Twin Adventures

Twin girls now rule the house.

I Will Pump No Longer!

on June 6, 2012

I’ve had a huge love-hate relationship with my breastmilk and pumping. While I love that my girls have been getting the “best” nutrition, I also despise pumping. Each time you sit down to pump you’re looking at 10-15 minutes of being incapable of doing much else. It’s not very convenient to chase children or answer a phone that’s across the room. Not to mention if company or UPS shows up! And that’s not even thinking about the slight pain that comes along with it. I have no idea how it compares to actually nursing, but there were definitely times while I was pumping when I wanted to scream/cry/yell out in pain.

Without giving a bit of background, all the information that follows may not make much sense… so here goes: First off, I needed a bit of assistance in order to produce any milk. My doctor set me up with Domperidone. A drug that is used for suppressing nausea and vomiting. As a side effect, it also increases lactation. We had tried a few “natural” remedies, but none had worked for us. Even though we had to put down a little money for it, the pills were worth the cost.

For the first six months of pumping, I pumped every four hours. Exluding during the night. Even when the girls woke up for a night feed, I skipped the pumping. In the middle of the night, I was not interested in sitting down and having my breasts attached to a suction cup. Because I was pumping so frequently during the day it really felt like I had no down time. Wake up, pump, feed babies, put the babies down for a nap, shower, pump, wake the babies, feed the babies, put the babies down for a nap, pump, etc etc etc. After six months, when I got a new supply of pills (each prescription renewal was for three months) I decided to adjust my schedule and go with pumping four times a day.

Every time I adjusted my schedule and pumped fewer times during the day, it still never seemed like I was catching a break. It felt like my whole day was filled with nothing but milk, be it formula or breastmilk. It might have been slightly selfish, thinking that a combined time of one hour per day was invading my free time. But, it was really the thought of being stuck on the couch, going through the pain that really got me down. Anyway. I went with four times a day for another three months; the duration of my domperidone prescription. When I got it refilled (for the last time!) I decreased the amount of times I pumped per day. Down to three times a day. This time it felt like I was no longer be ruled by my pump!

Yesterday I took my last  pills. Over the next few days, I’ll slowly stop pumping. It’ll be interesting to see how much the pills have been keeping things flowing. Has my body become accustomed to my pumping schedule, or will my milk production just come to a halt? Just going on the couple of pumping sessions I’ve done so far, I’m thinking it may be the latter. On average, I’ve produced about 200ml per pump. But, my last pump of the day from yesterday only yielded about 150ml. And, my first pump of the day this morning yielded even less. I’m estimating that tomorrow, or even tonight may be the last time I hook myself up! (Yay!!!)

Switching gears a bit; I would really recommend going all out and getting a decent pump if you’re in it for the long haul. We splurged and got a Medela Pump In-Stlye. Although it cost us nearly $400.00, it was totally worth it. It’s an electric, double pump with the option of being a single. It comes in a handy backpack which is ideal for travelling. It also comes with wall plug and a battery pack. I never made use of the battery pack, but I plugged the pump into a car converter more than a handful of times while we were driving (as a passenger!) I would buy it all over again for the ease it provided.

We’ve supplemented with formula, but I’m so happy and grateful that I’ve been able to give my girls breastmilk for a year. On the other hand… I am even more happy that it’s pretty much over!

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2 responses to “I Will Pump No Longer!

  1. hslagle says:

    Congrats on reaching your goal of a year! I had to pump about 8 times a day to get my son enough milk to make it a year (we can’t get that drug you got in the US). Looking back 3 years later, I am so thankful that I was able to provide him the Mama Juice. It was so worth it! Good job Mama!

    • samonnier says:

      Thanks! I didn’t really realize before today, but I’m quite proud of myself! And, not in a “I’m better than everybody” way. I’m glad that we overcame some of the Mama Juice hurdles that were thrown our way. I’m not sure I would’ve made it without the drugs though. I was only getting 100mls MAX per day before I started taking it.

      Thanks for stopping by. Hope you had time to read some of my other posts. 🙂

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