Breastfeeding and Pumping

Breastfeeding and Pumping has been one of the biggest obstacles to overcome as a new mama. Baby Zethus is 5 months old now and it feels like I’ve been doing this whole breastfeeding/pumping gig for years ! Almost like there is no end in sight. Not to mention my baby has a reflux problem. I don’t even want to call it a problem but more of an obstacle. Something we work hard at to overcome but don’t let it rule our lives. But reflux has led me to no longer breastfeed because Zethus doesn’t keep down the milk, so I have to pump exclusively and then add some rice cereal in the milk for him to keep it down.

With that being said, this weekend was my father in laws memorial service. He passed away suddenly on August 16th. We made an immediate trip from Washington to California. Returned back to Washington, and came right back to California the next weekend for his memorial service. And let me tell you being an exclusive pumper is hard enough, try traveling by car 16 hours there and back, trying to pump in between switching off between Moses and I driving. These past two weekends have made me want to quit pumping all together. But then mom guilt kicks in. I have absolutely nothing against formula fed babies and mamas who choose that route (shoot, we even use a special formula sometimes when he needs a bottle quickly and I don’t have enough milk pumped), but something in my mind won’t let me stop.

I’m wondering when does it get easier ? The first few weeks of life were hard in terms of breastfeeding, everyone said to “hang in there, it gets easier.” But with Zethus having reflux, it hasn’t got easier. It’s became much HARDER. I’m hooked to a pump constantly. My life is ran on a pump schedule and everything I do I have to work around that schedule or else I become anxious. I don’t want you to confuse my venting for complaining, because by all means I’m happy with the decision to keep going. But by me writing this, I’m trying to vent out my emotions and dig deep for inner motivation to keep pushing through it all.

October 1st we make the permanent move back to California, which is great! However, I will be going back to work 3 days a week and will have to pump at work and just the thought of that gives me so much anxiety. I really dislike carrying this pump around everywhere let alone at work 😒. Luckily I work at Starbucks and they are super understanding about pumping and giving you a private place to pump. I also have a ton of anxiety leaving my baby with another caregiver. Most likely it will be a family member but, AHHHH! that freaks me out. But I will save all that for another post.

Meanwhile here’s a raw and uncut photo of me pumping. Don’t judge me. It just real life all summed up in one picture. I was tired, up all night with the baby, and then had to wake up early to pump because my breasts were about to explode 😂

10 thoughts on “Breastfeeding and Pumping”

  1. What a difficult time to move, as well as experience a loss in the family. Sending hugs ♥️

    My oldest had reflux, and I discovered if I avoided dairy she puked a lot less, not that that’s an easy adjustment. But don’t feel guilty for taking care of your baby in the best way that works for you, and way to go on all of that pumping. You are a rockstar!

  2. Thanks for all the love. And yes I’ve cut down on dairy a lot but he still has reflux. I’ve just came to terms that it is what it is. And we just work through it. He’s came a LONG way though. It’s definitely a lot better. And thank you pumping is gonna drive me nuts but it’s worth it 😊

  3. My baby would not bottle. Because I was the only parent trying and I had the good stuff right there. So it was all BF for 1.5 years and I got so much flack for not having of set up for anyone else to feed him, as if this was their inconvenience. No one ever baby sat anyway and I was the one feeling like a feed bag

  4. I definitely understand how this would make you feel. Sorry you went through that. But it’s also a blessing because you were able to provide something to your baby that no one else’s can provide. I’m sure you definitely got tired at times though. You did great mama ♥️♥️♥️

  5. Sending you a big virtual hug! I know what it’s like suffering bereavement and having to move house with a young baby. Remember it will all pass. Have you contacted a lactation consultant or Le Leche League for support with reflux? None of my 4 babies had it, but we’ve worked through other breastfeeding obstacles. I understand your commitment to continue pumping, especially when you’re going back to work. (20 years ago I used to pump in the OSU campus bathrooms between my classes. It sucked). Take care of yourself and let love (rather than guilt) be your guide… you’ll make the best decision for you and your baby!

  6. Thank you so much for your kind words. You’re right all this will pass. And I’m learning everyday how to deal with these struggles the best I can. What I have learned is there are mamas who would kill to be able to breastfeed so I need to be grateful for what I CAN do rather than what I can’t do. I’m truly grateful for my body.

  7. Since I last commented someone mentioned that her baby had reflux caused by a posterior tongue tie. Once it was removed she could breastfeed normally. Might be something to check out 🙂

  8. Baby zethus has a lip tie that we had to have fixed but it didn’t fix the reflux problem. He had that problem fixed when he was 11 days old. Reflux didn’t kick in until about one month. And has been a battle ever since. But organic rice cereal mixed with breast milk has helped so much. The doctor wanted to put him on formula and it was a special formula with rice starch. So I got to thinking why not just apply that same concept to my breastmilk. So I added some rice cereal to my breast milk. Mixed with a dr brown bottle to reduce any gas bubbles and it’s worked wonders. And now that he eats solids (rice cereal/purée fruits) he hardly throws up.

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