Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Morning

My morning before I even get to work:

--Wake up (duh)
--Get dressed (OK, nothing remarkable yet)
--Breast pump ~20 minutes
--Pack up breast pump to take to work
--Nurse on other breast
--Change baby diaper
--Change baby clothes
--Wake up Mel
--Cajole Mel into getting dressed, sometimes doing it for her
--Make Mel breakfast
--Pour defrosted milk into pre-made bottles
--Pack up bottles with icepack + extra diapers or whatever else daycare ran out of
--More cajoling for Mel's jacket and shoes
--Get both kids into car
--Drop off Mel at kindergarten: kisses, clinging, tears
--Drop off baby at daycare: put bottles in fridge, peel off baby jacket, fill out "day sheet"
--Drive to work

Honestly, by the time I get to work, I've already been up for hours and it feels like the day must be almost over.

What's your pre-work ritual like?


  1. I read a study recently where women who pumped after having pre-warmed the breastshields (the megaphone-looking piece) were able to pump their milk more quickly. I thought it might be worth a try if it could maybe shave five minutes off your morning pumping session.
    I was also wondering what led you to routinely freezing and defrosting milk. The usual advice is to feed one day what you've pumped the day before, no freezing required. Since defrosted milk has to be used more quickly than fresh milk it seems like there's a lot more risk of misestimating how much you'll need in a given timeframe and having to throw it away. The antibodies in recently pumped milk would also presumably be a better match to the current milieu of contagions.
    It is amazing what kids do to a morning routine that could at one point could, in a pinch, involve throwing on some clothes, grabbing a stick of gum and bringing the hair brush in the car! :-)

  2. Christie: The pumping itself doesn't take me as long as assembling the equipment and then disassembling it and washing it afterward. So warming the breastshield would probably add time, not reduce it.

    The reason I bring defrosted milk to daycare is because I have a freezer filled with old frozen milk that will spoil if I don't use it (3 months). Now I'm defrosting my August milk. Obviously, fresh milk is best, but it makes more sense to store new milk for when I cut back on pumping, so I can avoid formula. And I nurse a lot, so it's not like she doesn't get lots of fresh milk too.

  3. Sounds like you've got a well thought out system! I've learned so much from other moms on pumping strategies I'm always interested in hearing how moms make it work for them. I sure hear you on the cleaning being time-consuming - some days I fantasize about disposable sets :-)

  4. I'm right there with you on the full morning, and I only have one child! I eliminated the pre-daycare morning pump once my daughter was about 7 months old and that helped, and I usually pump twice the amount at my first work pump which compensates for it. Also, eliminating the morning pump got rid of the extra time needed to wash the pump parts in the morning, so I just have my pump packed and ready the night before! I also have my bottle labeling, washing, routing down to a science!

    One morning when I was running late to work, one of my more annoying workmates asked if I slept late. I wanted to scream! If only she new how much stuff I had done that morning!! I had been up since like 5:30 am and I was late 2/2 a daycare drop-off meltdown plus a clothing change due to poop explosion when I was on the way out the door!!!

    Only 6 more days of pumping! (unrelated, but I'm so excited about it!!)

  5. Cutter: Oh god, yesterday about a minute after we pulled out of the garage, my daughter says, "Mommy, can you drive to school really fast because I have to pee?" Naturally, I turned around and went back home because I didn't want my morning to include cleaning pee out of the booster seat.

    I had to reinstitute my AM pumping session in order to only pump once at work. I know I have to pump twice a day on workdays in order to keep up my supply. I'll probably keep it up till the cold and flu season is over, then start to taper.

  6. You left out "rinse, lather, repeat." Working life with babies and small childre is truly a hamster wheel. At least I had an office to pump in, my engineer daughter had to stop and pump in a Dollar General parking lot on the way to a job site last week. Her decscription is that it was "exactly as awkward as you might think." Hang in there ladies, it is worth it.

  7. With my first baby, I used to pump in the morning before dropping off at daycare. With my second and later with my third baby, the morning was hectic enough, I had a longer commute and absolutely no time to pump, so I pumped in the evening... I know, milk supply is supposed to be less in the evening, but somehow my body adjusted and I was able to pump 8 oz each night (after I nursed the baby)!!! No rush in the morning and still a good stock of mommy's milk in the fridge/freezer for daycare!

  8. I definitely hear you on the exhausting morning routine. I'm a medical student and mother of two (3 year old and 2 month old) so my mornings go something like this:

    3 am: wake up, breast feed and pump what is left.

    3:45 : coffee and cereal

    4 am: start studying until 7 am with a mixture of feeding and consoling baby if husband was up late night before and is too tired

    7 am: wake up toddler, make coffee and breakfast for husband and toddler, breast feed and pump yet again

    8 am: start getting ready for school while coercing toddler to brush teeth and get dressed

    8:45 : pump again while running around and getting bag ready for school (I keep trying to do it the night before....), change from nursing to regular bra, put on shirt and run out the door

    This is a good morning for me, without any unforeseen accidents!

  9. Agreed, frozen milk isn't as good as fresh, see pubmed for glutathion levels in breastmilk.
    I breastfed/pumped till 14 mos. What a pain in the ass.

    As fare as my morning goes..I work 60-80/wk, busy resident and leave at 6.30 most mornings. My husband, a fellow resident, does all the waking up and getting her dressed..takes her to daycare.

    I usually pick out her outfit the night before.

    We make breakfast together on the rare weekends I'm not on call.

    If I think about it all too much I think it'll just crush my heart.

    She calls the women at her daycare who take care of her , "my mommies."

  10. Back in the day when my sons were babies (they're in their 20's now), we used to nurse in the morning and evening/night. During the day when I was at work, they received bottles of formula. Pumping wasn't such a big deal/encouraged as much. And reading these stories, I wonder if pumping to provide exclusively breast milk is really worth the accompanying hassles? I don't want to stir up trouble, I just really want to know.

  11. I don't think formula is evil or anything. Probably my largest motivation for pumping is to keep my supply up so that I don't have to give bottles on days I don't work. I really enjoy breastfeeding... if I didn't, I wouldn't do it so long.

  12. I'm on my second baby... And have never made much milk, regardless of all my attempts with water, reglan, fenugreek, etc. But i do get one bottle a day, and don't need to supplement when im home. I pump on the way to work with a car adapter for power, and then over lunch while I chart. I put the shields in the ice pack bag, and then just reuse them without washing - it saves tons of time and has never been a problem. They get rinsed at night and then go in the dishwasher. I figure milk is bacteriostatic at the least, and it all stays cold. Luckily I only have 2 more months to go with pumping! My goal is 12 months, I did it once so I can do it again.

  13. The commenter's award goes out to PESS who cooks breakfast for husbund.

    After years of hard training and being killed by hard jobs, my morning consists of:
    -rolling out of bed at 7:30 to breakfast cooked by husband, fed and dressed children
    -kissing children, husbund who takes them to school
    -leaving for work at 7:50 am
    -arrriving to work 8 am

    I know. But I feel that I deserve it.

  14. would buying extra attachments for the pump help with the routine?

  15. Anon 4:16 -- My mom was an investment banker in the 70s, and she did the same thing with the bfing in the AM and PM, and formula during the day with me. She said it worked really well for her (except when the babysitter would feed me RIGHT before she got home). Some women (like Fizzy) stick with it because they like it, but there also seems to be a bunch of competi-mommying / guilt out there as well.

    Anon 1:59 -- Yeah, cooking breakfast every day for my husband is so NEVER going to happen. I want a husband like yours. :-)

  16. OMDG: I did the AM and PM nursing thing from 6-12 months with my first. That's how I know from experience that it will kill my supply. At the point that I did that, I was basically just nursing for bonding.

    Pretty much all the reasons I want to keep nursing a lot are selfish:

    1) I like it.

    2) Easiest way to soothe a cranky baby.

    2) If the antibodies will reduce the number of times the baby gets sick, that will make my life so much easier.

    But I don't want to have one of those kids old enough to ask for breastmilk, so I'll probably have to cut it off at a year or so.

  17. Well this is why being a parent is more of a calling and not a responsibility. There's a few ups and downs, mostly downs, into having a baby and seeing your morning routine, I certainly have been proven yet again.

    But don't get me wrong, babies are amazing!

  18. I would like to say it gets easier as they get older, but...

    Am routine:
    - 5 am -get up, shower, get completely dressed for work
    - 5:30 - coffee, start breakfast for kids
    - 6 am - cajole 3 little girls into getting up, dressed, brush hair , teeth, find shoes
    -6:30 take turns eating breakfast and practicing piano
    -6:50 warm up car in winter while making sure everyone has at least peed and put on clothes
    -6:55 get in car so we don't have to chase down the bus

    By the time I get to work at 7:45, I feel like I need either a nap or a stiff drink.

    Evening routine so the am is easier:
    - somehow try to get dinner together
    - homework, which is becoming more and more time consuming. Especially challenging when all three are saying ,"mommy, you are not listening, I need help with my homework!"
    -clean lunch boxes
    - make new lunches for next day
    -showers and bedtime, with a few squabbles or drag down brawls to break up in between
    -pick out clothes for the next day- any changes in the morning and they have to pay me a dollar for my troubles
    -clean up dinner
    -pack backpacks for next day and put them in the car
    - pack bags for any after school dance or music lessons and put in car too
    -pick out my own clothes for the next day so when I get dressed half asleep I at least match
    -pack after school snacks for the next day, and pencils and paper in case we need to do homework at ballet lessons

    When someone calls at night for a leisurely chat, I have decided its in everone's best interest for me to let it go to voice mail. I need every ounce of nice to be reserved for my babies. Even then it can be a tough call some days.

    This is why, I do believe, that mom MDs are a stronger breed!

  19. Hi
    I can completely relate to all this - esp DrMom's schedule! I would write my morning schedule but I have to rush and buy school uniforms before going tin to work. 2 girls starting school. One three year old boy and one 6 mnth olds (will be breastfeeding until 12months. Still waking three times night. Yes we are a stronger breed). I pump and have backup formula. I work part-time. Long days are the hardest with respect to getting engorged (I am usually scrubbed at work).

    I love this blog because I know all you ladies speak the truth about our hectic lives. This truth to most people would be unbelievable! In fact I have stopped telling even my family because they think I am just showing off. When I read your responses I know I have fellow travellers who are also loving their husbands/ children the best they can and just getting on with it!

  20. ps anon@659 here. sorry about typos. xo

  21. My morning:
    -Wake up at 5:30 am, shower, get ready
    -Nanny arrives at 6:15 am, I grab breakfast and coffee to go and run to the train
    -6:50 am - arrive at hospital
    7 am - start work

    Husband who is also in medicine gets his own breakfast, and nanny does everything for my child. I am very lucky to have such great help.

    Evenings are more crazy. Arrive home at 6 pm to toddler yelling, "Mama! Mama!" Throw off coat and run to toddler, while evening nanny gets ready to leave (we have a second nanny who relieves our first nanny after 10 hours, as one nanny won't work the 60-80 hrs of med students/residents). Feed toddler dinner, eat dinner myself - usually something frozen while talking to husband, clean dishes while husband gives toddler bath, tuck our kid into bed at 7:30 pm.
    7:30-10 pm - study/read/talk about day with husband.
    10:30 pm - sleep - I try to get 7 hours per night.

  22. It may have been mentioned above but freezing the new milk makes no just destroys more if the good nutrients. Search pubmed for breastmilk and antioxidant levels. Refrigeration and freezing significantly reduces glutathione levels..exponential drop with time. Basically, fresh is best- by far! So use the fresh milk and safe the frozen stuff for later (or toss it if it's too old!)

  23. Who else thinks it would be a good idea for me to allow the frozen milk I've worked so hard to collect expire so I have to throw it out?

    I'd like to point out that if I only use fresh milk, my stash will be expired at the point that I cut back on pumping, so will have to go to formula at that point. Even if you don't think formula is worse than frozen breastmilk, it's definitely more expensive.

  24. Fizzy-
    --two thoughts about your pumping/milk storage situation.

    1- Have you looked at breast milk storage guidelines recently? Depending on who you consult re this, frozen breast milk is usually good past 3 months (depending on what type of freezer you are using etc.)

    2- Have you considered donating your milk?

    Just a thought...

    But I would also probably do a combination of fresh and frozen milk--if it were me.


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