Currently, I’m pretty much a stay-at-home wife. Yes, I put in a few hours at PB for the discount and to get out of the house. Yes, I plan to keep on freelancing and consulting but I’m in a rut about that and have put it on the back burner until after Roo arrives and I’m settled into a mommy routine, etc. But at the moment, I will be a stay-at-home mom for the first few months. Afterward, I’ll probably still be stay-at-home as I want to keep working from home. The likelihood of me going back to PB even with the same amazing hours a week that I have right now is pretty slim. I get paid $10 an hour, which wouldn’t even cover childcare costs!
I plan to exclusively breast feed Roo. In my mind, exclusively breast feed means I will nurse her myself and/or have breast milk in a bottle available to her. I hope to do it for at least a year. I’ve read and heard that nursing for a minimum of one year has the greatest health benefit. I am aware that I may not be a successful breast feeder: she might have a lot of trouble with nursing or my breasts might not produce enough for her to get enough nutrition. I also know that my circumstances may change and the goal of exclusively breast-feeding may not be possible. In other words, I have my goal in mind but I’m aware of the challenges that I might face and am willing to accept that formula feeding entirely or at some times might be necessary. I’m ok with it. Being adopted, I was exclusively formula fed and I’m completely perfect 😉
So, why would I need to get a breast pump? I really want MH to have the chance to bond with Roo through feeding her. I want him to experience that quiet, one-on-one time with her that I’ll get. Plus, I want to be able to leave Roo with a babysitter so that MH and I can go to dinner or if I want to have some time at the spa or another location where infants are not allowed. (I can’t wait to be a mommy but I also know how important it is to make marriage and alone time also a priority). I can’t imagine leaving Roo with someone else for the first couple or few months but I know there will come a time where I will want and need to do so. Pumping will allow other people to feed Roo.
In looking at the various pump options, I’m overwhelmed. Also the price of these things is over the top! Some breast pumps cost more than cribs! There is the manual pump and then there is the electric pump. There is the single pump and then there is the double pump. There are open systems and there are closed systems – not exactly sure what the heck that means but I think it only really matters when it comes to “sharing” a pump.
Since I only want to have pumped milk available for Roo about once a day, I’m so confused by what I should get especially since the expense of a pump is pretty high. So, I decided that in the ideal world, I would buy a double, electric pump on a budget – but there really isn’t that option. I was told that getting a hand pump is only really helpful once someone is an accomplished breast feeder, so I automatically took that off my list.
There are two brands that I decided to exclusively consider: M.edela and A.meda. M.edela seems to have a market share in breast pumps with two very popular styles: Pump In Style and the Freestyle. I know a lot of people who have one or the other of these two and like them both for various reasons but also dislike them for various reasons. A.meda seems to be less popular but has very positive reviews (in fact, I have found it has fewer negative reviews but that could be because it is less popular). One large difference between these two brands is the type of system that they have: M.edela has an open systems and A.meda has a closed system. Apparently, a closed system makes it the ONLY breast pump approved by the FDA to safely re-sell without health and cross contamination concerns. All hospital-grade pumps are closed systems – which I think means that breast milk cannot cross over into any part of the actual pump, just the tubing, which can easily be replaced with new tubing.
Since a breast pump except for a hand pump with a doctor’s prescription is available to me through my insurance company, I’m stuck buying a breast pump on my own. (I was told to purchase one ahead of time and NOT at the hospital as the ones sold through the hospital are the same brands sold at stores but at twice the price!) I decided to try to find an A.meda pump on Craig’s List since the one I chose is around $275. I got lucky! I found one. Even better, it is a BRAND NEW, in-the-box A.meda pump matching my criteria of a double, electric pump (called Purely Yours). I’ll pick it up on Thursday. If I get there and don’t like the looks of it, I will walk away. If it looks OK and I get home and don’t feel 100% comfortable, I’ll buy new tubing (even though she said that it is still in the box). No harm, no foul and I’m saving myself more than $200 with this CL find!
Of course, this afternoon, I read an article talking about why women who are trying to exclusively breast feed should NOT pump and that made me wary about my decision to buy one but that’s just one person’s opinion. We are taking a breast-feeding class at our hospital in a couple of weeks and I’ll ask them about that topic. I also have decided that if I find that I don’t use the pump that I can re-sell it on CL.
**NOTE: I am NOT an expert on breast pumps and any health and safety information relating to breast pumps. This information is solely what I have researched and with my pregnancy brain and generally sometimes known air headedness, I could be very wrong on some of this information. Please make any decisions with care and input from a “real” expert 😉