We were happy to share a guest post by our friend Gini and her breastfeeding experience. Here are her tips and tricks for Exclusively Pumping breastmilk for your baby.
Tips and Tricks for EPing
1. Talk to a lactation consultant about supplements. I took 600mg of Fenugreek, three capsules- three times a day. It really boosted my milk supply, so much that when I was ready to stop pumping, I quit taking those and I experience very little discomfort weaning myself from the pump.
2. Find a comfortable place to pump. For me it was the bed. I would stack a ton of pillows between me and the headboard, watch tv, read my Bible, or just close my eyes. It was also nice that in the middle of the night I didn’t have to get up and go anywhere.
3. If you choose to EP, buy an extra set of pump parts. Pumping and washing seven times a day while caring for a newborn/ infant is hard enough. And use larger bottles rather than the 4-5 ounce ones that come with the pump.
4. You can store pump parts in the fridge between pumping sessions. When I learned this about three months into it, things became much easier. This was perfect for my middle of the night pumping. I would start with two clean sets of pump parts on my nightstand before I went to bed. I used the first at 1am, and when I was finished I put it in the fridge. I used the second set at 4am and put those in the fridge as well. Then, I would use the 1am pump parts (just clean breast shields) for the 9am pumping, and the 4am set from the noon pumping. This cut my washings down drastically.
Travelling with the Pump
1. Don’t be afraid to pack up the pump and take it with you places. When Claire was 8 weeks old, she and I flew to see my parents in New Orleans, and I successfully pumped in airport bathroom handicapped stall while feeding Claire, who was in her stroller. You can pump anywhere.
2. This brings me to… get a Hooter Hider, or an Udder Cover (www.uddercover.com). Whatever you want to call it, get one. It’s made for nursing mothers, but worked for me as well. I could pump in my car during the first few weeks back at work or in a room with my friends who aren’t quite close enough to see my ladies.
3. And pack lots of extra batteries in the pump. I could pump about two straight days worth on one set (of eight AA) batteries. Consider a car converter- one that allows you to plug in your A/C adapter in the car’s power outlet.
And pack the bag. They give you space there for a reason. Some of the things I kept in there were Lanolin wipes, Lanolin nipple cream, extra breast pads, spare white membranes (http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/products/pump-accessories/207/extra-membranes), spare breast milk storage bags, an old watch if you don’t wear one to keep up with your time, a little devotional book to help pass those fifteen minutes.