Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm done with pumping...

...for now, anyway.

I have long looked forward to Lucy's first birthday for a number of reasons, one selfish one being that I could (according to most sources) safely cut-out pumping during the daytime.

For almost a year (I started pumping when Lucy was about a month old), I have pumped nearly every day. If it was a work day, then I definitely pumped- at least twice (for the first seven or eight months), then at least once. If I wasn't working, I still generally fit one session in, sometimes because Lucy was having a little nursing strike and I wanted to keep up my supply, sometimes because I wanted to put a little extra in the freezer (this was especially true when I was donating). So you'd think I'd be super excited about dropping my daily lunchtime pumping session.

Still, it feels a little strange. I think I miss having those few minutes carved out of my day to focus on Lucy.

Anyway, I still have a pump at work in case Lucy decides to skip her morning nursing session, and I have a pump at home for the same reason at night. Luckily, though, Lucy is pretty attached to nursing both morning and night, and I'm still producing enough to keep her happy at those times.

Nursing through a pregnancy isn't easy, but I think it's worth it- especially if you have a young child already (Lucy was only 6 months old when I became pregnant this time). Even if we weaned today, we'd have achieved 6 more months of nursing than we would have had we weaned immediately. Of course, everyone is different- some mamas lose their supply completely, and some drop in supply more quickly than others. And there's definitely nothing wrong with weaning due to pregnancy, as some mamas either don't desire to tandem nurse or are uncomfortable with nursing during pregnancy- either physically or emotionally. I would never judge nor criticize another mama for her decision in that regard.

No, breastfeeding while pregnant isn't very comfortable...but I'm counting the days until I have a fresh supply, and will hopefully be able to nurse both Lucy and her little brother or sister. On a side note, both Brett and I came down with a terrible stomach bug this week, and even though I ended up having to visit the ER for fluids, I managed to keep nursing...and guess what? Lucy didn't get sick even though she sleeps snuggled up to me every night. Another reason to push through!


Kacie said...

You've done so well! I only pumped less than a handful of times and did some manual expression since that was more comfortable for me. I just hated it, and I borrowed an electric pump even.

But it worked out because I only needed to be away from my son for an extended period of time once in his young life -- when I was having an outpatient surgical procedure done.

ANYWAYS. I haven't been nursing for 2 months now and it's still weird!

I miss it. I wish I could nurse right now, as he's teething and I know it would help a ton. And anytime he falls down.

Sometimes he sees me get dressed and he's like, "nurse?" but he knows it's all gone :(

Dunno if we'll start again in a few months or if he'll be over it. We'll see!

Jenny said...

It's awesome that you still have a good milk supply! We are still just fine supply-wise, but I know in 2-3 months it will take a dive. I sincerely hope to keep her nursing through the pregnancy and then tandem nurse, because she'll be 20 months old when the baby is born and I didn't want her to wean so soon. I wish I had encouraged Suzi to keep nursing longer.

Denise said...

Emily, you've done a great job. I hope when the baby comes you can keep up tandem nursing like you want. It's taken a lot to keep up with pregnancy and nursing, and I am proud of what you've accomplished!

Emily said...

Kacie- I do feel very lucky that I respond well to a pump. I know that some women either find them very uncomfortable, that they don't support their supply, or that they have difficulties "letting down." And I know what surgical procedure you're talking about ((hug))- that must have been so hard. Maybe he'll pick up again when your daughter is born?

Jenny- yeah, my supply dropped a bit initially, but then when I hit 16-17 weeks, it tanked pretty badly. Since then, though, I've been able to still feel let-down and pump at least an ounce at a time, so I know it's there. I think the best route is to not stress and take it a day at a time. Although it's uncomfortable at times, I make sure to nurse when I can, because I'm afraid that once I start putting it will be hard to start again. I hope we both get the chance to at least try tandem nursing. I'm not sure that I'm going to love it, but I at least want to give it a chance.

Denise- thank you so much! You are such a supportive friend and your kind words are always much appreciated :-)