When Jaxson was born, I had every intention to exclusively nurse. I breastfed our oldest son, James, for about a year with no problems. So, naturally one would assume that your second time around will be just as easy. Wrong.
If you’ve been following our journey for awhile you would know how difficult it was for Jaxson to thrive his first year. I’ve tried the nipple shield which worked for a tiny bit but we found that he wasn’t drinking enough even with the shield.
He would nurse for 30 minutes and only get about 15 mL, which meant that he was burning more then he was getting. That’s when we decided to exclusively pump.
I started pumping exclusively while I was on maternity leave. I also had every intention of going back to work full-time — that didn’t pan out either. I pumped every two to three hours to keep up with my flow. I pumped at the hospital, in the car, at work, I pumped everywhere.
I wanted to share our pumping story in hopes to help another, and to share some essential items that helped me during my pumping journey.
If you have Tricare you can get a breast pump for free–talk to your provider. I got the basic style Medela Breast pump, but if you’re going through your insurance you can pay a bit to get a different style. I found that the basic style worked just as great as the Advanced style, it is honestly user preference.
Another great information I learned, Tricare will reimburse you for storage bags! All you need is a referral from your primary care doctor and your receipts.
I had this with me all, the, time. Jaxson was in and out of the hospital so I carried my pumping accessories every where I went. I pumped at work, the car, and the hospital — it’s good to have a couple coolers with you. I have even used a lunch box with some ice packs!
I have pumped on my way to work in the morning, on my way home, and even on road trips. It is a smart idea to have some sort of adapter if you don’t have a manual breast pump!
Pen & Labels
When you pump milk and put them into storage bags, you will need to put the date and time on them as well. Breast milk keeps about a year if frozen correctly, so you will need to know when it will expire. I also used labels when I had to label bottles for Jaxson’s daycare providers!
Last but not least, the pumping accessories. These are just as important as the above! You don’t want to be in the middle of no where or middle of pumping and need these!
I had a couple nursing bras and I took a couple old sports bra and cut holes in them so that I could pump hands free, it looked silly but it worked!
These items were truly helpful during my short pumping journey. I used everything on this list, everyday. I hope that my tips for pumping will help you along your journey, I wish you the best.
Do you have a breast pump hack? Share below!
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