I got a new pump from my insurance company on Monday. It is my fifth pump. It’s also my favorite. It’s the Spectra 2.
I started pumping when my daughter was a week old. My sister had given me tips on starting pumping right away, so I would get used to it and also so that I could build a freezer stash. I went back to work at six weeks with a full shelf of milk bags. As my baby wouldn’t eat at daycare, I added to the stash. Around six months, I started to experience a supply drop. It was pretty consistent. Nothing seemed to help much – not eating more, not hydrating more, not taking fenugreek or drinking the mother’s milk tea. I rented a hospital grade pump for an overnight trip away from the baby and kept it for two weeks, hoping it would improve my supply. I returned it and my supply went back down. We started supplementing with the freezer stash. Which gave me irrational anxiety.
My friend gave me her coworker’s old pump, which I took gladly because I am a forgetful person. I did not want to run the risk of forgetting my pump for work one day, so I wanted a home pump and a work pump. I got the work pump (my main pump) from my insurance company last fall. My home pump and work pump were both the Medela Pump in Style Advanced and I had two sets of parts. It was great, until the motor wore out in my home pump. Around that time, an Ameda Purely Yours came up on our listserv for $20 and I picked that up. I already had the parts because I had used a hospital grade Ameda pump in the hospital, so it was fine. Except the Ameda Purely Yours is not a great pump. It doesn’t have an auto let-down feature and they don’t make bigger flanges for it – the ones they make insert into each other and it’s weird. I just used my Medela flanges inserted into the Ameda flanges and that helped. But I consistently got less than I got from my Medela pump, so when my friend was selling her barely used Medela Pump in Style, I snapped it up.
For another two months, I continued to have supply issues, which I addressed in my last post. After I decided I still wanted to make nursing work, I tried to get my insurance to cover a hospital grade pump. I had changed insurances from last year, and so I was hoping that even though I had already gotten a pump through insurance, my new insurance might cover a hospital grade rental. (You can get either a pump or a hospital grade rental, depending on your insurance.) My insurance provider was iffy when I called about covering a hospital grade rental, but would absolutely give me a second free pump. I emailed my doctor for a prescription and they directed me to edgepark.com, which is where I had gotten my original pump from. I browsed through to see if they had hospital grade rentals (they don’t, my OB was confused), and when I put in my insurance info, it told me that I could get one of a number of pumps, which included the Medela PISA, the Ameda Purely Yours, the Freemies Pump (I seriously considered that one, because I think it would be so much better for pumping while driving) and the Spectra 2 Hospital Strength. A quick review search on Amazon and Google revealed GREAT reviews, a couple of which compared it to the Medela or Ameda hospital strength pumps. I added it to my cart, “checked out” and a week later it showed up in my office. It is awesome. It is super quiet, and generally extremely cool. It has a built in timer, which is my favorite feature, and the massage/letdown feature is really cool. It buzzes instead of suctioning the way other pumps do and I’ve gotten consistently higher yields out of it. I pump into those free Avent bottles they give you at Motherhood Maternity, which is nice because then you don’t have to buy the stupid extra nipples for them. I can also pump into MAM bottles but they don’t fit as perfectly.
Pumping at work is 100% possible because I have my own office. This is a luxury that a lot of women don’t have, carting their pumps and their parts to either lactation rooms, supply closets, or even the handicapped stall of bathrooms (technically, that place also had a lactation room but it was really far away so they set up the handicapped stall as well.) When I go to a training, I demand a private place to pump and our training director is super supportive and finds me one. Nobody has ever walked in on me while pumping, nor have they banged on the door demanding to know why I’m in a closet with secured files, nor have they walked in to perform maintenance and commented that they “like the smell of breast milk”. All of these are true stories. I have pumped in the occasional bathroom, and it’s gross. I pump in my car all the time. I pumped in the manager’s office at a wedding.
I did hit a point around 6-7 months where I was SO OVER breastfeeding. I was over pumping, I was over being punched in the throat and fish hooked and kicked while the baby was nursing. I pushed through it in the hopes that it would get better, and because after a long day of work, I wasn’t willing to give up my snuggle time.
For the first time in awhile, I’m feeling like I might really make it to a year of breastfeeding. At the one year mark, I will stop pumping, and see whether I still want to nurse or not.