and try, but seeing my pump sitting on the floor was such a guaranteed
“out” from her crying. I visited a lactation consultant about a week
after she was born, but nothing seemed to help.
much that I didn’t understand why more people didn’t do it. I’d never
heard of anybody exclusively pumping before, but once I started doing
research on it, I realized there was a whole community of people just
like me pumping for the same reasons I was.
- She was still getting breast milk.
- It was still free.
- I could feed her a lot faster (this was a huge plus in the middle of the night).
- Friends and family could help feed her (Jamie loved it).
- I could run errands and always have a bottle ready to go.
The only major drawback for me was that I was constantly worried that I
wasn’t creating that bond with Hadley that I’d always heard about. Truth
be told, I didn’t feel like I was missing out though. To make things
even more complicated, I felt guilty that I didn’t feel like I was
missing out. It was weird. A new mama’s rollercoaster of emotions is so
I continued my love affair with my pump until our cross-country move from
Tennessee to Arizona started staring us straight in the face. When she
was just about four months old, about a week before our road trip, I
decided that I was done. I was tired of the time it took to pump (in
hindsight it was only about an hour a day spread out over 24 hours), and
thinking about incorporating pumping/storing breast milk while driving
across the country added an element of stress to our move that was
really too much for me to handle mentally and physically.
I started researching formula and supplementing before I went cold
turkey. I’ll admit that the first time I gave Hadley formula, I cried.
That may sound very silly, but it was the first time she was being
nourished by something that my body hadn’t created for her. I got over
“that” quickly, and started falling in love with how simple formula
Fast forward 4.5 months to today, and we’re still going strong with
formula. At a cost of $4-5 a day, our bank account has really taken a
hit. I totally understand and accept that babies are expensive, but
swallowing the formula costs has been difficult for me because I know
that there was an alternative to formula that I decided to give up
sooner than I technically “had to”.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the last few weeks about what
I’ll do with my next baby (whenever that may be). In my opinion, there
are so many pros and cons to all three options: traditional
breastfeeding, exclusive pumping, and formula feeding. Right now I’m
leaning towards trying my hardest to breastfeed and not use that pump so
quickly as an “out”. If I do decide that exclusively pumping is my
thing again, we’ll definitely invest in a small deep freezer (we could
use one anyway) so that I can stockpile the heck out of breast milk the
first few months. I can’t see myself pumping for a whole year, so
realistically stock piling as much as I can in the beginning is very
appealing to me. At the end of the day, if formula will help my sanity
with baby #2, then formula we will do!
Many moms have some very strong opinions about this subject, and I have a very strong opinion too.
feedings go since I’ve done all three of the aforementioned options. My
advice in a nutshell would be to pick what you want to do that you think
will work the best with your desires and your lifestyle (are you a SAH
mom or working mom, etc.) and try your hardest to make it work. If the
route you’ve picked doesn’t work, try not to stress about having to do
things differently. Focusing on doing what’s best for you, your family,
and your baby (whatever that route may be) should be top priority.
My motivation for writing about something so personal is the idea that
my experience and my words may encourage a soon-to-be mom or new mom who
is deeply struggling with this topic as I know so many do. Please feel
free to share this post with anyone who you believe could use it.
Thanks for letting me share my heart on this one! I’m so far from a
perfect mom (I really don’t know what I’m doing 99% of the time), but I
do feel like this is one issue I’ve learned a lot about due to trial and
error. Feel free to contact me
if you want to discuss this topic further (especially those who are
considering exclusively pumping).
Preach! Girl, I'm with you on what is right for you might not be right for someone else. As momma's, we need to SUPPORT each other instead of fighting. I'm also with you on not knowing what I'm doing 99% of the time and I'd like support instead of criticism. I already judge the crap out of myself, I don't need other mom's doing it, too!
I breastfed Hadley's first year of life (still do when she wants it- usually nap/bedtime…somehow we regressed haha!) But had to pump at work, at home for back up milk, etc. and HATED it! I hated being attached, cleaning the parts, and Heaven help me when I spilled freshly pumped milk.
I have no idea how I'll breastfeed/pump next time around with a toddler running around keeping me busy. Who knows, maybe next time formula will be best for us then?! And hopefully I'll have some good support 🙂 Thanks for your post!
Rebekah @ Living && Learning says
I am still breast feeding my 13 month old daughter & am expecting my second child in the summer. I've always just assumed I'd breast feed again because I'm a SAHM now. I hated pumping when I was working so I was having to feed, pump, clean pump parts, clean bottles at just about every feeding. It was just too much for me. I think it gave me a bad taste for pumping. I don't know what clicked as I read this, but I think I will seriously consider pumping for baby #2. The "bond" is great, to a degree. My hubby really wishes he could be more help with our daughter but because of that breastfed bond, Daddy usually doesn't cut it. Thank you for sharing!
Gina Robinson says
I'm right there with you girl! You did great!!! With my 1st I pumped for 7.5 months and now with my 2nd I made it 1 week shy of 4 months. We moved (lived in a hotel for a month) and it was soooo stressful. My supply took a hit and moving with a 2 year old and 4mo was hard enough, not to mention trying to pump.