Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Stretching the boobs....lessons from a nursing momma!

I'm going to try and talk about different things on different days of the week - Menu Planning on Monday, "Stretching" on Tightwad Tuesday, Weight loss on Weigh-in Wednesdays, Gratefulness on Sundays, and anything else in between - so for Tightwad Tuesday, here we stretch!

In case you weren’t aware I am the proud mother of not only a 2 ½ year old beautiful, blonde devious little girl, but also an 8 week old handsome little boy who I am continuing to nurse after having returned to work 2 weeks ago. There are lots of reasons that I choose to nurse, one of the main being to save money on formula. However, nothing is free – including nursing! There are supplies that must be purchased to start pumping and other supplies that must be purchased to maintain this lifestyle. How I save money or saved money on these is how I “stretch the boobs!”

First of all your pump – these sell for all shapes and sizes and are only supposed to be for one user. That being said, I could not afford the $375+ for a good pump (Medela) when I had my daughter. Luckily, for me but not for her, I had a good friend who was unable to nurse her son, who was 3 months older than my daughter, and had purchased a pump that she'd only used 1-2 times that she sold to me for $75. One of the best investments I've ever made - personal opinion: if you can find one of these bad boys at a yard sale or consignment sale, they are well worth the investment and you can replace the necessary parts fairly inexpensively! I say fairly inexpensively - all in all - I've got about $100 in my $375+ pump and that is after I have used it for my first child (nursed for 5 months), lent it to another friend for a year, purchased replacement tubing, etc. and now using the pump for my son.

Second of all your breastpads - those pads you put on the inside of you bra to prevent leakage, and trust me you want something! Actual breastpads sell (if I remember correctly from my local Wal-mart) for about $8 or something for around 30 pads (yes these are nice individually rounded pads...they are so pretty - do you hear my sarcasm!?). My little money saving tip is to instead purchase the cheapest, heavy flow generic maxi pads you can find and cut the pad in half. You can get a package of say 30 pads (cut in half = 60 right?) for about $6 or something - there again prices are all approximate, but you get the gist right? I think the maxi pads are much better equipped to handle excessive leakage, as you may sometimes have and it is much more cost effective!

Third your bottles - with our daughter we used the Playtex drop-in type bottle b/c they were given to us. However with my son I was able to get about 20 Aveno (sp?) bottles for about $15 at a yard sale. Now with these bottles I don't have to keep buying the drop-ins, I have enough that even when I'm washing the ones from day-care I have others, and I will be able to re-sell them when I finish with them!

Next is your milk baggies - now this is something new I'm trying, and I will let you know how it turns out. But when DH and I were at the store Friday, I had run out of the individual milk baggies the day before and needed some more for this week in order to pump, I picked up the box of baggies that was $10 for 30 6 oz. baggies......I quickly did the math in my head and figured I would be using 4 baggies a day meaning this little box would only last me about 7.5 working days. That just seemed ridiculous to me, however that is the only option available - or so I thought. As I was strolling down the aisle where the sandwich baggies (which I divide up snacks) were at....I stopped and stared at the quart freezer bags $1.30 for 20 bags. I asked DH, and I'm still working this out so thoughts or suggestions are appreciated, what he thought of using those instead of the individual baggies - "so long as you think it will work, I don't see a problem". My thinking is when we get out the milk from the freezer we are preparing all 3 feeding for my son for that day, so why can't I just lump all the milk for that into one bag? We are trying it and so far the lumping and freezing part seems to be going fine, I guess we will see how the thawing and dividing part goes in a couple of weeks. But as far as saving money goes - this will be a huge money saver b/c I can put all of one day's pumping into 1 bag so a $1.30 box of 20 bags will last me for almost a month of pumping at work vs. 7.5 days! I guess we will see!
Like I said before, like them or not, these are ways that we are tying to tighten our budget and "stretch the boobs"!


  1. I was reading your post on the baggies for storing your milk. I learned a really helpful and cheap tip when I was breastfeeding my daughter. You can pour your milk into ice cube strays and then you can store an entire tray of cubes in one freezer bag. Each cube is about 1 ounce of milk and you just take out one cube or the whole bag of cubes to thaw. It is a lot cheaper and a lot less messy. Our babysitter loved this. I would take a bag of ice cubes to her and she would thaw them out as needed. It worked wonderful.

  2. THis is so fun Amber!! I loved reading about what's going on in your life (although I have no idea how you have time to blog since I can hardly check my email once a month and I only have one child!! I am impressed). I did want to comment on your milk issue. I did lots of research while breastfeeding J.T. and if I remember correctly it is perfectly acceptable to "lump" milk together but you should never mix milk that has been pumped more than 24 hours apart and the quicker it gets in the freezer the better. As to the bags, my only two concerns about ziplock would be 1) do they seal well enough? probably so and how can they be any better/worse than the breast milk bags so this is probably not a biggie and 2) what about ziplock and BPA? I know the breast bags are BPA free which means you don't have to worry about it leaking out of the plastic over time and causing cancer or whatever it is supposed to cause. I dont' know how dangerous it really is but I know it is the fad in the baby industry these days that everything that touches your babies mouth should be BPA free so you may want to check that out. Other than that I loved reading your tips!! I wish I had thought of them with JT but I will definitly use them if we ever have baby number two!!! love you and take care!!
    -Katie Urban

  3. Katie - so far the bags are sealing well enough. I do have to make sure that I freeze them with the seal upwards, but other then that the freezing seems to be going fine. As to the BPA - I haven't done a whole lot of research on this subject and my ignorant thought is this...if BPA is good enough for myself, my husband and my 2 year old - it's probably ok for the baby. I don't think my old yard sale bottles are BPA free so there is one more thing to worry about if I so choose - I don't. I figure that all of the things that they are now telling us is dangerous for our kids I ate/or used back in bundles when I was little. Don't get me wrong I think there are a lot of dangerous things out there, but this is not one that I'm choosing to worry about (once again personal opinion - ask me again in 20 years)! BTW - we had the 2 month check-up yesterday, he's gained 4 lbs and 12 oz in 2 months - just call me super Bessie!

    About the ice cube idea! I love it but for me it wouldn't work - one b/c of the ease of storing milk while I'm at work pumping that the bags provide and two our daycare has to have the milk provide ready to go in bottles, so the idea of only taking out what you need doesn't work for us. But that you so much for passing that idea along!

  4. Hey girl--it's so cool that you have a blog. I do too: RyanandAlex.blogspot.com. I don't update it as often as I would like, but I enjoy it tremendously. Have a great day .

  5. I also had to pump at work and would just store my milk in a glass jar while at work and each night I would pour the milk into the ice cube trays.


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