What Working + Breastfeeding Has Been Like

Today is my little milk monster butterball's half birthday!! (Side note: the concept of time is one I do not understand)

Breastfeeding is challenging. Nursing is challenging. For me, pumping has not only been challenging, it has been difficult, especially when working. So I am ecstatic that we have reached the six month milestone for exclusively breast feeding!



While on maternity leave, I shared tips from a fellow working mom for breastfeeding moms returning to work. The tips have all proven helpful. In this post, I’m going to explain what my typical day (regarding breastfeeding) has been like since returning to work— and why I don’t really use my Willow Pump:


HOW MUCH + HOW OFTEN

To feel confident about the amount of milk I leave for R, I pump between 20-25 ounces in a 24 hour span. It’s no easy feat. Most days I scramble to pump just enough (~18 ounces) to hopefully get by without having to leave work early or arrive later.

Everyday, I wake up in the morning and pump before work—sometimes twice. My supply is best in the morning so if I was unable to pump enough the night before, I pump twice in the morning. I also try to nurse R before work so we have that connection and because it helps him go to sleep for his morning nap.

As soon as I get to work 1.5 hours later, I pump again. In total (on an ideal day), I pump three times at work (10AM, 12:30/1 PM, 3:30/ 4PM). Various factors affect this, such as meetings, events and trainings.

If when I get home from work my milk stash is not where it needs to be for the next day, I pump when I get home and/or before bed. If you’ve been keeping count, that means I pump anywhere between four-seven times a day while also nursing R before/after work and overnight.

HOW I FEEL

It. Is. Hard.

There are days I’ve been so stressed out thinking I’d have to give him formula (which I know is 100% okay since I’ve been a formula-feeding mom before).

That stress is why I don’t use my Willow Pump. I had several issues with it my very first day back at work that I still have whenever I use it: bags would fill with air so I’d be told they were full—only not with milk; the app froze so I didn’t know how much I was pumping; and milk spilled when I unlatched.

All in all, those factors caused me too much stress and I’ve since decided to lug my bigger, traditional pump to and from work daily. It just hasn't been a good fit for me. If you can get it to work for you, good! The technology is amazing and it really does allow you to multi-task while pumping.

Needless to say, the lost sleep and stress is worth it all. The fact that my body is feeding and nourishing my baby has been a mom dream come true! I am grateful to my body, proud of my baby and proud of our milestone!



1 comment

  1. Wow, this is so insightful. I remember watching a coworker struggle with this. This blog would have been so helpful!

    ReplyDelete