Monday, October 22, 2012

TMI: Pumping routine

You can file this under TMI if you want, but the other day I was reading a blog post about essential equipment for pumping. Luckily this isn't my first rodeo for pumping. I pumped in a supply closet at my old work for 8 months for Bub and I do it all over again for Button but thankfully I have my own office this time around. It took a while to establish a good and fast routine the first time and for the most part I've kept to the same routine this time around. I was and am always interested in how other women handle this routine so I thought I'd share.

I only pumped at work twice, around 10 and 2. But, at this point, I have about an hour window either way if I have a meeting or can't stop what I am doing. 2:00 works best because that way I have milk for Button when I get home but I'm not full to the brim. I still have the pump I bought for Bub, a Medela Pump-in-Style, the first generation, not an Advanced. So it's not the most high tech on the market but it has held up really well, only giving me a few problems lately that have been fixable. I'd recommend Medela because of this. This pump is well over 6 years old and should serve me the next 6 months (*fingers crossed*).  I kept in my closet all these years so I think that contributed to its extended life. I also invested in a hands-free bra, something I did not have the first time and wished I did. It is a must have and it has makes things much easier.

My day starts at 5:45 a.m. I get Button and nurse her but she almost always only does one side. Just enough to put something in her belly and make her sleep a little longer for her dad. Then while I get ready for work I pump the other side. I have enough parts to have a work set and a home set so that makes it easier too. I keep my work parts in a little bag that fits right inside my pump bag. Another convenience is having my own mini-fridge in my office. I didn't have that at my old work so I just used a drawer in the fridge in the break room. Anyway.

At work, after I pump the first time, I wipe down the parts with the Medela Quick Clean Breastpump & Accessory Wipes and store the connectors, valves, and membranes in the little bag in the fridge and the breastshields in my cabinet. The milk I combine into one bottle and that goes in the fridge as well. For the afternoon session, I reuse the empty bottle from the morning and a new one. That milk gets combined into one bottle and I wash the other bottle so it's one less thing to do at night. Everything gets steamed cleaned in the Quick Clean Micro-Steam bags and left to dry in my cabinet until work is done and it is put back in the bag. At the end of the day, the milk goes in the cooler that came with the pump along with an ice pack for the drive home. It would be fine without it but I get paranoid about my breastmilk.

After afternoon cleaning

At home I use Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags. I've honestly tried about 3 or 4 brands of storage bags and these are the ones that have held up every time. They feel secure and not cheap like some brands and they double seal. And the people who warm up the milk (aka her dad, my mom and sister) have never had a problem with them. She gets the fresh milk from the day before and some of the frozen I have saved up. And lately I've been using some baby food jars (that a friend gave me) to save the 2 to 3 ounces I pump in the mornings for her sippy cups so I don't have to use a bag for an amount she doesn't drink from a bottle anymore.

So in summary:
Things I need are the pump (obviously) and micro-steam bags and the Lansinoh breastmilk storage bags. A roll of paper towels and tissue are also handy to keep around for clean up any leakage.

Things I like having: the Quick Clean wipes - I can rinse out the parts or just put in the bag fridge without wiping them down if need be. I just feel like they are cleaner with the wipes though. And the hands-free bra is not a necessity but it makes things that much easier for me.

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