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I have only positive things to say about Permission to Mother, an autobiographical account of a thoughtful mother and clinician who courageously writes from her heart, soul, brain, and personal experience; who is open to change in her views and opinions and is not guided by the safety of rules of any group or the status quo; she is guided by love and openness to the experiences life brings her and her family. Her process benefits her and those around her and those who read her words. And to add to that, the writing style and story telling ability here make it a very enjoyable read speckled with both the humor and seriousness of life. ~Laura Keegan RN FNP, author of Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy

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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Old Pump, New Life

I used my medela pump* to express milk for William and Scott while I was at work. I started expressing milk before I returned to work about 12 weeks post partum and continued to use the pump at work for the first year to replenish my supply, keep me comfortable, and nourish my babies while I was at work. I did not use the pump for David, my third baby, because I kept him with me. Yet all this time (its been ten years since I've used it), I've found it hard to get rid of. What if? What if I needed it again for something?

Well, I finally found a new life for my pump. A worthy destiny for a 12 year old medela Pump n Style.

I've donated it to a Pumper. The "Pumpers" is an affectionate term for all the mothers who have come together to pump milk for another mom who needs the milk. One of the Pumpers is using my pump. As much as I would love to donate my own milk, I am not in a mindset right now to concentrate on that effort to take herbs, medication, or take the time out to pump and wash pump parts and store and transport... I am happy that through my pump, I am able to enable another woman to do all this. She says the pumping is going well. Wow, my pump lasted all these years!

Actually it warms my heart to see how a group of woman have informally come together to donate milk. The burden doesn't fall all on one person. I like the team approach and the commitment! I like the sense of community. I like a happy mom and baby. (I also like a mom who takes a beautiful photo and gives me consent to use the photos.)

Let me take this opportunity to list out possible solutions for low milk supply depending on the circumstances:
Lifestyle counseling including skin-to-skin, babywearing, co-sleeping, co-bathing.

Correct latch and position.

Community Support including La Leche League (or other similar support group) meeting attendance and membership.

Prescribing herbs or medications for low milk supply. Indiviualizing the plan and monitor.

Optimal nutrition counseling and Vitamins.

Placenta capsules.

Planning for an optimal birth experience and medication free birth.

Lab testing for thyroid, other hormones and general medical. Consult and collaborate with breastfeeding specialists in other disciplines (IBCLCs, pharmacists, other physicians).

Breastfeeding books for mom to help chill, reinforce the correct information, keep a positive-mind set, and problem solve. Some current favorites and well-rounded group of books all offering somethig different that I recommend--
Permission to Mother, Breastfeeding with Comfort and Joy, Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding, Making More Milk, Breastfeeding: A Priceless Gift.

Teach a mom how to supplement at the breast with lactaid* (pictured) or other
supplemental nursing system. Help them to decide which system and approach is best.

Teach a mom how to use the correct breastpump* if it is indicated. Hospital grade double electric pumps (the kind you rent) are the only pumps that are indicated for low milk supply. I really like for the mom to spend time with the baby and not the pump, if she doesn't need to pump. So the pump is my last resort.

*(Writing this, made me realize, I have all these supplies available in the office, but my twofloridadocs website doesn't show it.)


Mama K said...

Very cool, Denise!Now aren't youglad you sabed that pump all this time?

Thanks for the milk-increasing suggestions. I am filing those away for reference.

Ann Marie said...

WOW! Twelve years? It looked brand new. Those Madela pumps are GREAT! I love mine too. I saw your pump in action when it was delivered to the "Pumper". How wonderful of you to support J & A in that way.

Christy ~ Munch75 said...

I got teary when I first heard about all of the women donating to the new baby girl ... it's heartwarming to see everyone coming together! What a great way to be a part of it!

Tammie said...

Now that is just cool!!! What a great use for your pump! I so love it when women come together and help other women! What a feeling of sisterhood! Again very cool!

Kristen's Raw said...

I look forward to when I have children who I can breast feed. My best friend already promised to loan me her Madela pump :)

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