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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Milk Maid No More

For the record, I love nursing Eddie. I love the cuddling, the only-us aspect, that I am nourishing him, that it is a cure all for everything from sickness to thirst to hunger to healing an ouchie. I love it when he looks up at me with those dark eyes and studies the details of my face. My favorite is when he starts smiling at me and milk runs out of his mouth because he can't keep the suction while grinning. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! He's such a sweet, sweet boy.

However, I do not love pumping. I certainly don't hate it--it just takes a lot of time. For the last few months I've been pumping twice a day when I'm at school and it takes about 35 minutes from start to finish: walking down three flights of stairs to two buildings away, then up three flights of stairs, putting all the tubing and bottles together, pumping, washing everything and putting it all away, walking back to my building (down and up three stories), and then walking down the hall to put the milk into the fridge in the copy room.

It is nice to have a break every few hours to go sit in a comfortable chair and read magazines. On hard days I have been known to doze off in there, too.

Now that Eddie's about a year old I'm going to switch him to cow's milk during the day while he's not with me. When he's with me he'll be able to nurse if he wants but I will offer him cow's milk two-three times a day with his snacks.

I thought it'd be nice to show what two types of lactation sites look like on campus. There are actually about 28 sites and these are just examples. Some are nicer....but I doubt none are grosser than the first one I used.

This is the room I started using in January when I returned to school.At that time I was sometimes pumping three times a day because I couldn't produce as much as Eddie needed. Once I moved to another room my supply increased--this room was not only NASTY but also cold. And cold inhibits the release of oxytocin, which is what makes the milk flow. So that room was bad on many levels. was just a bathroom and I had to sit on that nasty bench.Without an outlet near the bar where the pump was locked to, I had to perch on the edge of the seat to reach.And you can imagine just how lovely and relaxing an experience it was to pump my breast milk when I'd get in there after someone had been using the bathroom for a long time... eeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwww.

My view from the bench:The only redeeming qualities were that it was in my building and that there was a sink so I could wash the pump parts right there.

At the beginning of February a nearby room was reopened in a building had been under renovation previously. It was much nicer! Close up of the hospital grade pumps provided free of charge in every room:
There were lockers and locking cabinets in the room (plus a sink!) so I could keep all my pumping stuff in there instead of carrying it around in a bag. Even though it looks ugly, that chair was a major improvement over the shower bench.

My view from the chair...not wonderful, but it beats a toilet!The room was decked out in breastfeeding posters.
And the campus lactation consultant loaned me a bunch of LLLI magazines to read while I pumped. A few weeks ago I found a stash of old New Yorkers my labmate was throwing out so I brought those in there, too.Most rooms have a sign-in sheet so the coordinator can keep track of how many users there are (and if they are students, faculty, or staff). That plastic thing is to hold pictures of our babies to promote the release of oxytocin...but I never got around to printing out any pictures. (But really, I could just think about Eddie cute face and I'd feel the let down reflex!)


mu rye uh said...

OH my gosh how awesome that they have that avaialable on campus!!! That is plain amazing to say the least and ewww in the bathroom???

Team Roy said...

You rock Julie. What an amazing gift you've given Eddie this whole year. And obviously it was no piece of cake (or pie in your case). Treat yourself to a serious treat after a year of irreplaceable work!