This past weekend I turned in my Hospital Pump rental.
The pump has been a friend for around 6 months. Before I went back to work, I spent 20 minutes, 6-8 times a day with this pump. Once I went back to work, I started and ended my day with her.
My friend, helped me get from a couple of oz from a day of pumping to 40oz a day. At one point I pumped 50oz.
With a good frozen stash, I’ve decided it’s time to trust in my Medela Pump in Style to keep my supply stable and to turn in my hospital rental. I’d be dishonest to not admit that this scares me a little bit. That in the past few days, I have watched every oz that has been pumped, keeping track of when things seem slower than usual, but at the end of the day I still have the same amount. For now.
My hospital pump rental helped me when I felt my worst. While I was in pain, the pump allowed me to increase my supply and get pumpkin off of formula. At one point, I placed the pump in it’s permanent spot on the table and it made it much more comfortable to pump. And comfort is definitely important.
The hospital pump rental was also a reminder of a horrible first experience with breast feeding. A horrible experience at an otherwise great hospital, where Lactation Nurses completely ignored me. Glanced at pumpkin laying beside me and assumed I was feeding correctly. At another nurse who threatened that I was hurting my baby by not putting her on formula. By a system that seems to pretend to be on your side and pro-breastfeeding but in the end is not.
Most upsetting to me was the fact that my insurance refused to cover the pump. When the nurse decided to give pumpkin formula, no one mentioned to me that I could pump to start building up my supply. In fact, at that point lactation nurses said nothing to me. No help getting her latched. No words of wisdom about pumping or how to rent a hospital pump to build supply in order to get pumpkin to latch again. NOTHING. It makes me mad just thinking back to this.
No one advocated for me and I didn’t know enough to ask.
Because breastfeeding is easy, and somehow I was to accept that I just failed at it.
But I didn’t accept that and I rented the pump on my own. Even though it ended up being the only way I could feed pumpkin, insurance would not cover the pump because I did not use it immediately out of the hospital. Again…lack of knowledge of choices.
Even after Breastfeeding classes before having pumpkin, there was mention of hospital pump rentals. But I shrugged it off. I had bought a Pump In Style for when I went back to work. Why would I need a rental. No one tells you that a home pump just maintains supply while a hospital grade rental pump increases supply.
The lack of consistent information makes me so mad 7.5 months later. I worked and continue to work hard to provide for pumpkin. But I wish it wasn’t so hard. I wish someone had been there to inform me. Without the cloud of whatever bias they had. Someone that just told me the truth. Maybe I’ll send this article to the hospital. Maybe I should let them know how frustrated I was with their lactation nurses.
I hope that this article finds someone out there on the internet. Someone researching the same issues I had. That it helps them. Gives them knowledge and lets them know there is a choice. Maybe they won’t have to rent a hospital pump for as long as I did. But at least they understand it’s there just in case.
It’s all about choice. This past weekend I chose to end my friendship. Hopefully I’ll never have to see her again.