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I Hate Pumping.

I hate that it’s sometimes a logistical nightmare to fit into the day. I hate that it feels somewhere between uncomfortable and painful. I hate the stress I feel when I’m not able to pump enough. But mostly, I hate that pumping took breastfeeding from an activity which I’ve actually grown to enjoy and to something I mostly dread.

I don’t mean to scare other moms thinking about pumping at work. In fact, despite my feelings about pumping, I have every intention of continuing for the foreseeable future. I only write this because despite lots of research and preparation before returning to work, I was surprised by just how hard pumping was. I feel like I now understand why so many women stop breastfeeding when they go back to work. Most of the advice out there is heavy on the cheerleading and while that’s great for some, I’ve always preferred people who keep it real. To that end, I’ve come to accept that pumping is a necessary evil which I’m willing to tolerate since it allows me to continue breastfeeding my little guy. And when I want to throw that pump off the nearest bridge, I think of how happy and healthy my son is which makes those twice daily pumping sessions seem slightly less torturous.

Anyone else hate pumping too? Misery loves company.

5 comments

  1. Profile photo of

    Cooking Mom December 6, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I’m in the “I Hate Pumping” boat too! I’ve been pumping every day since Owen was born (6 weeks ago) to bring in my supply and keep it going. I’m down to 1-2x per day for 10 minutes each session. I dread going back to work in a few weeks when pumping is going to be multiple times a day for longer sessions. I’m also worried that my supply will diminish after all the hard work I had to do to get it going. Augh! But I do it because I know it’s good for my little one. We’ll have to lend support to each other through this.

  2. Another Mom December 6, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    I’m in the same boat, I’d rather be feeding a baby than a pump, but I also look at it from the perspective that it’s a nice little break I get to take from the work day. I take my pumping time as a moment to regroup, relax and decompress from whatever else has been going on at work. I think about how wonderful it is that I get to take some time away from my desk and “connect” with my baby, albeit through a machine. I’m thinking about my LO, and that also helps with let down. Another key is to make sure you have a “hands free device” (like a pumping bustier) so that you can read or multi-task. Sometimes I just sit back and close my eyes, which is also nice!

  3. Mama2Maddt December 6, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    I hate it too! I’ve been back to work for 3 weeks and still dread it every day. I try to pump at 10 and 2 and always end up having a meeting scheduled during that time. Half the days I just forget to pump and end up so full that I have to pump at the end of the day and give the baby another bottle instead of getting to nurse her when I get home. And then cleaning all the pump gear and bottles…don’t get me started!

  4. Rookie Mom December 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    I’m sorry to hear you all hate pumping too but it’s nice to know that I’m not alone!

    I thought it might be helpful to gather tips and tricks from pumping moms so I started a conversation on the Online Community: http://community.brighthorizons.com/t5/Infant/Tips-for-Pumping-at-Work/m-p/2598#M110

    Please add anything that has worked for you!

  5. Mary

    Mary December 20, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I returned to work at 4 months for both my kids and pumped every day until both kids were about a year (I continued nursing until 15 months with my daughter but my son literally refused to nurse indefinitely on his 1st birthday). I have some great stories of why I hated pumping but I also LOVED what it stood for. I look back and am so proud of what I accomplished. Who says you can’t do it all? Nursing/Pumping/Working full-time – you are amazing women!! And don’t worry, those of you pumping twice during work will soon only be pumping once and before you know it, you will only pump in the morning and then it will be over and you will be sad…for a moment. The real challenge I found with pumping at work was cleaning the bottles and pump afterward. That is quite the experience in a crowded community kitchen!

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