Monday, April 03, 2006

Pumping Days are Numbered

I'm into my 17th month of breastfeeding now, I wonder how long more I'll go on, but it seems the days are numbered because my supply is getting low. One of the reason why I could continue for so long is due to the facilities we have in our company (some credits have to be given to my understanding male bosses too). Some pro-breast feeding mums have persuaded the company and 2 rooms have been allocated for nursing mums, with a fridge too to store our supplies, long before Zara was born. I have used these rooms for 14months now (1st 3 months at home enjoying my maternity leave). This is where I met Two Little Fellas, and some other nursing mothers; separated by a thin wall, we exchanged breastfeeding and parenting tips On months when we have lots of new mummies who'd just returned from maternity leave, the rooms are occupied most of the times (sometimes a queue is formed). After a while, a new 'user' settles into a pattern, and chooses a time she prefers, or to meet up with a particular mum so that she has someone to chat to while 'doing her business'. I'm currently the mum with the oldest kid still using the room (too bad there's no trophies for this one). One by one I see mummies dropping off, and they asked me when it will be my turn to stop (oh, Daddy asked me the same question too). I don't know, maybe when Zara is 18 months or 2yrs old? Or when I get pregnant again? Or I have so little supply it's not worth expressing anymore?? Which ever comes first. From 3 times a day in the beginning, I now settle with once a day starting of this year. At 4pm, with a good pump, a good book, 30minutes later, I emerge with 1 of Zara's feed for the following day.


King's wife said...

You have done well. You can't breast feed forever, have to stop some day.
Don't tell me you have tears welling up in your eyes or I will **piak piak** you!

JoMel said...

HAHAHA! King's wife, I like the way you wanna *piak piak* Zara's mummy in case she gets sentimental.

Zara's mama, you are very fortunate to be working in a place where your employers are emphathetic towards bf mothers.

I had to pump in the Ladies! Imagine that! I worked full time too. Still I was able to bf exclusively for 15 months. So I am very proud of myself.

Just trying to relate, isn't it very liberating when you find that you are able to pump without pressure, knowing that you are giving it to Zara just cos' you still can, rather than you HAVE TO? :)

michelle said...

Your post does bring back memories. I knew so many mothers from my company through the pumping section. I really admire you for making it thru to 17th months. I didn't make it pass 8th months because I am just so lazy.

Lazymama said...

Salute for bf so long! Your company is really good to provide all the facilities for bfing!


fuzzoo said...

Lucky you that your company is so pro-family. I used to pump under my desk at work!

Tracy said...

I really 'fuk jor lei', breastfeeding for so many months. Zara's so lucky.

amanda said...

I have been total breastfeeding my boy for 6 months and I thought I am a super cow. Now I know who are the super duper cows!!

And Fuzzoo, I am really impressed with the under your desk part.:)

may said...

hmmm, I wonder how long my mum bf-ed me for? Zara's a lucky gal to have all her mama's nutritions! I think like JoMel, the ladies where I work who breastfeed their babies need to use the ladies, unfortunately. we only have a small office with no private rooms. luckily only one lady is preggers at this time, she can have the ladies all to herself!

L B said...

*tries not to stare too long at the breast pump!*
*but it does look so Hi-Tech!! Built-in iPod too?*

*my eyes are getting heavier*
*so are my arms*
*and my head*

L B said...

....because I was so distracted, I forgot to say what I really wanted to say, which is... "ahhh, I love toilet pictures...."

Zara's Mama said...

King's Wife,
No la.. won't cry.. already so long.. and she already has this very strong bond with me.. breastfeed or not..

Wow, you pumped in the toilet and still can sustain 15months of exclusive breast feeding!! Terror! And my friend complained first week of returning to the office, it's so inconvenient to pump in the toilet and gave up.
A pat on your shoulder! You did really well!
Yup, I like it that I WANT TO DO IT, instead of I HAVE TO DO IT.

I upgraded my pump when Zara was 6mths old.. so that was the motivational factor too, that I must go on, to get my money's worth. :P You did well too, 8mths is long.

How come you have another profile name?? Lazymama? Jefferene nicer la.. and you are not lazy wut!

Pump under the desk? How? No peeping toms?

I'm also lucky mah, some babies don't like taking the breast once they find that bottle can do the same, and faster flow and more consistant.. Zara likes it.. so just continue.

Well done! Keep it up. Now set yourself the next target. Zara was exclusively breast fed for ~13mths then later, I introduced one formula feed per day for her that's because my supply is dwindling.

Good that you ladies understand she needs to use the ladies for giving food to her baby. Some people will not understand and will complain when nursing mum occupied the toilet cubicle for too long.

Huh? Toilet pictures?? This is nursing room pictures la.. not toilet.
You can stare for as long as you want, it's man's greatest invention for working mothers.. and it's not entertainment related.. Unless you use it for other purposes..
You know when I wanted to buy the pump and key in the something breast pump in google search, a few porn sites actually popped up.. Haha.

Simple American said...

Wow that device looks so industrial. But it is good for Zara.

have to be careful with this post. Everytime I saw bf I kept thinking boy friend. keke

Off topic: Are you still having problems getting my voice post? I can try and email it to ya. is my email at work. I tried to send from home to someone else but my firewall killed it.

shoppingmum said...

Which company you're working in? I should apply if there's a vacancy there.
I stopped after my first trimester of second pregnancy, even if I planned to bf throughout pregnancy. But due to placenta previa, I better quit.
It's up to you, quit when only you're ready.

earthember said...

I breastfed two of my younger kids till they were 3. I didn't need to use the pump cos' I'm with them all the time. The only caveat is, I've graduated from a mole hill to an airport runway ... ;)

Frankly, I don't think kids really need it after 1.5 years if they are eating other food as well. But it's not easy to wean off (if you don't put a foot down), and even harder for the mothers to become unattached to the bonding breastfeeding has provided.

Yup, your supply is really low. It sounded like a good time to wean off.

Blogie-Talkie said...

good for you Zara's mum... (I feel bad, I only feed my boy 3 months time.)
There, You have one BIG Trophie from me.A GOLD one too.
I would think you work in KL? so impressed to know KL's is doing so well considering woman needs.

Jean said...

You have indeed done so well for little zara. She must be proud of having a mother like you caring so much for her. Keep it up! :-)

J said...

I also used to pump in the ladies during office hour. Got to schedule my pumping time to those less 'trafic' time or after the bosses go out. :( However starting last year Dec only direct breastfeed LLS before go to work and at night as a measure to slowly wean him off.

Ah Pek said...

oh, pity those poor tits.

sesame said...

I really like your persistence. Something I didn't have when I was breastfeeding. That's why it was only about 3 months. There were lots of problems then and I just didn't have the will power to sustain. I still feel guilty and it doesn't help that my husband sometimes reminds me of it.

Thank goodness your company is understanding and you can continue for so long. You get a trophy from me for that too!

mumsgather said...

Good thing you have understanding bosses and a place to pump. Already a breastfeeding mum has to go through lots of difficulties, pressures and lack of support from many angles and having to pump in the toilet is really sad but if we have to do it, we just do it for the sake of our babies.

Jesslyn said...

Envy you have a good facility in company too!
Perhaps I should invest in good pump when hv 1st bb...argggg stingy mummy..

Mama BoK said...

I truly salute and envy Zara.. for having such an ardent/zealous mummy like yourself.
I myself did not breastfeed chloe.. and it was my greatest regret.

Siao Cha Bor said...

thumbs up, mummy

eve said...

i breastfed karen for oni a month..then 6 weeks after delivery , i went back to work.. no such facilities at the work place la..and oso , the main thing was , i was very lazy..*slap myself*..

ky said...

Hahahaa..., thot I was the only one who would pump in toilet. Colles used to tease me when they hear the pumping sound. In the end, I decided to use the handicap toilet. At least I can have some peace to finish off my business.

mom2ashley said...

no wonder i see you carrying soo many things when you go into the office!

Allyfeel said...

you are so lucky and so does zara. I remember pumping in the cleaner's room back in my old office. I cld hear the receptionist talking and people "tit" accessing the office entrance. I felt so uncomfortable, I guess that's why the milk supply run low and with the amount of work and stress, it just dried up one day on its own. The day will come, you have done your best.

1+2mom said...

I feel guilty when i stop at 2 months plus for my gals. I keep asking my hubby : am i gonna quit bfeeding the twins? He just answer : as you like. No ppl surport me :(
I very sulute those can bf so long somemore is working mother. I know it not easy cause i also bf my son for 6 months, though 2nd baby can bf longer then 1st but failed.

jazzmint said...

wahh..the room looks very nice huh. I never go there cause was so lazy to walk so far. I just did the job in the toilet hahaha...

that's a big bag u have for all ur milk, and a double pump too!! Cool. BTW, how u transport the milk home? U got a cooler with ice packs?

blurblur said...

Wow!! 17months! I breastfeed Damien for about 6months, my supply just dwindle...

Lucky Zara...and it's great that your co. is very supportive of breastfeeding mummies..:)

Samm said...

Good time to stop. Especially if you want to consider getting pregnant again. I wish you all the best.

Helen said...

You sure the other baby didn't finish all your supply ar? :-P

Baby Smooches said...

everything so hi-tech. the room so hi-tech, the equipment so hi-tech. 17 months is really long.... I am also pumping once a day and am wondering how long I can last. To wean off very heart-sick lah... Eryn is now 10 months old


ha,ha,ha- your post just reminds me of those days. actually i'm one of the earlier bf mum b4 the room were set up. Since REWs sit at my flr, i bug him almost on a daily basis to get the nursing room up and running asap back then.

i still remember when he 1st took me to have a look at the room (not rooms), he intend to put some tables and comfortable chairs in the room and my 1st reaction- "pls don't expect mummies to pump conveniently staring at each other, we need more than one room" and that's when it hit hm that we need smaller but very private room.ha,ha- man-ma, this type of things never occur to him.

Zara's Mama said...

Simple American,
The Device is my best friend.. :P
I'd dropped you a mail, so send me the audio file please.

Our company doesn't have a branch in Ipoh.. you want to come down to KL to work? I can tell if you there's vacancy. :P
I heard you can actually breastfeed throughout, but normally not for high risk pregnancy. I think I'll quit if I'm pregnant.. Now, it's to get pregnant. :P

It really shrinks your 'asset'? Gosh, not that I have much, but smaller will mean nothing else is left. :(
Hey, WHO recommended one to BF till the child is 2yrs old. Not that I'm going to do it. I'll just take things slowly.
I really like the convenient of it, especially when we go out. Don't have to lug so many things with me.

I work for an American company.. but still, it was through lots of persuasion before those 2 small rooms were allocated to us.
And thanks for the trophy.

Not sure if she's proud, but she does prefer the breast to the bottle.

I think slowly I'll be like you. Stop expressing then slowly wean off. Zara is easier in the sense that she accepted the bottle, but I think you guys still having problem with LLS taking the bottle huh?

Ah Pek,
If don't express, get engorged, lagi pity.. Very painful one you know.

If you'd lasted 3 months, I think it's already quite an achievement. B'cos I know people sometime cannot even last 3 days (baby constant crying, mummy heart ache, give in to formula, close shop).
And thanks for the trophy. :)

Yeah. It's not easy breastfeeding in our society, but I think things are getting better with more educated women choose to breastfeed (lots of people always think only 'kampung folks' breastfeed).
It's always a good feeling to know you are giving the best to the baby. That's a reward in itself :)

I bought a manual one also in the beginning, but then when I know I was going to do it longer, I upgraded it loh.

Mama Bok,
Not too late, can do it for the 2nd one. :)

Siao Char Bor,
Thank you!

It can be discouraging if the company doesn't have such facilities.. but you still breast fed a while, giving Karen a good head start.

Yeah, the pumping sound can really get people teasing you.. But I don't care! :)
You did it in the toilet and you continue? I salute you!

That's why I have 2 knap sacks and 1 cooler bag to carry.. And that's why I'm getting 'bendy'. :(

Wow, so stressful for you. I used to feel very 'stress' out with the sound from the outside, but now I really don't care. I'm doing something good for my baby, shouldn't feel intimidated..

You have twins, I guess that makes it more difficult? I always find those mothers who do tendum feeding amazing. You did for 2 months, I think it's quite good already.
Must go and dig your blog to see got tendum feeding photo or not. :P

You should come and visit this part of the office ler..
The pump comes with a cooler bag with ice pack inside. You are supposed to carry those funnels in the cooler bag too, but because I'm worried they may get contaminated, I use another container to hold it.
For me, I store my milk in the fridge then when I go home, transport it in the cooler bag. I heard, if there's no fridge, the cooler bag can actually keep the milk up to 8hrs.

Wow, 6mths is a good achievement too! By right hor, those expert said supply shouldn't dwindle if you continue feeding, but why it happens to us leh?

Yeah loh. That's what my husband said..

The other baby won't touch his baby's milk one.. he said it's her food, cannot touch. Even the 'supplier' also he won't touch. *sigh*

Baby smooches,
Not high tech la.. just a better pump. Yeah loh.. heart ache hor to wean off? Not just baby heart ache, mummy also.

Two Little Fellas,
So the trophy should go to you!!! Because of you, we now can pump in private.
I can't imagine us having to share the room, each siting at one corner of the couch pumping away.. Haha.. man, really think we can do like them, communal pumping.


btw dear, i noted that your gears are soaked in hot water. there are easier ways. you see, milk don't spoil under cold temperature. so, what i did is- after pumping..rinse with drinking water (av'ble in office)..put the bottles and pump inside a ziplog bag and store in the fridge until the next pump. will only wash with detergent and sterilise at the end of the day at home.

since ziplog bag is so much smaller than a tupperware, you can store it on top of the carrier bag (i'm using the same pump). i got the tips from someone in kellymoms.

Passerby A said...

WOw! I admire your persistence. I'm one of those who stopped after 3 months of breastfeeding. Just too dead tired to continue.

Irene said...

Goodness. The sight of your machine made me SNORT out loud at work. Then I had to pretend to cough. My co-workers are probably wondering what kind of work I'm doing that is soooo funny.

Fannie said...

Wow...ur work place is sooooo good to have such facilities! *envious*

My boss says if I get preggy again and needs to pump, he can only lend me his personal fridge for for pumping...I need to source for a location myself...most likely the toilet :(

domestic rat said...

Hey! I heard that it's difficult to be pregnant when you are breastfeeding. Is there any truth to this myth?

Zara's Mama said...

Two Little Fellas,
Thanks for the tip.. Should have gotten that earlier.
I'm now pumping once, so I didn't need to sterilise it again after used.

The Diva,
Next one.. you can do it longer. :P

Heehee.. You mean yours is more compact? The machine is small actually, it's just the bag it's in which is big. :P

Hey, at least your boss said you can use his personal fridge.. not bad! The problem with doing it in the toilet is you can't use electrical pump.

Domestic Rat,
I think it's more difficult, but not impossible.
But I have regular cycle, so it means I'm ovulating and hence should be able to get pregnant..

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