Exclusively Pumping Life

Disclaimer: THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE! This is one person’s PERSONAL experience with exclusively pumping. I do NOT have any type of medical degrees or certifications! ALWAYS consult a lactation consultant or doctor for assistance with providing breast milk for your child. 

 

 

I knew I wanted to provide breastmilk for my little one from the moment I realized I was late. I had heard time and time again how beneficial it is for children. It helps them get over illnesses quicker, it helps produce antibodies to avoid getting sick, etc….. I was still nervous though. I am super sensitive, so it petrified me. I knew I would have to go back to work quickly, so I made sure to have all types of pumping supplies on dock for when that time came. We had some trouble with jaundice at birth, and I knew I only had 3 weeks home with Caden. This led us to the pumping life.

What worked for me!

-I pumped every 2 hours at the beginning. Yes… even through the night. At about 3 weeks when I went back to work, our super star was gaining weight fabulously and sleeping through the night (yes, we were EXTREMELY spoiled!). I was still pumping every two hours through the night at that point. Since I was back to work, I desperately needed more sleep, since naps during the day were not an option. I decided to stay every two hours (or as much as possible at work) during the day and every 3-4 hours at night. Sleep is very important for mama’s, so I think that sleep just helped me produce even more milk. From 3 weeks to about 4 months, I pumped at 12:30-ish am, 5am, 7am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm, 9:30-ish pm when I had work and 12:30ish am, 5am, 7am, 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm, 9:30-ish pm when I was home. It was a lot, but it helped build my supply. Around 4 months I had a freezer FULL. I decided to drop the 12:30ish am pump and let myself go 3-4 ish hours when I needed to if we were out and about. This meant I got a full night sleep and could leave my house again. I did wake up soaked occasionally (sorry, Sean!), but I was pumping out 15-20 ounces just in the morning. After about 5 months, I started to drop a few pumps each month. I didn’t really have a rhyme or reason when I started to drop. I mainly just dropped the ones that annoyed me the most and were the most inconvenient. Around 9 months I was at just 2-3 pumps a day. My period returned and my supply dwindled. I had a lot of upcoming events, 5+ months of milk left in the freezer, and decided to throw in the towel. Sometimes I get annoyed that I didn’t continue because I know fresh milk has SO MANY benefits, but for my sanity I couldn’t keep missing out on the fun to be hiding in our bedroom pumping.

-Supply wise – drinking LOTS of water is was helped me the most. I drank well over 100 ounces of water a day! I also snacked very often throughout the day. I did not diet or try to watch calories. Pumping (and breastfeeding) burns so many calories that it is actually recommended to eat over the daily recommended calorie count! I have heard great things about oatmeal. I LOVE Ben & Jerry’s oatmeal cookie ice cream. I didn’t do enough research into whether it actually helped my supply, but it did seem to at least! Whenever my friends ask about any supplements (fenugreek or special teas), I tend to suggest they leave those to a last resort. A lot of my research into those products show that they have varying effects for everyone. I know lots of people whose supplies dropped because of those products. Power pumping is huge for triggering your body to make more milk. I would avoid doing it TOO often though because it can damage your nipples.

-Items that made my life easier –

#1 – A partner who would wash pump parts and bottles! This was such a big relief, since I spent so much of my day pumping as it was. I had no desire to then have to wash said items.

#2 – Freemies. These things are LIFE. I was able to use these are work to pump and respond to emails, grade tests, and type up assignments. They are cups that hold 8 ounce each, connect to your pump, and slip right into your bra. There is a learning curve, so practice with some water in them first, but they are SAVIORS!

#3 – Lanolin/Bamboobies Organic Nipple Cream – Pumping can be just as painful and damaging to your nipples. You need something to keep them from chafing and rubbing on the pump. It definitely helped calm my pain!

#4 – Wet bags – I would put my pump parts in the fridge between uses. This is NOT recommended by medical professions. Definitely don’t do it with any immune-compromised babies. For my overall healthy kiddo, this was an easy way to lessen the load.

#5 – Dr. Brown’s Bottles connect to Medela parts. Pumping right into the bottle you will feed from saves extra dishes to wash!

Happy Pumping! ❤

 

Disclaimer: THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE! This is one person’s PERSONAL experience with exclusively pumping. I do NOT have any type of medical degrees or certifications! ALWAYS consult a lactation consultant or doctor for assistance with providing breast milk for your child. 

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