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Pumping is Hard Work #breastfeeding

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I’n happy to say my daughter has been nursing for 8 months. This has taken work to maintain, but she’s been nearly exclusively fed at the breast this whole time.

So what does that have to do with pumping, you ask?

Well, it means I don’t pump often so when I take that rare night away from my precious princess… it’s hard work. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying it’s harder than moms who exclusively pump or pump a lot at work. What I am saying is… It’s hard for me and I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like for them to regularly pump.

It also means you need the right tools for the job. There are a few different types of breastpumps: hand pumps, single pumps, double electric pumps, etc.

I own two pumps: a hand pump and a double electric pump.

Before I gave birth I had it set in my mind that I needed a double electric pump. It seemed like the most efficient way to pump, especially if I was going to return to work. I’d read and been told in class that I wouldn’t need a pump right away. That after breastfeeding was established and/or a few weeks before returning to work is when I should start pumping.

Well, now I know better. When Rissa had some latch issues I needed a pump ASAP to relieve my enforcement and feed her. That’s when I got the hand pump. The next day I bought the double electric because I was concerned I might end up pumping exclusively.

After nursing resumed, I didn’t really need to pump unless I was storing milk for an upcoming time away from Rissa. I continued to pump regularly for a bit, but sadly all that milk expired.

Our date nights in January and February were easy for me to pump for. It seemed like I had a hefty supply and pumping twice in the morning for a few days beforehand provided at least 2-3 feedings worth.

Just last week I left Rissa with her gramma while I went to the Cars 2 screening. I tried to pump once a day for four days.

I only had enough for half a feeding.

As you can imagine, I was worried.

What happened to my supply??!!

I had to remind myself that Rissa is

  • eating solids now so overall she takes in less milk
  • more efficient than my pump
  • signaling my body to make the perfect amount just for her

Despite these reminders it makes me wonder if I should start pumping regularly again? Should I be expressing breastmilk for her to drink from her cup? Should I be banking it to help transition her to cows milk after she turns one?

It makes me very nervous about leaving her with anyone for too long. When we went to the movie I nursed her before we left and she still had solids to eat for dinner yet plus her bottle. She doesn’t nurse much more after dinner until around midnight. What if I need to leave her during the day though?

What have your experiences been with pumping?



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