Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mommy Bliss (& Breastmilk)

Mommy Bliss (mom-ee blis): any items, acts, or observations relating to one's child that cause immediate and undeniable joy and warming of the heart.

For me, mommy bliss comes from both small and large things - the arrival of Nug's stroller (and the associated anticipation of the arrival of Nug), breastfeeding, morning smiles, watching Nug learn something new, preparing homemade babyfood...overall, anything that brings a smile to Si's face gives his daddy and me great bliss. (More on Daddy Bliss another time.)

So, that said, where shall I start?  With 9 months of pregnancy and 7 months of mommyhood behind me, I feel like starting with the present, and as time allows, working backwards.

Nugster likes loves to eat.

Feeding:  We decided early in the pregnancy to breastfeed, ideally for at least a year.  While we respect and appreciate the some mothers choose or are not able to breastfeed, this was the right choice for us.  Because I had a job that I enjoyed, and planned to return to work following my maternity leave, I knew a breastpump was our next purchase.  I solicited the opinion of valued friends (Thanks Kris W. and Kate C.!), and decided on the Ameda Purely Yours breastpump for a few reasons.

I spend a lot of time with this thing.

1. It is very reasonably priced. We actually got a large discount by avoiding the "ultra" model (ultra model has large "cones" and is mounted in a backpack-a disadvantage in my opinion, since I currently toss my pump into a purse, diaper bag, or suitcase and take it everywhere) and ordering directly from Babies R Us. I believe we paid less than $140.  It's $127 on Amazon while over at Babies R Us it currently lists for $199-but if you get a great sale, use a coupon, or get a registry completion discount, you can probably score it for less. 

2. It is a closed system, which means that you (tired, busy, pumping new mama) don't have to clean the tubing.  This saves time (if you're pumping at work, your boss will appreciate that) and allows you to resell your pump without the hygiene issues.

3. It has adjustable speed and suction. Comfortable it isn't-no breastpump is, but being able to control the action definitely helped me stick with the pumping.


While I do pump directly into the 4oz Ameda bottles, at the suggestion of a friend (Thanks Jess B.!), I also bought the adapters for the Playtex drop-ins system, as well as 3 nurser bottles.  This allows me to pump and freeze for longterm storage (3 months) without occupying the bottles themselves.  Using 4oz bottles instead of 8oz allows us to avoid wasting milk if Nug doesn't finish a bottle.    

After purusing the Babycenter boards, I found a system that worked for me:

Before pumping, I mark each drop in at the 1oz, 3oz and 4oz mark with a sharpie.  I also write the date.

For each session, I doublepump into 4 oz drop ins, (or one drop in and one Ameda bottle) and refrigerate.  If necessary, I combine the chilled milk to fill one drop in.  If using one Ameda, you can wash, sterilize and then reuse, rather than tossing a drop in. (Never mix warm fresh pumped with chilled or frozen...yucky and bad for the milk!)  Repeat throughout the day.

Once a 4oz drop in is full, place in freezer cap end up.

Our freezer has a compartment on the door that is perfect for freezing drop ins!  (Although for long term storage, we NEVER use the door-too much fluctuation in temp!)

Once frozen, remove the ring and cap, and place drop in inside a freezer safe bag.  Be sure the date is on the drop in and the bag, and store upright.  Wash and sanitize the ring and cap for immediate use!

Soon you'll have amassed a collection of 4oz tubes of liquid gold, and have saved tons of money by not having to purchase extra drop in caps and rings.
Happy little bag o' liquid gold!

Milk is easy to defrost-just leave in the fridge overnight, or if you need it sooner, run cold water over it for about 15 minutes!

Since the Nugster is on solids now, I think we know what the next blog post will be! 

What pump do you use?  Do you have any milk storage tips to share?

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