Thursday, April 22, 2010

To Pump, or Not to Pump: Always the Question



I have rejoined the world of lactating crazy people. This is one of those things that I must have blocked from my pregnant mind because it didn't occur to me to get ready in any way to feed a baby. Silly, you may say, but it does require a little forethought. At least as far as getting out appropriate undergarments and such. I am lazy. I have never denied this, and I stand by it. Firmly. And this is where my dilemma lies. And I know some of you have experience with both sides of this, so opinions are welcome!
I have always pumped at the beginning. With Sam and Cooper, they were in the NICU and so I had to. Jacob had a hard time latching at first, so I pumped until I wasn't so engorged. Remember what it's like when your milk comes in? Especially the first time it comes in? I remember I woke up, after days of pumping, (which I fondly refer to as titty torture) and Voila! I had the most foreign and painful things attached to my chest! And they were leaking everywhere! I was in a horrible hospital room, on the most horrible post-partum floor ever, with milk soaked sheets that I was sure my nurse would not notice or change. I felt like I was wearing this:
And so I feel the same way now, except without the pain. I really think that I could have picked whatever size nursing bra I wanted, and I would have filled it in. You want to be a 40 GGG, put it on, and let your milk come in. Only joking, but it did seem that way. (And I don't know any woman who would aspire to such a size.)

My quandry lies in this: I pump now for convenience. It is just plain frustrating to get a small baby to latch properly. I know when she reaches 7 pounds, she will do fine. I am tempted to pump entirely, but I know it gets old. While it is less time spent feeding baby, it is more work.
So for those of you who have pumped for your babes, how did it go for you and what did you like/hate about it?

I am fortunate enough to have an abundance of milk, and Collin was kind enough to look up a recipe for cheese, made from breast milk. Ah, that is most disgusting. Ice cream? Maybe. Just kidding. I would rather eat mayonnaise. And that is saying something.


J said...

I am laughing SO HARD! Collin looked up a recipe for cheese from breast milk...ha ha ha ha ha...On one most desperate morning when we were out of milk, for a split second I contemplated using breast milk, but only for a spilt second. :)

I've pumped with my last two - just to have extra for leaving bottles and for mixing with cereal. I am about to DIE to quit right now! Every night at like 10. She is ten months old, but I'm afraid if I quit, my supply will go down. Now, didn't you want to know all that. It is torture. I swear my pump says, "why pump, why pump, why pump" for the duration of the "let down" cycle. Lovely. Best wishes. I am looking forward to packing the pump away for a while!

Tim and Monique said...

She's a doll!! Good luck!

Christina said...

I pumped for a solid 12 months for the same reasons you did (babies in NICU, latching frustration, etc.). It did get annoying, packing the pump everywhere, but I would do it again. My milk was free. Formula was not. Most fun was finding places to pump away from home-- like the bathroom at Walmart. Yep, sitting on the toilet. My babies got breast milk, and I got to eat those extra calories. Plus, having pumped milk enabled Patrick or a babysitter to feed my newborn. I think it was worst at the beginning, when I was pumping every 3 hours to keep my supply up. I don't blame anyone for resorting to formula. It's much more convenient.

Manda Mae said...

i love nursing! it's my absolute favorite part of having a new baby... it's just me and baby time. I love it when they are circled around your belly (because that's what i still have... even 2.5 years after my last) and looking up at you. DID I MENTION I LOVE IT!??!?!?! So i'd say do both! i can't imagine having four children (which is why is still have three) and all the responsibility that comes with it! If it's easier mamma... DO IT! i'm jealous of your milk supple... i have to work overtime to have just enuf! and please... hold on the cheese or ice cream!

p.s. sorry about the post baby hormones! you've heard my favorite part of having a baby... the post hormes are the WORST! didn't mean to make you cry! but if it's any consolation... i cried and i'm not any more hormonal than normal!!!

Jessica said...

I hate pumping. I found it torturous to the tits as well, so my opinion is DON'T DO IT! But I also never needed to, so I really can't say that from an objective place. Good luck.

Aviators said...

I agree with Christina...pumping gives you freedom. Fortunately, I was able to build up enough tolerance to only have to pump 3 times a day. I prefer the mostly-nurse, pump when convenient approach, but others wanting to help feed the baby led to more and more pumping until baby preferred the bottle (because he didn't have to lay down and could eat sitting up). I say pump away to get what you need when you have to go somewhere (baby wouldn't nurse under the cover for me) but nurse for as many feedings as you can so that is still the preference and you can do it anytime you need to. For the record, I prefer the Avent smart pump over the Medela - doctors and hospitals only recommend Medela because it is the oldest brand...Avent has developed something better (note for anyone who is expecting the first and still in the shopping arena)