Our friend Louise from Mama Bean Parenting shares her insights! To complete our Pumping Profiles series, this week we're meeting Emily, who uses an all-singing-all-dancing Smartpump. I am so thrilled to share Emily's story, as she reminds each and every one of us to remember why we are making the choices that we make. This working mama's message is one of encouragement and commitment.
Which pump do/did you use and why did you choose that particular one?
I chose the Lansinoh Smartpump Double Electric Breast Pump. I didn't really know what I was looking for in regards to a breast pump to be honest. I looked around and saw what a few other moms were using and I read reviews online, but I really just went with it because it didn't seem as "scary" as some of the other pumps. Plus, my insurance covered it!
Can you tell me a bit about your breastfeeding/pumping story?
After I had my son, I had the hardest time during that first month of breastfeeding. My little one kept losing weight but whenever I tried to breastfeed him, it just didn't seem to click. My nipples were constantly sore to the point of wanting to cry and feeling like just giving up completely. After about two weeks of that, I started pumping hoping that it would help. Pumping, combined with showers, helped to give me some relief.
I ended up seeing a lactation consultant who helped us with positioning and then everything just sort of started working together. For the next two months of my maternity leave, I was able to breastfeed exclusively, which made me so happy. When I returned to work, I had to start pumping on a regular basis.
Did you face any hurdles/challenges on your pumping journey?
It's been tricky learning to pump at work. I work in a very people-orientated service industry, so I have to make sure that I am very clear about when and where I am pumping. If I have a meeting, sometimes those meetings run over and I can really feel it in my boobs. I try to make sure that I put my boobs first though and when I first started pumping, I downloaded an app to go with my pump to keep track of how much I was producing.
There have been times where I am just so tired of pumping that I want to give up, but then I picture my little one and keep going (I even have a picture of him on my desk that I look at). I'm determined to provide my son with breast milk until his first birthday.
I've been fortunate to have a place of work that is just grateful that I came back, so they have been willing to work with me in regards to pumping. It's been tricky planning out my workday sometimes in regards to activities, but we make it work!
What advice would you give to a new mom just starting on her pumping journey?
Get nursing pads for your bra. I have a nursing bra that I wear to work daily and that helps me not to worry about leaking issues. Also - remember your why! Why are you doing this? To me, it's all about having a goal in mind and remember why you are doing what you are doing.
If you're a pregnant or nursing mom and unsure as to whether your pump is covered by your health insurance, go ahead and complete Lansinoh's simple form here to find out. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, remember that most insurance companies will cover the entire cost of a breast pump - even a Smartpump, like Emily's. So please, make the most of this coverage, as it is a small-yet-important step in the right direction towards supporting mothers, children and families across the US. Pump on, mamas. You've got this.