Sunday, February 17, 2008

Answer to Anonymous

I still hate that Blogger doesn't do threaded comments, so I'll respond to Anonymous' questions on pumping here:

While driving to and from work can you steal some additional pumping sessions using something like a Whisper Wear pump?

My commute to work, thankfully, is really too short for this to be useful. And I do pump while at work, of course, but there's just only so many times I can do that. I'll point out that the Whisper Wear Pump has been discontinued by the manufacturer. While I don't know why, my guess is it's because it doesn't work. I actually have a Whisper Wear Pump and my experience is... it doesn't work (and, oh by the way, it's LOUD). From the reviews I can find online, it seems that it definitely does not work with women who are, uh, how shall I say... ahem... well endowed. And people who are small breasted seem to have only minimally good experience with it. I'm in the well-endowed category and I can't get a drop out of it, so I found it to be a phenomenal waste of money.

While a baby nurses from one side can you hand pump the other?

If I'm nursing only one baby, and I haven't recently pumped, I nearly always pump the other side. But I don't use a hand pump, I use my hospital-grade electric pump for that. But it also depends on whether I'm about to nurse another baby. My experience is that if I pump and then feed a baby, the baby doesn't get enough (remember that I weigh Ellie before and after feeding her, so I do have a quantitative way of measuring this), so if I'm feeding Sam and I know that I'm going to be feeding Ellie immediately afterward, I might pump for a few minutes on the other side just to get to the hindmilk stage (higher calorie), but I won't do a full pumping session. I am often, however, feeding two babies at once, so there's nothing to pump at the same time. (I've backed off on simultaneous feeding recently, because I'm finding Ellie doesn't eat as much if I feed them both at the same time... I'm not sure why this is, but it seems consistently true)

I do often pump AFTER nursing the babies, because in THEORY this is supposed to boost my supply. However, my experience is that I nearly NEVER get more than a couple cc's if I pump after feeding the babies. They're pretty good at fully draining me, which is a good thing. I can't pump after nursing them EVERY time they nurse, because, honestly, there are only so many hours in the day.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Again I am so very awed by you! You are doing such an awesome job. I loathe pumping, so I have the utmost respect for anyone who can continue to nurse the "ugly baby" (pump) for any period of time. I too felt like an enormous failure when I stopped giving the girls breastmilk, and I only made it to about 8 weeks. I wondered all kinds of weird things about how Ian was going to be different from them because he has been exclusively breastfed from that time, but really we are all fine! I still get pangs of guilt for not trying harder, but have to realize that eventually I have to come to some kind of peace about this decision. Remember some breastmilk is always better than none, but I know it is hard.