Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pumping

Yesterday, I almost exclusively pumped.  I say "almost" because we nursed one time, yesterday morning.  Lilly kept falling asleep, as usual.  I gave her 30 minutes on each breast, and when she looked like she was in a milk coma I assumed she was full.  She had a HUGE blowout (the third of the night/morning) just before we nursed, and it was all over her clothes and pretty much every body part, so I cleaned her really quickly with wipes prior to feeding but decided to give her a quick bath after while she was happy.  "Happy" is relative, because she was NOT pleased about the bath.  Even after the bath, once she was clothed and warm and wrapped in a blanket, she was still fussy.  Since she mostly slept and didn't eat, I figured she was hungry, so we nursed for another 30 minutes.  She appeared to be in another milk coma, but then got fussy again 30 minutes later.  I gave her a bottle with 2 ounces of breast milk since she normally eats 4, figuring she got some while she was nursing so she wouldn't be as hungry.  Wrong-o.  We ended up giving her 4 ounces and then she passed out for 4.5 hours. 

My aunts and grandparents were here visiting, and after all of that it just seemed easier to pump, so I just did that for the rest of the day.  It worked out fine - feedings took 30 minutes instead of 1.5 hours, then I pumped for 30 minutes while she played and/or slept and we were done. 

My ONLY complaint about pumping?  The following photo is what I accumulated in just one day.  Behold:

The bottles take up almost my entire top rack in the dishwasher.  Some of them are from feeding Lilly and some are what I pumped into.  The two baskets on the counter are from her bottles (true story, we ordered a second basket because we were flying through the bottles), and the stolen pink hospital tub to the left is full of additional pump parts that I steam cleaned in the microwave because they're too small for the dishwasher and will float around everywhere. 

I have already sent Dan out for more pump parts one time - I now have four sets of parts.  If I am going to exclusively pump, I may get a couple more sets because prior to putting those in the dishwasher I hand washed the pump parts 3 or 4 times yesterday for re-use.  And now, I am running the dishwasher with a practically empty lower basket because I need for all of the pump parts and bottles to be clean.  I realize that is probably wasteful, but honestly it is a lot easier than having to hand wash everything - which I have also done but yesterday I was feeling lazy. 

I think a big part of the reason that we use so much stuff in a day is that she has been eating pretty often - normally around 8 times per day when we were giving her just 3 ounces.  Which translates to a LOT of bottles - two to pump into and then a different bottle which she eats out of (Dr. Brown's - love them!).  We started giving her 4 ounce bottles at the midnight feeding yesterday, and she only ate 7 times as a result - but there were two or three times when she didn't eat all 4 ounces.  It will be interesting to see if her feedings decrease in number with the larger bottles.  Once she gets to the point where she is going longer between feedings, we will obviously not use as much stuff during a day, but for now I am feeling like an earth killer.  Mom friends out there who are reading and exclusively pumped for any period of time - any advice?  One thing I've thought about is letting her drink out of the actual bottles I pump into instead of transferring the milk to the Dr. Brown's bottles.  However, and I know this will sound crazy - she is so much happier when we use the Dr. Brown's bottles.  I guess they are made better or something because she gets much less air and is therefore much less gassy and a LOT happier when we use them.

The good news is that since we made the jump to 4 ounces each feeding, she has slept MUCH better.  I am not sure whether this is due to the increased amount of breast milk - as mentioned above, a few times yesterday she didn't even eat the whole thing - or due to the fact that she was awake for longer periods of time yesterday, but she slept a whole extra hour between each feeding last night.  I know it doesn't sound like much, but I wish I could tell you how much even that one tiny extra hour helped me!  I needed it, and feel like a new person today.  Still tired, don't get me wrong, but feeling a lot better.

I still haven't made a decision as to whether to keep nursing with the shield or switch to pumping exclusively.  If we have any more incidents like yesterday where she just apparently was not eating when we nursed, then we will definitely make the switch.  Who can blame her?  It's much easier (and faster) for her to eat out of a bottle - she doesn't have to work nearly as hard.  So far today I've been pumping again, but if my pump parts aren't clean and dry within the hour we may have no choice but to nurse the next round.  Wish us luck.

Hope everyone's having a happy hump day!

Sarah

4 comments:

  1. I found your blog through a friends FB page a few weeks ago... I ended up exclusively pumping for my daughter, who is now 20 months old. She was born 6 1/2 weeks early, and I tried BFing, but she never got the hang of it. Her pediatrician gave me some advice about pumping, she said I could refrigerate the pump parts in between pumpings after rinsing them, so I didn't have to fully wash them after each time. I ended up with 2 sets of parts, I'd use one set for about 4 sessions, and then switch to the other set. I also pumped into "snappies", which we got from the hospital, because I started pumping while I was still there, but I'm not really sure where you can get those, if not from the hospital. We still had to do a lot of hand washing, though, between all the bottles and "snappies". I pumped the whole 1st year, until the pediatrician gave us the green light on whole milk. I'd be happy to answer any other questions you may have... My email is laurenking07@gmail.com

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  2. Glad to know she likes the Dr. Brown's bottles - those are the ones we registered for.

    Pardon my ignorance but I'm guessing you can't pump directly into the bottles? I don't know why I just assumed you could. Hmmm...I'll have to investigate this whole breast pumping thing more.

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  3. Liz - you can for sure pump directly into the Dr. Brown's bottles. We tested it out and made sure they fit the pump before we registered for them. Someone else mentioned that to me and I felt like an idiot because I'd just completely forgotten about it! :-)

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  4. I do have to hand wash a LOT because we only have 2 sets of pump parts and 6 bottles but I do use them when they are still wet...and then occasionally I use the steam bag to sterilize them in the microwave.

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