My mom told me once that she could not exclusively breastfed me and my sister for long, and had to wean us out asap, because she could not afford to spend much time sitting while we fed on her. Those were the days when very few households had domestic help and our mothers had to cater to the entire family alone. When I was expecting the first time around, my mother was inclined to think that with all the help and support system around me I should hardly have any difficulty. I too was of the same opinion. But as it turned out, I was still extremely over-whelmed with the entire process. One of the biggest challenges was breast feeding.
I faced every possible difficulty from delayed let down reflex to sore and cracked nipples and enlarged & engorged breasts, latching problems and what not. The second time around was a night mare because I caught chicken pox and my little boy was quarantined away from me. As per my doctor, the kid could have breastmilk but not through direct exposure to me. My blisters were really bad and could cause my baby infection. In all this there was one thing that helped me deal with all issues related to breast-feeding. A breastmilk pump came in handy each and every time I had issues with my breastfeeding journey. Here’s a small peep into how the breastmilk pump helped me.
My child could not latch on easily which delayed my let down reflex. But even after he was able to latch, he would slump off to sleep after a couple of minutes of feeding. This led to swollen and full breast for me. My doctor suggested that I should express the milk so that the child could have it later, and I would be relieved of discomfort. The breastmilk pump at the hospital came in handy.
Once back home from the hospital, I would feel immense pain everytime, whenever my little one tried to latch on. I figured later on that I had cracked nipples. While I immediately started using a relief cream, I could not bear the suckling pressure by my child and had to depend on the breast pump.
The second time around, my younger son would feed for long minutes and then would not wake up for 5-6 hours. This caused me a lot of discomfort due to engorged breasts. When I was infected with chicken pox, my mid-wife immediately barred me from breast feeding my baby. During this time I had to express milk manually. The breastmilk pump was my companion in distress even at that time. It was only later during the day, when we consulted my doctor, she said that the baby could have expressed milk, but he needs to be protected from the infection that may be caused by exposure to my skin.
My parents live in a different city across the country. So, I travelled with both my kids when they were still on exclusive breast milk. I never face any issues with nursing in public, yet I was apprehensive and wanted to be prepared for a situation just in case. I expressed milk before leaving from home, stored it in pouches meant for storing breast milk and put the pouch in a small cool box suggested by my doctor. It did come in handy at one point during the flight, when I myself was not able to nurse my boy.
I resumed work only after my elder son was 6 months of age. Though he did not have to be exclusively breast fed then, still I would express some milk worth his one time meal and stored it appropriately in the refrigerator. I must say, using a breast milk pump was a good idea even then.
I used a manual breastmilk pump which was quite easy and comfortable to use. But the features of the pump were very basic and caused some discomfort in terms of ease of pumping manually and pressure on the nipples while expressing. Lately I have come across this -Little’s Comfort Manual Breast Pump which has some amazing features that make the expressing experience very convenient. Few of the features ‘of Little’s Comfort Manual Breast Pump which I came across during my course of usage are –
Well! When my mom saw me using the manual breast milk pump and she was jealous, she cribbed about how they had to express the milk with hand in emergency situations. And she also added that Breastmilk Pump really is a boon for mothers.
Let us all spread the message and try and help make lives of numerous mothers. If you are a mother and want to buy a breast pump or wish to gift someone dear who needs one, you can purchase the Littles’ Comfort Manual Breast Pump.