Saturday, June 9, 2012

Using a breastpump is not the end of the world....

Elaina has been nursing OK but no matter how hard I try to encourage a good latch I am still sore. My milk has come in really well too. So as a result I decided to pump some. I have a manual pump that was given to me at the hospital. I am hoping to receive a better one from the health department in a month. I was able to pump a little over 3 ounces from both sides. The little bit in the second bottle is what leaked out on the opposite side while I pumped. For a little inspiration I took this picture with some of my Mother figures in the background.

I have been thinking about how promoting pumping can be detrimental to the breastfeeding relationship especially with a newborn. A lot of lactation professionals really discourage pumping so early. (Elaina is only 3 days old.) They believe it just sets up a mom to end the nursing relationship. It can interfere with milk supply and set up a mom to supplement with formula. I do think that does happen with a lot of mothers but I know my body and what I need to succeed at breastfeeding. I am a member of a group on Facebook that consists of moms who pump a lot for their child or are even exclusive pumpers (those who provide all of their child's milk by way of pumping). I joined the group when I was exclusively pumping for Ben for 3 months. The women in this group are awesome. They are very supportive and without them I would have felt so alone. Now I enjoy supporting other moms in the group who are going through what I did. I thought of them as I pumped for the first time for Elaina. Instead of feeling like my body has failed me by having sore nipples I felt empowered. I am not afraid Elaina will forget how to nurse if I offered a bottle. I celebrated the fact that Elaina enjoyed my milk in a bottle and I was able to heal a little. I pumped enough to save a few ounces for a back-up feeding just in case. I like to think of myself as an attached parent but I am not set in stone by black and white AP principles. I use modern gadgets to read books, wash laundry, and yes to help support my breast feeding relationship....


  1. beautiful post susan! i love that group too, they have helped me through all of my hardships with EPing and relactating. unfortunately, my pumping journey has ended. my supply went back down, but i will keep trying to nurse him. i wish you success in your breastfeeding journey! I'm sure you and Elaina will be great =)

  2. I nursed Grayson until he was 3 months old (when his tongue got clipped he refused to nurse consistently for me again) and then I exclusively pumped for him for the next 8 months until I dried up. His tummy couldn't even handle formula until he was almost a year. He finished out his first year with frozen breastmilk and some formula. It can be hard but it is totally worth it. She is beautiful. Congrats!!

  3. Thanks Beth!! Since i am only working part time now I hope Elaina doesn't have Ben's latch issues...