October 12, 2012

BF 101: Breastpump(s)

I recently became a proud owner of the Maserati of all breast pumps; the Medela FS. I’ve got to say that that was one of the blessings that Ramadan brought along with it and I am forever grateful that Allah granted my prayers in almost what seemed like a split second!

On that fateful day, a colleague of mine was in the office for a meeting and she dropped by my room because she hadn’t seen me since I gave birth. At the time, she saw that I had 2 breastpumps under my desk; Medela Swing and Spectra 3.

After we exchanged breastfeeding stories, she told me she wanted to lend me her FS since her daughter no longer wanted to breastfeed and that she had only started using the FS for about 2 months or so.

Probably shocked at the proposal (and mighty pleased, if I might add), I obliged. At the time, I remember that I was googling on Medela FS and dreaming about it every single day. I wanted it so badly, I even proposed to my husband that he get it for me. And that coming from me is big considering the fact that I never really ask for anything at all. That just shows how much I really wanted the Medela FS.

But why did I need the Medela FS in the first place when I had 2 other breastpumps which are in wonderful working condition?


Medela Swing

To be honest, the Swing served me really well. In fact, it was the Swing that helped me collect approximately 135oz of milk during my maternity leave. But for someone who yielded so little, making a bottle of milk took too much of my time. If I was lucky, I was able to get about 4 oz from both B(oob)s per pumping session (which takes about 40 minutes or so). But on most days… I’d have to be content with 1 ½ - 2 oz per pumping session.

With a job that requires me to attend discussions and meetings and demands urgent attention most of the time, 3 breaks of 40 minutes to an hour during office hours was just too much. That meant I had to take 3 hours off my 8-10 hours at work and I hated cheating like that.

Spectra 3

So, I bought the Spectra 3 because of it’s double pumping feature. I was privileged enough to be given the chance to try the spare pump at Lunatots Putrajaya before I made my decision. And wow, I was impressed at how quiet it is as compared to the Swing. I placed my order in hopes that it will do a better job in less time.

However, having gotten used to the intermittent suction of the Swing… Spectra 3’s suction was just too much for me. It was as if my nipples were pulled and twisted with each suction. Every day, I’d imagine milk flowing into my bottles to ease the pain, but to no avail. It still took me 40 minutes or more to get the same amount of milk I got with the Swing. At times, I yielded even less than normal.

To make matters worse, I came home every day with blisters on my areola. I cringed every time my baby wanted to direct feed, which made me feel bad because direct feeding is actually my favourite part of breastfeeding.

After reading up on breast trauma, I decided that I had to let the Spectra 3 go. While others managed to fully breastfeed their babies until they were 2 with the help of Spectra 3, it just wasn’t for me.

So back to the Swing I went.

Medela FS

Of course that was until I tried the Medela FS my colleague lent me. Got to admit that it wasn’t exactly a match made in heaven from the very beginning. In fact, there were days when I got totally frustrated with it. Dahlah bunyi pun taknak kalah…

But… after using it for about 2 weeks and sticking to a more realistic pump plan, I started to see better results. Of course, when I say better results, it doesn’t mean I’m yielding so much that I now have a whole freezer full of frozen EBM, no. But to me, a little better is a lot better than nothing at all. Some days I make 10 oz, some days I make 12 oz. Now that he drinks 4 oz at one go, that’s 2-3 feedings a day for my boy.

And though that may be few to some, for me what’s important is that susu ibu tak putus during the day, even if I have to supplement with a little bit of formula. Some days, mostly Mondays, he doesn’t need any formula at all. And though some might deem me of being overboard for thinking that I’ve been successful in my breastfeeding, I can’t help but feel proud of myself for being able to breastfeed him this far. With each challenge, I refused to give up. And to me, that is the first step to success.

Of course, after using the FS for about a month, I couldn’t really live without it. After much persuasion, my colleague agreed to let me have it for a fraction of the retail price.

Alhamdulillah, lembut hati dia nak jual. Alhamdulillah I am still making milk every day. Alhamdulillah, I am not a quitter.

My advice to mommies out there is… it’s worth to invest in a good breastpump with a double pumping feature, especially if you are working. But whatever your pump may be, since your pump is not your baby, your body’s going to need some time to get used to it… so, USE IT way, way, way before going back to work okay?  

So glad I’ve found my (almost perfect) match. Alhamdulillah ;)

Shy to comment? Well, never mind! Your reactions mean the world to me! Make me smile today :)


me said...

Alhmdulillah. I can't live without my FS either. It's definitely one of the best investment so far.

Happy pumping! ;)

Haneesa said...

come to think of all the pumps i've tried and bought, it amounted to almost the same price as i would have paid for the FS. no wonder people said berbaloi-baloi. Alhamdulillah terbukak pintu rezeki Luqman. and of course, without support from ppl like you, i would have probably given up.

so, happy pumping to us both! ;)

semogo usaha diberkati :)