Key word: had. To be fair, I bought it back before my 1st, when I was a complete novice in baby-land. That is to say, not the researching machine of ferocity that I now am. I had (have), plenty of experience in changing bums, burping, playing with, et al. Not that one has to look that hard to discover that purchasing second hand breast pumps and using them is a big no no. Honestly? I just had no idea, this pertinent info just did not pass under my radar. Until I started blogging and becoming addicted to reading blogs. More specifically (for all intense purposes relating to this post, not to forget my other interests – yep, still have those), mom blogs.
Us mommy bloggers, we tell ya how it is and then some. So yes, I had already gone through the nightmare that was breastfeeding (for me), with my first. This time around has been a ride in the park. Good flow, providing just enough for what my baby girl needs – but I won’t be filling up a chest freezer any time soon. Or so I thought.
Of course there are times when I want to build up a supply, and it’s (was?) tricky. I can only pump during certain times of the day lest I empty out the milk bags leaving nothing left for Lil’ Abner. She’s still feeding on demand, with not much of a schedule to speak of, so there’s no point in thinking I’ll know when she’s going to feed next.
Back to the used pump. It was a Medela Swing, in mint condition to look at and seemed to do its job well. Well, if you consider that it appeared to be sucking its little heart out, to produce a miniscule amount. This, I thought, was my body. Low flow. Mixed with all of the other issues I was having with BF’ing – it seemed the obvious reason. I had heard, and read, that sometimes it just happens. Some women have low flow. These things were all but a memory and as I mentioned, going swimmingly with Abby. Pumping produces a good enough amount, but again – I have (had) to work extra hard for every little ounce.
Well. Last Thursday, that old pump went kaput. Out went the mister near midnight (when I have higher flow to pump), to buy a new one – because I was desperately trying to build up some supply, so that Abby would have milk on the weekend when she was away from me. Upon opening the box (wherein I discover a bright pink slip with big bold font telling me that sharing a pump is a no no, as is the possibility of exchanging one), I discover the holy grail of breast pumps. Nothing too fancy, we bought the same one we had before, a Medela Swing. But the suckage? The time it takes to quickly fill up those little 5 oz. bottles? Like nothing I ever experienced or thought possible with my body.
Of course, this has brought all sorts of questions to mind. Like, holy HELL – perhaps it wasn’t my body last time. Perhaps my flow would have been better if I had used a new pump to stimulate my production. Of course, all of these things can’t be changed now, but still. It would seem those marketing gurus aren’t trying to trick you all the time. (Just 3/4 of the time.) Anyhow, mamas who are about to breastfeed: get ye a new breast pump. Always. Yes, they are the price of a shiny kitchen aid mixer. Welcome to baby-land. If you don’t know what I didn’t know. For hygienic purposes and to increase your milk supply. For your sanity. I don’t have to try nearly so hard now to build up a stash. It’s also good times pumping around my 23 month old, as he thinks I’m, ‘tooting’ every single time. Says ‘TOOT! Mommy TOOT!’ Over and over again. Oh the joys.
Sidenote: The new pump came with this new-fangled bottle with a crazy nipple, that really had me wondering – really? Is this really a bottle? I had to look at the pictures. Maybe I was over-tired and slightly off my game. But still. If you’ve seen these new ‘Calma’ bottles, you know what I mean. At any rate – they simulate real breastfeeding, wherein baby has to work just as hard at using it as they when on the boob. Abby goes from hating life in all of its entirety when using it, to happily draining it dry.
Oh, and this? These? I want one.
More on breast pumps: My Medela speaks to me. Really.