THAT is my current bedside situation. When I'm not feeding Luca, I'm pumping. It's one of the perks of being a glamorous mom. I was warned by numerous mommies about the hell your nipples will go through for the first two weeks of breast feeding, and let me tell you the experience was nothing short of excruciating.
I love my son and I definitely am a strong advocate for breast feeding because of the numerous benefits for both mommy and baby, so I welcomed the raw and bloody pain with open arms and many tears. Two weeks is the magic number to really get your nipples use to the constant sucking. It was the slowest two weeks of my life but it was well worth it. That constant cycle of feeding and pumping almost drove me crazy. With that being said, I am extremely grateful that I can produce milk because it's not easy for all mom's.
You know how the husband or partner gets the momma-to-be a "push present"? Well after Sal saw what I had to go through he suggested that a "pump present" would be appropriate. Hey, I'm not objecting.
If you've ever looked into purchasing an electric breast pump, you probably discovered that they're NOT cheap! They can range in price from $120- $400. Guess what mama's, its time to let out a sigh of relief! If you are covered by health insurance, the new health care law requires most plans to provide breastfeeding equipment (manual and electric) and counseling for pregnant/nursing moms. Translation: FREE 99! That is, unless you want a higher end model. Then most companies will just ask you to pay for the difference.
So how do you go about collecting this precious piece of equipment? There are numerous online sites that will provide this service for you, or you can call you health insurance provider for a company referral. In my case I sought out SunMed Medical and EdgePark Medical Supplies.
I ended up going through SunMed Medical because of their personal customer service. The model I chose was the Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump because I didn't have to pay a single cent out of pocket and it had rave reviews. Honestly I should have upgraded to the Medela Freestyle Pump for an extra $150 because it's perfect for on-the-go moms, plus it's portable and light!
As you can see it's a pretty easy set up. The black cord provides power to the pump, the clear tubes connect to the milking contraption, the dial up top controls how fast you want it to pump and the button below that is called the "let down" button. You press the "let down" button once you see milk coming out of your nips, allowing more milk to be pumped into the bottle.
I labeled my pump tubes because there have been many times at night where I only needed to pump one side and I didn't know which tube belonged to which bottle. Figuring that out in the dark can be frustrating. It saved me from using up extra brain cells while I was already in my zombie mode. YES I pump while in bed because who has time to walk a few steps to a table and chair to pump? Not me. Sleep is soooo precious.
Now there are a lot of creams that help with those chapped nipples but my all time favorite is by Motherlove. It certified organic and I don't have to worry about wiping it off before I breast feed my little guy because all of the ingredients are all natural. One jar has lasted me a long time. Other products from Lansinoh or Medela are great but my top pick is the nipple cream by Motherlove.
I also keep some sort of chapstick next to my bed and a big bottle of water to keep me hydrated. I'll talk about to how store your milk in my next post! Till then, happy pumping!!