Monday, August 26, 2013

It's just another day...

I teased this when I answered a question in my most recent AFONM post.  I had to really dig into the archives of my addled brain for this, but I truly hope it will help someone who is planning to breast feed and work outside the home.  Your breast pump will become your friend.  Enjoy those days.  They won't last forever and the last time you pump, you'll feel oddly nostalgic.  And a little free.  Enjoy that too.  So, here you go...(this was after I dropped my totally unnecessary 3rd and 4th pumping sessions).

A Day in the Life of NMOTB {Circa 2010-2011}

5:00 am - My wake up call.  I get showered, dressed, and ready for the day.  I pack my lunch, eat breakfast, and prepare for a speedy exit all before waking up the baby (if I can help it.)  If the baby does wake up, that's my husband's wake up call.  Morning, honey.

6:00 am - Go get the sleeping baby and dress him (early on, you may just want to leave him in his jammies because younger babies are more prone to spit up and the less wardrobe changes the better.)  With this in mind, I usually don a robe over my work clothes to avoid a wardrobe change for me as well.  Sit down for a bit to nurse him for his first morning feeding.  Usually he sticks to one side in the morning. (I would switch him half way through when we were first starting out to even out my supply.)

6:30 am - Baby finishes morning feeding.  I hand him off to daddy who would does the morning drop off.  (He has a home office and doesn't have to punch a clock.  I, on the other hand, almost never make it to work on time and need to leave immediately, breast pump in tow.)

7:30 am - I arrive at work and start my morning by answering emails, chatting with co-workers, and preparing myself for the day.

8:00 am - Door is locked, breast pump is on and in place.  This will be my most lucrative pumping session.  Usually able to pump between 15-20 ounces in a 20 minute session.  (Do not fret, my pet.  This is the most ridiculous amount of milk and is not the norm.  Amount of milk per session varies per woman, but know that this yield was odd.  I would say something around 5-10 ounces is more normal for this first session.  Especially after you have fed your baby less than two hours before.  Ignore my freak boobs.)  These exact bottles will go to the sitter's house tomorrow to eat.  TIH always got milk that was no more than a day old.

8:30 am - I am already back to work.  Pumped milk has been divided equally among the 4 bottles he usually takes while at the sitter's house and stored in my mini fridge.  (TIH would take 5 ounces at a time from a bottle.  This is more than other kids.  Usually 3-4 is more of the norm.  This may explain the freak boobs.)  My pump parts have been wiped clean and stored in the fridge as well.

8:30-11:00 am - Work, workity, work.

11:00 am - Much needed lunch break.

12:00 pm - If I had a 3rd pumping session, this is when I would do it.  I got rid of it a long time ago though, so suck it!  I'm going to take a nap in my office send more emails.

2:00 pm - Door is locked, breast pump is on and in place.  This pumping session yields about 6-8 ounces (again, freak boobs).  I store the milk in 2 ounce increments in storage bags which will be frozen when I go home. I label those storage bags with the date and the amount.  The session lasts about 15 minutes and then I return to work.

3:45 pm - Time to pack up for home.  I take all of the cold milk out of the refrigerator and move it into a soft cooler with ice packs that I've stored in the freezer in the staff lounge.  A few times I will leave this cooler at work and be more mad at myself than you can even imagine.

4:00 pm - Clock out, head home to pick up TIH from the sitter's house.  When I get there, she tells me when his last bottle was (usually around 3:00 pm) and gives me the empty bottles from the day (she was a doll and would rinse them for me so I could put them straight in the dishwasher when I got home).

5:00 pm - TIH and I are both home and sitting down for his evening nursing session (I always started on the opposite side of the morning feeding since he usually stuck on one side in the morning.)  My husband makes dinner (I know, it's a charmed life) and I watch DVR'd episodes of Real Housewives (Teresa was nuts back then too.)

5:30 pm - Having cleaned my pump parts in warm soapy water, I use one of those sterilization bags made by Medela to clean the parts in the microwave.  I place the storage bags of milk in the freezer among others, making sure that the older bags of milk are more accessible (use your older milk first.)  This is a great idea for storing those bags and I wish I had thought of it!  I put the bottles from today's pumping sessions in the refrigerator to be sent to the sitter's in the morning. (My sitter also has a small supply of frozen milk [5-10 ounces] in case she needed an additional bottle besides what I pumped.)

6:00 pm - I pack a set of clean bottles, my sterilized pump parts, and more milk storage bags into my pump bag and I am ready for the next day.

(I would then nurse TIH on demand for the rest of the night, but usually he would just need one long feeding right before bed and he would be good to go.  He would get a meal of solids while we ate dinner as well, so he was usually pretty dang full by bedtime.)

Got that?  It was actually pretty simple.  And took less than an hour out of my work schedule.  I could have easily pumped during my lunch break, if that was the only opportunity I was afforded.  I just got lucky in that regard.  I didn't always love my breast pump, but it really did make my goal (of breast feeding for one year) much more realistic and attainable once I returned to work.

Because of my supply abundance, I ended up with a lot of frozen milk in storage that allowed us to bring bottles with us in public places (I did not like nursing in public) and also allowed me to stop pumping entirely when TIH was 11 months.  That was pretty sweet.

Now, here's my supply list.  These people aren't paying me, but I sure do love them for the comfort they provided me in that first year.  (And if they wanted to send me some swag, I wouldn't say no. </end shameless sponsorship plug>)

Breast pump:

Medela Pump In Style

These came with the breast pump and worked the best for us.  Again, we just got lucky.  Most people will have to try a lot of different brands.  Specific brands are more compatible with breast feeding, so definitely keep that in mind when selecting a bottle.

Medela Bottles/Nipples

Storage bags:

Lansinoh Storage Bags
Sterilization Bags:

Medela Quick Clean Bags
We had two - one for me to bring to work and one for the sitter's house.  You could probably use any sort of insulated lunch bag with some ice packs.

Munchkin Cool Wrap Bottle Bag

Questions?  Email me!  I have answers.

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