets established. Once established you can go for longer in between pump sessions, I would go six hours, but make sure your pumping for longer like for 45-60 minutes to completely empty your breast and to keep your supply up.
Exclusively breast pumping is a huge decision and kudos to any mom who does it. I’ve been there and I know how the extra step and prep can wear on you. It is possible though. A lot of the doctors that I talked to said that it was a bad idea and gave some not so good advice about it like only pumping for ten minutes at a time and so on. I don’t criticize the doctors’ intelligence. There just hasn’t been enough research and studies done on it so if you haven’t done it you simply don’t know. I would love to help anyone who has questions about the topic. Drop me a line. You don’t have to do it alone. Bottom line, breast is best!

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