Babies: 0 - 3 Months
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Pumping paranoia.

I have been EBF'ing since DD was born. I have a pump, the bags, tons of bottles, and PLENTY of people wanting to feed her. The problem? I'm a FTM and worried I'm doing anything and everything wrong. So this is one thing I feel I can't really mess up, BF'ing. I have only pumped twice. One time was so DH could feed the baby right after I was done. The other time I dumped it. I would LOVE to be able to go out with DH or even take DD somewhere without having to BF in the car. I literally have panic attacks thinking about pumping and storing. Worried I'll ruin it or store it wrong. And the panic attacks get worse thinking about transporting the pumped milk. Any suggestions to ease my mind would be great!
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Re: Pumping paranoia.

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    It'll be okay! I promise. It is not a big deal. There is no reason to dump milk usually, so don't do that again..it's work to make that stuff. ;)

    In all seriousness, it's super easy and self explanatory. It's not any harder than storing cows' milk. Pump. Dump in a bottle or bag. Store in fridge. Use within 5 days.

    If you want to freeze it pour in a milk bag, date and toss in freezer. Use within 6-12 months.

    Thaw in a cup of warm water and use within 24ish hours. (I'm pretty lax on that one TBH, and we're all still here).

    Try not to mix different milk temps together. I EP so once I pump I put the bottles I pumped into the fridge. When I need them for the next pump, I dump the milk into a larger glass bottle.

    When I need to transport, I try to take fresh pumped stuff. Dump in bottle and throw in diaper bag. It's good at room temp for like 4 hours. (I've pushed the limit a time or two there TBH and we're all still here as well). If I need to take cold bottle, I put it in a milk tote I bought at Target but any lunch bag with a cold pack will do.

    And if you're googling milk storage, stop once you have the timeline basics down. Dr. Google as always makes it seem way more complicated and scary than necessary.  It's pretty common sense.

    I completely understand being a nervous first time Mom, but this is nothing to stress over.

     

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    It really isn't that hard. I've been doing all of the above and it's really easy, you'll be fine.

    One thing that I found really helpful was to get those little round stickers from Wal-Mart (the yardsale ones). I put those on top of the storage bottle and put the date and the time on it. I always keep some milk in the fridge and when I pump, I take the older stuff and freeze it. The little stickers are great. They are super cheap (like $2 for 300) and it's almost impossible to mess up the dates.

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    If you're having panic attacks about it, it's probably not really about pumping. Maybe you should talk to your doctor about your anxiety issues?
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    I pump almost exclusively.  It's really NBD. 

    My nurse told me about the rule of 4.  4 hours on the counter, 4 days in the fridge, and 4 months in the freezer.  I personally don't freeze, though, partly BC I don't have a huge supply, anyway. 

    Hope this helps!  You'll geet used to it very soon.  :) 

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    imagebackinpgh:
    If you're having panic attacks about it, it's probably not really about pumping. Maybe you should talk to your doctor about your anxiety issues?

    This. If the thought of pumping gives you panic attacks, you have a long road ahead of you because in the grand scheme of things, pumping is something that is so miniscule compared to other things that can happen! I only say this because my LO has hearing loss, so I have anxiety over thinking about therapies, her quality of life, having the label of 'special needs' things of that nature that are certainly justafiable. Not something as small of an issue as pumping BM.

    I EP, so me pumping is the only way that my daughter is able to eat BM. To me, pumping is so easy. Do all that the pp mentioned!

    This is my routine... Pump for 20 min. I make enough to cover DD for her next 2 feedings. I put 3-3.5oz in each bottle. Whatever is leftover, (if any), goes into the fridge. DD eats her first bottle that has been sitting out at room temp. 2-3 hours later she's ready for her next bottle. It too is still sitting out at room temp. Feed her and  its time to pump again... Repeat cycle

    Once I have 3oz of milk in a storage bag, it gets dated and stays in the fridge for 5 days. If not used within this time frame, then goes straight to the deep freeze.

    If we are out and about, I pump before we leave, and again have 2 fresh bottles that sit out at room temp. I put one in each side pocket of the diaper bag. Say I spend a weekend at my parents house and have to transport milk home that I pumped over the course of a weekend-just use cooler pack and transport in a collapsible lunch bag. I did this last weekend and after the 2.5 hour drive home, the bag that was closest to the ice pack was actually starting to freeze, so worrying about the temp of the milk is not necessary.

    Also, I store pump parts in the fridge between pump sessions and there is no need to wash and sterilize every single time if you are doing it multiple times a day unless you have thrush.

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    Thank you so much, everyone. I know pumping shouldn't be a stressful event but to me, it is. I maybe should have mentioned that on top of being a FTM of a two month old, my husband just got a job and we moved from Chicago to Virginia and I have no one by me and life is just a little overwhelming right not. Maybe not as overwhelming as other people, but for me... Overwhelming. I really do appreciate all the advice though. 
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    Welcome to VA! Give yourself some time to settle. I was actually telling H the other day how much easier things are because of bfing. We try to time our outtings for right after a pump session and throw the bottles in the diaper bag. No need for mixing or heating.

    I go by the rule of 5 even though my pedi said we'd be fine doing 8. 5 hours at room temp, 5 days in fridge, 5 months in freezer.

    Also the breastfeeding board is great for encouragement and kellymom.com has just about anything you need to know about bfing/pumping.

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    The good thing about breast milk is that it's much more "durable" than formula. I have one can of premixed formula just incase and it says to use within 48 hours of opening! Breast milk can sit out for a few hours, be stored in the fridge for days and in the freezer for months! So much easier in my opinion. Plus, this might just be me, but my son will even drink it right out of the fridge. We were using a bottle warmer at first but he takes the cold milk no problem.

    Pumping made my life so much easier. Now we can go out in public and not have to worry about nursing a hungry baby, I can get good sleep at night since DH can take care of the middle of the night feedings, etc. Good luck!

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