What is Exclusive Pumping? Exclusive pumping is when you feed your baby only pumped milk, as opposed to direct breastfeeding.
I decided early in my pregnancy that I didn’t want to directly breastfeed/nurse, it was simply a personal decision & honestly, I didn’t want the baby to solely depend on me for feedings. However, I did want my son to have the nutrients that breastfed babies receive… so I decided that pumping exclusively would be the best route for me.
I expressed to my doctor that pumping exclusively was something that I was leaning towards once the baby got here, and she told me that it would be hard work… but I had no idea what she really meant. I’ve been exclusively pumping for a month now & I thought this would be a great time to share my experience… the good things, the not so good things, the pumps that I use, and how I truly feel about being a mom that pumps exclusively.
First things first, pumping is a full time job! And I’m sure you’ve heard someone say that before, but honey listen… when I say full time, I literally mean FULL time. I start a pumping session (which for me lasts 25/30 minutes), once I’m finished, I try to wash & sterilize my pump parts as soon as I’m done pumping, then I’ll do something like fold laundry or eat & then BOOM 3 hours have flown by & it’s already time for me to pump again! Girl, this thing happens around the clock okay!
One of the things that I enjoy the most about pumping is the actual pump that I use which is an Elvie Pump: “Silent, wearable, smart breast pump. No tubes, no wires, no hassle. Fits in your bra, and your life.” And that is 100% the truth! I enjoy the Elvie so much because it’s extremely convenient, I’m able to move around & do the things that I want without having to be stuck in one spot plugged up to a wall. It’s also a really nice size and aesthetically pleasing lol I mean who wouldn’t love a cute looking pump?
But let’s get back to the actual pumping… one thing that I didn’t expect was how painful it would be. Not painful in a sense that I’m curled up crying, but it hurts to the point where the smallest tap after I pump, I’m ready to let out a little scream. And yes I use nipple cream and nipple pads but my goodness it’s just a lot lol *closes eyes & shakes head*.
But besides the fact that exclusively pumping is a full time job and the aftermath is a bit painful… it’s an extremely rewarding job. I never knew that I would feel so accomplished after a pumping session when I’m transferring milk from my breast pump to a bottle that my son will drink from. Like just think, my son is surviving from a liquid that my body just made *I’m not crying, you are*… it’s truly a beautiful feeling.
My initial decision was to pump & formula feed but I’ve been lucky and blessed enough to be able to pump enough milk that my son hasn’t had to drink any formula in about 3 weeks. With that being said, if for any reason I’m unable to pump I do have a back up plan. Even though I’ve expressed how rewarding it is to be able to pump & provide milk for my son… if at any point I’m unable to continue pumping, I can formula feed and I am 100% okay with. The milk I pump doesn’t define me as a mother, it’s just an added bonus.
Here are a few T.Ray Tips if you have any plans to become an Exclusive Pumper: DISCLAIMER: I’m no expert, remember I’ve only been doing this for a month, but I just want to share what works for me, that could possibly work for you.
+Choose a pumping schedule that works best for you, your baby and your family. I know it’s suggested to pump every 2/3 hours, 8 times a day… but I personally pump every 3/4 hours, 6 times a day (maybe 7, depending on the day). Whatever you decide, just be sure to be consistent.
+Use whatever pumps work best for you. A lot of people use electric pumps (I also have an electric pump) but I’ve only used it twice because it’s not what I prefer. I do recommend giving it a try but in the end do what YOU want for YOU & your BABY. Also, be sure to take advantage of receiving a free pump through your insurance.
+And of course, if you have any questions, feel free to ask… but again I’m not expert, so be sure to talk to a doctor, lactation consultant, check Tiktok lol, or join a Facebook group… just remember you’re not alone.
And there you have it girl… this is my life as a new exclusive pumping mom.