This is my Medela PISA (pump-in-style advanced). She’s been my best and worst buddy for the last several months. Sometimes I like her, sometimes I don’t like her too much.
Side note: This is not a Medela-sponsored post.
She’s seen me during my highs and lows of exclusive pumping. The highest point was the first time I was able to fill my Medela storage bottles — over 13 ounces of breastmilk — from one pumping session! *cue Celebrate Good Times by Cool and The Gang*
The lowest point was literally me being low on the floor, dangle pumping because of several clogged milk ducts! 🤦🏻♀️
The other day I saw a post on IG asking “what’s the hardest part of exclusive pumping for you?” The answers were varied from an army of exclusive pumping mamas. For me, my first, immediate answer to this question is the toughness of the schedule. However, other than that, exclusive pumping gives me all sorts of emotions. Here are some of them.
Let’s start with the not-so-good part so we finish off on a positive note —
😔 It makes me dread getting up in the morning.
Having to get up super early for my morning pump has been a real challenge especially because I was never a morning person. Now, either my internal body clock had adjusted or my heart just feels the heaviness and fullness of my breasts so it sends signals to my brain to wake my sleeping ass up and hear the begging from my two melons wanting to be emptied.
😔 It makes me feel hesitant to get out of the house or have people over.
Throughout the day, I still gotta hook to my PISA. In the first few months, I didn’t want to step out of the house because I only had a small window in between pumping sessions. Now that my supply has regulated and I can go several hours in between pumps, I’m still a bit hesitant to go out for long periods of time because I am not comfortable pumping in public places.
There is this whole movement about normalizing exclusive pumping and I absolutely support it. I feel proud for mamas who can pump while sitting in the beach, driving/sitting in their cars, out at the park, grocery shopping, etc.
While my PISA is a portable breast pump, I just couldn’t drag myself out of the house and convince myself that I can pump in public. I guess I just haven’t mustered that confidence even if I know that I shouldn’t care about what other people would think of me because the most important part is that I am able to provide breastmilk to my baby.
In a way, quarantine life helped me in this regard because we were stuck at home anyways and there was no need for me to really get out of the house. However, with things opening up again and my baby growing up and loving the outdoors, there is this new challenge for me to time my pumping sessions with going out, or travelling, or seeing family. Most of the time, I get to make it work albeit the stress and pressure.
😔 It makes me feel like I’m neglecting my baby.
It’s even more challenging when I’m alone with my baby especially now because he loves playtime.
Typically it starts off well. I can put my baby in his jumperoo or floor seat. He plays on his own and entertains himself with all the toys around him.
But as you may know, babies typically have short attention span. As soon as my little nugget gets bored, crying and screaming starts.
Sometimes I kinda just let him cry it out especially when I’m towards the end of my pumping session. But when his cries become too painful for my little motherly heart to bear, I unhook from my PISA and cuddle and play with my baby instead. I’d rather suffer from heavy and engorged breasts than make my baby feel neglected. Once he’s calm again or I get to put him down for his nap, I hook back to my PISA.
Now here’s the good part, and this trumps whatever “not-so-good” I mentioned above —
😌 It makes me happy that I’m providing my baby’s primary source of nourishment.
I love my PISA because it allows me to provide breastmilk to my baby in spite of nursing not working out for the both of us.
There are so many benefits of breastmilk and I am blessed to have the supply that I have. The only real challenge was that my baby developed a preference for bottle feeding early on and this is why I resorted to exclusive pumping. See more on this on “My Breastfeeding Story” here.
I am determined to give my breastmilk to my son for as long as I can, and it’s my PISA that’s been enabling me to do so.
😌 It makes me feel extremely proud of myself.
I’ve been exclusive pumping for almost all of 2020 and we’re already past the half-year mark. Definitely not the way I envisioned 2020 — I didn’t expect that I would be hooked up to a breast pump and be spending countless hours pumping breastmilk this year. But when the year comes to a close and my highlight is that I pumped breastmilk for the entire year, I am at peace with that.
When I see my son, happy and healthy, I can’t help but think the magical (or I should say scientific) changes that happened to my body, along with my strong determination to nourish him, makes it all possible.
I mean look at this chunky little nugget!! 😍