My amazing friend Leah recently gave birth to her daughter, Suri in January. I’ve known Leah since we were 18, we met at Ithaca College. I can’t believe we’ve been friends for 13 years!

She was intent on nursing, but ran into some trouble in the begininnng. Thankfully she happened upon a manual breast pump that actually ended up helping her nursing experience. She talks about her experience with The Medela Manual Breat Pump here.

When I gave birth to my daughter, one of the first things the nurse said to me was “your baby is tongue-tied.” Having no idea what this meant, I looked at my doula, Gail. She told me that my baby’s frenulum (the one under the tongue) was too short and it might make breastfeeding difficult since her tongue can’t extend far enough. The first couple of nights home from the hospital were tough, whether it was related tothe short frenulum or just getting the hang of things, I can’t be sure.

I think she was having a hard time getting the colostrum. After being home for two days, she latched incorrectly on one breast; it was incredibly painful and impossible to nurse! Looking closely, I saw as mall red scab had formed and I started getting nervous that I wasn’t going to be able to nurse on both sides. Was I going to have to giveup breastfeeding?

Consulting books and the internet was absolutely no help. All the books said to put Lansinoh on my nipple and to expose it to air. Theoretically these were nice suggestions, but they didn’t help with the actual feeding of my baby. My nipple wasn’t going to heal instantaneously and everytime she nursed, it felt like being poked with needles. I asked my doula what to do and she suggested getting a manual pump so that I would at least be producing milk on that side and I could feed it to my baby with a syringe.

My mom (thanks, Mom!) bought me the Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump. I wasreally wary of manual breast pumps (one author of a baby book likenedit to milking a cow on the farm), but it was one of the best purchases! I was able to pump without pain at my own pace and it gave me time to heal. After a couple of days the scab healed, fell off, and I was able to go back to nursing on both sides. I hope that a new breastfeeding mom having trouble with sore nipples gives a manual breast pump a try because it can be a lifesaver! The Medela Harmony Manual pump is extremely easy to use, clean, andvery affordable. On Amazon is priced at $30.49.

This wouldn’t be a practical purchase for someone who is going back to work
and needs to pump quickly and every day, but it is great for occasional pumping.

Leah Greenwald lives in Monsey, NY, with her husband, six stepkids, and
new baby Suri!