When I found out I was pregnant, I had a list of expectations that I had set for myself when I became a mother. Breastfeeding was at the top of that list. The benefits of breastfeeding are astounding – from the bonding that occurs between mom and baby to the undeniable health benefits of breast milk, nursing seemed like a no-brainer when it came to raising my twin babies. Although breastfeeding is as natural as breathing, it also presents many challenges.
I wished for nothing more than to be able to nurse my twins. During my maternity leave, I was able to for a short while. But after returning to work and having struggled with latching problems from the start, the babies started refusing the breast and losing interest. It was a difficult reality for me to face, but I succumbed to the fact that their nursing days were waning. However, I was still producing milk and didn’t want to waste a valuable source of nutrition for them.
Pumping is Breastfeeding
When people ask me if I am still breastfeeding, I say “yes”. I decided that although I am not feeding my babies directly from my breast, I am still taking the time throughout the day to sit and think about them while I produce their food. It took a lot of effort for me to increase my supply to the point that I can provide for them with food that I produce from my body.
I pump at work. In the car. I have pumped while bottle-feeding both babies, sitting on the floor, with both of them on their boppy pillows on both sides of me.
Yes, pumping is a pain, and no, it is not fun. Most of the time it feels like a chore and it can get in the way of spending time with my babies. It is hard to hold a baby while being hooked up to a machine.
Would I rather be nursing my babies? Of course. But I continue to pump because, for me, it is the best way that I feel I can provide for my babies. I think it is amazing that my body can produce something nutritious for them. And I know there are a lot of mommas out there who wish they could produce milk but can’t, so I feel fortunate that I can do such a thing.
My goal is to make it until the babies turn 9 months, at which point I plan on weaning from the pump. It is a day I am looking forward to but until then, I will continue to take pride in spending time with “my breast friend”.