Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pumping, Bottles, and a little Gem

Whether you breastfeed or formula feed your baby, I think it is absolutely important that we all support each other. It is a personal decision, how you want to feed your baby, there are circumstances that make it impossible to breastfeed and let's be honest, being able to have other people feed the babe gives Mom a much needed break, something I have been missing for about 9 months ;)

We had a bad time getting Delilah to take a bottle, and by bad time I mean she flat out, did not take the bottle. I also had a very tough time pumping, only getting an ounce or two a time. So, I decided, for my own sanity and confidence, to continue breastfeeding. Until I got a job. Granted I was only at the job for 2 weeks, after daycare costs and commuting costs I wasn't really bringing home any extra income and I was away from Delilah all day. In those 2 weeks, however, Delilah took a bottle, drank formula, and I was able to pump enough! A small miracle!

(I used formula to supplement when I didn't have enough breast milk, her bottle would have 2 oz breast milk and 1 oz formula.)

On a side note, I have a new appreciation for mothers that work. Good grief, there was literally no time in the day. None. I would get home around 6:30 pm and whirlwind around until 10 and there was still stuff that needed to be done. Go you Momma!

So the bottles that ended up working for us are the Playtex VentAire and the Joovy Boob. We use a slow flow nipple, it works well!

I went ahead and got these labels for her stuff, since they encourage you to label everything at day care. These are great, waterproof, and cute!

I pump 3 times a day with the Medela Pump in Style. At 7:30am, 1:30 pm, and 6:00 pm. Depending on  how the ladies feel, I might add one more pump before I go to bed. What the main problem was before was the fact that I don't think I was pumping long enough. I wouldn't give enough time for one letdown, let alone 2. I pump for about 20 minutes or so and I usually produced about 3 oz combined. That may not sound like a lot, but let me tell you… it is! Right now Delilah is only taking 3 oz bottles anyways, so it works for us!

I have learned that whether you breastfeed or use formula, there is one common understanding, washing bottles sucks. Bad. It has been by far the most time consuming part of my day. I am literally at the sink 3 times a day, at least! I keep thinking there has to be a more efficient way to wash bottles, but nope, I really don't think there is. 

I did find one thing, one lonely item that has improved my quality of life: a handsfree pumping bra. Yep, I can now pump while I feed Delilah, pump while I wash all of those bottles and parts, and pump while we are driving to point A to point B. (I was the passenger for the later, and I do recommend getting a car adapter for your pump, especially if you travel out of town a lot.) The best part is this little gem cost me NOTHING! I wouldn't say I am cheap, but I refuse to buy something that can be made at home with a little creativity. This just so happened to be one of those things. I have been using mine for about a month, and so far so good! 

Things I Make:

Handsfree Pumping Bra

1 sports bra (I had one laying around the house that I never used, it was from a cheap pack of 2, I wouldn't recommend using a very expensive one)

Put the bra on and mark where the pump breast shields will need to go.

Fold the fabric where the mark is and cut a slit. I only cut about 1/2 inch or so. If it is too big the bra won't hold the bottles, especially if they are full of milk :)

 Place the breast shields in the slit (this is when you would have the bra on, and for the sake of my pride I am going to opt out of modeling it for you).

Put the remaining parts on the breast shields…

and viola, you've got a hands free pumping system! Use this time to experiment if you would like by reinforcing the slits. I have thought about sewing fabric around the slit to reduce ripping, but honestly I haven't needed too. I have two in rotation due to the nature of the activity, you can try but milk will get on the bra. I honestly wish I would have made this sooner, it has really freed up some time, just get everything you will be doing for the next 20 minutes close by and you are good to go (well as far as those tubes will let you) :)

Have a great day!

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