Breast pumps are a wonderful invention. They give a way for mothers to produce breast milk for their baby in the event they are away from them. It frees mothers to get out for a bit and lets other family members bond with the baby. And it lets mothers build up a supply of breast milk in case anything happens that leaves the mother unable to nurse. I can’t count the number of times I heard while I was breastfeeding to ‘just pump!’
Honestly, though, I hated pumping. I haven’t heard from a single mom that thought it was enjoyable. (Though they are probably out there.) It’s hard to take care of your baby while in the act of pumping, as opposed to breastfeeding which takes care of the baby. Generally speaking, most women don’t produce as much through the pump as they do when the nurse. (That is super annoying.) And you have all sorts of pump parts to wash.
It is wonderful that pumping is a thing. But it is not a band-aid that can fix breastfeeding issues, and it is not as simple as it sounds. Caitlin from Twin Mom and More exclusively pumped for her twins for nine months. She is telling us about her experience today. She writes:
“In my opinion, exclusively pumping combines the hardest parts of formula feeding and breastfeeding. I’m not writing this to scare anyone who plans on pumping. Many moms aren’t able to breastfeed, or they work full time, so they choose to exclusively pump. I just want you to know that it is a lot of work. I’ve heard many people casually say “Oh, just switch to pumping.” It’s not as simple as that. I want you to be prepared for the amount of work that’s necessary to exclusively pump.”