A Look Back: My Boob Pumping Journey
Oh man. I just came across this spreadsheet back from when I was trying to figure out my boob feeding / pumping schedule. It was a stressful AF time because I only had a few more weeks left before I had to go back to work so I needed my boobs to get used to this new schedule.
Also, how was I going to pump at work? Where was the mother’s room? How would I carry the pump along with my lunch and everything else during my subway commute? What would happen if I couldn’t get back home in time to pump?
It wasn’t even about producing enough milk. If I didn’t pump, my boobs would get clogged and then my boobs would feel like they were on fire (which happened a LOT). And, if they stay clogged, then you need antibiotics cuz bad shit can happen.
Of course, things worked out in the end:
- I rented this breast pump from the hospital to keep at work, which I called Big Bertha. I used a freebie that was covered by insurance at home (which was my fave). And, when I was on the road, I used this one which my colleague handed down to me
- since my workplace only had one mother’s room, all the new moms created a text tree to let each other know if anyone needed more time or had to swap schedules
- Sunflower lecithin became my friend. Had no idea what it exactly did other than preventing my milk ducts from getting clogged
- invested in a freezer chest to store all the milk which has now come in handy during the pandemic cuz now I freeze all the meats and ice cream
Winding down the boob pumping / feeding adventure was a relief but it was also another beast I had to tackle. You can’t just stop cold turkey. I had to slowly and gradually wind it down – drop a session, let my body get used to it for a few days and then repeat until there were no more. After about a month, I was finally done and my boobs were, once again, useless and mine!
I made it to a year and that was all I could do cuz my sanity was at stake.
They don’t tell you how mentally exhausting it is to boob feed. You think it’s all sunshine and rainbows. No. It’s being chained to alarm notifications and an unrelenting schedule sprinkled with your boobs / nips getting all jacked up in addition to feeling like a social pariah. There were times when I’d have to disappear for 30-40 minutes while hanging out with friends & family, go to the car or find a room and pump.
I should’ve listened to my mom when she told me to just feed my kid formula. She came from that generation where formula was best – not what it is now with breast is best being shoved down everyone’s throats.
What’s best is for your kid to be fed one way or the other.