Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pumping Woes

To put it frankly, I hate pumping. I hate the whole process of having to sit down, relax, and let a machine do what my baby does best.  If I didn't have to work I wouldn't do it. Not even to have a reserve just in case.
But that is not what my life calls for despite all my wishing, I have to work and that means I have to pump. 

When I had my son all I had was a manual pump by Avent. It wasn't a bad pump and I did fairly well with it. I only pumped after working and now I know that is why I was never able to supply enough for while I was at work. The books that I had on breastfeeding only touched on pumping and didn't really offer much advice as to how to pump efficiently. I stopped pumping for him when my son decided he didn't want bottles anymore. We got into the routine of him waking up around when I got home from work and me mostly just taking him to bed with me and nursing there. 
With my daughter, I hunted for a good electric one. After she was born, I used it religiously. Every night after she went to sleep, I pumped. At first, there was nothing admirable. After a while, letting down became easier and even my husband was impressed. When I went back to work, I had a stash in our chest freezer as well as our upstairs one. I made one mistake though, I started to cut back on how often I pumped. The ounces lessened back to what they were in the beginning. Then my cycle started back up again. Hormones made it next to nothing. 
As my chest freezer supply is now gone, I am fighting to get more than 1ounce a session. Sometimes, it's not even that. Those ones I put a question mark on. I have started doing it every night again and am sad to say it almost feels like a waste of a storage bag. I know it isn't really, every little bit helps prevent my daughter from getting formula. 
I didn't really feel horrible about it, until I was talking to another pumping mom who was able to give 8ounces at a session. That was more than I was doing at my peek. It shouldn't be a contest of who can pump the most, but like with anything body related with us women, it just does. It's the same way when it comes to losing weight, hair, skin, etc. So how much milk one makes is in there as well. 
It's not that I'm not doing everything I can. I drink a pot of Mother's Milk tea every day, I take Fenugreek capsules with my daily vitamins and of course, water, water and more water.  Sometimes there is a soda or two mixed in there, but barely on a weekly basis. 
I haven't reached the point yet of buying the relaxing Cd's that are (supposedly) composed to help mothers let down, but I am eyeing the Milk Cookies and pondering if brewers yeast is as magically as some say. 
My trouble is that all pumping does is take the pressure off. Like defusing the bomb for a few more hours before the real experts come in. I've never been able to drain completely. 

What's funny to me in this circumstance, is hearing stories of women whose Doctors told them that pumping completely emptied the breast. I can't say how many times I've heard this lie. This opens up a while host of issues there. I understand why they think that, when there are women who can pump 8oz in a sitting. Sure, that's a lot and to them, there shouldn't be anything else in there. Which in most cases, isn't true. Pumps are fantastic and a life saver for working moms and babies. But, they only suck, they don't knead the glands the way a baby does. There also isn't a chemical bond between a mother and her pump. Sorry pump, I just don't love you that way. It is these combined that makes a breast the unmatchable food supply (for most). 

What's really funny, is that most of the time it is men who are delivering and teaching this nonsense. Men love their boobs, but they don't have any of their own to play with. They always have to borrow. And when it's not your own to play and experiment with, you just don't know everything about tit. 

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