What I Learned About Exclusively Pumping

Hi mommies!
I did it. I made it to three months exclusively pumping for my bean. To say the journey has be difficult is an understatement.

My milk started late and not a lot came, my bean had tongue tie, and we had lots of trouble latching. In tears, we began formula supplementing when he was three days old. It was NOT how I envisioned this to be.

For all the sleepless nights, poopsies, and screaming, I wasn't prepared for the difficulty that breastfeeding possesses. There is so much to say as a new mom. The struggle is real.

I know I've only been pumping for 13 weeks, but I have learned a lot.

Formula is OKAY. Truly, it is. You know, I was that asshole four months ago that was against formula if you can make milk. I totally support moms who give formula when they are incapable of making milk or that their babies need it. What I didn't know is that most moms have trouble making milk. Some take hours to get a supply, others days, and others weeks.

When we brought home our bean from the hospital after three days, he was screaming so much (he's a vocal sort!), I went out to CVS with my dad and bought newborn supplements and a pint of ice cream. I was a real mess.

A couple days later, we went to a pediatrician who gave us a box of supplements. He said, 'mom, if you continue to cry, you will never make milk. You need to destress and let baby eat. It will happen." Two other pediatricians said the same thing.

And so, we supplemented with formula. First it was 80% of his meals, then 50%, then 20%, and now, we give supplement during a growth spurt or when I want some for the freezer. And you know what? He looks awesome.

None of my pediatricians have given a rat's ass about feeding formula.

Breastfeeding isn't for everyone. I now pump 99% of the time. For me, I couldn't do it without the help of my husband and my dad who can help take care of baby and the house.

But here's my secret, I haven't found breastfeeding to be amazing. I don't feel a "connection", my hips still hurt, my tendonitis is returning, and I'm exhausted. I feel that at least when I pump, I can type, I can read, I can still play with the bean.

Pumping sucks. Literally. Your boobs will hurt, you'll be on a schedule (my alarm went off every three hours for the first six weeks), and you will feel like a cow.

It is an uphill battle, until it isn't. I have found a groove now and know when I want to pump. I know that when my dad leaves, I won't be pumping as often, and if I pump less, that is OKAY. Because, I can supplement. And I am totally not a loser mom.

Your baby takes a bottles from anyone. There ARE benefits to pumping and formula. Your baby will take a bottle. And your baby can take the bottle from anyone in your family.

You know what's awesome? Letting your husband feed your baby while everyone enjoys an adult beverage. And then he burps and changes bean's diaper and then they play. And bean? He doesn't care who feeds him, as long as someone feeds him.

You CAN go out for more than one hour. Sometimes my husband works home, and on those days, I go out, by myself, for 3-5 hours. Run errands, get a massage, meet friends and grab a drink, it's amazing. Because you need you time.

Pumping lets someone else feed the baby. Even if you do BF, a couple pump sessions here and there will allow you to get out for much needed R&R.

You do whatever makes it work. Seriously. What I say, what others say, it doesn't matter.

You know what matters? Your sanity. Do what it takes so that you have a good transition for pumping/formula/breastfeeding whatever.

Hugs and kisses moms!
/P