Updated: Sep 15
As a working mom who embarked on the exclusive pumping journey, my life transformed in unimaginable ways. Balancing the responsibilities of motherhood and work was no easy feat but this unique experience taught me invaluable lessons that I wish to share with all expecting mothers considering exclusive pumping.
Throughout this challenging journey, I encountered various struggles, from sleepless nights to storage issues but each obstacle offered me profound lessons.
Lesson 1: Time Management is key
Exclusive pumping demands unwavering patience and adaptability. Initially, I struggled to find the perfect pumping routine that would seamlessly fit into my work schedule. But remember, it's okay to experiment and take your time to discover what works best for you. As a working mom, your days can be unpredictable, so be kind to yourself if things don't go as planned. Embrace the journey with an open heart and mind, and you will find your rhythm.
Flexibility is the key to success. Get yourself a nursing cover so that you can pump everywhere you go. You may find yourself pumping in unexpected places – be it a restroom, a car or even a vacant office. Unfortunately, not all offices are equipped with a lactation room – we need more advocacy on breastfeeding support in the workplace!
Lesson 2: Self Care is essential
Oh, the sleepless nights! As any new mom can attest, lack of sleep can take a toll on your emotional and physical well-being. Exclusive pumping added an extra layer of exhaustion to my daily routine as I had to find time for pumping amidst all the other responsibilities.
However, I discovered the importance of self-care and accepting help from loved ones. Whenever possible, take power naps, delegate tasks, and remember that your well-being is just as important as your baby's.
Rest is important to maintain your milk supply, it is not selfish to take a part of the day to take care of yourself!
Lesson 3: Managing Storage and Washing
Storing breast milk can be a logistical challenge, especially when you're on the go. I learned the importance of finding the right storage solutions to prevent any crying over spilled milk, both figuratively and literally! Invest in quality breast milk storage bags as well as a cooler bag.
As a pumping mom, it's essential to have a support system that understands and respects the efforts you put into exclusive pumping. Enlist the help of your partner or family members in washing and sterilising pumping equipment. Teamwork can make the process more manageable and less burdensome.
Lesson 4: Navigating the Lack of Understanding
Exclusive pumping can be met with raised eyebrows and lack of understanding from others, even from well-meaning friends and family. Many people don't realise that exclusive pumping is as valid as breastfeeding and can be the best option for some mothers. Their comments stung and made me doubt my choices.
However, I learned to trust my instincts as a mother and remind myself that every mother's journey is unique. Exclusive pumping is a commendable commitment that requires dedication and love, and you should be proud of it. Surround yourself with positivity and seek validation from within.
Lesson 5: Its a Personal Journey
In the midst of all the challenges, don't forget to celebrate your triumphs. Every ounce of breast milk you provide for your baby is a victory. Acknowledge your strength, resilience and dedication to giving your child the best start in life. As a working mom on an exclusive pumping journey, you are a true warrior, and your efforts deserve applause.
My exclusive pumping journey as a working mom has been a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences. They were difficult to navigate but I stayed true to my conviction. I hope my sharing can inspire and empower mothers considering this option. Remember, every drop of breast milk you provide is a testament to your love and devotion to your child. Embrace the journey with an open heart, and may your exclusive pumping adventure be filled with love, warmth and joy.