Tag Archives: pumping

Seven Thoughts I Have When I’m Engorged

 

When people asked me during my pregnancy if I was planning to breastfeed I always responded, “I’ll give it a whirl, and if I can’t, I’ll just give her formula.” Brushing it off like it wasn’t a big deal to me.  I’ve heard that breastfeeding was hard, so I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself to do it in case I was not able to.

Well, I’m able to. Not only am I able to…I love it! I love the bonding experience, the angle at which I can see her (and no one else can get that angle!), and the fact that my body can produce the nourishment she needs in order to grow and thrive.

As much as I love it, I’ve learned to deal with some downsides of breastfeeding, in particular: Engorgement!  Here are seven things that go through my mind when I’m engorged:

1) Am I…? Yep!

karen mean girls boobs

It starts out innocent enough. I know it has been a few hours since I last nursed or pumped, so I give the girls a feel. Lumpy? Check! Hurts to move? Check! Hard as rocks? Check…Yikes!

2) I can’t believe my boobs right now!

jennifer garner 13 going on 30

This statement is two-fold: A) I can’t believe how good they look! I’m a member of the itty bitty committee, and to look down and see that cleavage is mind blowing! B) I can’t believe I have two massive boulders on my chest right now. How is this physically possible, and why didn’t anyone warn me?

3) Am I leaking?

breastmilk_leaking

Now that I’ve successfully determined that I’m engorged I need to make sure I’m not leaking. I usually am, but I wear nursing pads regularly so I’m not dripping through my shirt.  Given my “mombie” status as of late, I need to triple check they are there. Those things can really only handle so much, sometimes they get soaked!

4) Maybe I should pump?

chelsea teen mom

When engorgement hits, I urgently think of if I can relieve myself. If I wake up in the middle of the night from the pain, I go back-and-forth in my head about either being too exhausted to pump, or if I get up and start pumping will my baby start wailing because of good old Murphy and his law! Typically, I stay in bed, stay awake because I’m in pain, then baby wakes up shortly.

5) Ugh..I’m done breastfeeding!

sammi jersey shore

I set a goal of breastfeeding for a year, and on days where I’m engorged, and can’t get rid of my clogged ducts, I toy with the idea of waving the white flag. I work full time, and am pumping in the Mothers Room three times a day, which is not as efficient as feeding baby, so more times than not, I’m walking around uncomfortable.

6) Eh, the discomfort is nothing in the grand scheme of things.

that 70s show

Mom guilt really sets in when I start to think about giving up. I think to myself that the discomfort is just a minor sacrifice I can make for her to benefit from breastfeeding.

7) She’s ready!

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Is that a cry I hear? Time to go feed my daughter…And get some relief!

 

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Working and Breastfeeding

Next week I’ll be a mommy for four months, and be back at work for three weeks. The first week back was a little rough: It was tough to leave Sloane, and it was painful on my boobs. For 15 weeks, whenever Sloane needed to be fed, I swooped her right up and breastfed her, which was often times followed by a pumping session to make sure I began my stash for that dreaded day of heading back to work full time.

From day one I was pumping.  Since she was a preemie, the hospital had me “triple feeding,” which is where you breastfeed, bottle feed (with pumped breastmilk), then pump. At the time I wasn’t sure why I was doing it, I was just doing what I was told as it was best for my preemie. Honestly, it was probably explained to me, but I was likely in such a fog to really grasp it. Upon further research, triple feeding is used to help mom’s whose milk hasn’t completely come in to ensure that baby is getting enough food. Basically, I was very well acquainted with the breast pump before heading back to the office.

My first week back I spent much of my time in the mother’s room pumping. I went in every three hours, and pumped. I felt like I was pumping more than I was working. I probably was since I was just getting reacquainted with everything. As the week went on, I wondered how I was going to be able to actually going to get work done once everything was back into full swing.

breast pump

Little did I know that concern was the least of my problems. That weekend, I developed an extremely clogged duct. It was not mastitis, and I did everything in my power to make sure it didn’t turn into it, but it was painful enough where there were times I thought it might just be easier to give up breastfeeding, since the pump doesn’t have a strong suck in comparison to my baby. Even saying that makes me feel guilty, and makes me realize that I’m not ready to give up breastfeeding just yet.

I’m back at work for two weeks now. The duct healed, and another fear of mine has yet to happen – where she forgets how to latch. I think because she was on the breast and bottle since day one, she’s OK with it. I really hope I didn’t just jinx it!