Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pumping - TMI

Alright, for those of you who don't know diddley about breastfeeding (BFing), let me bring you up to speed. This "natural" process is in, large part, a learned behaviour by both the baby and the momma - you both have to sort out how to get the little guy latched on (baby has to open mouth wide, get tongue under the nipple, suck voraciously etc., momma has to make sure he's at the right angel, has enough nipple in his mouth, doesn't slip off etc.) AND the mother has to figure out how to trigger what's called a "let down." A let down is an involuntary muscle reaction that pushes the milk toward the nipple. Note the "involuntary" portion of that. This means that you have to get in the right head space to relax enough to make this happen. If you're tense, it ain't happenin'. So, now, imagine you are trying relax and zen out while you have a screaming baby beating on your breast insisting he's hungry, dammit. Tricky? You ain't kidding.

Well, for the most part, I finally got this let down thing sorted. JJ and I have it all worked out. Enter the pump. Now, I've been pumping since the little guy got home, trying to get my milk supply up to his demand and trying to give myself a break and let John (and other folks - like daycare) feed him too. And I tell you what - I SUCK at pumping. Remember that let down thing? Well, you have to manage the same thing with the pump. Except, now instead of a snuggly warm sweet baby (or thrashing screaming baby, depending on where you are with this), you've got a little black machine with tubes coming out of it that attach to some fairly scary looking flanges that fit over your nipples. When you flip it on, it whirs to life with a disconcerting "voopah, voopah, voopah, voopah" and you look down in mild horror to see your nipples rhythmically extracted into the flanges as you once again attempt to zen out. Give me the screaming baby any day!

1 comment:

Alisa at CA said...

LOL!!! I soooo remember this with my first. They say you should look at a picture of your little one to try and get in the right frame of mind. For me, it always helped to just close my eyes and get a mental picture of him. But, there are definitely those days when it just isn't happenin'.