I remember when, shortly after my first baby was born, it became apparent that she was unable to latch. We had left the hospital hopeful, because I thought I had felt her latch, but things quickly fell apart, when I came home. My midwife came over to coach me through latching, but it was clear my daughter didn’t have a strong enough suck. I was devastated.
Thankfully, a friend had given me an older model of the Medela Pump in Style Double Pump. My husband made a mad dash to a nearby baby store to buy new accessory parts and sterilize them. Then, I sat in our room with the two flanges attached and sobbed, while the pump extracted my colostrum. I felt like a failure. Motherhood had barely begun, and I was already unable to do something as basic as feed my child.
Thank goodness my husband was there to talk some sense into my hormone-addled brain. He reminded me that I was managing to feed my daughter my breastmilk, even if it wasn’t directly, which was a win. And he was right.
It wasn’t my ideal scenario, but pumping with my Medela is what made breastfeeding right from the breast a possibility, later on. Even with the older model, there was a strong enough pumping action that my milk came in just fine, and I was able to feed the baby with my breastmilk, exclusively. My daughter did eventually take to the breast, and then I was able to reduce how often I pumped.
When I went back to work part-time, my daughter was still an avid breastfeeder. In fact, she had stopped taking a bottle entirely! I was happy to continue breastfeeding her, but on the two days each week when we were apart for 10 hours, I needed to maintain my supply. Yet again, my trusty Medela pump was able to handle the task. I took it to work and pumped once or twice during work, to emulate the demand my daughter would place on my supply. I used it that way for an additional six months.
I’m no longer breastfeeding, but when the new Medela Freestyle pump was shipped to me, I kind of rolled my eyes. I mean how different could it really be from my dear old Medela Pump in Style?
Well, when I finally opened up the box, my jaw dropped. I feel like I was living in the dark ages with my older pump, looking at them both! It’s so tiny, but so fancy. Programmable timer? Handsfree accessories? Battery-powered? I kind of want to cry all over again, at the beauty of it. Do you know what I got to do, with my older pump? I got to plug it into a socket, set it all up, turn it on and then hold it to my breasts. And continue to hold the damn things to my breasts for all 20 minutes. No playing with my smartphone, because I didn’t have a free hand, no reading, because I didn’t have a free hand, and lord help me if I forgot to turn on the TV.
And don’t kid yourself, if you think you don’t need a double pump. Any new mom who chooses to take twice as long to do something as annoying as pump milk is not using her head, or she just hasn’t experienced the joy of doing it yet. Pumping breastmilk is something most of us have to do, at some point. Nobody looks forward to using their breast pump, but hot damn, if there was one to look forward to using, the Medela Freestyle pump would be #MyMedela.
I kind of almost wish I could have another baby, just so I could have the chance to use this beautiful, highly functional, and super convenient pump. Almost.
If you know a mom who needs some “milking” help, share this post with her so she can see that pumping these days doesn’t mean what it used to. She CAN have a life, and feed her baby exclusively on breast milk!