Okay, are you ready to get personal with TMI? I’ll give you a second to decide.
Not backing out, eh? So here’s the deal. When my son was born, I wanted to breastfeed. The problem was, I was unable to nurse my daughter with success. Here’s the story with her. She was a preemie and didn’t have very good latching strength. I also didn’t produce enough satisfying milk, and she couldn’t suck hard enough to get the hindmilk. A friend gave me a used double breast pump (Medela) that to try to get my milk to come in better. It was about as effective as putting two straws on the ends of my boobies. Nothing, absolutely nothing, was going to get pumped with that thing. The thing was, I thought it was ME. I felt like such a failure. After trying for one month and having MANY days of her screaming endlessly because she didn’t have enough milk, the lactation consultant we were working with told me to stop breastfeeding and give her formula. To this day, I still harbor guilt and a little shame over it and wish that I had been able to provide for her the way I wanted to. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s bad to give your baby formula. I just wanted to breastfeed and couldn’t. It was very sad for me.
When my son was born five years later, herbs helped improve my milk production. I had tried a few herbs the first time around (fenugreek, anyone?) but this time my ever-so-wise mother in law suggested Blessed Thistle and Marshmallow capsules. My milk was definitely richer. In fact, I stopped taking them for one day and within hours my milk was gone. Luckily when I resumed the herbs that night, the milk production kicked back in. When it was time to head back to work, it was going to be necessary to pump to continue breastfeeding. This time around, we rented a hospital-grade pump from our local natural food store, Mac’s Medicine Mart. They were willing to rent by the month or on a long-term basis. I started out one month at a time, because I didn’t know how long breastfeeding my son would last. Miracle of miracles, I was able to pump full bottles to store for my son! You just don’t know how much pride I took in that — every drop was liquid gold to me. I was able to nourish that baby even when I was away at work, and I’m ever so grateful for that experience.
Because it was a hospital-grade machine, the pump from Mac’s was sterilized and safe to use. I didn’t realize that using my own tubing wasn’t enough to keep the hand-me-down pump safe from body fluids. Also, breastfeeding meant that my son didn’t experience the constipation and other digestive issues that my daughter struggled with due to formula. Plus it was a LOT cheaper to breastfeed instead of buying formula!! My pump rental fee ended up being less than $20 per month, which more than paid for itself in the amount of money we saved without using formula. It was also a lot cheaper than buying my own pump. I would really recommend this option to any mom who isn’t sure that she can commit to breastfeeding and doesn’t want to invest $300 in a pump only to find that she’s not going to breastfeed.
If you are looking for an alternative to buying a pump, consider renting a hospital-grade pump from a medical supply store. Your insurance might even cover it, which is worth checking into! If you live in the tricities area, give Mac’s a call to see if they have a pump available for rent. You can contact them at (423) 245-2181 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Better yet, head over there and ask for their advice. The staff is so friendly and helpful — they’ll be glad to work with you. Tell them Savings in Seconds sent you!
I received no compensation for this post. The opinions and experiences shared are 100% mine.