Yesterday I went to a class (at Isis… the same place I do my Mommy Group) on pumping. Although I’ve been pumping for awhile, and I’ve learned how to pump so I get my goal amount of milk each day, I still feel like I do not pump as much as others do, or as much as I should be able to.
Usually I shoot to put away one bottle of milk per day in the freezer. For awhile that was 3 oz, and recently I’ve upped it to 5 oz (since I’m working on spacing out his nursing times to 3 or 4 hours instead of 2 during the day, and we have a pretty good amount of frozen 3 oz bottles). We try to give Owen a bottle every other day, so slowly but surely this two-bottles-stored-one-bottle-used approach has built up a nice little freezer of relief bottles. Starting in January I’m going to need to supply all of the milk for Owen to have at daycare, so I figure I’d better get good at pumping now, and begin putting milk away for later.
Unfortunately for me, I seem to be a low producer. Or rather, not a low producer of milk in general (since Owen is gaining exactly the amount of weight he is supposed to), but a low producer when it comes to the pump. The pump and I just don’t jive! If I haven’t fed Owen in awhile (like when I pump at “my” bedtime, which is usually 2 hours after his bedtime), I can usually get about 2 – 2.5 oz from both sides combined. That’s 1/2 a bottle. If Owen has recently eaten (like when I pump right after feeding him), I usually get about 1.5 oz. That means I have to pump 2 – 3 times to make one bottle. Although January is still a few months away, I am nervous about not being able to pump enough milk each day to send with him to daycare the next day.
I learned a lot at the pump class. The 2 main things I’m trying already are bigger breast shields (my Pump In Style came with 24mm ones, but Nancy, the Pump Talk instructor, said that about 30% of women would do better with 27mm, so I picked up a set of those) and a hands free bustier pumping bra (hubba hubba!). Nancy also suggested that I try a version of power pumping, which is to double pump for 10 minutes after each nursing session with Owen throughout the day. Mostly that’s to increase milk supply and get my hormones going, but I tried it over the weekend and got the added bonus of a few ounces of milk, which made it easier to reach my daily goal.
Anyway, in class people were talking about how much milk they have on hand, or in the freezer, and I began to realize that I’ve been doing a great job putting milk away! So great, actually, that our freezer is a bit of a mess.
Ooops! I took the first step to total milk organization by using Lansinoh freezer bags to store my milk, but as they piled up, I never took the time to get them in a Tupperware or box to corral them. Hence our freezer overflowing with milk!
So, on this week’s To Do list is to organize that milk. I’ve heard you’re not supposed to store milk in the door or on the bottom shelf (since those places change temps the most)… so I’m looking for a solution that will fit on one of the upper shelves. Oh, and buying a chest freezer is probably not necessary for us, since it sounds like once Owen starts daycare, I should be sending him with fresh milk daily, and only dipping into my freezer storage once in awhile.
What do other people do for milk storage? Anyone found the perfect solution? Tupperware? Shoebox? Something else?