Exclusively Pumping is Breastfeeding

This post is for me.

But maybe it could be for you too.

We were doing great in the hospital. Birth weight was up every day. We even made it to the 1st pediatrician visit up! Then mastitis hit me. Knowing what I know now it was probably due to engorgement from letting my son sleep longer than I should have initially and his lip tie. I had a fever with chills so bad I couldn’t get warm and it was summer. The OB put me on a script and told me to pump. My sister told me to keep having him nurse and he might be able to work it out. I never felt any symptoms thankfully besides being red and the fever chills. I was better but my supply dropped. I only know this because my son continued to lose weight everyday.  The pediatrician after a weekend of nursing every two hours finally suggested we supplement.  I remember holding the tears back feeling like I had failed my baby. Then she said to me “it doesn’t have to be forever, but we’ve got to get his weight up”. I agreed and we went home with a sample of formula and the cycle began – Nurse. Formula. Nurse. Formula.  Pumping in between.

Here is where we hit the second thing I would do differently knowing what I know now.  SLOW FLOW Nipples!! We used Como Tomo bottles for formula feedings.  I love Como Tomos so listen to me when I say this… the 5oz bottles are slow flow the 8oz bottles are NOT. After washing the bottles and the nipples, we didn’t know which ones where which anymore and he was beginning to push away and cry every time I would try to nurse him. He would latch fine, it wasn’t the latch it was about how quickly he could get his milk via the bottle and how much slower it came out via me.

After 3 days of him wanting to nurse less often, I called the Lactation Consultant. She was great, she talked to me for 30 minutes and listened to every concern I had.  I felt like she really cared and really wanted to help.  She suggested I come in on the following Friday and we would weigh him, then do a weekend of no bottles despite the struggle and on Monday we would weigh him again.  This was our plan.  As Friday got closer, I started having anxiety.  How were we ever going to stop the bottles? Could I make it an entire weekend full of both of our tears? What is going to happen when I go back to work?

That Wednesday, I made the decision to EP. I called and left a message letting them know this was going to be our new plan.  There we were at 5 weeks old and my baby was so small. I had been starving him for so long, it wasn’t worth it to try again for another weekend.  It wasn’t worth it to get him off bottles to turn around in 5 weeks and give him another bottle when I went back to work. It wasn’t worth the stress on him or I. It wasn’t worth it.

Here we are a little over 8 months later and hes a beast! 29 in tall, 19.74lbs. We are weaning because I’ve stored enough to give him milk to a year.  A goal I thought I’d never make with EPing. We continued supplementing because at my best I made 22oz a day and he drank 32oz from the beginning. Its crazy how obsessed you become over every ounce, every bottle, every pound he gains when your story starts like ours. Giving up the control. Giving up the freezer stash. If I had to do it all over again, I would make the same choice. I know I made the right decision for us and my baby is living proof.

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5 thoughts on “Exclusively Pumping is Breastfeeding

  1. First off, he is sooooo adorable! Secondly, you GO, girl for pumping that much milk!!! (I don’t think that I have ever said “you go, girl” in my life!) I could NEVER pump that much! I don’t think it’s possible for me to even produce that much milk! And pumping is hard WORK! You’re amazing! I’m so glad that you came to a decision that felt right for you and your baby and it paid off greatly! Even though you’re a stranger, I’m proud of you! ❤️❤️ (So many exclamation points!!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, kudos to you for making the right decision for your family and sticking with it. EP is hard work, and harder still when you’ve tried so hard to make nursing work. I hope your story inspires others.

    Liked by 1 person

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