Pump it up While your feet are stompin' And the jam is pumpin' Look at here the crowd is jumpin' Pump it up a little more Get the party going on the dance floor (A little early 90's Technotronic to get your week started right!)
Well, I'd been avoiding the topic. I wasn't going to write about it in such a public forum. But after this article, I had to share with you the joys of pumping. (Short version of the article: the geniuses at PETA's have suggested to the makers of Ben & Jerry's ice cream that they use human breast milk instead of cow's milk. Yeah, good luck with that.)
As you may or may not know, I'm an exclusive pumper. I spend an inordinate amount of time with "the girls" attached to plastic parts to get the milk to feed Jay. Well, I'm not truly an exclusivepumper - we do nurse some, mostly at night before he goes to bed. But the vast majority of the time, he gets my milk in bottled form.
Why do I pump as opposed to traditional breastfeeding? We had a great deal of trouble getting him to latch in the hospital (the fact he wasn't getting any oxygen certainly contributed to that!). But even after surgery and after he came home, we really struggled with nursing "from the tap." We had a fabulous lactation consultant who helped and was able to get him to nurse a little. But by that time, he was good at bottle feeding, I was good at pumping, and it was nearly time for me to go back to work when I would have to pump anyway. Plus I have an enormous volume of milk - for a while, I was making enough to feed twins. I still pump more than 50 oz per day - that's 1 or 2 bottles more than he's eating. (Yeah, that pretty much makes me a rockstar in the pumping world.)
Do I tell people that I'm breastfeeding? Absolutely. That's how I'm feeding my child, albeit indirectly. He gets the nutritional benefits of breastmilk, which is the main reason we didn't switch to formula when nursing got tough. There are some great things about it - anyone can feed him, anytime, anywhere. It's free (and have you seen the price of formula lately?!) and it burns a ton of calories for me. But as with anything, there are drawbacks, too. I spend 2 hours a day hooked up to that thing. I can hear its rhythm (wha-wo wha-wo wha-wo) in my sleep. I have to take 2 breaks at work to close my door and pump. I've been interrupted at work not once but twice - once by a fire drill (uh oh) and once by a power outage (big uh oh). Fun times. And the washing of those aforementioned plastic parts is a never ending chore.
But back to our friends at PETA. I think it takes an incredible amount of gall to suggest that breastmilk be used for anything other than feeding babies. Some moms with extra donate it to milk banks who typically give it to sick babies/preemies. But because I'm not an eligible blood donor, I'm also not an eligible milk donor. (Long story, and no I do not have any diseases.) So the extra I'm freezing will probably be used to keep feeding Jay the good stuff past the magical one year mark. Heck, at this rate, I may be pouring it on his cereal when he's in kindergarten!