Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Full-time-working-and-breastfeeding-mum's Best Friends

As a full-time-working-mum, breast pump is essential to do "moo-ing" at work to maintain the milk supply for baby. I had 2 best friends who were my "significant half" during my breastfeeding journey - a manual breast pump and an electrical breast pump, I get "connected" to them every few hourly.

During my first pregnancy, I thought a manual pump was sufficient. Bought Avent manual breast pump during a promotion at $109, the package also included nipple cream, milk bottles and breast pads.

Like: Light to carry, convenient to bring out
Dislike: Very tiring for the hands, not very efficient for me as my supply was "private limited", I took 20 minutes for each session

To achieve better efficiency, 2 weeks after Pei Pei arrived, I bought the electric breast pump Medela Pump in Style Advanced.

Like: Very efficient, I took 10 minutes to complete the task. The suction power can be adjusted.
Dislike: This model is quite noisy and bulky. More expensive than manual pump

Other than my two best friends, there are other essential items for storage and warming breast milk, which I frequently get "in touch" with.

After expressing breast milk, the breast milk is first stored in breast milk bottles. I used Pigeon breast milk storage bottles, which fit nicely to the Medela pump. It is also used to feed baby. 

For building up the frozen breast milk reserve, glass bottles and milk bags were used.

I took the glass bottles from hospital where I delivered my children, all free! But the original metal bottle caps cannot be reused, so had to buy plastic bottle caps. Together with some free bottles that my friends passed to me, I had about 80 glass bottles! 

Like: Each glass bottle is 100-120ml, so each can store 80-100ml of milk due to expansion during freezing, this size is ideal as it reduces the wastage.
Dislike: The thawing time is long, about 8-10 hours in my fridge. Warming milk in glass bottle also takes a longer time.

The milk bags are more expensive, about $0.40 per bag, each stores about 180-100ml, but cannot be reused. I bought them because our freezer is not very big, it cannot accommodate too many milk bottles. At a point of time when the reserve is "strong", our freezer had nothing other than frozen breast milk! Frozen breast milk in milk bags can be thawed in about 6-8 hours in my fridge.

Like: Milk bags can lie flat, easy to arrange in the freezer
Dislike: Expensive, cannot be reused, not very easy to pour the milk into bottle and causes some spillage

We used Pigeon warmer to warm the milk. It is basically a water bath, and takes about 10-15 minutes to warm up milk. Though temperature can be adjusted, it is not advisable to use high temperature in order to reduce the time taken to warm the milk.

It is not free to provide breast milk for baby as a full-time-working-mum, with all these equipment. However,  it is still cheaper than milk powder, and most importantly, breast milk provides anti-oxidants and antibodies which milk powder cannot provide to the baby.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the management of the above mentioned products. All the opinions are truthfully mine.

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