Moms everywhere agree: Pumping sucks! It can be painful at first, it’s time-consuming, and it can be hard to find a comfortable, discreet place to do it. And the cleaning — there are so many parts to clean!
When my daughter turned 1, possibly the biggest thrill — beyond the cupcake frosting all over her mouth — was that I never ever had to pump again.
And then I had another baby.
With daughter #2, I needed to pump from the get go due to feeding issues. My pump quickly became an extension of my body, and, even as the feeding got better, my pump and I have still been spending a lot of time together.
In anticipation of going back to work, and already feeling so fed up with pumping, I have tried to reframe my mindset. I am trying to put a positive spin on what feels like a burdensome chore. Yes, I am providing sustenance to my child, which is the biggest reward. But, to be honest, lately I’ve been needing to find more gold in the pumping dirt.
So, with that in mind, here are three reasons I love (yes, love!) my pump:
1. It plays into my competitive nature.
I am a competitive person, and I am an overachiever. With my pump, I can see how much milk I’ve produced. Yes, it can be so disappointing when a session produced less than I wanted or expected. But, can you imagine my excitement when I texted my husband to tell him I beat my personal best?
2. It forces me to take a break.
When I’m pumping, it is a form of “me” time. I can catch up on email, look at pictures on my phone, scroll my Facebook feed to see what is going on. It is 20 minutes where, yes, I am chained to my pump, but I am also sitting. Not folding laundry. Not chasing my kids. Sitting. When I go back to work, pumping will also force me to take necessary breaks and get away from my desk. Yes, logistical nightmare. But, it will be a forced focus away from work.
3. It forces me to breathe.
I don’t know about you, but my pumping output is soooo affected by my physiology. I see decreased output when I am stressed, and also when I am subconsciously holding my breath. It is so remarkable to see my flow increase as I become mindful, take deep breaths, and change my focus. Very often, if I consciously breathe and look at pictures of my incredible girls, I am rewarded both emotionally and by my pump.
Don’t worry, I still find my pump to be a huge pain, but trying to show my pump some love is a way to help me get through the year.
What has your pump done for you lately?