Yesterday morning I sat down with my Lactina breastpump (on loan from the Mothers’ Milk Bank) and pumped my first few ounces of breast milk to donate to the bank.
Ava has been very interested in learning about the whole process of mommy pumping for other babies who’s mommies don’t make milk, and wanted to watch me pump. I thought it would be distracting to me to have her watch, but it turns out she had quite the opposite effect. Jody kept her downstairs for a while as I was getting set up and I could hear her asking if I was pumping yet. Once I’d been pumping for about 5 to 7 minutes and was feeling a tad frustrated because my milk wasn’t letting down (even though I was looking at baby pics of both Ava and Julian on the wall for inspiration), I told him to let her come upstairs. It certainly couldn’t hurt at that point. A minute or so after she walked into the room and started talking to me, my milk let down. Yay! I should have known that having her or Julian (who was napping at the time) in the room with me could only help.
I was only able to pump 2 oz. on my first try, but I am hoping that as I get into the routine of doing it daily (and up my water and oatmeal intake), I’ll be able to produce more. That’s the beauty of supply and demand. :)
Thanks again to Jennifer at The Lactivist for mentioning a couple months ago that Denver’s Mothers’ Milk Bank was having a severe shortage. Without that knowledge, I don’t know that I would’ve been motivated to look into it and start donating.
If you are interested in donating your breast milk, please read this article and contact a milk bank in your area. Many sick or premature babies and their mommies thank you.
I have to add that seeing Ina May talk Friday night was amazing. I hope to find some time in the next few days to write all about it. I wish I was able to take notes while I was there so I don’t forget anything, but with my bouncing baby boy on my lap, that wasn’t exactly a possibility. ;)