Pumping the life out of you
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Ohhh the joys of motherhood!!! As if it wasn’t enough coming home with your adorable newborn, feeling like you have been ran over (multiple times) all gross and broken down there… With no clue how on earth to look after this tiny being…. You also need to figure out how to feed them.
And that is when for some of us, a whole new level of challenge gets added to the equation. WT****??? Isn’t this supposed to be perfectly natural and instinctive for both of us?? How come it doesn’t look like the beautiful pictures with the perfectly dressed new mom, feeding a peaceful sleepy baby while the afternoon sun sets in the background????
Mine looked more like a little rabid creature trying to scratch his way to my super sensitive boob and a terrified already in pain clueless, sleep deprived and foggy mama hoping it doesn’t take too long. I am not kidding, that is what I remember!
Since the family was at home, one of the grandmas will just hand him over to me once I was “in position”, and he would be crying opening a huge mouth that then will clasp wherever it could and suck with vacuum like power as I clenched my teeth and curled my toes while holding my tears….SOOOO PAINFUL!!!
So we were up for a rough start, I kept trying since my idea always was to breastfeed, not being able to do it because of the pain seemed like a huge failure to me. How was it possible that THE ONLY thing that ONLY I could provide him with had me wishing I had never done this!!!
I was too proud to give him formula, how could I not do this? Every 2 hours I faced this tortuose ritual where I would try, and cry, and give up… all kinds of battle wounds, plugged ducts, mastitis, and multiple lactation consultants after, That is where my pumping story began.
Pump and pump around the clock to feed my liquid gold to this starved soul. FOR MONTHS!!! And you just start getting better at it… So much I pumped as I walked through the Vatican on our trip to Italy!! I became a pro at pumping in the most ridiculous situations.
If this is your situation or if for any reason you need to pump, either you are going to work or whatever it is, I can’t stress enough the importance of the right pump.
There are a ton of options on the Market all similar apparently but very different once you are pumping around the clock.
What you need to consider when purchasing a pump is:
- How much are you going to be using it?
- Are you only pumping at home? And will barely move around?
- Are you pumping on the go?
- Do you have a pumping bra?
- How easy is it to get replacements for your pump parts?
- Budget , electric pumps are expensive… But so is formula. In my case I did the math and the investment for my pump (Medela freestyle) will cover 3-4 months of formula… In my opinion I was better off giving him breastmilk no matter what, so it was totally worth it.
I kept trying, and we started progressing slowly.. I breastfed when he was sleepy and relaxed mostly at night or early morning, once he was awake he would try to rip my boob off!!! We managed… Until eventually one day when he was 6 months old… We made it through an entire day of boob!! And then the next day and the next day and we never went back! We finally learned!
My feelings about breastfeeding are still really mixed, I used to hate it, it was pure suffering to both of us, but once I felt like I could pump and feed him, pressure eased a bit and I was able to learn at my own pace.
Now I still don’t fully love it but I have that connection, that peace when he drinks from me, that picture perfect scene… And I feel very proud and fortunate of being able to provide what I consider to be the best for my son.
How about you?
Are you a pumping mama? Tell us about it!
Illustration by: Alessandro Piedimonte apiedimonte.blogspot.com
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