August 1 marks the first day of World Breastfeeding Week. And, well, unfortunately, I don’t yet have another “outside baby” to breastfeed to celebrate. I wish I had more exciting news to report today! But I’m still a big advocate of breastfeeding so I wanted to post nonetheless.
Note: Although breastfeeding was my choice with Nora and is my plan for baby #2, I want to make sure to point out that I am supportive of ALL means of feeding babies. Nursing, exclusive pumping, formula feeding… I’m not judging. And I’m not pushing. I am not at all trying to partake in any “mommy wars.”
I view my experience breastfeeding Nora as a privilege. It was something that I set out to do, and worked hard at—but I recognize that there are many women who try so, so hard and it still doesn’t work out for them. So I went into it with small goals. Get through one month. Get through three months. Get through six. Then power on through to a year. I was lucky in that I made it almost 13 months before Nora and I called it quits, very peacefully and without issue.
Blessed. That’s how I felt.
I hope to be able to do the same with baby #2, if he or she ever decides to grace us with his/her presence.
Anyway, I’m a working mom. As all working moms out there know, it adds a whole ‘nother level of complexity to the commitment to breastfeed. Because pumping? Pumping kind of sucks. (Exclusive pumpers—I completely bow down at your feet and kiss the ground that you walk on, by the way.) But it’s a necessary “evil” when you have to return to work.
Have you ever researched breast pumps? It’s insanity, I tell you. There is a lot of information out there. Right before I had Nora (literally, the day before I had her), I went into Babies ‘R’ Us, armed with registry completion coupons + 20% off coupons + gift cards, and bought my Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced. That thing pretty much became an extra appendage for the following year. Like so many moms, it seemed automatic that Medela was “the choice.”
I used the pump every day, multiple times a day. I obviously didn’t have any major issues with it, since I did make it to my goal of 1 year without supplementing. But there were little things that were annoying. Cleaning the parts, for instance. Those little white membranes? A complete pain in my ass (and Michael’s, because hi, he did a lot of the cleaning, too). And the horn connectors with all of the little nooks and crannies that were impossible to reach with a bottle brush? Always seemed dirty. I also had a few problems with milk and/or moisture getting into the tubes. Ew. Anyway, it was fine. But after using the pump for a year, it had certainly seen better days.
In preparation for baby #2, I pulled the Medela pump back out recently, and you know, it seems like it will probably work fine. But I also figured that if I was going to commit to doing this again—for hopefully an entire year, again—that maybe I should look into what other options I have. Because after all, I know what it’s like now.
One golden nugget of information that I found out from friends: Did you know that thanks to the Affordable Care Act, breast pumps are now REQUIRED to be covered by health insurance? Yep, as of August 1, 2012. Now, don’t go getting too excited, because of course there are loopholes. Something about how your insurance plan had to have been renewed since August 1, 2012 (I looked into it—mine “renewed” on January 1, 2013, making me eligible). AND, the insurance companies vary on what exactly they will cover, including the type of pump, the brand of pump, etc. Mine, for instance, will only cover in full a single pump. So if I want a double electric pump, I have to pay an upgrade fee in order to get one. It’s still cheaper than having to pay for the whole thing out of pocket, of course, but it’s not free. But thanks to my excessive Googling of the subject, I found that some women’s insurance plans do cover the ENTIRE thing, which is amazing. So, if you’re expecting, you should definitely look into it with your insurance.
The other thing that I did was research breast pumps again. And I came across what I believe to be the king queen of all breast pumps: the Hygeia EnJoye. My first thought was WHO KNEW? I mean, seriously, have you ever heard of Hygeia? I hadn’t. And it’s a shame, because I swear, I think they’re a hidden gem. There were a few things that attracted me to Hygeia’s pumps right off the bat:
- It’s designed to be a multi-user system, meaning that once you’re done with the pump, it can be handed down or sold, or at the very least, sent back to Hygeia for recycling… it does NOT end up in a landfill. That was one thing that always annoyed me about Medela; women are made to feel like they’re breaking some kind of law if they dare pass their pumps onto family or friends.
- The simpler parts! They are supposed to be much easier to clean. YAY.
- It’s hospital grade. When you’re a pumping mom, every ounce is like gold. The ability to maximize output and supply, and to be able to pump more ounces in less time? Awesome.
I read a lot of reviews, and there are a lot of moms out there who are in love with their Hygeia EnJoyes. And HOORAY! I get to try one. It’s actually a little bit sad how excited I am about trying a new breast pump, but such is the life of a 39-weeks-pregnant lady. I obviously had nothing to compare my Medela to during my first time around, so I’m curious to see how my experience differs with Hygeia now. And I have grand plans to share a review with all of you in the coming weeks… you know, once I am actually producing milk again and HAVE AN ACTUAL BABY to feed. Minor details. :)
In the meantime, Happy World Breastfeeding Week. I hope that all of you currently nursing mothers and graduated/retired nursing mothers are not only proud of yourselves, but grateful as well. And to all of the formula feeding mothers, cheers to you, too. It’s not easy to keep a baby satisfied and growing, no matter your method of feeding. We all deserve some recognition, right??
Any nursing and/or pumping moms want to share their experiences? Have you heard of or tried Hygeia? In love with your Medela or Ameda? Inquiring minds want to know.
Disclaimer: Hygeia is providing me with an EnJoye breast pump for me to use and review in the coming weeks. But all opinions expressed within this blog post (and future blog posts) are my own, and are completely honest.
AboutI'm Heather. I'm 32 and have been married to Michael for six years. Together, we have two beautiful little girls we love more than anything, and a miniature dachshund who drives us crazy. I'm a full-time working mom who has very little time for my own "stuff" these days, like home improvement, cooking/baking, cake decorating, and photography. Despite the team not making the playoffs since 1999, I'm STILL a Buffalo Bills fan, which I think speaks to my loyalty AND sense of humor. I can't wait to pick up the pace with travel again some day... you know, when we're done being ruled by tiny fists. Welcome to my blog.
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