Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pumping on the Go

This is my beat up Medela Pump In Style bag that I've had since S was born in 2007!  It is totally starting to fall apart but I just need it to last a few more months.  Once E turns one in June, I'll be happy to be rid of this.

Few weekends ago, I had to attend this three day conference down in Philly.  Conference was all day from 8-5, so everyday I had to squeeze in two pump sessions to keep up with E's eating schedule and to keep up supply.  Talk about inconvenient!  It is hard enough to find a long enough break that fits right when the 3-4 hour mark is up.  Then I have to endure the distinct "oompah oompah..."  Even behind closed bathroom stalls, the sound is unmistakable and in a conference full of women learning obstetric ultrasounds, I got plenty of comments.  Kind of funny actually...  "Hey, that sounds familiar!  Are you pumping in there?"  What else could I be doing?  "Yep!"  I'd answer.

So this also reminds me of a time when hubby and I went on a weekend getaway for our anniversary two years ago.  That was stressful because I forgot my battery pack during that trip and had a really difficult time finding a bathroom that had outlets!  When I did find them, the outlets were always outside the stalls... so not only do folks have to deal with the sound but I had to just pump right out in the open.  It is not a big deal to me but I'm sure some people were uncomfortable.  What made that trip challenging was not just the pumping but also the storing of the milk!  Not all hotels had refrigerators with freezers and after 2-3 days, I had quite a load of pumped milk that I had to lug back on the 3 hour flight.  Unfortunately, I probably ended up dumping most of the milk.

So yeah... with this many years of practice, I've become expert now at whipping out my "pump on the go" bag wherever need be... (even inside a car) and skillfully attaching all pieces (with one hand sometimes) quickly and without contamination (tricky when inside public bathroom stalls!)... then storing it all without spilling and again without contaminating!

Why all this trouble?  Well, I believe that breast milk is great for baby.  However, if due to health or other personal reasons one simply cannot breastfeed, one should not stress too much.  There was actually a recent study that claims no difference in children's health whether they were breastfed or formula fed.  Here is a good summary by Dr Ramon Resa:  Is Breastfeeding Better Than Formula Feeding?  What You Should Choose.