Explaining The Pump

Here’s how most breastfeeding conversations go:

Well Meaning Type Person: Are you feeding her yourself?

Me: Yes I am, well, kind of. I pump.

WMTP: Oh. Right. Why do you do that then?

Queue me waffling out some shortened down version of events that led to the pumping adventure. Usually followed by questions along the lines of:

‘Will she not breastfeed at all then?’

‘Did you try a, b and c?’

‘Wouldn’t formula be easier?’

I then spend all day thinking about what I should have said, how I could have explained it better, crucial (and down right awesome) breast milk science that I missed out. And even more so, kicking myself for not just saying ‘yes’. Because 1 – although they’re just making parenting chit chat, it’s not really their business and 2 – I *am* breastfeeding.

My life would be quite a bit easier if I just said ‘yes’. It’d be simpler if I didn’t blog about it and open myself up to questioning and scrutiny. But us pumping mamas *should* talk about it. There are thousands of exclusive pumpers, living in some kind of secret underworld. Unless we reach out to each other, we’ll continue to feel isolated. And unless we talk openly about our lives with the pump, we’ll continue to face a barrage of questions about our nipples being sucked clean off.

Some days I’m not up for the challenge of championing the cause, it can be hard work. And on those days, a ‘yes’ will do. Because pumping mothers *are* breastfeeding mothers. We have every right to say ‘yes’.


Posted on January 3, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Its funny how I have never thought of pumping as something different from breastfeeding, its always been breastfeeding to me, unless someone starts asking questions then they would never know that I exclusively pump. My daughters peads don’t even know that I pump 🙂

  2. Will be going down this route as opposed to BF too.

    People I think would assume you don’t BF in any way cos they see a bottle, not realising in fact it’s still breast milk.

  3. Hi Hannah-Just wondering why you are planning to not BF (vs pumping) before your baby comes. I always felt that holding your baby skin-to-skin and very close was such a rush for me. Very good for milk production as well. I understand that some moms really have issues especially if their baby is in the hospital……

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