Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Exclusive Pumping

Not everyone has a 'journey' to exclusively pumping there can be more than one reason others may 'choose' to exclusively pump.  I think its important to note this because in the beginning I was completely naive to this concept. I just assumed ALL mothers wanted to either formula feed or breastfeed their babies. This is not the case.  There are also mothers out there who want to feed their babies breast milk without breastfeeding. 

My journey to EPing was not an easy one.  Lucia had issues latching. We worked with numerous lactation consultants. She did not have a lip or tongue tie.  She had a small mouth, was very eager to eat and lacked some coordination to do so.  The thing is breastfeeding isn't as natural of a process for some as society may lead us to believe.  

I began hand expressing colostrum and spoon feeding her and she would have an occasional latch for a very short period of time. On the second day I began pumping. I continued attempting to feed her from my breast. I was constantly ringing the LC's for assistance.  

We left the hospital two days after Lucia's birth. The pediatrician was a little reluctant to release us as she lost a little bit more than the acceptable 10% weight loss but agreed to do so after we agreed to a weigh-in two days later.  

My milk came in on the third day just as we had hoped. This was huge as I had a few risk factors in issues with delayed lactation including a long induction, cesarean section and large amount of blood loss after delivery.  It was at this point I came to grips with the fact that my heart was set on breastfeeding, but in the end my heart and mind were truly set on feeding Lucia my milk or breast milk (I would have considered donor milk) until she was one year old.

I continued to try and breastfeed Lucia for a couple of weeks after we were home, but also continued to pump every 2.5 hours to maintain and grow my supply. When I was not pumping I was practicing skin to skin and attempting to have Lucia latch. 

After many sleepless nights and numerous lactation consultant visits I decided to exclusively pump.  

Was I disappointed? I was and still am a bit sad, but I am also thrilled I have had enough milk to feed Lucia from day 1. 

I have been exclusively pumping for 6 months and 18 days and have been blessed to be able to feed Lucia solely my breast milk. It has not been easy, but it hasn't been extremely difficult neither. The pros outweigh the cons. When I see her thriving and enjoying mamas milk it makes me beam with happiness. 

Do you have any questions regarding exclusively pumping?   


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