For the first time in just about two weeks, it's 10 pm and my precious baby boy is asleep. Peacefully, without having screamed himself hoarse since roughly 5 pm.
My skin is positively a-tingle with bliss.
Oh, wait... that would be my over-achiever boobs having a secondary (tertiary?? quadrary????) letdown.
Enter my trusty Medela Harmony.
Cheery, ain't it?
Now, mind you, it IS a manual pump. It will never be as efficient as an electric (and I hope to get my hands on one of those in the near future), but this little beauty does the job when used and cared for properly. Is it the most comfortable process in the world? No. But honestly, baby in his biting mood hurts more, and while I can and have gotten more milk by hand expression (*glares at the peanut gallery*... one single solitary cow joke and you're all toast, mates), the Harmony consistently delivers a full ounce from a moderately full breast in 15 to 20 minutes of patient pumping, easily two if it's first thing in the morning and the milk bar's loaded. This is me, of course, every woman is different, but for me, it works, and has calmed this first-timer's worries that there was a lack of supply.
I do this about 4 times a day, usually, depending on how many storage bottles are empty and thus available, and I have yet to note my hand getting tired (or hurting later) from the pumping action. This is a big deal, as I have a connective tissue disorder (big fancy name, don't ask) which means I hurt pretty easily sometimes. The trick is to put on something interesting, feed the kid on one side, and pump on the other. Get distracted enough, and I occasionally find I've pumped through most of an episode of Doctor Who (GO, TEAM GALLIFREY!!!), and have thus nearly filled the 5 oz attached bottle.
It's easy to clean, there are only 4 parts, five if you count the itty bitty white diaphragm (handle with care, it's delicate) at the bottom of the pump assembly. I just pull the whole thing apart, drop it in a fresh sink of HOT soapy water, let it sit for a few minutes, rinse thoroughly, and let air dry. The two-phase expression feature is probably awesome for some folks, but I find I can get the same effect as the small end (Stimulation Phase) by using shorter, lighter strokes with the regular handle (Expression Phase).
There is only one solitary down-side for me. All parts involved in creating suction must be absolutely 100% dry before use. Not 98%, not 99%, not 99.999999999999999999999999999%. It must be devoid of even the tiniest most miniscule trace of subversive moisture, or it will not maintain suction for more than a few minutes.
As a complement to the block-feeding that is making significant strides in improving JJ's gas issues, the Harmony is a welcome and much loved tool.
As glaring evidence of masochism... well... *shifty eyes*
I don't know what you're talking about. I am a boring, white bread, thoroughly vanilla housewife.
*dons pearls and hums the theme from I Love Lucy*
Not buying it, huh?