Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What I Love About Pumping

So I've been chewing on a post for far too long (and yes, it is far too long - not as long as the birth story, but long...) about what I hate about pumping. And then it occurred to me that I don't want to come across as complaining about pumping or breastfeeding, because I'm delighted I can do it and that we overcame our hurdles to breastfeed. So, first, what I love about pumping.
  1. First and most importantly to me, I'm able to give the Baby Piranha the best food for her, even when I can't be with her, or when she's strapped into a car seat and I can't easily get nipple to mouth. This is such a great privilege of having the money and time and privacy to pump so that I didn't have to wean her from breastmilk when I went back to work after my paid leave from work ended.
  2. Because I've been pumping for awhile, a common side effect is that I have a bit of an oversupply. With that oversupply, I'm going to be donating some of my frozen milk to a friend who is trying to keep their multiple set of babies around the same age in milk. That is awesome.
  3. I love my cute PumpEase pumping support! I won mine in a contest on The Feminist Breeder's blog when I was pregnant. I had no idea at the time I'd need to be pumping as early as I was (four days post partum!), so had planned to buy mine after the baby was born. I'm so glad I got it early as it's critical to be hands free while pumping, as far as I'm concerned, to make it a little bit less tedious and more productive. *
Some folks I follow on Twitter say things about pumping being hard work, and I'm lucky in that it hasn't been hard for me. My MER just goes hey, pump, baby, whatever, here's some milk. It's not something enjoyable or particularly fun, but I believe it's important for the baby's health, and I'm mostly glad to do it.

What do you love or hate about pumping? Any surprises?

Come back next time when I talk about why I hate pumping!

Oh, and let's not count how many times I used the word awesome in this post. I know, too many. I will find a thesaurus, promise.

* Right so I got the PumpEase pumping supports for free in a contest. There were no strings attached to my winning the contest, I'm just saying they're awesome all on my own. Oh and they're made in Canada which makes them extra awesome as far as I'm concerned.


Judy - MommyNewsBlog.com said...

I pumped and worked for 15 months after my son - I think I pretty much hated every moment of pumping - but am so glad that I did it and am so thankful that my son was able to have my milk even when I couldn't be with him. I quit my job when he was 15 months old and hung up my horns on the same day - it was liberating!!

CaroLyn said...

@Judy - good one! Don't tell my supervisor, who is very awesome and has supported me through pumping at work, but I totally fantasize about doing the same.

Another thing I thought of after hitting publish on this post that I love about pumping is that my DH loved being able to feed the baby directly. I didn't actually love him feeding her, as I felt at the time that he had to because I was failing at my job, but I love that it made him happy.

TheFeministBreeder said...

I am so very, very happy that the PumpEase came in so handy for you. It's great that it went to someone who really needed it.

Godallmighty, I HATED pumping... and I had to do it sooooooo much. There were times when I wouldn't see my son for 2-3 days at a time between work/school, so naturally I had to pump every feeding for that entire 48-72 hour period. And the worst part for me was dealing with the washing of the parts, remembering to bring the parts every day, and then remembering to take my milk home every night. And the day that I accidentally left my milk out overnight and ruined it -- well, that just about put me in the mental institution. I quit pumping the first minute I could (at 1 year) and I really began to enjoy breastfeeding then. However, I'd pump around the clock all over again if that's what I had to do. It's THAT important to me.

Kristin said...

You kn ow I don't mind pumping but if I don't have to I won't. Like I go to school twice a week, while on campus I go and pump at the women's center.. I feel very comforatble with all the "stitching and bitching" going on. so I get enough for the next day and do that, although I've just always had a hard time timing the pumping. It seems like if I'm home and I pump then she wants to eat.

del likes it because for two days during the week he gets to do bottles. It's their thing.

anyways I'm glad pumping is easy for you.

CaroLyn said...

@TFB - thanks for stopping by! Don't get me wrong, I hate pumping too... I'm trying to start positive with what works for me before unleashing the What I Hate About Pumping! And I agree that it's definitely worth it.

@Kristin - thanks for stopping by! You've partly hit my nail on the head: pumping alone isn't much fun. If I could be around others while pumping, and if that could not feel weird, I think I'd hate pumping a lot less.

Melodie said...

I love that you wrote a positive piece about pumping. I never pumped except once, just to see what it was all about, and then I never did it again. But anyway, it's nice to see such a positive piece. (Hm I think I just said that...)

CaroLyn said...

@Melodie - thanks for stopping by! That's just what I was thinking, those of us who have to pump go on about how much of a drag it is, but I'm actually really glad I can do it - otherwise it'd be formula!

Wendy said...

Thanks for the shout out CaroLyn!

Wendy Armbruster Bell