Hello everyone and welcome to my little blog!
Today I am going to share with you all what has helped make exclusive pumping a positive experience for me.
But before we get started I am so excited to share that this post has an affiliate link! If you use my link to purchase your hands free pumping bra today, I will receive a small commission.
I also want to add a TMI warning ⚠️. I’m going to be talking about some sensitive topics so if you have young eyes or of you just don’t want to know about breasts, breastfeeding, or pumping then I suggest you skip this post.
Ok! Lets get started!
I had a preemie in February and even though I had planned on exclusively breastfeeding I was unable to.
Related Post: My Scary Birth Story
When our little girl was born she was too small to latch and would just look confused when I offered her my breast.
We also spent some time in the NICU where I had to mix 3 oz of breasfmilk with 1 oz of formula, so I have been exclusively pumping since day one.
I will say that I tried to breast feed in the hospital, when we came home, when she was 6 weeks old and when she was 2 months old but each time I tried it did not go well for either of us and I am a firm believer that if something isn’t working for you, then stop doing it.
So here are my tips for keeping your pumping experience as positive as possible:
Allow Space For Grace
I cannot say this enough! As moms it is so important to allow yourself not to be perfect all the time. Adopting this mindset has helped me so much. I was really down on myself for a while for not being able to breastfeed. This just discouraged me and made me feel like a bad mom. Once I accepted that everything happens for a reason and we are all on our own parenting journeys everything including pumping went so much more smoothly.
Become BFFs With Lanolin
Please don’t ever pump without first applying lanolin. In the begining I was only using lanolin after I pumped, but my lactation consultant suggested I apply it to the shields before pumping and reaply after pumping to prevent and repair any chapping.
Adjust Your Pump Settings
I made the mistake of thinking that if my pump settings were higher, it would be more efficient at extracting milk which would make me start producing more. I ended up with some painful bruises. The truth is, pumping should never be painful. If it is you need to lower the suction on your pump. Besides a baby, a hospital grade pump is the the most efficient way to extract breast milk no matter the speed or intensity of the suction.
Take a Warm Shower or Bath
Sometimes pumping regularly just isn’t enough, especially after your milk comes in and you’re dealing with engorgment. If you are engorged or you feel like you might have a clogged duct, have a warm shower or bath. The heat will open your ducts and pumping right after will help release the engorgement or clog.
Formula Isn’t the Enemy of Breastmilk
Unfortunately I had a lot of trouble with my supply. When Holly was just eating 7 mL per feeding I was producing enough to feed her and start a freezer stash. But my supply peaked at around 10 oz, so when she started eating more I simply wasn’t able to keep up.
In order to not starve my daughter I had to start suppimenting with formula and I was really hard on myself. I just felt so defeated. But I am here to tell you that allowing space for grace came in handy once again. I realized that regardless of how she ate, the only thing that truely mattered was if my baby was well fed and gaining weight.
Go Hands Free
I can’t tell you how difficult it is to hold two bottles to your breast, try to sooth a crying baby, record pumping stats and make a bottle at the same time. Let me tell you, pumping bras will save your life.
I have tried a number of hands free bras and I finally found an affordable and reliable one on Amazon. You can pick one up for yourself here and it will literally be a game changer.
If you have any pumping tips or you think I missed anything, feel free to leave a comment down below.
Thanks for joining me today!
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