Lots of people have different views on exclusively pumping. Some women feel like it’s a failure to breastfeed while others embrace it and feel empowered because they could give their baby breast milk.
No matter where you fall on the spectrum one thing is certain. Exclusively pumping is not for everyone.
It wasn’t for me and I did it for 6 months straight 24/7. I had a pretty good milk supply and pumping was a great go-to because my son never latched on properly.
But during that time I figured out how to utilize my time pumping and create a great milk stash. I want to share those very tips with you to keep you pumping even if you feel like you are ready to throw in the breast-milk-stained towel.
The Benefits of Exclusively Pumping
Your child gets breast milk which means you are probably making good health choices with your meals to keep that milk flowing.
Your skin will be amazing. If you are drinking lots of water (because breastfeeding/pumping is exhausting) your skin is going to show for it.
You save money by not buying formula. Which can add pretty quickly especially when you have a growing infant.
You are burning 300-500 calories by having your uterus contraction while you pump. YAY!
You get a feeling of self-worth knowing you are sustenance and a life force for your little one.
How to keep exclusively pumping when you want to quit
First, you need to decide why it is you want to quit. Is it because you want more free time? Do you keep getting engorged and it hurts? Do you just want your body back? No reason is a bad reason. Just understand why you want to stop.
I stopped because I felt depressed every time I pumped, I felt like I missed the whole bonding experience with my son because I wasn’t breastfeeding. But I had felt that at month three and kept going until the sixth month.
What keeps you going?
The main source that is constant is the mothers I talked to who were ready to call it quits but kept with it. “Knowing their baby was getting nutrients from breastmilk”
How awesome is that mothers are willing to put their own happiness, bodies, and time in order to give their child something that will help them grow and thrive.
Another thing that will keep you exclusively pumping is getting a manual breast pump. Yes, your electric breast pump is your BFF (or worst enemy if you are ready to call it quits) but the manual breast pump will let you do a few things the electric breast pump won’t.
It will let you go out and pump in places where no plugs are available. Like if you enjoy hiking, or if you go out to dinner with the girls.
Just remember if you are exclusively Pumping you are doing this for baby, you’re putting in more effort to give your baby breastmilk, and that makes you a pretty awesome mom!
Try staying healthy and keep drinking water
Play some relaxing music while you pump
If you pumping at work or away from your usual spot – have a video of a baby crying
The video will help your body get into the mindset that the baby is around and is hungry
Try these exclusively pumping essentials to have an easier time pumping.
When you want to give up, remember all the money you saving while you pump! Cha-Ching momma!
When you want to go out but you stuck to a pump all day – hello nipple pads, manual pumps, and creating a freezer stash!
When you feel like the world only supports breastfeeding mothers not pumping mothers remember this – YOU ARE BREASTFEEDING.
If you feel Pumping is your saving grace PUMP AWAY!
Don’t let society determine the kind of mother you are or want to be! Be you and own it!
It all depends on you and how you feel, don’t let others intimidate you into breastfeeding or pumping if you don’t feel happy doing it.
I remember I was ready to throw in the breast milk-stained towel after getting mastitis.
What Is Mastitis And How Does It Affect Exclusively Pumping Moms
Mastitis is when your breast is infected and inflamed. It is very painful and causes your milk ducts to become plugged.
Signs and First Symptoms of Mastitis:
Pain while breastfeeding / or pumping
The best remedy for mastitis is to nurse. Your baby can empty your breast easier and faster than a pump ever will and this will help relieve some of the symptoms of mastitis. So this imposes a problem for moms who are exclusively pumping because they can’t breastfeed, most rely on that breast pump to do the work that baby normally would.
A pump cannot empty the breast as easily as a baby.
Here are a few tips to get the most milk when you are pumping
Tips to empty your breast while exclusively pumping
- Before pumping apply a warm wash cloth to your breast – this will loosen up your milk ducts
- When you finish pumping, let your breast stay in the nipple shields to collect all the let down and extra milk
- Massage your breast in a circular motion while you are pumping
- Drink water BEFORE & AFTER your pumping session
- When you see no more milk coming out, apply a warm wash cloth again and wait a few minutes to make sure all your milk is out