Breastfeeding Through the Eyes of an Exclusive Pumper

Disclosure :: This post was sponsored by Woman’s Hospital and published in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week. 

Breastfeeding Through the Eyes of an Exclusive Pumper

I didn’t go in to motherhood with the, “I have to breastfeed” mentality.

Honestly, I was pretty open to whatever worked best for baby and I. As a pediatric nurse, I had seen many mothers enter the hospital doors, crying from frustration due to lack of milk supply. The thought gave me anxiety as a mother to be. I did not want to be that upset if it didn’t work out for me.

With my first son, I was especially eager to attempt breastfeeding. I had read every book and did my research on the matter. After his unexpected passing at 35 weeks gestation, the let down of milk was a dreaded event. I remember sitting in the bathtub watching the milk drip right alongside every tear that fell. It devastated me to know my body was ready to feed him, but he wasn’t there.

For a while, the thought of breastfeeding only posed as a sad reminder of what could have been. But sure enough, after the birth of my second son, I found myself wishing again. I remember the instant hope after delivery that he would latch. The staff at Woman’s was so patient and kind. I was reminded, sometimes these things take time. I was so proud of myself after manually expressing a cup of colostrum. One of the nurses exclaimed, “Did you see how much colostrum we collected? Thats amazing!” I still smile at the sweet picture of my big boy sipping his colostrum through a medicine cup. Not even hours old and already a hefty appetite.

Breastfeeding success

I will admit, I was privileged after discharge. A close friend of mine is a lactation nurse and came to my house with supplies, ready to help tackle our latch issue. She too, was reassuring and patient. I had tried so hard feed after feed, it was upsetting. I was exhausted with cracked and bleeding breasts, while my baby was frustrated too. I quickly came around to the idea of exclusively pumping. As a mom who would soon be returning to long shifts at the hospital, I knew solely feeding from the breast wouldn’t work for us anyway. I hated feeling not good enough to master feeding from the breast. My friends assured me it could still happen, it would just take time and patience. With my maternity leave dwindling down more quickly than I would have liked, the idea of providing my baby those vital nutrients through pumping seemed like a perfect fit.

To my surprise, turns out I was what many call an, “over supplier” also known in less endearing terminology as, a cow. I was able to pump and stockpile enough breast milk in our deep freezer to last my little man 9 months past my return date to work. Though this may not be so impressive to some, let me just say, this was a huge accomplishment for me. Pumping, sterilizing, storing, it’s no joke. Hard work and dedication comes with every ounce and I truly admire those women who devote the effort for much longer periods of time than I did.

Surviving and thriving as an exclusively pumping mom.

Though my breastfeeding story may not be a traditional one, I was proud of supplying little man with my own milk for the time that I did. My advice to new mothers, especially those who plan to exclusively pump would be, HAVE A SUPPORT SISTER! If you don’t have friends who are currently pumping, our community has amazing support groups- reach out! The friends who gave me encouragement, the friends who laughed with me while pumping in the back room of a party, yup- the same friends who traded “oddest places ever pumped” stories, those friends helped me survive my breastfeeding journey. And with support like that, you will too!

Breastfeeding stories and success



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