Our goal is to provide information, ideas and support for working women who are also full-time mothers.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Breastfeeding and the Working Mom

Being that I will be embarking on my second go-round as a breastfeeding and working mom in a couple of months, now is a great time to reflect on my experiences as a first time mom. When I was pg with my daughter, I had decided that I wanted to try breastfeeding and set a goal for myself for a year. But I wasn't totally committed to it; if it worked, it worked, if not, I would give her formula. I didn't purchase a pump in advance. I wanted to make sure this breastfeeding thing "took" before shelling out a couple of hundred bucks on a high quality pump. Well, bf'ing ended up being pretty easy for me and I quickly became 100% committed. Once I bought that pump, I decided that I was going to do whatever it took to provide my daughter with breastmilk for the first year...I was going to get every penny out of that pump!

It turned out that pumping did not come nearly as easily as straight-up breastfeeding. I had supply issues almost from the beginning. My dd was a little piggie and I just couldn't keep up. Believe me, I tried EVERYTHING. Here are the ones I can remember off-hand:
  • I ended up having two pumps - long story - and kept one in the car. I pumped on my hour drive to and from work, LOL!
  • I pumped two or three more times per day in the office.
  • I looked at pictures of my daughter while I pumped.
  • I took Fenugreek & Blessed Thistle.
  • I ate oatmeal every day.
  • I drank SOOOO much water I really should've floated away.
  • I drank a special tea.
  • I used warm moist compresses & massaged my bb's before pumping.
  • I used the 10-10-10 pumping method (10 minutes pumping, 10 off, 10 on again).
In the end, I had to supplement with formula anyway, and initially, I felt like a failure. I got over that, though, and I did manage to reach my goal of pumping until she was a year old. I was really lucky to have a private office where I could pump and continue to work, so I felt that I had no excuse to not perservere. I actually continued to nurse my daughter in the evenings and on weekends until she was 2...I tried the child-directed weaning thing, but I think she would've continued nursing until she was in kindergarten, so I did end up cutting her off after age 2.

This time around, I've got a wait & see attitude again. I am committed to breastfeeding, but I don't want to put as much pressure on myself as far as pumping goes. I think I got every penny and then some out of those pumps the first time around! I felt with my first that my life revolved around that pump, and I don't want to end up fantasizing about smashing it to smithereens with my car when I'm done with it. I plan to do the best I can but not go overboard. Ha ha, we'll see. "Overboard" is my middle name!

Resources that were useful for me as a breastfeeding/pumping/working mom -

www.kellymom.com - The BEST resource for all things breastfeeding, in my humble opinion.

http://boards.babycenter.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?webtag=bcus1202053 - A great board to post questions or read about others' experiences as pumping moms. This was a great resource for me when I was new to being a pumping mom.

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