Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This is it - I swear

Are you tired of the breastfeeding and weaning talk? ME TOO.

Just to wrap it all up, I thought I would note those things that I really couldn't have lived without for the last 10 months.

- Medela Freestyle pump, as I've gushed over before
- Extra pump parts and breast shields - makes life so much easier
- Lansinoh milk storage bags. As I've mentioned before, these are less expensive than the Medela bags. Also, now that I am using up my frozen milk, these are for sure the easiest to thaw and transfer to bottles.
- Lilypadz! A little pricey, but SO worth it in my opinion. I've been through 5 sets! I found out pretty quickly that it was annoying to wash and dry one set every day. Two sets work much better - wash and dry one set while you are wearing the other. I just kept a bottle of dish soap by my bathroom sink and scrubbed them up before I showered.
- Gilligan & O'Malley nursing tanks from Target. I liked these the best and they are much less expensive than a lot of others. I have about 8 and I wore them almost every day for months and months and months.

Also ... a few things I've learned or would do differently.
- Weaning was sad in some ways, but the freedom is great. I scheduled a full day of fun shortly after I weaned the Girl and it was the first time I could be away from her all day without pumping. Heaven! Do something special for yourself - you deserve it, whether you breastfed for days, weeks or months.

- Our Girl will eat virtually anything and didn't bat an eye at formula, despite the fact that she hadn't had any from the time we got home from the hospital until about 10 months. I worried about it and wished I would have introduced it earlier. She didn't care, but another babe might.

- Next time, I won't be so crazy about the pumping schedule. I CLEARLY had a good enough milk supply to make it through. It is nice to use up the frozen milk to cut down the formula bill, but was it really worth all that time pumping? Not sure ... and, now I feel obligated to use up all that frozen milk, so it really isn't as simple as scooping powder into a bottle. I'm digging through frozen bricks of breast milk, thawing it the night before, mixing it with formula, on and on. The things we do for our kids ...

- My extended weaning schedule worked really well. I had little to no discomfort with dropping feedings. I thought the first feeding would be easiest to drop and the last ones harder, when it was actually the reverse. I had a lot of fullness and leaking the day or two after I dropped the late afternoon feeding, then never again. My milk supply dropped very quickly and I even moved up our schedule without any issues.

- And, my public service announcement. In my line of work I meet a lot of women who have a family history of breast cancer. If they are of childbearing age, I always tell them to be mindful of any breast lumps or changes while breastfeeding - don't chalk it up to breastfeeding when it might be something else. If a lump or change persists for several weeks, be sure to see your doctor - better safe than sorry. I have noticed several hard lumps since I've weaned the Girl - very likely blocked ducts. I worried a bit and asked my lactation consultant, and have been working them out in the shower under hot water, which is helping. The point is - pay attention to the girls, not just the Girl.

Most importantly - ask questions of anyone you can find! Lactation consultants for the technical stuff, but friends, too. I always marvel that my friends are basically raising my kid, in the sense that I would know NOTHING without them. Use the people who have gone before you - they are the BEST resource!


mary_marshall said...

YOU & this BLOG are one of my major resources! Seriously, I'm going to go back & start reading some of your old posts too. I am NOT tired of hearing about breastfeeding, but that's probably because I'm only at the beginning of that journey. Thanks for documenting all of this. It really helps. I might email later with more b-feeding questions if I can't find the answers in your other posts. Thank you!

The Lunds said...

Thanks MM - you are too nice. I'm so glad that someone is reading ... I wonder sometimes if anyone cares? I mainly do it for myself so I remember if there is a #2, but it is nice to know someone else may benefit!