Re: Want to pump and breastfed
I can understand your reluctance to feed your baby in public- it can seem very challenging and embarrassing, especially when the baby is still tiny. However, there are a lot of ways to make nursing in public (NIP) more discreet, including:
- Covers. You can use a shawl or a baby blanket, or invest in a professionally-made nursing cover. If you don't tell people what your baby is doing under the cover, they often assume he's just sleeping.
- Nursing shirts/dresses (I like the ones from Motherwear). They have special flaps that allow you to expose the minimum amount of skin necessary to feed.
- Wait. It's hard to be discreet when nursing a tiny baby- they're small, and uncoordinated, and they take forever to feed. But as your baby grows, feedings will get much faster and he'll get bigger and stronger, so he'll cover more breast as he feeds.
- Nurse in a private/semi-private location- dressing rooms, bathrooms (yucky, IMHO, but they work for some), your car, etc.
There are a lot of benefits to NIP that you might want to consider before you decide to give it up, for example:
- No pumping, no bottle-washing, no transporting/storing/warming of milk.
- Bottles fall on the floor. Milk in the breast is always clean, fresh, and at the right temperature.
- No risk of baby coming to prefer bottle over breast.
- Nothing soothes a cranky/tired/hurt baby as quickly or effectively as the breast. If you can bring yourself to NIP, you'll be able to soothe a boo-boo in a heartbeat.
- If you don't want to do it for yourself, think of other moms: you'll be normalizing NIP for them and making them feel more courageous about NIPing themselves!
All that being said, if you still want to go the bottles in public route, you should probably start by pumping in the morning, when most moms notice that they have the most milk. If your baby is still very young, you may need to haul the pump along with you when you're out and about, in order to maintain milk supply or to empty yourself out when you're feeling over-full. You should pump as many times a day as it takes to get the amount of milk you think you're going to need, and pump for as long as it takes to get you there. (There's no exact answer to the how often/how long questions because the answer is going to be different for every mom.)
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"