It can be easy to succumb to sadness over a pregnancy that strays from the path you had envisioned. Pregnancy is a very dynamic condition that does not follow the books, except for in women distanced enough from their pregnancy to have had their bad memories erased. An unexpected medical condition, a partner that is not as helpful as we want, a delivery plan that is not going to be possible, or even that the pregnancy itself was unplanned. Once your baby arrives, these are the things that are often forgotten, brushed aside with the demands of a newborn but when you are pregnant the unexpected can be overwhelming.
Laura Crossett talks about this in her wonderful New York Times blog post, The Pregnancy I Endured, and the One I missed:
For all the discomforts of pregnancy (and I had many), there is something magical about it. I see my friends going through it now, and I do not envy them many things: not the hyperemesis that one has, or the pain, or the difficulty sleeping, or the body image crisis that comes from gaining weight when you’ve worked hard to lose it. I don’t envy them those things. But I do envy them this: the chance at anticipation, and at joy.
The nausea, the testing, the family members that dislike your name choice, all these things, big and small, take away from the joy of pregnancy. The excitement of the first heartbeats and ultrasounds, the feel of a kick, even in your ribcage, the appreciation that your body is powerful, that pregnancy is a joyous celebration of being female. Mourn the loss of your magical, perfect pregnancy but embrace the one you are having. One day you will be glad that you did.
A hospital grade breast pump can be a new mother’s best friend. With the ability for double collection and a sucking action that most closely mimics that of a newborn, the hospital grade pump is the most efficient one available. For a newly nursing mother, these pumps are a great way to help your milk come in and establish a supply for feedings and freezing. For a nursing mother of multiples, it is a breast feeding lifesaver. Despite the time savings and efficiency, hospital grade pumps are often not even considered by many pregnant women.
Hospital grade pumps are the powerhouses of breast pumps. Because of their “industrial” nature, they are typically rented from the hospital or a medical supply store. Most hospitals will provide a pump free during your admission and the machine can be rented upon discharge. Averaging $50 per month, the pump is very cost effective for the early stages of nursing and for any woman not planning to breastfeed longer than 6 months.
It is not dirty or unsanitary. Your milk will not be contaminated by using a rented pump. Hospital grade pumps are designed, with FDA approval, to last for years and have multiple users. Each new mother is given (or purchases) their own collection kit (breast shields, tubing, bottles). During use, the milk only comes in contact with the pieces of the collection kit.
The biggest downside to a hospital grade pump is the lack of portability. The machine is heavier and larger than those you may find at a baby store. It does not run on batteries and must be plugged in to use. The inability to easily move around can leave you feeling tethered to one spot for pumping. The size also means that it is impractical for taking to work or for travel.
One Cincinnati mom says; “When my older daughter was born I didn’t know there was such a pump. I didn’t ask and it wasn’t offered. I went through multiple mid-price pumps over the course of six months. When my second daughter was born, the nurses brought me a hospital grade pump. It was as if the breastfeeding heavens opened up. The difference in time and quantity put away was tremendous. Sure, I looked like a cow with both breasts hooked up but when you’re sleep deprived every second gained for rest is important.”
The following are several links to learn more about your hospital’s pumping resources:
Cincinnati Children’s Center for Breastfeeding Medicine
The Christ Hospital Breastfeeding Resources
TriHealth Breastfeeding Resources