Last Saturday was my first KIT (keeping in touch) day. The purpose of a KIT day is to slowly reintegrate you back into work, especially if you’ve had a lot of time off, and get you updated on what’s been going on.
I was reluctant to book any KIT days at first as I was/am in complete denial about returning to work (I then realised you got paid for the hours worked during your KIT day, so I quickly changed my mind). I was also concerned about how I was going to cover childcare for the day, not to mention feeds, however I decided to book my KIT day on a Saturday when S would be off. Perfect.
The feeds themselves then weren’t a worry as T takes a bottle quite happily, I was more concerned about my poor boobs! How was I going to deal with them? If I even miss one feed in a day my boobs tell me about it.
Working in the public sector means I often don’t get a chance to sit down at a set time, nor in a set room like a cafeteria, therefore I often eat outside and/or at sporadic times, meaning I’m likely going to have issues when it comes to my boobs as I won’t be able to express at exact times.
Thankfully, I was going to be indoors for this KIT day so I could catch up on emails, this therefore gave me the perfect opportunity to test out my new manual breast pump by Lansinoh!
I’ve always used an electric pump, which is great for at home but not out and about! It’s bulky to say the least, so there was no way I was going to be able to take that beast into work; mainly because where I work that aren’t many quiet spaces that also have spare plug sockets, so having a manual pump meant I could plonk myself anywhere to express if I had to – even if I was out.
I started my day at work at 8am as I was up at 5am with T anyway. I had given him a feed and then S took the reigns at 6am so I could shower and get ready. Leaving at 7:30am wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Maybe because I knew it wasn’t a “real” work day and that I still had a few months left with T, maybe it’s because I knew S had him. Who knows. It was, however, a nice change to be up and out the door in less than an hour!
Once I arrived I fell back into the me before T. It was odd. I expected a lot of fumbling, a lot of anxiety, but there was nothing. I felt good. I missed T, but I was calm.
9am rolled round and after I had a HOT tea my boobs started tingling. A feed was either due or my boobs were just filling up because I’d missed one. Either way I needed to deal with them.
As I said, we don’t have many spare offices or quiet spaces so I shamefully took myself off to the disabled toilet and pumped.
Closer to the time of returning to work I’ll discuss with my manager what I’ll need to continue pumping. Today was partly my fault for not discussing it and not even thinking I may need to pump.
The pump itself is amazing. I’m getting that out there straight away. As I said, I’ve always had an electric pump that did the work for me, so I was wondering how I’d get on with this, but it’s brilliant.
The flange is extremely comfortable because of the silicone edge, which was a nice touch after 20 minutes of expressing – no cold hard plastic getting stuck to my boob. It’s also generous in size and seems to be longer than other flanges offering room for your nipple.
This may come with other manual pumps, but the settings for the let down and then the expression phases were really easy to use.
Simply push the little nubbin to change the setting you need and you’re off. I expected to have to do a lot of the work, fiddle around, or simply give myself hand cramp to get a decent amount out, but having these settings made it easier and the heavy duty design meant the vacuum created when pumping really put your boob to work. I was even able to mimic what T would do during a feed.
What I also like is the textured plastic around the neck so your hand doesn’t get stuck or sore whilst pumping.
After a few minutes I had earned 3-4oz, which was impressive considering I’d never used a manual pump before. It also made a nice change for a bottle to store more than 4oz! These bottles can store just over 5oz where as my electric pump can store around 4oz.
The box the pump came in came with a cap and lid for the bottle so you could just unscrew the flange from the bottle and put the cap and lid on, but as I had a few more ounces to go I had to use the bag that came with the kit to store the milk. The kit also supplied a stand for the pump so the pump wouldn’t topple over if you had to put it down for any reason.
There was sadly one casualty during the process. Just when I had emptied the 5oz bottle into the bag, the bag suddenly tipped over spilt at least 2oz over the floor and into my boots! I was devastated and close to tears.
Thankfully, because of Lansinoh’s double seal system on their bags I only lost 2oz and not the full 5oz. I think I would have been a wreck if I had.
I had to pump every 2 hours throughout the day which was a little frustrating but this was down to T’s feeding pattern. I’m thinking it’s unlikely that this will still be the case by the time I return to work
Going back to work has never really been the issue, it’s how I’m going to continue breastfeeding which is my main concern. Will he be self weaned by then? Will he wait and just have morning and evening feeds? On top of this, even if we do work out a schedule, I have my own supply to contend with. Will it remain if I don’t pump? Will it simply adjust? You create a viscous cycle when it comes to pumping. You pump to relieve, but you create a demand by pumping. The demand comes in, you pump to relieve.
I’m hoping T will help me and sort out the demand, and my pump will help with the rest!
We were given a Lansinoh manual breast pump and a box of 25 storage bags for the purpose of a review. All views and opinions, however, are our own.