1. I switched to the Spectra pump this time, on several reader (and IRL) recommendations. It’s still a breast pump — not a miracle device — but I will say:
– it’s quieter than the Medela models I have tried (PISA & Symphony)
– it’s more comfortable than the Medela models
– it has a timer feature and more flexibility in settings than the Medela models
– it’s cheaper than the Medela models
That last point I’m not so sure of, because I found an old record of what I was expressing with C, and it was MORE than I’m getting this time around, but I also remember pumping for 25-30 minutes and this time I’ve just been doing 15. I usually get 3 oz after her AM feed, and I’ve just been pumping once every day to gradually grow a stash. G hasn’t actually had a bottle yet. I know this is counter to the advice to give it earlier, but neither of my two ever had any issues taking a bottle, and she takes a paci just fine so . . . I’m just not worried.
2. My lactation abilities have not changed since 2012. I guess that’s not surprising, but I always feel like a bit of an outlier in this realm. I can make plenty of milk to grow a chunky happy baby (SEE BELOW), but can’t store a ton at one time, so I’m never the kind of person who can just pump out 8 oz. I also never ever leak. It takes a lot of effort to express milk, and even when I’m feeding G she needs some breast massage to be happy with the pace of letdown. I was this way with all 3 kids.
Unlike many I cannot just sit there all zen while baby or pump does all the work; I have to be an active participant. Which brings me to . . .
3. How many of you have had success pumping on the commute? Because EVERYONE keeps suggesting this and of course I love the idea of saving time, but I don’t see how it could work for me. I have to literally use two hands to get a decent yield (despite wearing a ‘hands-free’ bra – I am always annoyed that it’s marketed this way because for me it is NOT hands-free), and I think that would be disastrous/dangerous in the car. I could just passively strap it on and see what happens, but from prior experience I expect I’d only get an ounce or two, max, especially if this was right after feeding G on my way out the door.
I also don’t see how the timing really works – if I feed right her before I leave work, I might get a little bit out but then going until 12 noon probably isn’t ideal, right? And I definitely would never pump on the way home b/c I know I’ll want to nurse on arrival.
My current plan is to pump around 5 am, feed her right before I leave (7-7:30), then pump at work at 9:30 or so (scheduled breaks between pts in exchange for a shortened lunch window).
4. I am wondering what my goals should be this time around. I am thinking of really only aiming to pump until G is 6 months, as I’m already dreading trying to fit it into a busy workday. I also have some conferences I’d like to attend in the summer/fall and it’s been a long time since my last focused endocrinology learning opportunity (missed last one due to Irma). But maybe I should just see how things go. I do plan on making things as convenient as possible in my office – my own mini-fridge (so I can just throw parts in there between pump sessions), a pump that stays at the office, etc. So maybe I’ll be more successful than I think with multiple short sessions? We’ll see.
Please explain your commute-pumping ways, if you do this. Also, am I the only one with the issues above? I feel like everyone is always talking about pumping 10 oz and spraying milk everywhere and despite successfully giving my kids a LOT of breastmilk over the years, I have never had those experiences.