Breastfeeding VS Pumping

Hi! So, today’s post is regarding a question I get asked often which is: “what do [I] like and don’t like about breastfeeding and/or pumping and which one do [I] prefer?” …

Before anything else, this is based on my experiences and I’m just sharing what worked for me. Just because it worked for me, doesn’t mean it will work for you, so please … Make sound judgements and take advices with a grain of salt and as always, if you have any questions or concerns, talk to your healthcare provider.

Now back to answering that question! For starters, I breastfeed more than I pump, but I do both everyday. Now, I am not one of those super-pumping ladies that have a giant freezer stash of pumped breastmilk that will last them for months! This is because when I consulted with a postpartum registered nurse (before I was discharged from the hospital), a doctor (about a week after my delivery), and with a lactation consultant (shortly after meeting with the doctor), all three ladies gave me an advice to NOT over pump or create an over demand of milk supply, especially if there is no need to.

The reason for this is because I can set myself up for infection from having engorge breasts and plugged ducts if I cannot keep up with the schedule of pumping every 2 hours or so (such as when baby starts to sleep longer at night). They advice that it is wise to pump to alleviate engorge breasts between feedings or to pump after breastfeeding to get rid of what is leftover (which is hardly the case with my baby), so that I can continue to keep my milk supply up, but the main goal is to still breastfeed on demand. Your breasts will adjust to your baby’s demands and milk intake more naturally and you don’t run the risk of having engorged breasts and plugged ducts, because your not demanding more milk than what your baby actually needs.

If you were to open my fridge right now, you’d see that I’d always have around 2-4 bottles of pumped milk ready-to-go. They usually do not last longer than 2 days, because I take them with me when we leave the house or when someone else is feeding Yuna while I rest or get stuff done. If you were to take a look at my freezer, you’d find no stash of pumped milk! TA DA! Haha.

Here’s a list of what I like and don’t like about breastfeeding and pumping, in no particular order …

Breastfeeding LIKES: 

  • Baby knows exactly how much she needs to eat & she’s in control of how much milk she wants.
  • Breasts are emptied out quicker and efficiently, so you do not feel anymore “lumps” afterwards.
  • You get to hold her close to you, where she can feel your warmth and smell you, which will put her at ease.
  • You feel a strong sense of mother-baby bonding/attachment, because it’s something only YOU can do for her and no one else.
  • No need to clean supplies afterwards.
  • It’s great for relaxing her and putting her to sleep!
  • You will feel your uterus contract and see the benefits of “weightloss” after the 4th (or so) month onwards.

Breastfeeding DISLIKES:

  • It will hurt for the first 2-3 weeks. 
  • Your nipples will never look the same again! It will be sore, it will crack, and you might even bleed. 
  • You are glued down to your chair/bed for awhile. It is a very sedentary activity.
  • You will be hungry and thirsty like never before!

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Pumping LIKES:

  • A portable pump lets you pump on-the-go, while you are away from baby.
  • Someone can feed your baby your pumped milk while you are gone or simply getting some rest.
  • If you do not breastfeed in public (like I do), then you can bring your pumped milk with you when you’re taking out baby for a stroll, etc.

Pumping DISLIKES:

  • It can take multiple let-downs until you feel “emptied out”.
  • There are days when you will never really feel emptied out, even after pumping for 45 minutes. 
  • You will be glued to your seat for awhile. It is a sedentary activity after all.
  • You have to warm the milk before serving it to her.
  • You have to clean the supplies afterwards.
  • You have to sterilize and replace your pump parts often.

Annnnd there you go! Like I said earlier, this is just based on my experiences, and what worked for me, what I like and dislike about breastfeeding and pumping, but if you are needing some serious help, or if you have any questions or concerns at all about nursing and such, please talk to your healthcare provider. They are a great source for advice and help! As always …

Yours truly,

Ana

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