Second chance on breastfeeding and pumps
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
It's been a while since the last time I wrote about my pregnancy. I dunno, maybe I just don't feel that pregnant at all. Well, I do feel pregnant physically (God, my tummy feels so much heavier now than when I was this much pregnant with Issen), but mentally and emotionally, I guess I'm much more ready than I was during my first pregnancy that I'm not experiencing the usual jitters and craving to shop for baby stuff.

What I am excited about, though, is breastfeeding. Yes, I enjoyed breastfeeding Issen so much that I was so devastated when we had to stop. And I can't wait to be sharing that bond with my next baby, who, until now, remains nameless, but that's another story.

As I was saying, I was lucky that I didn't go through the usual first-timer breastfeeding dilemmas. Issen learned very easily to latch on to me, and I never experienced cracked nipples or extremely painful plugged milk ducts. Still, I know there are some stuff that could have made my breastfeeding easier and last longer.

One of them is making sure my milk supply is fully established before going back to work.

You need about six weeks of round-the-clock direct-feeding to do this. I only had three weeks. Issen had to stay at the hospital for one week after birth due to some minor complications, and though I was entitled to a two-month maternity leave, I had to go back to work a month after I gave birth due to manpower issues (I was not forced to go back to work, I just want to clarify that). So naturally, I was off to a bad start.

But I struggled and continued to express milk at work using the Avent ISIS manual pump that my aunt gave to me as a gift.

Lesson #2: Get a breast pump ideal for frequent milk expression at work.

The Avent ISIS manual pump is great pump, really. But using a manual pump 3-4 times a day can get really tiring. Eventually, I wasn't able to express milk on schedule because I actually dread going through the motions. I'm not proud of it, but you can't blame me either since I'm at the office for a reason. I'm sure you'll agree that being a corporate slave employee can be very stressful and tiring without you expressing your milk several times a day. And stress, it was proven, greatly affects your milk supply.

This time, I plan to invest in a battery-operated or electronic pump. This is the solution I came up so I wouldn't have the reason to NOT skip a pumping session at work.

It's a toss up between the Avent ISIS iQ UNO™ Complete Handheld Electronic Breast Pump and the Medela Pump In Style (PIS) Advanced Breastpump.

Both can be operated three ways - manual, battery-operated, or electronic. Actually, I'm leaning towards getting the Medela PIS, as it is made specifically for full-time working moms and it is highly recommended by my N@wie sisters, many of whom are experienced breastfeeding working mothers and some are certified breastfeeding experts.

So why am I still considering the Avent Uno? Because the Medela PIS is quite pricey - it costs more or less thirty grand (almost $750) here in the Philippines - and I might only be able to afford the Avent Uno, which costs a little over ten grand (almost $250) here.

Of course, I'm not gonna buy the pump here. That's why I'm saving up all of my paid blog earnings so I can buy whichever pump I can afford from eBay or other online stores that will ship to the Philippines. I'm looking at buying from eBay, though, because the price is significantly lower that other online retail stores, and that's already including the shipping fee. Don't worry, I've been doing eBay long enough to distinguish scammers and no-good greedy clowns from honest sellers.

Wish me luck in my quest to breastfeed my second baby longer and that my online earnings, by March or early April, reach as much as I need to get that precious Medela PIS.

I really need luck and hard work for both.

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