People who know me know I am a surrogate. They also know that after I deliver the sweet babies I carry to their parents, I am an exclusive pumper. I have had the honor of delivering two healthy and precious baby girls into their parents loving arms and the experience is absolutely indescribable. Prior to these surrogate pregnancies, I had three of my own babies. To say I am a pumping queen would be a bit of an understatement. With four out of five pregnancies, I have exclusively pumped. I know the ins and outs of pumps, pump supplies, hacks, tips, tricks, and the worst of all, I know about the problems with lactating.
I tend to be the one that people tag in posts when mothers are struggling and looking for advice or assistance. This has been the case since long before my doula days. I am so forthcoming with my own journey and my own struggles that people feel they can come to me for a solid recommendation or to problem solve. They also know that they will always get a high five from me whether they produce one ounce or one hundred ounces in a single day.
There are so many reasons that people have to pump. We support clients that have to go back to work soon after their birth – they have to lace up those combat boots and get within standards for their military career. Sometimes they have a preemie in the NICU. Some women have a hard time with a latch but they don’t know who to turn to or what to do and as long as their baby is getting breast milk, they are content. Some women just choose to pump by choice –whether its convenience or just preference. As a Stars and Stripes Doula, it does not matter what brings to you expressing breast milk – we are just happy to support your journey.
My first two babies had a lip tie but at the time I did not know what a lip tie was. I was just doing what I knew how to do and finding an alternative that didn’t cause me pain. I was struggling to find my way without any help. I didn’t know which pump was the best, where to buy bags, or even how to properly store milk. I did have such a surplus with my milk with my second and third babies that I was able to donate more than 10,000 ounces from each pregnancy.
By the time I got around to my first surrogacy (about two years ago), I was an old pumping pro. I had figured out the best schedules, the best ways to store milk, and the best way to pump on the go. I delivered the sweet baby girl at the end of December and packed up my family and went to Disney for a week in February. By this time I was producing 80 oz a day so I needed a good plan. I used the Medela Freestyle pump and Freemies and milked on the go. With the pump in my purse, we never had to stop having fun that week! By the end of that journey, my faithful Spectra S1 had helped me to produce over 25,000 ounces to donate to a milk bank that fortifies it to feed to micro-preemies in the NICU all over the country.
This time, I have a new Spectra S2 and together, we have produced over 1,000 ounces in less than three weeks since we have been home from the hospital. I am fortunate that I get to donate this milk to the sweet little girl that I carried and her dads live local to me so they can pick up the milk weekly!
I have figured out a lot of things with pumping. People call me the pump guru. They trust me for recommendations. They seek me out from my blog and social media. They ask me what the best pump is and what supplies are necessary. But most often, they ask me where to get their pump. They want someone recommended, tried, and true. Someone they can trust to help them get the most of their benefits but also someone with excellent customer service. For this reason, I will always recommend The Breastfeeding Shop. The majority of people that reach out are military service members or spouses with Tricare and I can say with confidence that they can receive a breast pump and supplies at no cost to them through The Breastfeeding Shop.
I have always had a great experience with them personally. I have gotten several pumps over the years from this amazing company. I have received excellent customer service. Most of all, I have called on them for the military community several times to ask for help with special circumstances and they have always come through to help these military family members in need. If you want a company that will support you while you support them, look no further. The Breastfeeding Shop will help you maximize your Tricare benefits to receive any of their pumps at no cost to you – that means you will not have an upgrade fee and you do not get assigned a specific pump – the choice is truly yours!
To add to the no cost pump, you will receive the pump quickly and right to your porch – no packing up the newborn baby to go to your local medical supply shop. That means that when you run out of supplies, you just hop online during your middle of the night feeding session and submit a form to have more supplies delivered right to your house. You honestly cannot beat this!
Pumping and nursing is a journey. It is a journey that is so personal to the individual! Stars & Stripes Doulas is ready to help you figure out your path on this journey and help you to explore decision making — at least you don’t have to make a decision as to where to get your pump and supplies – that one is easily made by choosing The Breastfeeding Shop!
Written by: Melanie Binversie, Owner & Doula