I love this article for many many reasons. I had a premature baby and pumped for 6 months exclusively. I pumped out of sadness and I pumped out of guilt, but I wish I had listened to my mom and stopped pumping once it sent me into depression. I’ve included my story below in case it helps any other mothers in my situation.
My son was born 10 weeks premature and spent 9 weeks in the NICU. I pumped every three hours when he was in the NICU with the hope of being able to breastfeed when he came home. Why did I want to breastfeed? B/c I saw “Breast is best!” and “What’s on baby’s menu? Breast!” posters around my hospital room for 5 days straight, not to mention everything else mentioned in the article.
We tried breastfeeding in the hospital, but it was not successful. So we brought him home and I kept pumping. Every. Three. Hours. I still had hope! I had to breastfeed! Eventually, he got the hang of it, but at our next doctor’s appointment, we were told he had to have more calories and we needed to count how much he ate, which breastfeeding doesn’t allow. I was devastated and once again disappointed. So, I kept pumping b/c I felt like I was making up for the fact that my body had failed my baby. Every. Three. Hours. By the time we hit the six month mark and I went back to work, I was in serious depression. I felt distanced from my child and extremely isolated from my friends and family b/c every three hours, I had to go pump. Some days my supply was great and some days I would have to pump for 40 minutes to make sure I had enough milk for his next feeding. So I said eff this and switched to formula. It was amazing! It freed up like 2 additional hours in my day where I could spend time with him and I no longer had to pump while I watched someone else bottle feed the baby. I love my baby. I would do anything for him. But I realized that I was pumping for society, not for him and not for me. So I stopped and I’ve never regretted it.