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Because surgeons are mindful that women may wish to have children in the future, they typically prefer to undertake the surgery once a woman has made the decision to not carry any more children. In Briar’s case, after 7 years on the public waiting list, she’d had to take the opportunity for surgery, before she became pregnant.
“You’re never entirely sure what the outcome is going to be after this kind of surgery. They do advise that there could potentially be a reduction in your ability to breastfeed, although they do what they can to avoid that. Finding out I was pregnant, I had decided I really wanted to breastfeed if I could - which was when I started looking for a good pump to invest in”, Briar explains.
Having a breast pump would help Briar ensure that she was feeding her new baby enough. “After having a reduction, and not knowing how breastfeeding is going to go, you have this sense of worry that you’re not going to be giving your baby enough just by breastfeeding alone. Being able to express gave me the confidence to know exactly how much he was getting”.
Unfortunately though, Briar’s birth experience wasn’t a smooth one, with an emergency C-section followed by two blood transfusions, resulting in a 7-day stay in hospital.
“My birth was quite traumatic, and it turned out that having theMilkbar Advanced Flow Double Electric Breast Pump and theMilkbar UV Steriliser in the hospital with me made such a difference; it became such an important support.”
Briar explains that in hospital they typically only have two pumps for the whole ward, and each ward could have up to 25 people in it.
“If you’re trying to establish or support a consistent milk supply, then it’s really hard to do that while you’re stuck in hospital. I started off using the hospital resource then quickly realised I wanted my own equipment with me in hospital. I was at risk for mastitis, as my milk came in thick and fast. The Milkbar Double Breast Pump was not only easy to set up and get started, but gave me a sense of confidence that it was just for me to use whenever I wanted or needed it, while still being as good as the pumps from the hospital.”
The Milkbar Double Breast Pump is hospital grade, and Briar said that also having the Milkbar UV Steriliser by her side was “worth its weight in gold”. It meant she was able to express, without having to rely on cleaning equipment in the hospital, but still trusting that she was doing the right thing.
The ease of use became a big factor for Briar, too. She loved the convenience of its compact and discreet design which made it easy for her to have with her in hospital.
“It’s easy to use, and quick to assemble without having to look at complex diagrams - the last thing you want to do in a hospital bed”, she says.
Despite the rocky start, Briar and her baby are doing well. Briar expresses around six-to-eight times a day. “In my first couple of days I was able to express about 85ml - so that was after breastfeeding and I’ve been able to maintain roughly that amount since coming out of hospital. I’m going to continue to express, so I have a bit of a stockpile for when I go back to work after maternity leave, so again just having that confidence that my baby is getting everything he needs.”
Briar’s biggest message is for other women who have had, or are thinking of having breast reduction surgery: “I’m sure many women are put off the procedure, or at least have concerns about breastfeeding in the forefront of their mind. After all, as a first-time mum, breastfeeding is likely something that you’d really like to do. I hope this story gives them hope and confidence to have the very best start to your breastfeeding journey, and that it can still very much be an option for you if you want to.”
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