Friday, October 4, 2013

whats harder than breast feeding?



i dont know how many times i have heard "breast feeding is the hardest thing you'll ever do" or something along those lines. and i could have agreed with those ladies. until i found something that might be harder. {this is NOT me saying that breastfeeding isnt hard. because it definitely is. and sure was/is for me}


PUMPING.


not once did anyone tell me anything else other than what it is to breastfeed. (ps. you ladies who say it is so easy and natural, it is not that way for all ladies. consider yourselves lucky!) there are SO many other "behind the scenes" type of stuff when it comes to breast feeding that you need to pay attention to and/or worry about! HOLY COW.
i have a dream babe that sleeps 6-7-8 hour stretches. a babe who sleeps from 11pm to 11am or longer with one hour wake up somewhere in between there. i know what youre thinkin... "thats awesome! you must feel so rested!" well yes. it isss awesome. but guess what? mama still wakes up every 3 hours. TO PUMP. so while my husband, baby and dogs are soundly asleep - i am hanging over the end of our bed twiddling on my phone as i pump. pumping is no quick task. its no fun task. at least when you are nursing your little one, you have something to look at and interact with. something to make your hormones all squishy! pumping in the middle of the night, i sometimes need to pump for 10 minutes regardless of how full my boobs are - just to get my letdown started. and i can spend up to 45 minutes or even an HOUR pumping to empty my boobs. because if you dont pump long enough and if you dont empty you get mastitis. 


MASTITIS.


apparently mastitis is what happens if you nurse too much, dont nurse enough, forget a side, your baby isnt hungry anymore and you didnt empty your boobs, you slept on your tummy and got clogged ducts, you were out too long and forgot to bring your manual... it seems like almost anyyyything can bring on this horrible thing. and ill be DAMNED if i let myself get mastitis. i have heard bad bad bad things about that. i have even heard it can be more painful than the recovery of a c-section. PASS.



TIME CONSUMING


"boil your parts for 20 minutes" "wash after each use"
essentially you spend all day nursing+pumping+cleaning. and if you have a babe that doesnt nap well during the day? it gets rough. it gets long. who wants to put their baby down and let them cry so you can boil parts or attach a serious suction to your nipples? no thanks. i rather skip a pump and just play with my baby. {but then you go back to wondering about the dreaded M word mentioned above}
nurse+pump+clean nurse+pump+clean nurse+pump+clean - 
and repeat.
yes, you can get extra parts for your pump. i do. i have 2-3 sets. (2 in some because the 3rd wasnt working and i sent them in for a replacement). still. thats not enough. i need like 8 extra sets.
and 8 arms.


CONFUSING


nursing happens every 3 hours or so - then i try to get at least 20 minutes of pumping somewhere in there afterwards. however, if i just nursed? it takes longer for another letdown. sometimes 20 minutes wont even give me an ounce total. which makes me SO angry. my boobs can be hard like watermelons sometimes, and i wont even get out 2oz total. other times? i can get 6oz total. it is (for me) SO SO inconsistent. isaiah has always given crue a bottle in the mornings, and sometimes crue will take 4-5oz. WHAT! theres no way my boobs give him 4-5oz?!?! i have spent lots of time worrying about what i was producing, if my supply was enough, if crue was getting enough. its a whirlwind. i know i know, the baby is much more efficient than the pump. still. i will never understand it. but do not stress mama's - that only hurts your supply. if you are worried, check with a lactation consultant!


anyways. my point is that pumping sucks. and no one ever told me how big your boobs get, how they become 10lbs heavier and feel like a legit rock patch. no one bothered to tell me that you need 100000 pairs of nursing pads and leak all day long. no ever told me much time goes into pumping. i give you working mamas some big bonuses. and extra hugs... but not when your boobs are rock patches. ouch.


as i write this, its 11:10am. my husband is at the gym. my baby is still sleeping. and me?
yep.
you guessed it.
PUMPING.

17 comments:

  1. Ugh. Pumping is the WORST. Hence, why I had to supplement from the moment I went back to work...you're doing great though Mama! And if you eventually have to supplement, don't beat yourself up about it - you can only do so much! His weight gain getting better?

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  2. Hi there...just a reader here that never comments...wanted to give you a tip I learned while pumping. After you pump if you put your parts in a ziplock bag and put them in the refrigerator...you can pump one more time beefier washing and sterilizing

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  3. Sarah - Have you read my pumping posts? You should! I definitely agree with having like 8 sets of parts! Everything seemed to get easier around 12 weeks and you might be able to drop a session around then which be amazing. Let me know if you need any advice! I made it EP'ing 11 months.

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  4. Pumping does suck. I wish I were as religious about it as you though. I am terrible -_-

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  5. It's funny...everyone complains about pumping, but I found it soooooo much easier/less stressful than nursing. Of course I wished with every fiber of my being that nursing would have worked out, but once I switched the pumping (which basically was to supplement the formula we also switched too, so she would still get my antibodies). For me, pumping was predictable, didn't hurt, always got the same results (which wasn't a ton, but better than nothing), etc. That said, I didn't nurse AND pump, so maybe that makes things harder than just pumping. Who knows! Either way, you are doing a great job!

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  6. Pumping was the worst for me! I feel like so much more came out when I actually got to feed Clay but I had to go back to work at 6 weeks so I pumped a lot. Then my milk dried up at 9 months. I'm still convinced it was because I was pumping the majority of the time!

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  7. Like Melissa, I liked pumping much better than nursing. I was able to control (or at least know) how much Holt ate. You are a CHAMPION ROCKSTAR for sticking with it and not giving up when it gets hard/frustrating/infuriating/god awful. Way to go momma!

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  8. I HAD to pump the first three months because Marcus wasn't interested in the actual boob. He just wanted the goods without doing any work. Kid refused to work with mommy on this. So, I was a slave to that damn pump.
    And, even though I pumped ever 2 hours, religiously, I got mastitis. IT SUCKED! It was beyond painful and I had a fever that was insane.
    Due to the antibiotics I had to take, for TEN DAYS I had to pump and dump. Take about the biggest Debbie Downer of.all.time. This is also one of the reasons I stopped pumping after three months. *sigh*
    Keep up the good work momma, you're doing an awesome job.

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  9. I have hardly any luck getting a let-down from just pumping so what I started doing is nursing on one side while pumping on the other. It's a little hard to juggle baby and pump the first couple times, but it's well worth it in terms of how much milk I get and the time saved. This way also lets baby nurse on just one side getting to the good hind milk instead of getting foremilk from both breasts if you have to switch in the middle of a nursing session.
    I envy your dedication to pump in the night, I can't convince myself to do it.

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  10. Oh my gosh, yikes!! Pumping wasn't ever hard for me (but nursing? Kill me!) and I'm so sorry for you! Can I tell you what my routine was?
    I was SUPER terrified of getting mastitis, or any infection for that matter. But I only pumped TWICE in 24 hours when Mia was this age. I would pump right before going to bed (or I would set an alarm and wake up around 11) because that was Mia's longest stretch of sleep. She'd usually make it until 4am. And then I'd pump after her late morning feeding... anywhere from 10-11. And I timed my pumps. At night I'd pump for 10 minutes to clean myself out (and my body adjusted to that. I didn't need to pump longer than 10 minutes) and after the mid morning feeding I'd only pump 5 minutes at the most. I didn't want to start making more milk, I just wanted to clean myself out. When Mia was 3-4 months old I started skipping the mid morning pump. It sucked and I was engorged for a couple of days but after that I had no problems! Then I stopped the night pumpings when she was 5ish months. I just didn't want to be making all that extra milk and be a slave to pumping.
    If I were you I would stop pumping after every feeding. Go down to pumping only 2-3 times a day unless you always want to have extra milk and be engorged. It's probably inconsistent because it totally depends on how much your babe is eating. You may not have any milk left after he's done and that's why you're only getting an ounce. And it may take forever to have the let down because there really isn't much to let down, you know? But seriously... at one point I was pumping 11 ounces at the night time pump and it was great to stock pile, but kind of horrible at the same time. And that was only pumping twice a day.
    Obviously you need to do what is best for you and your body! But I don't think you need to pump that often to avoid mastitis. Your body needs to learn to adjust anyway. Annnnnnd it's totally okay if you don't boil after every use. Soapy hot water works good, too :) Maybe you could just boil every other day if you're worried about it?

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  11. Oh friend - I hated pumping when I tried it but I am contemplating adding it in to breastfeeding. I have no "spare" milk so if I am not available Rilynn can't eat....so I can only imagine how much it sucks to pump so much....

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  12. Hey girl, pumping does suck. I went back to work on Thursday so now i have to pump. Before i went back to work, i would usually try to pump once at night because Ronan sleeps up to ten hours without a nursing. 2 weeks ago i did skip pumping so it was 10 hours and i felt like i was getting mastitis. I did get mastitis when Ronan was 3 weeks old and it was horrible. But from that i learned the early signs and that i shouldn't ignore it. I've never woken up to pump, that would be so hard! I don't think there are many people with your level of dedication, you are An amazing mom! I will do just about anything to be able to breast feed for 12 months, but giving up sleep would be a huge challenge! Best of luck to you! Xoxo

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  13. Hey girl, pumping does suck. I went back to work on Thursday so now i have to pump. Before i went back to work, i would usually try to pump once at night because Ronan sleeps up to ten hours without a nursing. 2 weeks ago i did skip pumping so it was 10 hours and i felt like i was getting mastitis. I did get mastitis when Ronan was 3 weeks old and it was horrible. But from that i learned the early signs and that i shouldn't ignore it. I've never woken up to pump, that would be so hard! I don't think there are many people with your level of dedication, you are An amazing mom! I will do just about anything to be able to breast feed for 12 months, but giving up sleep would be a huge challenge! Best of luck to you! Xoxo

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  14. I can definitely identify with everything you said here. I hated, hated, HATED pumping. Especially the time-consuming aspect of it. Have you tried those microwave bags for the pump parts? I never did but I heard they work great. Good luck with all of this, especially the night-time pumping. My heart really goes out to you.

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  15. i just started pumping on one side because one of my nipples is CRACKED. I could have died it hurt so much. As soon as I started it got better but I'm not looking forward to the extra work pumping will bring. One of the 9 million reasons I'm dreading going back to work is having to pump while teaching. Ugh!!

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  16. I got mastitis and it was the end all to our breastfeeding adventure. I was so sick had a fever of 106....worst thing I've ever experienced...and most definitely worse than my c section recovery. I wouldn't wish that upon anyone!

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