Pump Princess Diaries: 5 Reasons Why I Decided to Exclusively Pump

We often hear that breast is best, but about when it’s served in a bottle? It’s a pretty good option too for feeding your baby! The process of expressing breastmilk and feeding it to your baby through a bottle is called Exclusive Pumping. It typically involves an electric breast pump, a pumping schedule, and a whole lot of washing pump parts and accessories. So why do it? Keep reading to find out the five main reasons why I decided to exclusively pump milk to feed my daughter.

Pump Princess Diaries: 5 Reasons Why I Decided to Exclusively Pump

I wanted to share the feeding experience with my husband. Breastfeeding is such a unique bonding experience, so my husband and I wanted to share it as much as possible. We agreed from the start that our baby would be both breastfed and bottle-fed. This was partly so we could split the tasks as much as possible (while letting the other rest) and partly so that I could have a social life eventually and leave her at home, confident that she would be fed.

Direct latching hurt. I still remember breastfeeding her through the pain, tears rolling down my cheeks, and my husband asking how he could help with such concern and helplessness in his eyes. I would just cry some more. I mean, really, what could he do? My arms would take turns dying of exhaustion during her longer feeds. My nipples hurt when she was latching and it hurt even when she wasn’t. My wrist ended up in a brace from poor hand positions while cradling her during feeding. It was not a pretty experience for me.

Hands-free pumping is a GIFT. I absolutely love the freedom I have to online shop (for my baby) and sing, talk, and play (with my baby) while I’m pumping. I could be productive, if I wanted to, or even rest a bit and let the pump do all the work. I’ve been told that once you’ve mastered direct latching, you can do it with no hands too, but I just couldn’t see that day coming anytime soon.

I like to measure how much milk I’m feeding. During our hospital stay after my baby’s birth, the nurses were meticulous with how often she’s been eating, how much she weighed, and how many dirty diapers she’s had. Any time the answer wasn’t quite what they wanted to hear, they would tell me to try and feed her more. The message was clear: breastmilk is GOLD. So as an admittedly Type A kind of mom, you bet I wanted to know exactly how much gold she was getting.

It’s what worked best, for us. The first four reasons focus on why pumping was beneficial for me, but what about for my baby? She may not be able to confirm or deny it, but I think it worked better for her too. She was crying less. She was eating more. She got her happy-tears-only momma back. It’s a lot of work balancing pumping and caring for her, but it’s less frustration and struggling, on both our parts.

Like most anything, there are pro’s and con’s to choosing to exclusively pump over direct latching. It’s different for every mother, so I would recommend doing the research and maybe trying it out for a period of time before committing to anything. When something works for you and your baby, you’ll know it. You’ll start to notice it’s getting a little easier and then suddenly, it’s become a part of your routine—one that doesn’t have to be like anyone else’s, one that you figure out together, one that is exclusively yours.

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