I have known for years and years that when I was to have a child, that breastfeeding was what I was doing.. period. I wanted the health benefits for my child as well as all of the other incredible perks. But, what I didn’t realize, is BREASTFEEDING IS HARD! When I had Mr. Cheeks, we tried for 4 days to get him to latch on. He wasn’t getting enough milk due to my milk not coming in and on top of that, I guess I had flat nipples? Basically I do not have national geographic 1 inch long nipples. On top of that I have giant boobs. The point is, Mr. Cheeks wasn’t having it. So I began to exclusively pump. I didn’t care if he couldn’t feed from the boob. I was going to make sure he got the nutrition he needed.
While pregnant I had read many articles about pumping. Many articles stated that it was very hard for a mother to feed her baby by solely pumping. This worried me. I knew that I would have to make it work regardless. When my milk first came in, I would pump every 2 hours. That’s when I was like…eeeehhh…. But after doing more research I realized that I could train my boobs! Aawwhhhaaaaa??!! Oh ya. Train em and train em good. Now I pump 4 times a day and its nothing. I pump at 530/6am, 11am, 5pm, 10pm. I am able to pump enough to feed Mr. Cheeks and be able to store about 40oz a week. I could probably produce more milk if I wanted, but fenugreek will be another post.
So lets talk about a comment I saw numerous times in my adventures of pump articles.
“You don’t bond as good with your baby when they eat from a bottle so soon.”
I call BULLSHIT. To me, it’s all about how you do it. Ya sure if you don’t hold your baby when you feed them, then ya, I could see this being a valid point. But every time I fed Mr. Cheeks, I held him close, I looked at him, I talked to him, and I admired him. I held him as though he was breastfeeding, and in the first 6 weeks a lot of times I took my shirt off so we could have the skin-to-skin time. We made it work and never once did I feel disconnected. Not only did I not feel disconnected, but also Brandon was able to feed him and we both were able to bond with him. Did I try to breastfeed in the middle of this process? Of course I did! It just wasn’t in the cards for him and me. It’s working for us and it’s ok that I’m not breastfeeding. If you are exclusively pumping and feeling down because you’re not feeding from your boobs, it’s ok! You are still giving them the best nourishment you can give them.
Oh and hey! If you’re baby eats formula… IT’S OK TOO! We are all doing the best we can and there is NO right or wrong way to care and love for your child. End of story.
Pumping tips I have learned in the last 3 months!
- Don’t spend your money on expensive pump bras.
Thanks to good ol YouTube, I was able to find a video and make this gem! Not only is it my own bra… it was freee! Aawwhhaaaaa???!!!! Yup folks. Free. Do it.
- Train your boobs to the times you want and keep those times. They will follow in your footsteps but seriously try not to go over more then an hour.
- Invest in a good double pump. Just trust me on this.
- Make sure you have all your shit together before you leave the house. I can’t tell you how many water bottles I have had to steal from coworkers to put the goods in.
- Don’t waist your money on expensive pumping bottles. Wallyworld sells these gems for $2.95 for a pack of three. They fit well on the pump and honestly make storing and daycare milk way easier!
- EMPTY YOUR BOOBS COMPLETELY!! Make sure there is nothing left each time. This will help in preventing clogged ducts.
- Get used to having your boobs out all of the time. And make sure your partner is cool with it. I pump while I watch tv, get ready, wherever I need to get it done.
- If you work in a relaxed environment full of men, be prepared for jokes. I have gotten moo’s, asking for milk for coffee… just laugh about it. People are uncomfortable and trying to make it easier lol I think its funny.
- Make sure you wash your pump. You can smell the gross milk if it gets dirty.
10. Last but not least…. WAKE YOURSELF UP BEFORE YOU START POURING YOUR MILK INTO BAGS!!!!!!!! Just do it. I have lost sooo much milk from not being completely awake before pouring milk into anything.
11. Bonus tip!!! Tell yourself regularly that your doing a great job, because you are!!! Exclusively pumping is hard, and extreme pumping is even harder. Your doing awesome and you should know that!