So I’ve spent a couple of days swooning over fancy baby bedding, I guess it’s time to get serious.
I wrote a guest post about breastfeeding for Blacktating and I guess it was just want I needed to motivate me to research, and think more about the topic.
First, there’s choices, plans, decisions. I’ve thought a lot about breastfeeding not just since I’ve been thinking about having children and since being pregnant, but during my marriage. I don’t remember how it came up but my husband had insisted I breastfeed. His thinking wasn’t even on affordability but on health.
Now, my mind changes on a lot of things… A year and a half ago I wrote out my master plan for vacations for the next 5 years… An African safari being the big SHABANG in something like 2013. Well, needless to say, plans have changed. So I imagine my thoughts on breastfeeding will also continue to evolve as I continue my research throughout pregnancy, and of course once Spawnie gets here.
Since I am a journalist, I’m very into research. But I don’t like just throwing things out there or taking people’s word for it. So while I ask for recommendations, know I’m fact checking everything you tell me. I’m going to try to do my best to back up facts I learn with links and sources!
I sat down at my computer and for five solid hours I looked up information on breastfeeding pumps, looking into how long women should breastfeed, how to prepare for breastfeeding, and just thought a lot about how it would work for me. I spoke with a lactation consultant at my local hospital I’ll be delivering at and was given a few tips. She first asked me how old my baby was…
“Umm, I’m a little early,” I told her.
“Oh, you’re still pregnant!” I heard her smiling through the phone.
“Yea I’m just trying to be prepared.”
“Ok, when are you due?”
“Umm.. June.” I left out the part about it being the END of June.
I was worried she’d hang up on me or tell me to call back in a few months but she was nice and gave me information about classes for about $20 a couple. She recommended we take it at about 35 weeks. She also told me they don’t recommend I start pumping for 2-4 weeks after birth. I also asked about rental pump prices, and theirs are $75/month.
I also called my insurance and found out they give $500 a year towards lactation consultants. Which is nice perk. Sure, I may have one for free after birth for a little while, but $500 towards one who can help me at home is a nice addition.
Someone referred me to my local La Leche League so I called them to get information on any pump rentals they may offer. I also may drop by for a meeting or two in the next few months to see what it’s all about. I hear the support groups are great.
I got caught up on the pump topic for quite some time. I’m going to go back to work after about 3 months and I’d like to continue to breastfeed. Since the rental cost is so much I figure buying is a better option after 3 months.
On Twitter, most of my mother followers recommended either Medela or Ameda. Medela had an OVERWHELMING number of favorites, but a few people who I HIGHLY respect when it comes to breastfeeding recommended Ameda. I looked into the different systems… And comparable products.
I used a few sites to do side-by-side comparisons to the brands to see which one I’d like more. Medela has been the “Most trusted brand in breast pumps for 20 years!” and Ameda has great reviews.
What were things I looked at? Well, I know I can’t judge this by looking at it but comfort was one thing. Finding a pump that’s adjustable is the way to go so I’m more likely to find a level that works for me. Type of pump was another thing I looked at. The idea of a hand pump doesn’t appeal to me. Durability is important, because if I’m shelling out the dough, I’d like it to last for more than one kid.
I also looked at portability, I need something that will be able to travel well. Power options, car adapters, AC adapters and battery operated were all important to me. I would like a dual pump system, so I can pump both boobs if need be. Motor noise level is something I won’t personally know until using it but I’ve read reviews of some being quieter than others. Effectiveness is also obviously an issue but I’ve read the closer the pumps cycling speed is to mimicking my baby, the better it’ll be. So options on speed will be important.
So I narrowed it down based on recommendation and my research.
Single: 100-275 mm Hg
Double: 50-200 mm Hg
It’s $199 on Ameda’s site and about $195 on Amazon. Right now it’s also $199 Buy it Now new on eBay too. It weighs about 6.5 lbs. It can use different types of bottles jut not the wide mouth kind.
I’ve read since it comes with a hygienic kit, and it’s closed pump system makes it easy to clean and more hygienic. This one doesn’t have as many reviews on Amazon, but it has a bunch, and better ones on the Breast Pumps Direct website. It’s also FDA approved unlike the one below.
I’ve read this one mimics a baby’s sucking motions by staring fast then slowing down.
It is about $299 or $260 on breast pumps direct it’s $274 on Amazon and $221 new in box in eBay.
It uses a closed pump system so some people say it’s harder to clean, and you have to work a harder to make sure it’s clean enough and rid of possible mold that could build up in the motor area.
Looking more into the open/closed systems I read that many open systems are good because they allow more direct suction. Many now also have filters to make any air that seeps through the tubes not contaminate the milk.
I have to admit when I first looked at the cost I was thinking I’d try to breastfeed for the first 12 weeks, and go to formula… 12 weeks is better than zero right? And why spend so much money on a pump I may not be able to use? Or won’t use? Or that won’t work for a long time for me. But then… HELLO! Formula isn’t cheap either! I asked the parents of the kid I babysit how much they pay and they say in the beginning it was close to $400 a month. Each can is $15-25 dollars and now… At 11 months he still drinks about 1 can a week. Obviously I’d pay for the cost of the pump pretty quickly.
So now… My worries and things I still want to learn:
-Ways to pump as much as I can while I’m on leave and save it for when I go back to work
-Ways to pump at work when I don’t have a private office or much time to do so
-How to store milk best, and foods, herbs, things that can help with milk supply
-How my husband can be involved in feedings at night so we can alternate if we choose to
My biggest worry of them all is really doing it while working. My job is very demanding and I’m not sitting at a desk or office all day. I usually don’t have time for lunch much less pumping breaks! I work 9-10 hour shifts and I’m usually either driving, filming, writing or editing… None of those are in private.
I know breast is best but to be honest the biggest thing keeping me from wanting to do for up to a year is the cost of formula. Either way.. Breast milk or formula, kids usually don’t drink whole cow milk until they’re a year old (please correct me if I’m wrong, I’d love to know otherwise). So I figure the longer I keep it coming the more we’ll save. I imagine with my schedule and lifestyle we will have to do a mix after awhile, and I’m totally ok with that.
My husband and I initially thought pumps were pricey but after looking at the cost of formula we’re hoping to invest in one and figure out how to make it work for us. He also wants to be able to help at night, whether that means bringing the baby to me, or feeding from a bottle some that’s ok. Spawnie would obviously have to be bottle fed while I’m at work. If I automatically wake up at night to feed all of the time, great, but we’re hoping to take turns if possible.
So… That’s a LOT of information. But I’m glad I have it down. It’s kind of a “starting point” I guess you could say. And I’ll revisit the topic throughout my pregnancy. I already have a breastfeeding DVD to review, some boob cream to help with breastfeeding, as well as herbal tea and some boob leak pads. I even just won a feeding cover. So there will be MANY MORE post on this topic in the future!
If you made it this far CONGRATULATIONS! I’d love your advice and referrals on breast pumps, and any tips you may have on the questions I have above especially, or any other random advice you have on the topic! All I ask is you are respectful to my views, and the views of other people who may comment! In other words.. Be nice!