Expressing The Boobs Whilst Breastfeeding
I still can’t believe that I am successfully breastfeeding Baby George. The boobs are doing a great job and I am so proud. Which is surprising, as I spend a lot of my day (and night) doing it, but it still hasn’t quite sunk in yet for some reason. After trying and failing… Sorry, no, that’s not good terminology is it? After ‘not being successful’ (bit better) with breastfeeding our eldest, Teddy, I was gutted about having to stop due to him suffering really badly with Reflux (G.E.R.D) . Therefore, I was subsequently prepared for it all to go wrong with George.
Well, it hasn’t. He has been exclusively breastfed from birth and loves it. And I do too. But, there is one thing that I find so tedious.
Expressing breast milk.
I have to express. If I want to go out of the house without George by my side, I have to make sure there is enough boob milk left behind to tide him over. Going out to catch up with a friend? Out comes the breast pump. Going to the shops to try on jeans and play with makeup? Go for it! But remember the breast pump. Dipping your toe back into work a bit? Well done. But did you get the breast pump?
Pump The Boob!
I have the Medela Breast Pump . I bought it from the maternity ward after we had Teddy and this felt like a no brainer choice because Medela was the brand the ward were using and what’s good for them would be good for me! I am usually the type of person to read up on reviews and write ups if I’m making a purchase, but I just knew this one was good.
My choice was the right one and it has been amazing! It’s a brilliant pump, small and compact with a great amount of suction as well as a choice of settings and speeds to simulate the sucking reflex on the nipple to encourage better milk flow.*
* If you have only read the above paragraph and think this is an erotica post, then you have got the wrong place and have my sincerest apologies for misleading you!
I would be lost without this pump though. My boobs would be like rocks, my milk supply would have definitely dwindled in the beginning and I would be incapable of having any time away from George. Sounds harsh, but sometimes you do need that space.
But I Really Hate Expressing!
For one thing, it’s so fiddly! Getting it positioned to just the right place so that the nipple gets pulled into the nozzle thingy (I know, excelling at technical jargon here) and getting comfortable whilst not compromising the equipment, is just so difficult to do!
And it’s boring. You sit there, milking yourself, watching the milk come out with a little bit of anxiety tinging the pride because you need to get as much as you can or else all hell shall break loose!
Nine times out of ten, I am also nursing George on one boob whilst expressing from the other. It’s a good time to do it as having him nurse from me triggers all the hormones and helps my milk ‘let down’ happen at it’s fullest capacity. But it’s a bad time because George tends to get angry at the pump (presumably he sees it as stealing his precious milk) and he also likes to play with the tube that attaches the pump to the nozzle and bottle so there have been a couple of times where I have ended up ‘disconnected’ and soaked through.
It’s also no easy feat producing enough milk to feed the baby in the present whilst providing for more for him in the future. I am not a cow (in the literal term at least) and I do not have taps for nipples. I have to produce this baby nectar and that takes time, energy and patience. The key behind it has been very similar to Peter Pan’s advice to Wendy on how to fly: ‘Think Happy Thoughts’. Sounds so easy but if you are sleep deprived, sitting in a messy hole that used to be your house and witnessing your toddler trying to feed your 5 month old a hula hoop, it’s difficult not to let the negativity take over. Or the incredulity that comes from everyone thinking that you are some sort of vending machine…
Expressing Enough Is So Difficult
There have been many times PB has looked at my little 50ML stash in the fridge and said ‘Is that all you got?’ or he will turn to me and say with trepidation, ‘You need to get expressing… Have we got enough for when you go to so and so?.’ Panic is the theme behind these enquiries. Because he knows that, without my milk, his time with George is not going to be pleasant. My milk is basically the glue that holds everything together.
Which is a huge compliment but also a massive amount of responsibility! And now that I am looking to get back into work again (gradually, no running before walking for me this time!), I am so aware that I have to be on the ball with pumping and storing my milk.
So, out come the carbs, into the socket goes the pump cable and soon enough the rhythmic ‘Muh, moo, muh, moo, muh moo’** sounds shall be filling the house even more than ever so that I am not too missed during my absence.
Or rather, so that my boobs are not too missed. Obviously.
** How ironic that a breast pump sounds like a cow. Coincidental and somewhat ironic methinks.