Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Nursing Musing - Part 2

As I had mentioned in Part 1 of Nursing Musing, nursing was very difficult with my first child in the beginning, but then nursing seemed to get easier. I never got around to loving pumping however, and when my daughter was 8 1/2 months old I weened her because I got tired of pumping at work.

Nursing my second child was much easier. I still had late milk in the beginning, probably due to having  c-section, and had to supplement with formula for a week. But at least my milk came in on the 4th day instead of the 5th day so it wasn't quite as late.

What I didn't have the second time around were the sore cracked nipples. Nursing didn't take nearly as long either. Where my daughter would nurse 20 minutes on each side, my son was done in half the time, which was convenient since I had a 3 year old to look after. Remembering the time I spent nursing my daughter in the beginning, I wondered how I could possibly nurse my second child at all, but I really wanted to do it.

I learned from my pumping experience the first time around, and created a better system for pumping at work. For some reason, the first time around, I felt I needed to rent a hospital grade breast pump. The thing was huge, and I couldn't bear to lug it around. I kept the thing locked up in my office at night. I rented the pump for 5 months up front since that was the most cost-effective, but when the 5 months were up, I couldn't justify renting the pump for 5 more months or paying by the month, which was part of what caused me to ween. My manual pump was hardly practical for work. The parts of a hospital grade pump are expensive, costing around $40, and therefore I couldn't purchase an extra set of parts and I didn't realize I could buy wipes to clean the parts. I would spend about as much time cleaning the parts as I did pumping.

With my second child I finally realized I was better off buying an electronic breast pump and that is what I did. I splurged on the Medela Freestyle. At least I didn't pay the full $360 price for it, but I still paid like $270 after doing some searching online for discounts. I felt it was worth the extra cost. The thing is a great size, and for my situation worked well. The only downside is that this pump does not accommodate the Pump & Save Breastmilk Storage Bags, which allow one to pump directly into the freezer storage bags. I bought a spare pair of breast pump parts, and wipes for cleaning the parts. This cut down on the time I spent pumping. The fact that my job was a little less demanding - by choice - the second time around also helped.

I saw no reason why I couldn't breastfeed Paul for the entire year, which was my goal. Unfortunately, some health problems, caused me to reluctantly ween him at 10 months. Weening was harder on me than him. He just took right to his learner cup and doesn't even seem to miss nursing. Me on the other hand, I sort of miss the experience.

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