|Mommy and Lennox|
Well only a few short (long?) days after our Daughter, Lennox, was born, we quickly could see that she just wasn’t going to nurse the way she needed to. I was in pain, exhausted and needing my baby to eat! I had already purchased a breast pump before Lennox was born, so I started to use that to get my milk to come in, and fed her formula. I started having great success with pumping and then just giving Lennox the milk in a bottle. Sounds easy enough, right? Well apparently not to some!
At our first pediatricians appointment (5 or so days after Lennox was born) the doctor didn’t seem to like the idea of my just pumping and giving her a bottle. He discouraged the idea of me not trying to nurse anymore and just pump. His recommendation was to try to alternate from feeding to feeding. He told us that most mothers that decide to pump couldn’t do it for longer than a few weeks and then give up. Gee – thanks for the encouragement doc! Needless to say, I was not happy to hear this. I thought I was doing well, and he just deflated that idea. I quickly realized that he was wrong and continued to do what was best for our baby and me!
The next day we had a scheduled appointment with the lactation consultant back at the hospital, I went, and they pretty much had the same things to say. They had me nurse, Lennox would do well there, but for me, I just couldn’t get her to do it at home and she was hurting me, BAD! The lactation consultant’s suggestion was to try to nurse (at every feeding – every 2 hours), then pump, then give it to her plus formula I needed. Do you know how long that takes? By the time I was done doing all that, it was almost time to start all over again. I couldn’t do it.
So after all that, I decided that what I was going to do was just pump. I was having success with it after a few days, it was faster and it made baby and me happy. I would pump, and if I wasn’t getting enough milk for Lennox, then I would supplement with formula. I had nothing against using formula; I just liked the benefits of breast milk enough to give it a shot (and its free!). If it didn’t work out, I wasn’t going to be heartbroken.
After a few days of this, I was able to get my supply going and started pumping more than enough milk to feed Lennox each day and I didn’t need to supplement anymore. All was going well again! Everyone was happy! I even started being able to freeze some of the milk to bring to daycare later and to have for backup! It was also nice that someone else could feed Lennox. I was lucky enough to have my mom staying with us for most of the summer, so she, as well as daddy, was able to help feed Lennox.
|Daddy feeding Lennox at the wedding.|
Once it was going well, my goal was to pump until I had to go back to work at three months. By the time three months rolled around, it was such second nature to pump. I would pump first thing in the morning, once around lunchtime at work, when I got home and before I went to bed. I didn’t have to get up in the middle of the night anymore to feed Lennox or to pump (woohoo!! We were both sleeping through the night). I knew there was dedicated space at work where I could pump in private. Since this all was the case, I decided to keep pumping for a while to save money on formula and to continue giving my daughter breast milk (and hey – I was losing weight and could eat whatever I wanted, who wouldn’t like that?!).
Pumping at work was not always fun, but thankfully I work at a company that provides “Health Rooms”. These are private rooms that lock and have a seating area and a kitchenette area. This worked out perfect for pumping. I would just pop in there once during the work day and pump. Since there was a sink in there, I could clean everything up, and get back to work within 20 or so minutes. No one even noticed I was gone! Unfortunately, I know a lot of people are not as lucky as I was to have a dedicated space where I could pump privately.
A few more months passed and Lennox was about to turn six months old. I decided I was getting tired of pumping, she had gotten the main benefits from my milk and I was ready to stop!
Drying up … oh what fun that was. I decided to just go cold turkey. OUCH!! It hurt that’s for sure, but after 3 or 4 days, I was pretty much back to normal. Taking Sudafed every few hours, putting cabbage in my bra (stinky!) and wearing the tightest sports bra I could find, seemed to do the trick.
I have since gotten a new pediatrician for my daughter and we LOVE him. He is just so great, he was encouraging and sure does makes us feel better about issues when they arise. I was able to pump exclusively for six months and only supplement the first few days after birth. We switched to formula at 6 ½ months (after my freezer stash was gone) with no problems and now we are on to whole milk!
|Now a big girl, starting to transition to from her bottle to sippy cup!|
If you are having problems with breastfeeding or just don’t want to nurse but want your little one to have your milk, don’t’ let anyone discourage you from pumping! It is possible to do! Here are a few great resources I came across as well.
- Kelly Mom – Specifically the pumping moms area. There is some great info on there for pumping mommies.
- The breastfeeding board on thebump.com
- There is also a book out there that I’ve heard is good – but I didn’t end up needing to get it. You can find it at http://www.exclusivelypumping.com/