Pumping got real old, real quick.
I was lucky with my milk supply and breastfeeding in general. So lucky that I didn't go searching for the best manual breast pump for a good while.
In fact, I got an electric pump first. I didn't have any issues with my supply – it was nice to have the freedom to be able to put the baby down for the night and then pump before I had a glass (or two) of wine. That way, I knew she was getting milk that wouldn't be tainted, and I could enjoy a brief escape from reality.
Then it started to feel like work. The first few times I pumped with my electric pump, things were great. I was getting a good supply of milk each time and was freezing more milk than I knew what to do with. It would take roughly half an hour to pump while I sat in front of Breaking Bad.
Slowly but surely it took longer to pump, and I would get less. The first few times I got up to 80mls, and now I was getting no more than 20 to 30mls. It was discouraging and disconcerting – and not just because I couldn't drink. I thought my supply was dwindling.
Every time it felt like a labour of love. I would sit there torn between whether I should stare at it the whole time in the hopes I could telepathically make more milk, or ignore it altogether thinking that the less I thought about it, the better.
Needless to say, people had been wrong. In the beginning, they were right, but now they were wrong. An electric pump isn't necessarily easier than its manual counterpart. You'd think it would be because it does all the work for you – but not in my experience.
Soon, the electric pump was gathering dust in the cupboard, long since abandoned as I moved on from needing to pump so much and eventually giving up breastfeeding my first altogether when she decided that food was much more interesting.
Then I fell pregnant for the second time. I hadn't given much thought to how breastfeeding was going to go this time – because it had been so easy, I didn't have any hang-ups about it. Except for one, single aspect. Nothing was going to make me dust off the electric pump again.
Then I remembered a conversation I had with another mum at a playgroup I had taken my eldest daughter to when she was little. She recommended a manual pump and swore by it.
At first, I was skeptical. I've only heard bad things about manual pumps and certainly wasn't about to embark on another laborious journey with pumping – especially now that I had two kids. But I needed another option and still wanted to free myself up in case my second was a miracle and slept through the night, allowing me to enjoy my wine again.
I decided to go out on a limb and try it. We started out on a good foot this manual breast pump and I because it was only a fraction of the price of my electric version.
Things only got better from there. I had my second baby with my manual breast pump in tow and started to use it. The difference between the two is incredible – and it takes next to no work to get the job done.
So, this is how the Haakaa pump works. I sit down with bubba on my lap and put her on one of my breasts. On the other breast, I place the pump and let it sit there, suctioned on. To be honest, you feel a little bit like a cow while pumping – but it's worth it, I promise.
It's all about the letdown. Once the milk starts to flow the pump will naturally draw it out and collect it. Because it's suctioned on the pressure it applies allows for a high level of supply.
Every time I've done it I've gotten at least 80mls – and this is all while I'm sitting there feeding baby on my other breast. I don't have to take time out of my evening to pump, and I don't even really have to be thinking about it – the pump does all the work for me. I don't have to plug anything in or charge anything, and within ten minutes I've pumped all that I need to.
Another thing I love about my Haakaa pump is that it's made of 100% food grade silicone. It's eco-friendly and free from BPA, PVC, and Phthalates. Not only is it natural and manual, but it's a great size for traveling with, too. No longer do I need to cart my bulky electric pump around with all its cords and plugs that it needs.
If you like to snuggle up with your little one and feed them in bed, read my blog post about co-sleeping.
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What kind of experience have you had with breastfeeding? Let me know!