The issue I have with pumping has nothing to do with the pump itself. The Medela Pump in Style I use makes pumping less miserable because it’s pretty easy to use and I like the speed settings. I just hate the action of pumping.
That being said, moving on.
Pumping has been a constant frustration for me. My first child was exclusively formula fed. My second was breast fed and formula fed intermittently without much concern on my part. He tolerated both fine and I weaned him at 6 months. This time, I have been MUCH more on board with breastfeeding and my goal was to exclusively breastfeed him without supplementation.
Well…best laid plans.
Two weeks before I started back at work I pumped 30 mins before and immediately after every feeding to try to make a stash for going back to work. I worked so hard. I drank lactation shakes, made cookies, took the tablets, hand expressed, massaged, climbed to the top of Mount Olympus to sacrifice a goat…(not really but you get it). I was getting about 6 oz a day and we ended up having to use some of it because my daughter was in parades. Before I started work I had a meek little wimpy stash of breast milk. He blew through it within three days.
My baby, Jacob, has tummy troubles and really my breast milk is the only thing he wants. It tastes better for one thing, but on top of that the formula doesn’t agree with him. So I had to buy nutramigen which is a crazy expensive pre-digested formula that is supposed to be gentler.
SO NOW I had the pressure of having to pump as much as possible because his poor little tummy just wasn’t handling it coupled with the pressure put on me by the financial burden the formula would put on us if we had to start buying it all the time.
I would pump every two house, pump at home, pump at night, pump on the weekends. I was miserable I felt like I was attached to the pump. I would forget parts at home and have to go get them on my lunch, I was tired and frustrated because he would keep blowing through everything I just couldn’t keep up with him.
On top of that, my two older children weren’t getting the time and attention they needed from me. They were sharing me with the baby and the pump. I felt such tremendous guilt from that.
So I made a decision one night. I was exhausted and frustrated. My husband couldn’t help me because he can’t breastfeed, and I didn’t want him to waste the precious store I had built up for daycare, but I was taking it out on him because he wasn’t able to be helpful. I realized in that moment this I was just absolutely done. I was miserable, and I’m not a miserable person. So I decided that night that I was done trying to live up to this expectation I had created for myself.
I leave my pump at home every night. I bring home the parts that need cleaned, but my pump NEVER comes home. I stopped feeling guilty about him getting a bottle or two every day. My daughter was exclusively bottle fed and she was just fine. When I do bring my pump home, it sits in a bag. It DOES NOT come out. I don’t wake up at night to do ANYTHING anymore. I feed by baby on demand and I leave it at that. I need the little sleep I struggle to get.
I drink my shakes and take the fenugreek when I remember to. I don’t beat myself up for forgetting. I pump on my breaks and my lunch, and am getting about the same amount as I was before.
This is what I do when I pump:
The pirate one is definitely a fav. I’ll be sad to see that one go.
I decided I am going to spend my time at home enjoying my family and not bound to this device I hate so much. Fed is best, and it’s a personal choice. No one should feel guilty about how they choose to feed their child.
Also, my boss brought donuts today 🍩
And my son jumped into the big pool at swim lessons! Today: big pool, tomorrow: US Olympics.