Pregnancy, or getting pregnant, was not an easy road for us. After a loss, followed by a corrective surgery, and then some infertility, finding out we were expecting our little one was the greatest day in our lives up to that point.
We were blessed along the way with finding our loving care providers at Edenway, where we were welcomed with open arms and educated beyond any expectations we had. The love and support my husband and I had throughout our entire pregnancy could not have been matched by any others, I’m sure of it!
Breastfeeding was never a decision for us, it’s just the way it was going to be. We knew all the benefits and there was just no question about it. I knew there could be obstacles, I knew working full time and pumping would be a huge one (and an inconvenient one), but we just knew that we would make it work somehow. I didn’t put too much stress on a time goal or anything like that, just knew we would start and go strong for as long as it seemed right for us. As of me writing this, DS is 21 months and shows no sign of stopping. I’ll be honest, it’s me that gets the urge to make the cut, but through continued support from my loving husband and wonderful best friend I’m powering through my “touched out” phase.
Anyway, back to where I started…
Give or take, that’s the number of times I pumped that liquid gold for our little man. I pumped twice a day from the time I went back to work when DS was 2 months old until he reached his 1st birthday! I am not only a full time working mom, but I am in a service oriented industry; therefore, I am on the road and at different locations throughout the DFW metroplex on a daily basis.
Determination goes a long way, because I didn’t just have to make arrangements with the HR person at my office, I had to make arrangements with every client individually (and easily half of those were men!). So yes, setting your mind to the task is a huge part of the journey. Secondly, it has to be the support system. Had I not had my husband, friends, chiro AND midwives backing me, answering all questions and providing the level of support I received, I believe I would be writing a very different post today. I’m abundantly thankful for my support system.
For my schedule, I learned early on that pumping twice a day was the best way to make it happen (three was just too much). I used the Medela Pump In Style Advanced system, and bought a second set of pump parts so I didn’t have to fully clean them each time at work. The biggest frustrations for me personally where the location limitations. There were many times I was sitting on a floor in a closet or even not being able to have hot water to rinse my parts. In addition to those types of frustrations, just the task itself can get daunting and your mind plays those tricks on you (how did I only get 2oz?? Will this be enough??).
And those darn white membranes, UGH. I finally just bought an extra pack of them to keep on me at all times because I had a special touch for ripping holes in them when I was cleaning and it doesn’t work at all without them.
So to sum it all up, here are my 5 tips for making your working/breastfeeding journey a little better:You know, there wasn’t one day I didn’t have enough milk for DS. There were even days where I pumped a whole bottle less than normal (and I stressed about it) and then somehow the next day, DS wouldn’t need that extra one. Through it all, I just kept in mind how beautiful our bodies are. How amazing it is that our own body can create this precious life, grow and birth it, and nourish him or her with the perfect mix of nutrition they need. All without us forcing it to happen. I stayed motivated by just knowing I was part of this sisterhood of superwomen. All working towards the same goal and purpose in life to love and provide for our babies.
1. Stay positive! Know the value in the beautiful thing you’re doing for your baby.
2. Stay hydrated and snack all day.
3. Keep your support system close.
4. Soak up the sweet bonding moments at home and feeding your little one.
5. and for the love, get an extra pack of white membranes!
Guest post by Tia Pongratz