Mamas To Know: Laura’s Breastfeeding (Pumping) Journey.
At Piper Marie we believe the best way to help other moms is to tell our stories. I know personally I have learned way more about breastfeeding through other moms’ stories than anywhere else. So I thought this would be a great avenue to do just that. Tell mothers’ stories.
Today we are talking to Laura who is the breastfeeding/ pumping goddess behind @theexclusivepumpingmom on Instagram. She is also one of our brand reps!
How many kids do you have?
Did you breastfeed all of them? How long did you nurse each of them?
I nursed my first on and off for 3 months, mainly pumping. I then switched to exclusively pumping. My second is almost exclusively nursed although I pump every 3 hours. Both girls still get my milk. (Ages 2 and almost 3 months)
Why did you choose to breastfeed?
I wanted to breastfeed in order to give my children the best start in life that I could. I have seen many in my family with health issues; I was only breastfed for 6 weeks. Breastfeeding is something I am passionate about and find joy in.
Did you grow up around breastfeeding?
I did not.
Did you have support from family and friends?
I have support from most people in my life on breastfeeding. My husband is a huge support system for me and that means the world to me!
Did you have to pump? Did you end up exclusively pumping?
Yes and yes!
Did you face any challenges, if so please explain?
Yes, clogged ducts‐used lecithin, Mastitis 3 times (with my first). With my Second it’s been latching issues that we have not been able to correct. We ended up using a shield and I hope to be off it soon!
Did your breastfeeding journey come to an end?
Only for a short time, it has started back up! Thankfully I’m able to provide milk for both of my girls though.
One thing you wish you knew before you started breastfeeding?
I wish I knew that I should trust my body and not doubt it. Our bodies are able to grow a baby, deliver that child and then we question ourselves when it comes to feeding that child with that same body. Our bodies were meant to do this!
Do you have any advice for first time moms?
Talk to breastfeeding moms/groups, do your research. Also set aside money for a lactation consultant.
Laura’s breastfeeding story in her words.
When my first daughter Sofia was born in November of 2013 I knew that I would do everything in my power to provide her with my breast milk. I did not have a preference between nursing or pumping, as long as she had my milk, I would be happy. I nursed and she was perfect, great latch, I was blessed! I soon started to pump, I wanted to create a good stash since I would soon be back at work. I quickly realized that I was still very full even after nursing, so I started to pump afterwards. I quickly created a schedule of pumping every 2 hours, even through the night. Soon enough I was freezing milk. I was eventually able to donate 2,000 oz to babies in need as well as having 3,000 oz left for my baby girl. Along the road I had clogged ducts three times a week. I quickly found relief with lecithin and was down to 1 clog a month! I also battled mastitis three separate times! My last bout of mastitis was in November of 2014. I had been weaning from the pump for 2 months at that time and was down to 2 pumps a day. In the two pumps a day I was still getting 30 oz! I called my OB and found zero assistance there, The following day I was in the ER with a 103 fever, chills and crying in pain. I was pushed by the doctor and nurses to stop pumping cold turkey. I told them I was weaning and I wasn’t comfortable stopping suddenly when I was still producing 30 oz a day. They pushed and told me how it would be best for me and my body, I eventually thought I had to trust them… They are medical professionals after all. I ended up doing as they said. I then ended up in and out of the hospital for two weeks while they adjusted my antibiotics. They were worried that the infection may have spread to my blood, thankfully it had not. I was engorged for two weeks until I finally started to feel better. The end of my breastfeeding journey was rough, I didn’t expect it to end when/how it did. I was also upset that an uneducated doctor (in regards to breastfeeding) had given and insisted on the horrible advice he gave me. I was more upset that I listened to them when my gut told me otherwise I continued to feed my daughter the Frozen breast milk until she was 20 months old. (Yay!!!) At 24 months (November 2015) her baby sister Gisele arrived! Right away we had issues with her latch and have not been able to correct them. We have settled with nursing with a shield. I am now a stay at home mom and would love to nurse more. On the other hand, I want to give my 2 year old my milk as well. I decided on an unpopular decision, take a lot of my time up by pumping every 3 hours in order to create a frozen stash as well as give my girls my milk. On top of this, I nurse my 2 month old in between pumps on demand. It’s a lot of work, but since I’m home now, it works for us. I decided since I was home I would do something different and create an Instagram in order to show support, advice and tips to exclusively pumping moms.
As a mom who has been doing this for so long, I know that information is lacking. I did a lot of research when I had my first daughter to find how to best pump, deal with pumping problems and more. I decided I could reach more moms in need on Instagram who may need advice. It’s quickly taken off with over 200 women who have found my page @theexclusivepumpingmom! It’s amazing how many women need some words of encouragement and advice on the subject. I am honestly thrilled to be able to help them! I am currently 12 weeks pp and have 1200 oz of milk frozen in my deep freezer! I’m sure I’ll be donating to a baby in need very soon!
Are you ready to tell your story? Whether you breastfeed exclusively, supplemented, or had another journey altogether; we want to hear it. We want to share it for others to learn from. We would love love love to hear it and share it. Maybe you have dealt with something another mom is struggling with, you can help her. Click here to take our interview. The time it takes depends on your story.