Responding to some comments:
Okay, not formula bashing or anything - but I guess I have to give a little tsk and remind you that you should pump WHEN she's with her dad, right? I mean you did say you were all dressed up with no where to go - K meet pump, pump meet K. Now go do naughty things to each other! And, um, do you have a freezer, super-spoily-milk-one?? If you were at a LLL meeting and someone asked about this what would you say?
I have been lactating for four consecutive years. It's going to take a lot more than a few hours without pumping for my breasts to close up the milk factory.
The longer you lactate, the hardier your milk supply is. If a new mom of a four month old came to a meeting and said she'd be away from her baby for 4-6 hours three nights a week, I'd tell her to please try to pump during that time to maintain her supply. The newness of her lactation and her inexperience with supply would lead me to advise her to err on the safe side and pump.
Because I've been lactating for so long, and because I know my breasts and their patterns so well, I don't feel like I have to pump while I'm gone. I don't often feel empty, and conversely I almost never get engorged, even when I go all night without nurisng. Nursing fo-evah has it's benefits.
Besides, I'd look awfully silly taking my pump into a bar to play Quizzo.
Which brings us to:
You know about lipase and scalding, right? Of course you do, you're a leader.
Yes. And I should have linked back in that last post, but I was being lazy. It turns out, scalding only works about half the time. Which half is determined randomly by someone other than me. Maybe sometimes I don't let it get hot enough. I've lost precious ounces because I turn my back for a minute and the milk that barely covers the bottom of the tiniest saucepan ever has boiled away.
I don't find out until it's defrosted whether it's usable milk. The day I broke down and padded the bottle with a little free hospital formula about half of the five needed ounces had spoiled in less than 24 hours in the freezer. Miriam takes the milk/formula combo without complaint, but she will spit back anything sour. As would I.
The other problem I have is with the pumping itself. Don't get me wrong, it's a great pump. I don't leak or let down easily, so I don't produce much for the pump. If I am very lucky, my full breasts will produce 3 ounces on the right and barely an ounce on the left. Scalding reduces these numbers a bit. Bedtime by itself requires five ounces. If I am going to stay out past bedtime, say, until 12 or 1, I need to leave an additional 3 or 4 ounces at least.
Some of you might be thinking I shouldn't be staying out that late. All I can say is
bite me I have a need to blow off some steam lately. I am hardly painting the town red. Yes, there's some drinking and carousing going on, if you must know. All very sedate and responsible. Mostly.
So, that's the story about the formula. I choose to give formula rather than curtail my time away from the baby. My reasons for this are both selfish (I need to get out!!) and practical (the only way Josh is going to learn how to be a caregiver is by giving care). I am aware that I may catch some heat for this. That's okay. I'm not sure that I would have understood it either when I was in a different place with mothering and marriage and the rest of it.