Still Pumping Away

by HEAB on March 9, 2011

I’m so glad you all enjoyed Goddess Leonie’s guest post on Baby Led Weaning. That approach to introducing solids to baby just makes so much sense to me, and again, it’s what we plan to do with Summer. I can’t wait, and thank goodness we have hardwood floors and 2 dogs as I hear both make clean-up much easier. 😉

Some of you have asked me if I’m still breastfeeding. Well, I’m not, but Summer is still getting breast milk. After trying to nurse for 4 months, I have stopped, but I’m still pumping. Nursing sessions were taking up to an hour. I used a Supplemental Nursing System for each feeding as well as a nipple shield, making nursing in public almost impossible. So, we had to always be at home for feedings. One reason I really wanted to nurse was for the whole bonding experience, and I feel like we had that for a few months. For that I will be forever grateful, but it was time for me to stop as it was just getting to be too much.

I am able to bottle feed Summer when we’re out and about, but I still need to be home at least every 3 hours to pump, or else my supply drops. She’s currently getting half breast milk and half formula. I am so grateful she is getting any breast milk at all, and so I’m doing my best to maintain my supply. For any new readers, please don’t email me with advice. Trust me, I’ve TRIED EVERYTHING to increase my supply. We’ve slept skin to skin. I drink a ton of water. I’ve taken/am taking all the herbs. I drink the tea. I eat all the galactagogue foods. I’ve taken domperidone. We have a lactation consultant on call that comes to the house. I’ve had my vitamin D, thyroid, and iron levels checked.  I use a hospital grade pump, and I’ve pumped pumped pumped until I developed blisters and still kept pumping. Turned out my pumping parts didn’t fit correctly, and now that we’ve corrected it, pumping is so much better. I do a pumping power hour every night – pump 10 minutes off an on for an hour to mimic a baby cluster feeding. Many of you wonder how I possibly have time to blog and email. I do it while I pump. I almost gave up this week, and then two things happened that motivated me to keep going.

First I received this package from a very kind soul in New Zealand…


Many thanks to Lorne and Minu, her precious little baby boy, for sending me some nursing tea and these sweet bibs for Summer. Honestly, I opened up the package and almost started crying. It was just the sign I needed to keep going. Lorne’s family was affected by the recent earthquake in New Zealand, and so please keep them in your prayers.

The 2nd thing that happened involves some upcoming travel plans. Chris and I are flying out to Arizona to stay with his parents for the week, and I was stressing over how I would pump during our travels. Once we get there, pumping won’t be a problem, but I was worried about skipping a pumping session while in flight. Again, if I skip a session, my milk supply immediately decreases. I almost used the trip as excuse to quit, but after receiving some very helpful advice and getting a battery operated pump to take with me for use on the plane, I know I can make this work.

If you were anything like me, you might think that breastfeeding comes naturally to women, and although a new mom might struggle with getting the baby to latch on at first or have to deal with sore cracked nipples, everything will soon fall into place. Well, that doesn’t always happen. I’ve read that only 1 to 2% of women can’t actually make enough milk to feed their babies. I thought for sure that I was not part of that small percentage and did everything I possibly could to prove it. However, I guess I am, but I know that even a little breast milk is better than none. Honestly, I would love to continue to pump for a year, but it’s so hard and tiring. So, the goal is 6 months, which is less than 8 weeks away. I can do this.

Thanks to everyone for your kindness and support over these past few months. I keep reminding myself that I have a happy healthy baby, and in the end, that’s what matters most…


I’ll leave you with my favorite meal as of late…


An oven baked sweet potato topped with canned wild salmon, a drizzle of tahini, and fresh ground pepper. Mmmm, so good!