Dec 30 , 2021
If you are pregnant, have recently had a baby, or are currently breastfeeding, you already know why you should breastfeed and continue to do so for as long as possible. The CDC and WHO recommend that babies be breastfed exclusively for 6 months, and that you continue to breastfeed for 1 year or more.
It is safe to say we all agree breast milk is great! It does wonders for your baby’s immune system, it’s cheaper than formula, it helps you lose weight, etc., etc.. etc. While some women genuinely can’t breastfeed, the ones that can often don’t make it to the recommended 1 year mark, not because they don’t want to, but because breastfeeding is hard.
Though breastfeeding is natural, it can feel unnatural, complicated and, at some point, you will feel like you want to quit, and may even feel guilt to feel that way. This is why we recommend you consider adding pumping to your breastfeeding routine. To be completely honest, pumping can be hard as well, but it’s always good to keep your options open and inform yourself, so you can reach your breastfeeding goals (and ditch the guilt).
Here are 3 common reasons why you may feel like quitting breastfeeding and how pumping can help
Many women, especially in the beginning, describe breastfeeding as painful. Even women who experience little to no problems establishing the breastfeeding relationship can experience sore and cracked nipples during the first few days or weeks. Pain in the early days of breastfeeding can be so bad it dissuades moms from continuing to breastfeed altogether.
Aside from sore nipples, common problems that result in poor latch, like Inverted nipples and tongue or lip ties, can lead to poor milk removal from the breasts. Poor milk removal in turn can cause painful conditions like engorgement, clogged ducts and mastitis.
Breast pumping is a great way to avoid some of the root causes of pain associated with breastfeeding, while allowing you to take advantage of the precious window that those first few days and weeks allot for the establishment of a proper milk supply, while also helping you avoid or relieve pain without hampering your milk supply.
Pumping can also help balance the milk supply to meet your baby’s needs, as is the case when you have an over or under supply, or establish milk supply when your baby can’t breastfeed, like when your baby has to stay in the NICU. Just make sure you have a quality breast pump and properly fitting flanges.
If you want to breastfeed, but it’s too painful, give pumping a try. It can be a true breastfeeding life-saver.
Going back to work
Going back to work is actually one of the main reasons why moms stop breastfeeding. The sole idea of going back to work while continuing to breastfeed or pump can be so daunting it can make moms wean their babies and make a complete switch to formula. However, consider pumping while at work.
Pumping at work may seem complicated, but it’s totally doable with the right pump and tools. Our friend Amanda Glenn from ExclusivelyPumping.com has a great list of tips and tricks on how to make pumping at work easier.
Remember there are lots of products out there that can really make pumping easier and therefore more sustainable long term. The Lilu Massager + Bra not only makes pumping 100% hands-free, but it also provides soothing stimuli while pumping, so that your supply stays exactly as it would while you were at home with your baby.
Feeling like you want to get your body back
Breastfeeding is beautiful. At the same time, breastfeeding keeps you tied to your baby all the time. As a nursing mom you are the primary caregiver, main source of comfort and, if exclusively breastfeeding, the sole source of nourishment for your baby. Being relied upon 100% of the time is exhausting.
The physical and mental toll of both pregnancy and breastfeeding can leave a mom feeling like she needs to regain a sense of control and agency over her time and body. Once again, breast pumping is a great option for moms looking to take a break without weaning their babies completely.
Pumping allows moms to store extra milk or leave a bottle at home and have someone else to feed the baby while they step away to regroup and feel like a person again. Pumping can also work wonders if you are looking for a full night of sleep. Power-pumping before going to bed is a great way to get enough milk for your baby to last through the night, without jeopardizing your supply. You can have someone else feed the baby while you catch up on some much needed Z’s and provides a great opportunity for your baby and partner to bond.
In the end, your mental health is more important than how you choose to feed your baby. Only you know what is best for you and your baby. If you want to give breastfeeding a chance, but it seems too daunting, or you have tried breastfeeding and feel like it’s taking too much of a toll on you, remember that breast pumping is a viable option that many moms go to when needed.
Breast pumping is breastfeeding. Though it may not look the same for everyone, breast pumping enables you to reach your breastfeeding goals, whatever those may be.