Breastfeeding is hard AF. It is so hard that despite how amazing I am, I never wasted time getting up to speed on how to get these dang kids to latch on to my flat sometimes inverted nipples! ha ha
I have now exclusively pumped with all three of my children and I LOVE EXCLUSIVELY PUMPING. Here are some pros, cons, and misconceptions about pumping that I hear all the time. I am going to tell you that it IS possible to exclusively pump breast milk for a baby for a year or two or three if you want.
Lets start with kid #1. He was very fussy, had reflux issues, was not latching and I was not doing well physically because of the chaffing and the wounds that breastfeeding causes. I tried for about 4 weeks pumping and feeding at the breast.
Kid #2. She was no where near as fussy, no reflux but would not latch. I bought this million dollar breast feeding pillow thing (that I lent to someone and can not find now-if it was you can I please have that back to give to my sisters to use). My arms were sore AF and she wouldn’t latch except with the help of a lactation consultant. I got mastitis about 6 days post partum and was miserable. I tried for about 3 weeks feeding at the breast and pumping.
Kid #3. Only two hands no extra hand to keep trying to get this baby to latch. Baby was ok in hospital and would latch some but not great. I started pumping in the hospital and bottle feeding. I knew what had worked with my other kids. Kid 3 ended up being colicky and super fussy. So you see as we went down the road the amount of patience I had for something that is “just so natural” was depleted almost entirely.
So what are the pros of exclusively pumping?
- Anyone can feed your baby even dad, grandma, etc when your hands are busy (with the other kids lol)
- I can get away from the baby for a longer period of time as long as I have a pump with me.
- You always know exactly how much you are feeding your baby
- There are no teeth and no biting!
- You are in control of when you pump as opposed to feeding at baby’s demand
- Lots of washing pumping parts
- You have t plan ahead and take a pump with you sometimes. I love my hand pump which is a Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump, Portable Hand Pump for Breastfeeding
- You gotta do it every 3 hours for the first 12 weeks regardless of if baby is waking up
- Its super not sexy at all (but doesn’t stop my husband from looking lol)
What are some of the myths
- I had a pediatrician actually tell me that I would probably not last a whole year exclusively pumping because the body would eventually stop making milk if the baby wasn’t feeding from the breast. WRONG WRONG WRONG AND WRONG AGAIN. With both of my older 2 kids I exclusively pumped for 1 year and stopped by choice and not because my milk dried up. I could have gone even longer if I wanted to.
- There is no bonding time when you pump and bottle feed. UMMM DUH I STILL AHVE TO FEED MY BABY. When I feel my baby I am bonding with him all the time. We do not need to have a baby on our breast to bond. We can bond over a bottle too! AND this way DAD can bond with baby too. What a novel idea to include dad in the baby’s feeding. Plus my husband is the primary food person in this house since he cooks so naturally lets include him!
- You lose nutrients when you pump and it gets cold. Not sure what the science is but my kids got all the nutrients they needed. Plus at 4 or 5 months the kid can start eating some cereals and pureed foods anyway and those have nutrients in them!
- You did something wrong that the baby didn’t latch. WRONG. I did nothing wrong with my 3rd kid i CHOSE exclusive pumping. Feeding the baby is most important not feeding at the breast.
Reach out if you have any questions about exclusively pumping. It is doable and it is awesome and you should try it!