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Overshare Monday [20121126|13:43]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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I want to have words with my ancestors. Why, you ask? Because I suspect one of them of dallying with a dairy cow.

I decided to try expressing breast milk with a hand pump given to me by my sister-out-law. She recommended that I try it before Humuhumu reaches six weeks, so I can have a supply ready to put in bottles if I want or need to spend time away from the baby. I was warned by several people that it might take some practice to get out more than 1 oz (30 mL) in half an hour.

The bloke got out the sterilizer. We cleaned all the bottles and bits that were needed, and fumbled around with them until they were in the correct working order, thus answering the question, "How many PhD scientists does it take to assemble a breast pump?" (At least two, plus a sensible person on standby to phone up.)

I put pump to breast and gave it a couple of tentative squeezes.

Then I spent two minutes laughing until I cried because hello, bouncing nipple. (Yes, I am five.)

I dried my eyes and started using it in earnest. It took me 10 minutes to get 110 mL, and that did not empty my breast. This morning I tried again, and the same amount took me five minutes. As far as I'm aware, Humuhumu's stomach is only capable of taking about 60 mL during a single feed at the moment, so goodness knows why I'm, er, quite this productive. Clearly, building up a reserve supply of milk is not going to be a problem.

In conclusion, have a couple of adorable photos of the bloke bathing Humuhumu.


[User Picture]From: becala
2012-11-26 17:49 (UTC)
You know, before I reached the age where a number of my friends began having children, I never realized how difficult breastfeeding was. I just always assumed it was a thing that happened naturally and easily, and that both mom and baby automatically knew how to do it.

I'm so glad supply won't be a problem. If you continue to have a surplus, perhaps you could donate to a donor milk program, for mothers that are having temporary (or permanent) problems with their milk supply?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-11-27 13:52 (UTC)
It feels quite natural to me (certainly more so than the breast pump, which is very clinical), and Humuhumu took to it quite well. It wasn't easy, though. It was really painful the first two weeks because neither of us knew how to position & latch correctly, and my nipples suffered some damage. I had to power through a lot of feedings as it was excruciating every time she munched on them.

Yep, I've bookmarked a site that gives contact details for enquiring about donation. If I continue to overproduce once Humuhumu's supply is well established (I'm giving it to eight weeks) then I'll contact the Birmingham Women's Hospital and see if they'd like me to donate.

Edited at 2012-11-27 01:53 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: becala
2012-11-27 15:38 (UTC)
Indeed, you two seemed to have a better time of it than some, though of course there are still challenges (that I was totally unaware of until a few years ago). I had a couple of friends who just never had their supply come in at all, and it was just heartbreaking. So glad this isn't the case for you. :)
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[User Picture]From: impix
2012-11-26 17:52 (UTC)
Good damn you are making me broody!
She is so gorgeous, I am not just saying that - she is really, really gorgeous. Well done you two!

I agree with the other commenter, I thought it just well, happened. Good to know there are ways around it and you know that you are producing. Hopefully it will mean less seven hour feeds for you too x
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-11-27 13:56 (UTC)
I was worried I might be ambivalent about her when she arrived. But no. I had no problem bonding to her instantly. I give a lot of credit to that immediate skin-to-skin contact (which was facilitated by me being starkers when I gave birth!).

She's been following a routine for about 72 hours, which is the longest ever stretch. She feeds pretty continuously through the evening, which is a pain while it's going on, but the reward is that she sleeps most of the night.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-11-27 13:43 (UTC)
:D Thank you.

Yes, I can understand that. I'm so grateful I don't have to use it for long to get an adequate amount of milk for storage. It feels (and looks) really weird and clinical.
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[User Picture]From: alice_mccoy
2012-11-26 20:48 (UTC)
Well done, glad you are not having a horrendous time with the feeding.
As for that bath...well if pussy cat can share your tummy with HumuHumu maybe he would like to share the bath as well ;)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-11-27 13:45 (UTC)
It helps that she got the knack of it quite quickly. I'm tempted to attribute this at least partially to our skin-to-skin contact as soon as she was born. Of the eight women on my NCT course, the two that I know are still breastfeeding (including me) were the only ones who had that.

Telstar likes the bath. But only when it is very definitely empty.
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[User Picture]From: cosmiccircus
2012-11-27 01:27 (UTC)
Can't you use the rest for you and the bloke's coffee or make ice cream or something practical out of it?

And now's the best time for you! It's when you've lost all your weight, but your boobs are still big! The bloke better appreciate this time in your life!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-11-27 13:46 (UTC)
Heh, it would probably make great ice cream! If I continue to overproduce once my milk supply is firmly established (around eight weeks) I'm going to enquire about donating my milk. Apparently it's very useful in cases where a baby has been born prematurely and/or a mother is sick and can't breastfeed.
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[User Picture]From: thekumquat
2012-11-28 20:23 (UTC)
You may find your milk supply is very random - and it often depends on time of day. I could sometimes get around 100ml in 5 minutes, usually at 5am when I'd woken up soggy again. Other times I'd struggle to get 40ml in 20 minutes. In general I managed enough to have a feed or two in the fridge during the first 8 weeks when I had lots of problems feeding, used 2 little cartons of formula at 6 weeks, and kept a bottle in the fridge most of the time until around 7 months when I couldn't be bothered any more.

Some people manage to feed and express at the same time which must be more efficient, but I never did. Never got breast shells to work to catch milk rather than just make clothes soggy, either. But I loved my electric pump and Quatlet and Quatling wouldn't have ended up mostly breastfed for so long without it. We called it the baby Dalek because of the noises it made.

Lovely to see Humu enjoying a bath!

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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-12-03 18:54 (UTC)
Yep, you're right, it is variable. Some mornings I can easily get a full bottle, others only half. I'm also cautious when pumping because I don't want to deprive baby if she decides to have a growth spurt during the day.

I have a hand pump at the moment, but a friend has offered to bring me an electric one so I'll see how that goes when I get it!
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[User Picture]From: danaid_luv
2012-11-29 06:28 (UTC)
She is absolutely *beautiful*. And I love that she's so aware, so curious. Seems appropriate :)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-12-04 13:56 (UTC)
Aw, thank you! Today was the first day she didn't simply sleep through our morning walk. She was actually peering round the edge of her hood to look at the canal. For all of five minutes. Then she passed out.
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