Thursday, March 01, 2012


Today, I met my goal. 285 ounces of my milk donated to the milk bank. Milk that will help NICU babies and others for whom it is prescribed by their doctors. I've been pumping exclusively for Precious for the last 8 months or so ~ she'll be 10 months old on Sunday. Pumping is getting tiring and (TMI warning...) I've been starting to get painful bleeding cracks. It's time to slow down.

So, I've made goals.
1. 285 ounces donated to milk bank. (This was 3 trips with a certain cooler I have full each time--that's the significance of the amount!)

2. Precious gets MOSTLY fresh (as in within the same 24 hours) milk until her first birthday. Right now, I'm pumping twice a day, morning and night. She gets all that milk, plus about 4 ounces of my frozen milk.

3. After her birthday, I may think of cutting back to one pumping session a day. It'll depend on what is still in the freezer. I'm going to hold off on cow's milk until a bit later--14-15 months or so. I don't think she'll have a problem with it, but as her surgery is at 13 months I don't want to risk anything complicating having surgery. And, I won't be adding something new when she's recovering.

So, first goal met. It makes me a bit sad that the number isn't bigger for donating, but I'm doing the best I can is so many areas. And this is something good after all.


esperanza said...

Awesome! I'm so impressed!

I pumped for our first daughter for 15 months. She was a preemie, and had I been unable to provide her milk, I would have been so, so grateful for people like you.

Not sure why, after lo these many months, you would be having cracking problems, especially since you're not pumping as often. Turned up too strong? Maybe need a different size flange (if you're not pumping as often, you're probably not the same size as at the beginning)? Just a couple of thoughts. And, ouch.

When I cut down to one session per day, my production went way down. Even so, stopping all together was harder (physically; mentally I was very ready) than I had expected. Shorter pumping sessions for a week or so seemed to help, and turning down the strength of the machine.

Sorry to be so full of advice. Hope it's helpful; if not, just delete.

But 285 is darn impressive.

Katherine Willis Pershey said...

That is amazing. Go you!!!

Silent said...

Thanks ladies!

I really have no one to talk to about this IRL (let alone someone who has been through this esperanza!), so I'm glad for the support.

And, thanks for the advice--though I've considered all of it. I'm up 2 flange sizes since I began--just went back 1 size with the recent crack as it doesn't pull it open as far. I've pumped at full suction since the beginning. When I don't, I notice a huge discrepancy in output. So, right now I'm pumping each side separately even though it takes longer--I get best output on the healthy side--and then use less suction on the hurting side. Hopefully it'll heal up soon!

esperanza said...

ouchie, ouchie, ouchie. I didn't get cracks with the pump but had other ouchie problems.

Unfortunately, I never found any lactation consultants that were knowledgeable about exclusive pumping (that's the phrase to google to find others with the same experience, by the way). My SiL had done it with her preemie, so I was lucky to know it could be done.

Feel free to email if you have more questions or need a listening ear: texasesperanza (at) hotmail (dot) com