Jennifer is one of our Milky Mommas team members and we’re happy to bring her amazing story to the blog in honor of World Pumping Day. Read more about her Exclusive Pumping journey below!
What were some of your goals when you first started your breastfeeding journey?
My first goal was to EBF until I went back to work at 12 weeks. I had to supplement due to some medical issues but decided I still wanted to continue even though I didn’t exclusively breast feed. My next goal was to breastfeed until my daughter decided to self wean.
Did you plan to be an exclusive pumper? If so can you tell us what lead to that decision? If not, will you share what lead you to become an exclusive pumper?
Most definitely not! I wanted to only have to pump while at work. I fully planned to nurse her otherwise. I was successful with breastfeeding, but it wasn’t exactly how I imagined. I had to supplement with pumped milk and formula due to medical issues she was having. At 12 months, we found a sliding hiatal hernia and found out she’d have to have surgery to correct it. She would also be getting a g-tube to help her eat and gain weight. Through everything I still wanted to give her breastmilk because I wanted her to have all the nutrients she could. Being failure to thrive, I wanted to make sure she had all the extra she could! At 13 months, when she had the surgery, she wasn’t allowed to nurse for 6 days. We tried to re-latch and we were unsuccessful. I have been pumping ever since that day to ensure she still gets breastmilk.
If you could give advice to someone planning to be an exclusive pumper what would you tell them?
Never give up on a bad day! Don’t constantly stress over the amount of ounces because once you start counting the numbers you’ll make yourself crazy!!
What do you wish everyone knew about being an Exclusive Pumper?
That pumping is still considered breastfeeding! I have been told many times (even with nursing for a year) that I no longer can say she’s breastfed because she doesn’t get the milk from my nipple but rather a bottle and a g-tube.
What do you think has been the easiest and hardest part of your exclusively pumping journey?
The easiest was knowing I’m giving breastmilk still for my 25 month old. I have the support of my husband to continue for as long as I want to. The hardest is finding
the time and energy to pump. It’s a full time job!
Have you discovered any pumping hacks you’re willing to share?
Have extra parts! I have 2 sets of flanges, I have extra duckbill valves and back flow protectors. When I was freezing milk I would also only freeze enough for 1 feed, freeze flat and then store them in a container.
How has Milky Mommas helped you?
MM has given me the encouragement to continue! The community has given me great resources to look at when I started EPing and has allowed me to connect with other EPs and has also given me the chance to tell our story about breastfeeding and g-tube feeding.
We are grateful and honored to have you on our team Jennifer! Your little one is gorgeous and thriving, all because of your enormous love and commitment! Congratulations! ❤