Here's a crazy graphic that shows a positive. I am not pumping as much or as often. I am not pumping during the night. Each line is a day with the most recent at the top. See the big gap on the left? That's sleep! It's updated through the morning of 7/29/2011. I mainly put this graphic together because I knew it would help give me a push towards more pumping, and I think it has.
So, I did this a couple weeks ago and it has had two effects. One, it has made me have a better attitude towards pumping and two, it has motivated me to pump during the night if I do happen to wake up. I'm not seeking to wake up, but if I do, I'm sucking it up and taking a little time and pumping. And it's had a DRAMATIC effect on supply. The week of July 29 I was at a 1036.3 daily average and this week I'm at 1231.8 and still going up a little.
I really should write a post some day of my tips for pumping. I wrote a word document with Trajan that I gave a couple friends, but I can't find it and I wasn't as much of a pro then. But, for now, I will go with my short three most important tips.
1. Get hands-free. Seriously. Chiron was hours old and I sent someone to buy a hands-free strip of cloth (normally sticking them in a bra works)
2. USE your hands. You don't have to the whole time (I find doing something else with them keeps me pumping longer), but for at least part of the pump, provide pressure to the breast and help express. Also, particularly if you are establishing supply or worried about it, take a little time to hand express without the pump at the end as well. Good motivating video for upping your production with a pump.
And a bonus because I'm not sure this applies to most people, but is huge for me, document. I use Trixie Tracker. You can use a log book, google docs, or whatever, but keeping these stats has really helped me. In particular, it has helped me get comfortable with pumping less often which is great for the sanity. Trixie Tracker is nice because it is phone friendly, produces some useful graphics and also exports to excel great.
Speaking of which: here's the same visual but for the time since July 29:
See the four middle of the night pumps!
Oh yeah, for the sake of disclosure, Trixie Tracker does charge. For me, it is well worth it for the pumping data. We actually have stopped keeping stats on everything else in the last couple weeks, but our original six-month subscription after the free trial is about to expire and I'm definitely going to be renewing and I think probably even the six month version...