Q&A: Pump up the jam.

Our first Q&A from a long-time and extremely loyal reader: 
**disclaimer: As she may or may not be related to me, she may or may not have the distinct “choice” to be anything but a long-time and extremely loyal reader.  Choice is such a strong word…**
 
Dear Awesome Big Sister:
Help!!!
I, of course, need some. What else is new?!
This time regarding pumping after the baby is born… I’m trying to decide what I want to do about buying a pump now that the various baby showers are all done.  One thought I had was to buy a single electric pump (I found a highly rated Medela one for $120) and start pumping right away, in the hopes that I could store enough over the summer to not have to pump at all when I come back to work but still give the baby breast milk for an additional 2-3 months. Does that seem like a dumb idea? Should I just go with something like the one that K got and consider it less expensive than formula anyway? I feel like if I want to dedicate myself to this once I go back to work, I need to buy the double electric expensive one otherwise it won’t be efficient enough.
Love,
Blondie**
 
**disclaimer #2: I may or may not have assigned a permanent Blog Identity Disguise to this person.  Again, “disguise” is such a strong word…**
 
Dear Blondie, 
 
First of all, you know how strongly I support and applaud your decision to breastfeed your new baby!  You know that I will do anything and everything I can to encourage and support you so that you will have a successful and enjoyable experience for hopefully the better part of a year or beyond!  You’re going to be an amazing Mommy…
 
Now, to answer the question at hand:
The Short Version: DOUBLE PUMP.  No question, no brainer. 
 
The Long Version:
1. DOUBLE PUMP.  Even with the best pump – it can take about 20 minutes for a pumping session.  A single pump isn’t going to cut it when you return to work full time. I personally had the Medela pump-in-style.  I’ve heard good things about the Ameda purely yours pumps too.
 
2. The only way to get your supply regulated is to nurse as much as possible in the first 6 weeks until you and the baby get over the first few growth spurts (at 3 weeks and 6 weeks old).  After that, introduce the pump a few times a day, as you have time, to start building up a stash of milk.
 
3. In order to keep the baby on the mama-milk as long as possible, you will need to pump at least 2-3x’s a day that you are working, to ensure that the baby has at least 3  bottles over the 9 hour period that you’re away, and then make sure you’re doing another 3-6 nursing sessions at night. 
 
4. Pumping on maternity leave is a necessary part of the working-mom’s life, and you’ll want to start building up a “stash” of frozen milk that you can use once you return to work.  My personal goal was to have 100 ounces of frozen milk when I returned to work – that is essentially an 8-10 working-day supply of milk.  I have a friend that was well on her way to double that when she returned to work.  It all depends on your supply and how often you pump. 
 
5. In a dream world, we’d all be able to pump and breastfeed for as long as we wanted, for as long as it continued to work for our own personal situations, with few barriers and “booby-traps” if you will.  Unfortunately, our reality doesn’t always look like that and you may need to supplement with formula eventually.  You know I did it, you know it worked for us, and you’ll know what works for you when the time comes. 
 
6. As for cost – let’s break it down:
 
Formula = $25/can which makes 15-25 bottles, depending on how many ounces.  A 12 week old baby eats about 6-8x’s per day – so that’s about 2-3 cans a week (exclusively formula feeding). 
Pump = $300 – use whatever gift cards and BRU coupons you have (20% off coupons are not hard to come by) and you can use that same pump with all of your kids over the next few years.
 
In this economy, how can you not at least try to breastfeed?  No. Brainer. 
 
Hoped this helped.   
Love you. 
YABS.

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3 Comments

Filed under Baby, Mom, Sisters, Working Mom

3 responses to “Q&A: Pump up the jam.

  1. katypsu

    “Blondie” is not a very good disguise name! But I do love this post!! Xox

  2. Jessie

    I had the Ameda Purely Yours and loved it (although the motor does make a little bit of noise — I hear Medela is a bit quieter)…I gave it to a friend and she loves it as well. But I agree with YABS 100%…DOUBLE ELECTRIC PUMP. And to make your life even easier, perhaps a pumping bra that will free up your hands! Best of luck to you, “Blondie” 😉 xoxo

  3. Pingback: Tuesday: not quite Monday, still too far from Friday | Your Awesome Big Sister

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