Friday, July 14, 2006

How often do I pump? *with plea*

I pump, on average, every two and a half hours during the day, and twice at night. But it varies a bit.

If it's been at least two hours from the last pumping session, and Darth D. is asleep or otherwise occupied and quiet, then I pump. If I know for a fact that he will still be happy doing something else in another half hour (usually this means Dad is home and can play with him), then I wait the half hour.

If it's already been three hours, I try to keep Darth D. happy while I pump. I'll bounce him in his bouncy chair, talk to him, sing to him, etc. But if he starts to cry, then I'll take a pause in my pumping to make him calm again.

If it's been three and a half hours, then my breasts are probably swollen and painful at that point. If Darth D. is still awake and grumpy, I turn up the pump all the way, and massage my breasts to try to get the milk out faster, but I keep going, even if he starts to cry, at least until most of the milk is out and my breasts feel better. Because his crying for ten minutes while I am right there talking to him and singing to him is better than not pumping and being angry and in pain.

Nights are hard. Usually I pump right before I go to sleep. Then I feed Darth D. when he wakes up around two o'clock, and afterwards pump again. If he's still sleeping at six o'clock, I can pump again without waking hubby; otherwise, dad's gotta take the baby while I pump. The reality is, if I was breastfeeding or formula feeding, I would be getting a lot more sleep. Sometimes Darth D. wakes at two o'clock, and doesn't go back to sleep until five. Then it feels like the whole night I've just been dealing with a fussy baby and pumping.

I try to take it day by day, night by night, and somehow, I just keep going. We'll see how much longer I can keep this up.

But, yeah, I'm tired.

PLEA: If you have a chance, please go give some support to Babyfruit. She is having a hard time getting her baby to latch on to the breast, as well as the pumping.


Blogger liz said...

One thing we did when Muffin Man wasn't sleeping through the night was, my husband would feed him at the night wakings and I would pump. Then we'd all go back to sleep. If MM refused to go back to sleep, I would take the first hour and then wake up my husband and he'd take the second hour and so forth.

One of the best parts about pumping is it DOESN'T have to be you who does all the night wakings.

When he started sleeping through the night pretty regularly, I gave up the night pumping and added another pump during the day. At that point I was pumping about every 4-5 waking hours.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Rebellin said...

OK, I've mentioned this on your site before, but this post has convinced me that your life would be a lot more enjoyable with a hands free pump bra. You can then console or play with your baby while you pump, and you can feed him while you pump, cutting down the time you're up in the middle of the night. Do not hesitate. Get a handsfree bra!

10:42 AM  
Blogger pumpingmom said...

I'll tell you, Rebellin, I've looked at those. They look a little bit, I don't know, scary to me. Also, I have really big breasts, and I've basically given up on ordering anything I wear from a catalog or online, since I can't try it on first.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Epiphany Alone said...

R, did you post a link to the handsfree bra already?

PM, I've been trying to extend my pump times a little to make my life a bit more bearable. I also sometimes get engorged after only about 2 1/2 hours and it is very frustrating. My ped was out today, and I got a covering doc on rotation and she was the FIRST doc in the practice who even acknowledged that pumping and feeding for the past 8 weeks might be pretty tiring. She said "wow, that makes me want to cry".

2:22 PM  

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