>Pump It, Baby!

>No, this isn’t an obscene post. It is more misadventures in breastfeeding.

I don’t know if I’ve talked about pumps before, but I purchased a Medela Pump in Style while still pregnant. It was supposed to be the gold standard in pumps for working moms, so Iwas pleased. I used the Medela Symphony while in the hospital, when Zach was barely nursing, and my milk came in in full force, then tapered off. And so the drama started. I thought it may be my pump. So I bought a Medela Freestyle, also the gold standard, but with more bells and whistles. No improvement. There was a great increase in the amount I could pump that was mainly due to other things: consuming lactogenic foods, increased nursing/ pumping, taking galactogogues (Reglan, Fenugreek, Flaxseed, etc.). The Symphony is also the pump they use in the lactation room at the hospital where I work. I noticed a huge increase in what I can pump while there. At first I thought this was due to the fact that I have no choice but to go longer in between pumping breaks. It just isn’t feasible to pump every 2 hours there. Another therapist has to hold my pager, my patients have to be all tucked in and in need of none of my services, and more. The most I can do is 3 breaks in a 12-hour shift. But I have tried to duplicate the pattern here at home and still get about half the amount I do at work. There is only one solution in my mind: I need to get my hands on a Symphony at home. Bring on the rental!

Well, around here, one can rent the Medela Symphony for about $110 per month. With Zach’s latch issues and voracious appetite, I will need one for the duration I will be breastfeeding–at least one year. I want to give extended nursing a try but am creeped out by an older toddler reaching for my boob, so if I do it, it will only be with pumped milk. With that in mind, I would need the pump even longer. So if you do the math, it would be roughly $1.4 K to rent a pump for the next year. If I give up and go straight to formula feeding, it would be even more. So I made some phone calls, and the hospital for which I work has a Women’s Wellness Boutique that carries or can order anything a nursing mother needs. And they can special order me a Medela Symphony. They even give me a 20% discount on purchases. So for about the cost of renting a Symphony, I can just buy my own. And they do payroll deduction, busting purchases up into 3 payments if desired. But this pump is costly, and it would equal about $500 per paycheck. Nah. So I called and called. I made my plea as to why I need this pump (preemie, latch issues, last resort), and they agreed to break it up into 8 payments just for me. Yay.

So this time next week, I will own my very own hospital-grade Medela Symphony Preemie Edition (It has a computer software card that, when inserted, will mimic the way Zach sucks). I’m excited, as I know it is just a effective as nursing a baby is. And the beauty is that she quoted me a price of $1500 on the phone, then when she ordered it with the preemie software, found out it is almost $2K, but she felt bad so is only charging me the $1500.

In the meantime, our trip pretty much did in the progress I was making on the supply issue. I was just too self-conscious about pumping and nursing. The business of it all had me forgetting doses of my supplements and medication. And I completely forgot my Fenugreek, and thus stopped it abruptly which can be detrimental. Between the three, I am almost back to square one. So I have to pull myself up by the bootstraps and go back to the pump-every-hour routine, which makes me want to cry. But at least I now know it can be done. Having the hospital-grade pump will certainly help in the next week or so.

All of this makes me think of the trip to B&N today. I was perusing the parenting section in search of a new copy of LLL’s The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding when I saw this title:

Breastfeeding Sucks: What to Do When Your Mammaries Make You Miserable. Seriously, I about died laughing. And the cover is even better! (See right.) There was a whole line of “Sucks” books: Pregnancy Sucks, etc. Hilarious. I didn’t buy any of them. They seemed entertaining, but I was there for more informative reading today. Now I am thinking about ordering it online.

So anyway, here we go. Again. The Misadventures of Ol’ Bessie, the Milk Maker. Mooooooo!


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