Posted By: Mona Hickey
I went back to work at eight weeks. The biggest fear I have is that my milk is going to dry up. I can't stress out because it zaps milk supply! How do I keep zen about something I have become obsessed with?
I don't want boob implants. I want boob transplants. I want to switch out my breasts for these women who have no issues with their milk supply. They have symmetric orbs that gush out enough breastmilk that not only feed their babies, they could also quell a rabid, pitchfork-wielding pillaging mob or fend off a bear attack. These women are fortunate. Their hair glitters in the sun. Their skin is smooth and blemish free. They never need make-up and their stockings never run. They often say, "Oh! I am so full! I shouldn't have finished that rice cake!"
Okay, maybe their lives aren't that gilded, but my mind wanders to these milk-heavy ladies when I pump and the white liquid inside barely reaches more than a few ounces. Do they also keep a hawk-eye watch over their breast pumps and pumping breasts? Am I the only one who pumps and pumps to feed her baby and worries that it may not be enough?
I love breastfeeding. I can breastfeed easily. My son latches on without trouble and from his milk-drunk face and fluttering eyes, I can tell it's a success. But breast-pumping is a different issue. It's a job during the job I already have. It's not a simple or easy one, either. I have to maintain a schedule. I have to make a strategy. And though I love knowing that I can still feed my baby, I have to wonder, is this only difficult for me? Am I the only one who is barely managing to pump and is reminded of a low, paltry supply several times a day?
There's only one other woman in my work who is also pumping but she will be weaning her baby soon, meaning that I will be the only one who still needs the space, time and privacy to pump. So in the office I'll be alone with my pump struggles and outside the office, I'll have this blog to share the trials and triumphs of working full-time and working part of that time to feed a hungry baby.
What I hope is that someone else will read this, maybe another woman who also has a low milk supply, who may watch too much reality TV and have a working knowledge of recent Hollywood break-ups, current lottery prizes and how much the price of movie theater popcorn has risen in the past two years. Too much to ask, maybe? I hope that she will read this and know that she is not alone, that her eyes pick up on phrases like, "low milk supply," and she will nod and nod and say, "Me, too. Me, too."3:29pm on Monday November 15
I am 8 months out and every four hours at work I get maybe 2.2 ounces total. It is horrible but I keep going because even if he is having to have 1/2 formula at least he gets half breastmilk. I have tried everything. It is frustrating but I love nursing my boy so much I will not give up until he loses interest.
I've been meaning to comment - me, too. Nursing is great and he gets everything he needs when we nurse, but my boobies are not so fond of the pump. AND a few weeks ago Oliver decided he won't take a bottle, so our sitter has to spoon feed him 2.5 ounces and mix the rest in his food so he doesn't starve when I'm at work. Thankfully I'm only in the office Tues-Thurs, so it is managable. But, yeah. Pumping has not been easy for me either.
OH ME TOO. ME TOO.
Nursing is going great (it's been 9 weeks!) but pumping is... pathetic, really. The baby is obviously getting what she needs, but if I need anything extra, it's a struggle. I'm just one of the unlucky ones, I guess. Thankfully I have a flexible work schedule (work at home part-time, baby will only be at daycare 2x each week) so I won't have to stress too much. But it's still frustrating and I get SO jealous when I hear about women who pump 5 ounces in 10 minutes and I get... maybe 1 or 2 in 30 minutes.
So, I feel your pain! Or rather- my boobs do! :)