Today is a Wednesday. My pump broke while I was at work tonight. I didn't do anything to it--one break it was fine, then the next one it wasn't sustaining suction. I couldn't call Ameda because their help line is only staffed during the day (HISS!) I will call tomorrow, but I work again Friday and I don't know how I'll get something to use at work Friday short of buying another pump--even if they overnighted it tomorrow it wouldn't be to me in time to go to work Friday. Has this happened to anybody in the past? What did you do? I bought a hand pump but am not really getting much with that. Also, for the first time ever I didn't keep up with how much baby ate, and she's in the middle of a growth spurt--I pumped 6 or so ounces on my first pump and she ate way more than that. Usually I have oversupply. Will I get a supply dip from the pumping I missed due to this broken pump?
My pump broke! And I missed a feeding! What will happen?
As if working and pumping wasn't stressfull enough, huh? First off, you'll probably be okay as far as supply goes as long as this doesn't go on too long. I'd use the hand pump and manual expression to get you through the next shift (assuming you aren't so flush with cash you can just buy another pump). It sounds like you won't get as much, but every little bit helps and it'll help you avoid engorgement. Try to get an extra session in if you can. Do you have a freezer stash that you can raid to help get you through this? If you're cutting it close with your stash and you're oversupplied, one thing you can do is pump (using your manual) on one side while baby eats on the other for today... it'll help you let down to the manual pump better. Also, breast compressions/manual expression tend to be a more important part of the routine if you're manually pumping. Even if you just get a few ounces each time this way, it'll help spare your stash.
If you don't have a stash and don't have enough milk to get you through Friday, your options depend on your workplace and your life situation. Some things that work for some women are:
1. have someone bring the baby to work during your lunch break (friend, babysitter, mother in law, etc.)
2. take the day off work and cuddle with your baby; alternatively, leave work early once the milk runs out.
3. borrow some milk from a friend's stash (or from someone via human milk for human babies or something like that... you probably won't need a lot)
4. consider leaving a little formula if you don't have any milk, can't get enough milk, don't have anyone to bring the baby to you, and can't afford to take a day off work. I know it can be rough to do this if you're in the EBF mindset, but at the end of the day you have to feed your baby as well as keep a roof over everyone's head, you know? Have whoever is caring for your baby give all the milk you are able to leave first, and only use the bottle of formula as a last resort (i.e., it's going to be hours before you can get there).
5. see if you can rent a pump for a day or a week. It'll be a bit more expensive than just using what you have, but less than buying a new pump.
Hope that helps!
I'm not familiar with the Ameda pumps, but my Medela PISA had two little rubber membranes (nickel sized disks) that were always the first point of failure, and pretty cheap to replace. Is there anything like that on your pump?
Also, wanted to reassure that one missed pump session is unlikely to affect your supply--you should be fine. I had a couple days of all day meetings where I had to deal with hand-expressing in a bathroom, and while I was a little bit uncomfortable toward the end of the day, there were no long-term ill effects.
I'm glad to hear that... that is really my biggest concern here. I did manage to get a decent amount with a hand pump last night, though not like I would have gotten with the electric pump. I sat in bed, pumped, and read my book, and waited for baby to show signs of hunger. :)
AnkaJones--Ameda is going to overnight me a new pump, and I got a rental to get me through in the meantime. They will reimburse me the rental fee even--I just had to specifically rent an Ameda pump. There may or may not be enough milk from yesterday to get me through work tomorrow, but I have plenty in the freezer, so no worries. I appreciate the thorough response though.