Friday, June 23, 2006

Why I was gone for so long

I had a clogged duct.

My fifth.

This one got infected--about four hours after I felt it, no kidding--and gave me a raging fever of 104 degrees.

So I've been on antibiotics for a week now, getting my act back together.

The antibiotics have cured the infection. But they have not made the clog go away. I have tried heat, shower, massage, pumping on all fours, and (with my husband's help) pumping upside down. No, we did not take pictures (he was holding the pump, remember?).

What finally seemed to shrink the clog was one of those vibrating back massagers. I placed it directly on the clog a few times a day, and clog shrank drastically.

But it's still there.

My ob says if the clog is still there when I finish the antibiotics, I have a 50-50 chance of getting another infection.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Magic Food

The one food I have found that radically increases my milk production is oatmeal. Not the Quaker oatmeal, either: baby oatmeal. Gerber oatmeal. When I eat two bowls of the stuff a day, my supply goes insane. That's why I usually stick with one; I am not out to be a milk machine, really.

One advantage of pumping is that you can really see, by ounces on the bottle, how much milk you are making at each pumping session. If your supply goes up (or down), you know immediately, and can take whatever steps you need to correct any problems.

I have read that sage and mint can actually decrease a woman's supply. I have not personally experienced this. I never eat sage, anyway; but I was popping York Peppermint Patties in my mouth constantly for two weeks straight during the first month, and never noticed my supply diminishing. Or maybe the oatmeal was counteracting the mint, I don't know.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

My pump

I own the Ameda Hollister "Purely Yours" breastpump. I have owned the pump for almost seven years, since my second son was born. It still works fine. Before Darth D. was born, I bought new plastic valves, but everything else I simply re-sterilized.

The only piece I have ever had to replace was, actually, one of the plastic valves. It ripped two months after Darth D. was born. The valves are kind of delicate, made of a thin plastic, and somewhat easy to tear after too much handling. But again, I got a lot of use out of those valves before I had to replace one--two months worth, pumping eight or nine times a day. And the valves themselves are really cheap; I bought four of them at the lactation services department at my local hospital for ten dollars.

The only nuisance about the Ameda pump is that the pump, and the parts for it, are not sold at baby stores around here. I had to drive to the hospital to get replacement parts and accessories, and the lactation services office does not keep great hours.

The Medela pump, and parts for it, seem to be sold at more stores like Target and Babies R Us. I have never really seen the Medela pump in action, though, so I don't know how good it is.

Obviously, cost is a factor when deciding what pump to get. Seven years ago, I paid $250.00 for the Ameda breastpump, and I thought it was a lot of money. I don't think the prices have changed that much, but believe me, the money was well worth it. I didn't have an electric breastpump with my first child, and I suffered greatly for it. But more on that later.

The important thing here is this: I would recommend the Ameda pump to anyone. But whatever pump you choose, if you can afford it, GET ONE. Get the best one you can possibly afford. You never know, before the baby is born, how long you will end up needing it.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

I pump.

My son, Darth D., was born two months ago. I do not breastfeed, and I do not give formula. I pump, and feed him the breastmilk from the bottle.

Googling seemed to find me very little information about women like me. So I'm starting this blog. Hopefully, other women who are attempting to do what I am doing will find this blog, and know that they are not alone.