See, I get that no one LOVES to pump, right? I get that.
I truly think keeping a positive mentality got me through 11 months of pumping the first time around and 14 months the second time. It was a HUGE turning point for me when I realized that I was NOT a “slave” to my pump… BUT INSTEAD, that it was because of the pump, I was able to provide my milk for my baby, and that was a POSITIVE THING. Changing my mentality changed my entire relationship with my pump!
Although I sometimes still dreaded pumping, I was so grateful for my ability to pump and that gratitude helped me really appreciate the work I went through to provide breastmilk for my children! My time and efforts are a priceless gift to my pumplings.
Thank you to my models Emily and baby Abby for being passionate enough about breastfeeding to help me get this message across in photography.
The truth is that many women didn’t plan on exclusively pumping. Are you one of them?
Exclusively pumping mommas, this is for you.
Choice is empowering. The freedom to choose is often taken for granted but we sure notice when it’s taken away from us, don’t we? And when that freedom is taken away from us, we feel powerless, helpless.
Many exclusively pumping mommas assumed they’d nurse, and had a very specific vision for their breastfeeding relationship with their new baby. When that choice is taken away from them, be it lip/tongue ties, poor latching, NICU stays, etc, mothers end up grief-stricken. But what you might not realize is that you STILL MADE A CHOICE. You chose to exclusively pump. (Over formula feeding, over donor milk, etc) You still have power over how you feed your baby. You still have choice. Do you realize that? Every day you hook up to your pump, you are making a choice for how you want to feed your baby. When you wean, or begin to supplement, you are also making choices. Embrace those choices, my mommas. May you grow to feel empowered by your choices.
GO EASY ON YOURSELF MOMMA! You and your baby are both navigating this brand new lifestyle together and it can be a rocky road.
Why do YOU need to extend yourself grace today? Or do you need to have a little grace with your body? Or your baby? Or your partner?
Take a deep breath, momma. Show yourself love and grace and compassion!!!
You deserve it.
Gratitude goes a long way.
Gaining a positive perspective as a pumping mom makes a huge difference. You may not have chosen this. You may be angry and grieving the nursing relationship you thought you’d have with your baby. That’s ok. Feel your feelings. Then, try to shift that mindset into a positive, can-do mindset about pumping. Making the choice to pump is empowering when you realize you’re in control. You’re still breastfeeding! You’re still working hard for your baby! Honor your journey and the hard work and sacrifice you’re making for your sweet baby. Journal, list, or meditate upon the wonders of the female body and what it can do. Start noticing the silver linings- write them down if you need to. While you’re at it, write down anything at all that you’re grateful for about pumping and motherhood in general.
Practicing daily gratitude can help you turn guilt and grief into an empowering journey!
My Own Mindset:
I loved how mechanical it was. 😦
NOT a popular opinion about breastfeeding, I know.
There was so many unpredictable things about pregnancy, childbirth (oh hello early baby!) and newborns, that the mechanical nature of exclusive pumping was FINALLY something I could control! I loved having a schedule, knowing how much I made, knowing how much baby took, anyone could feed my baby, splitting parenting equally with my husband, the freedom of leaving the house without baby, the transition to daycare and work was smooth….
And the best part was… I was still feeding baby my breastmilk and bonding over feeding, and so was my husband!