There are some misconceptions I want to clear up about breast pumping.
I have culled these from years, yes years of experience.
With #1 I started pumping immediately under the advisement of my lactation consultant.
My relationship with Hans and Franz continued until my daughter turned 2. Yes, I pumped for 2 years straight.
I've started up my pumping relationship again but with a new pump as my old pump was worked to death.
So here I am starting up my pumping relationship again and can safely say the following:
1. Pumping is not fun.
2. I'm sure there are some folks out there but for me I find no pleasure whatsoever being hooked up to the milking machine.
3. Sometimes you need to squeeze your breast until just the right vacuum is created to allow for efficient pumping. Sometimes you need to hand express to get the right vacuum. This means a handsfree bra is great but that doesn't mean pumping is hands free.
4. My kids will wake up as soon as I turn off the damn pump and want to eat. No fail.
5. I would pay someone to wash my pump parts for me. Seriously. Pumping is such an emotional thing for most women. Most women have a love-hate relationship with it. We do it for our kids. For me, washing those parts is a reminder of how tied I am to pumping. Even when I'm not pumping, I have to care for my parts so that I have the ability to pump.
6. It drives me insane when someone flippantly remarks, you can just pump. It's like, "What's the big deal?" The big deal is I have to find time to pump in between feedings, working and every day life. Not only to I have to find time to pump, I have to be precise about it. I have to have clean parts, I have to have all the parts, I have to measure out the liquid gold and store it appropriately. I have to be careful not to jostle the liquid gold too much during transport. I have to calculate how long I've had it out, if I have enough and how long it's good for. Let me know even go into the emotions that pumping elicits.
7. Even though I find no pleasure in pumping, I still do it, practically every day. Why? For my child and for other children. I do it with the knowledge how precious and special and beneficial that liquid love is.
8. As long as I can, I will continue to pump. I will continue to guesstimate how many ounces I may need. I will gingerly wash the parts, replace membranes, pack them lovingly.