Pumping - A Full Time Job
Another day, another 16 ounces
I have basically been breastfeeding for 3 years straight now and I love the connection and the closeness it gives me and my babies, but let's be real, pumping is SO time consuming!
If the kids were home all day with me and I could breastfeed on demand, I would 100% chose that over having to pump. With that being said, reality is what it is, and the kids have to go to daycare sometimes. My toddler drinks regular milk while at daycare but my baby refuses the formula that they provide (I never wanted her to drink formula, but one day I didn't take quite enough milk for her, they tried formula, and she threw a fit.) So that leaves me trying to make at least 16 ounces a day to take to daycare for the following day.
I decided to add up how much time it takes to pump 16 ounces so I could plan my day around my pumping schedule.
Within the last 6ish months, I have been procrastinating with pumping because we had quite a bit of milk reserve in the freezer from when I was over producing. My first mistake was letting my milk supply get used to me only pumping once a day for 6 months.
Back to how much time it has been taking.... So, in a 30-minute session, I produce about 9 ounces. I figured I would only need to pump twice a day, spend 1 hour total a day pumping, and get what I need plus a little more... WRONG!
This is me on day 1 of trying to move up to pumping twice a day. I had been waking up, breastfeeding the kids, taking them to school and pumping at around 2pm, getting 9 ounces and using some of my milk reserve to make up the rest that was needed for daycare. I figured if I wanted to get 2 sessions in, I need to start earlier. Tried at 11am while I was eating lunch. 30 minutes went by. Got 2 ounces total. Tried again at 1pm, got 3 ounces. Tried AGAIN at 3pm got 2 ounces. I know I trained my body to make milk at 2pm, but my goodness! Now I had spent 1.5 hours trying for milk plus the time it takes to put them into bags and the time it takes to clean the bottles and pump equipment to get 7 ounces total.
I am on my last attempt at 4pm to make at least the 9 ounces that I get in a day when I only pump once. It has been such a long day. I have been rotating between work, pumping and cleaning and I honestly feel like I have wasted so much time sitting here.
Update: I have an Elvie pump and am just going to be using that every other hour until my supply goes up again! At least I can get stuff done while I pump and not feel confined to the couch.
Update #2: So far, I've been producing less per session when I pump every other hour (sometimes even only 1 ounce!) I'm hoping this changes with time.
PSA: The Elvie suction doesn't seem to be as strong as a regular pump but as your body adjusts to it, you can definitely produce as much as a corded pump allows. One downside is that the Elvie only holds about 5 ounces on each side. For my right side that's more than enough but on my left side I can produce up to 7 ounces, so I have had to dump some into a bag mid-way and continue.
Please send me all the pumping hacks ya'll have!