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pumping questions...

585 Views 11 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Messy Nessie
okay, i am using the medela hands free kit for the first time today. y'know, the one with the rubber bands
sheesh was it time consuming to hook up! is there an easier way??? please tell me there are other options b/c it takes so long to do this- i don't know how i'm going to manage to do this quickly...

i remember readin somewhere about a pumping "tube top". does anyone know about this? or where I could find one?

i am panicking b/c I have a meeting out of town with a customer next Thursday. I will be leaving my DD from 6 am until 6 pm and will need to pump every three hours... roughly 4 times while I'm gone. between hooking myself up, actually pumping and then storing the milk in the little cooler, its going to take forever.

also another question just popped into my head... i will not be able to sterilize the phalnges between pumps. will i have to discard the milk?
i don't have enough room in my bad for 4 sets of phlanges. how bad is it to just rinse them in hot water and put them in the bag between pumps?

Ack... another question... where can I get a battery pack for my PIS? and how long do the batteries last? will they be okay for four 10-15 minute sessions?

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So for your questions...

If the hands-free thing is that hard to hook up, don't use it! I can hold the shields with one hand and still keep one-hand free. If you need to pump quickly messing with a hands-free kit can be a pain. If hands-free is really important to you, what about this bra? I have it and it works pretty well.

The instruction manual says not to do it, but in a pinch I just rinse off the breast shields in hot water and store them in a ziploc bag. I prefer to use these if I don't have access to soap: Those are the quick-clean wipes from Medela. You can find them at Target. I wipe the parts down and then rinse them in water, and put them in a bag. No problem!

Wherever you bought your PIS, you should be able to find a battery pack. Did yours not come with one? The newer models come with a battery pack. How long the batteries last depend on the kind you buy. Do NOT get cheapo generic batteries - get brand name, it really makes a difference. I use rechargeable Energizers and they last all day. I bring an extra set of Energizers in the bag just in case.

Good luck next week!!
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I got my battery pack with my PIS when I bought it. You might try I think it would last that many pump sessions...

For pumping, I cut slits in an old bra and just hooked the horns through... it was SO easy. Obviously the bra needs to be stretch enough to let the horns through.... I really liked it and plan to do it again if I need to pump this time around.

Good luck.
I bought an easy expressions hands free pumping bra

As far as sterilizing the pumping horns, I wouldn't worry about it too much. I use dish soap and hot water to wash mine. If you aren't able to do that, you can put the horns in a plastic bag and stick it in the fridge.

If your baby is healthy you don't really need to sterilize bottles and pumping equipment.

thank you for your help!

my pis came with a battery pack, but it doesn't work. medela has been really horrible about responding to my repeated requests for a replacement (i bought it a year ago) and i need one for my trip next week, so i'm just going to buy one.

i got both suggested bras... hopefully one will show up before i leave on thursday morning!

some progress this afternoon, my dd who has rejected the bottle since we started trying three months ago, took a half ounce from my dh today! in an avent bottle, no less
so i'm feeling a little better about being away from her.
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I tried using those Medela hands free things for a while and found them to be more of a PITA than anything. What was easier for me is to wear a bra with elastic in the cups (mine happened to be Medela brand) and just pull in part way up over the bottom half of the shield. Between that and just the suction strength, the shields stayed in place. I also carry those wipes with me on the days that I work, but haven't actually used them. They would probably be more convenient than a small container of dish soap and water, but it's also more expensive.

Good luck!
didn't read all the replies yet, Nessie, but my $0.02

You don't need to sterlize the horns every time. I rinse mine out in the hottest water out of the tap, which varies from sort of hot to really hot. Once a day, i use dish soap on the horns and bottles. That's it. I have only sterilzed once per month, and DS seems fine.

BM can sit at RT for 10 hrs, so I figure those few drops in the horn, even if some skin bacteria are mixed in, shouldn't spoil the bottle!

Also, experiment with pumping, I am a B cup pre-preg, and probably a C now, and I can sort of lean over, with the bottles on my thighs, and pump hands free. Its not fool proof, though. I can easily stabilze both with one hand, though.
Rinsing in water is fine, bm isn't dirty. And it isn't prone to bacteria last time I checked. Your milk should be fine. I have rinsed off in water many a time at a hotel.

I hated at the hospital all they did was rinse the parts in water for me.
ITA that the pump doesn't need to be sterilized each time - just wash in hot soapy water. If you're afraid that you won't have access to water, Medela sells breast pump wipes - that's what I used when I was at trial and didn't have access to the sink I usually used to wash my pump parts off. You can get at an LC, or often at babies-r-us.
I wash my pump parts w/ cold water (work does not have hot water in the kitchen) and dish soap that I carry in a small bottle that can easily be stored in the PIS pocket. I just wash it very good when I get a chance.

I use the Medela Hands free and it does get easier once the rubberbands are in place in the Medela bras. I thought the same thing after I spent 30 min reading the directions and hooking the rubberbands up.

Can't help you w/ the battery pack, but if you go to Medela online they will tell you the local Medela dealers in your area.

When I had to use the battery pack (when my pump was not working), I used it for 4 days and it was fine. I exclusively pump so I was pumping every 4 hours 24/7 at the time.
Hey girlfriend!

The BEST pumping bra I've owned cost me $5 at WalMart!

It's a sports bra (those have stretchy material, which is just what you need). I put it on, marked where my nips were, took it off and cut two small holes! Wah-lah, a hands-free pumping bra!

It works like a charm and is wonderful! I got the Leading Lady hands-free bra and did not like it at all, it didn't work well for me (maybe that's just my boobs though).

Good luck with your pumping!
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well, I'm back! the trip went just fine- I got the motherwear bra and it is AWESOME! My boobies must have shrunk, tho b/c the cups are a little big :LOL Oh well- it was so easy and much quicker.

And we figured out what was wrong with my battery pack. I was only putting 4 batteries in it!
What a dork! So that went just fine as well!!!

My DD did okay- she only took about 3 oz from my DH while I was gone and she cried for an hour in the morning when she realized I was gone
But other than that, she was happy and nursed for 2 huors when I got home! I was afraid she would be up all night, but she only woke twice. She was little more difficult to get to sleep, but once she was, she pretty much slept thru the night!

So I'm feeling much better about the day trips I have scheduled in the upcoming months for work. I'm hoping she will get better used to the bottle or sippy!

I am no longer a champion pumper :LOL When I was EPing, I used to get 6-8 oz total per session. Now I'm lucky to get 8 oz the first time and then 2 or 3 each remaining. So I may start to take some fenurgreek.

Thanks again for all of your help and support!
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