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Thread: LOVE Breastfeeding, but just don't want to pump anymore.

  1. #1

    Question LOVE Breastfeeding, but just don't want to pump anymore.

    I hate feeling this way...I love breastfeeding my daughter (5 and a half months old) but since having the summer off from teaching and not having to worry about pumping (yes I should have kept up my freezer supply but I didn't), coming back into the school year and figuring out my daily schedule, pumping just seems so hassling. When school first started back up I was pumping in the morning and it was great because she was still asleep, but now she has started to wake up closer to the time I was pumping so I don't get to pump before school. Then I get to school and I am a teacher....schedules, students, meetings, paperwork, stuff to look up....I have been trying to pump either during my lunch (11:45) or my planning (2:15). Then I get home by 5 and I feed her again, all while my 2 older daughters are begging me for their dinner or to go somewhere or watch something. I haven't been able to pump at night because I am just so tired. I am in bed and asleep before 10pm every night. So in other words, I'm just exhausted and selfish. I was wondering if anyone else felt the same, am I horrible, is something wrong with me?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: LOVE Breastfeeding, but just don't want to pump anymore.

    Well, I do not think you are in any way selfish. Or that anything is wrong with you!

    Your thread title says it all. You love to nurse but hate to pump. Well. Who doesn't? I mean, some moms may enjoy pumping. I guess. But most merely endure pumping because they have no other choice.

    I hate to say what I am going to say next because some people see it as dissing working moms. All I can say is this is anything but a dis:

    Moms and nursing babies are not meant to be separated. This is not a biologically normal scenario. And moms are not meant to pump, the breast is not designed to be pumped from. The breast is designed to feed a nursing child. Pumping is a major compromise from the biological norm we as a society have accepted because (and only because) mothers are by choice and necessity being separated from their very young, nursing children in order to work and provide for their families.

    Biologically speaking, this separation makes no sense. We are meant to keep our children with us while we work- meaning, provide sustenance- food and shelter- for ourselves and our families. That is what humans did for hundreds of thousands of years, so that is what our bodies and minds are designed to do. So of course it will often feel wrong to many mothers to instead be separated from their babies for hours every day and have to pump in order to provide milk for baby, keep milk production normal, and prevent pain and illness in mom. No matter how much a mom may love their careers or need the paycheck, this is simply NOT the biological norm. And mother nature fights back. So pumping is the gigantic compromise that is made to make the biological reality and modern day reality come into some kind of sync. And like any compromise, it works for some people better than others, and for some it does not work at all.

    So, what can a nursing and working mom who is understandably sick and tired of pumping do? Actually, there are many possibilities. Each with pros and cons.

    1) Suck it up and keep pumping. Keep up the compromise. Your baby is almost 5 months old. How long do you plan to provide your milk for her? Many moms decide to stop pumping after a year. Assuming that is your goal, can you make it another 6.5 months? Until about mid- March?

    2) Find a way to nurse baby during the day. Care giver brings baby to you, or you go to baby.

    3) Change your lifestyle as needed so you can quit your job.

    4) Find a different job with less issues for pumping, or a job to which you can bring your child.

    5) Stop pumping while at work and have baby get formula during your work day instead. Not pumping at work is likely to impact your milk production and may affect nursing when you are home, but how much this will be a problem will vary situation to situation. Of course, if you do not pump at work you have to also watch out for plugs and mastitis as well. If you can encourage baby to nurse overnight, perhaps with bedsharing, not pumping during the day is going to be less of a problem. If baby does not nurse overnight, then not pumping during the day is more of a problem.

    6) Gradually stop pumping at work and let your milk dry up entirely so baby will wean entirely sooner rather than later. Your baby has nursed for almost 6 months, that is longer than the majority of babies in the US (I do not know where you live, but the US is the only stats I know.)

    I am sure there are other options you might try, but my overall point is there is not anything wrong with you, and yes, there are other options aside from continuing to pump at work. They may or may not be options that you wish to or can pursue. But they are options.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: LOVE Breastfeeding, but just don't want to pump anymore.

    This isn't a problem with moms being selfish. This is a problem with our society being at war with our biology. In a better world, one in which mothers and babies came first, paid maternity leave would last a year. That's how it works in a lot of Scandinavian countries, and guess what, they have some of the world's highest breastfeeding rates and highest rates of women in the workplace.

    Do you have a partner, or are you a single mom? I'm kind of wondering what your partner is doing while you are getting home from school and managing 3 kids, one of whom is a nursing infant, and dinner and screen time. I'm thinking that it would be great up if he/she said "Come on, kids, let's let mommy nurse the baby while you and I make some dinner!" Little kids can be in the kitchen if properly supervised. They can wash lettuce for a salad, or peel garlic, or set the table...

    I also wonder if it would help to look into pre-planned meals, assembled ahead of time and stored for use. it's a time saver for a lot of people.

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