Breastfeeding | Pumping Sucks

Tonight I am heading out with one of my girlfriends for a little wine and painting date. I am thrilled to get out of the house and have some adult only time but getting out the door is such a hassle. I tell you I love breastfeeding but pumping is the pits. I give major props to those working moms who spend half their day pumping because if it were me I tell you I would have given up on breastfeeding within a week of starting back to work.

I unfortunately am not one of the lucky women who can pump with no issue. It takes me multiple times, I’m talking 5-6 sessions, to pump a 5oz bottle. I just don’t let down to the pump easily at all. Pumping involves me turning the pump up all the way and then I have to keep adjusting to get the flow to come and 10 minutes in there is no more coming out and I have hardly filled a bottle. Needless to say my desire to get out for more than an hour at a time is squashed the thought of having to pump. I sucked it up for tonight but ugh I just finished session number 2 and I still only have 1.5oz.

You might be thinking why not start sooner than the night before? Well I know I could have started yesterday morning or even Monday night and still have had a fine bottle for tonight but I honestly just didn’t even think about it. I mean I knew I had to do it but since it’s just not in my ordinary routine to pump I just didn’t even think of it with everything else I have had going on at home. I also am weary about pumping and freezing because back when Edith was a baby I did this and I had a freezer stocked (with 1-2oz bags) of milk but due to an excess of lipase my milk would go sour making it in edible. The problem is I didn’t know that until after I had already pumped (what felt like) a million times. Apparently you can scald the milk immediately after expressing before you freeze and this can help with the excess lipase but since I didn’t know that until it was too late I have never done that and at this point I can’t be bothered.

Anyways the point of this post is to tell you that yes pumping sucks. Yes 90% of the time I would rather stay home than pump but it is also IMPORTANT to suck it up pump as many times as necessary to get a bottle and get out of the house for 4-5 hours ALONE. I can do it and so can you; seriously stop thinking of all reasons you can’t because trust me I have used them all but the truth is you NEED to make time for yourself. To be honest I am writing this post to convince myself of all this as well. Also when all else fails make plans to do something that you have to pay for in advanced because you are less likely to back out aka why I am going out tonight (and because I need GF time).

How is pumping going for you? What are you pumping highs and lows? Why do you pump? or why don’t you? 

I think I need to get a new pump because one side seems to have more suction than the other. I have always wondered if my pumping issues are also in part due to my pump. Do you have a pump you love? Share with me. Also wondering if I can still qualify for a pump via my insurance – anyone have insight on this?


  1. I breastfed my daughter until she was almost 14 months, but had to go back to work after 4 months, so there was really no option but to pump. I didn’t have a great supply in the first place and didn’t let down to the pump well at all, so it was extremely hard to keep up. I started building a freezer stash when she was a month old and had a pretty good amount by the time I went back to work, but I was still stuck in a storage closet pumping 3-4x a day just to keep up. There was nothing awesome about it, except that it allowed me to keep nursing my daughter for so long, and I really LOVED breastfeeding.

    I’m not looking forward to it with my next one at all, considering I might have to go back to work even earlier next time. Sigh. But we do what we have to! Just keep making a commitment to pump occasionally, it’s good to get out of the house sometimes, and other people probably love being able to feed the baby too! 🙂

  2. Sarah

    I think you can get a pump with your insurance within a year of baby being born, but it probably depends on your insurance carrier. Pumping output can definitely be affected by the pump itself (suction), ill fitting shields (or are they called flanges?) and maybe just needing to replace the valves, membranes or tubing. But some women do just have trouble getting much out that way vs. feeding baby.

    I used a Medela double electric pump from insurance at home (for when I needed to be away) and a Medela Pump In Style at work (donated to me from a friend). Both worked really well for me but I especially liked the PIS because it has a letdown button, which you can push whenever you notice the flow has stopped. It was really hard to get into a routine of pumping at work at first and I missed having my breaks and lunch to myself, but it was totally worth it. I wasn’t always the best at taking breaks anyway, so this sort of forced me to. I nursed my son for 17 months but was able to stop pumping gradually after his first birthday. I definitely don’t miss it (and I’ll be doing it again starting next summer!) but it is a life saver.

  3. I hear ya! My let downs do not come easy with a pump. Honestly I am not so committed this time around. I want to give my babe just breastmilk if I can but its not worth my stress/sanity. So if need be we will have a can of formula around for emergencies. I will still pump to make up for the lost session but damn sometimes that can just needs to be in the house for me to stress less about it and get more! Also I have heard really good things with a single manual pump instead of the big electric jobby, I might pick one up, its worth the cheep price! Good luck and get out girl!!

  4. Candace

    I’m on a schedule of pumping twice a day, once after her first feeding of the day and once before bed. Dan feeds her a bottle of milk every night before bed, to give me a break. (It is really great because by then I’m usually done and it gives them a chance for bonding time. That said, I almost never take a “break” and usually get things done around the house as it’s my first chance.) I pump at that time to make up for the lost meal (the AM one was originally to help increase supply, but now I need to pump 2x to get enough for a full bottle in the evenings). The amount I pump tends to be all over the place, from 1-3+oz in a pumping session. It is now part of my routine, but annoying; there are days I wish I could just skip the sessions altogether (especially the constant dishes and disinfecting!). Like you said, though, I would also hate having to do it at work and saw myself potentially quitting nursing earlier than I’d like, so I am glad to be able to stay home and mostly breast feed normally. It would be awesome to only pump as needed, though…

    I use a Medela Pump in Style Advance I got free via my insurance while pregnant. It is pretty good, but I used the Medela Symphony after her birth (insurance-covered due to some complications) for a month and I really liked that one. I’ve had to experiment with phalange sizes to find the most effective pumping sessions.

    Sadly with all this work I only have a very small storehouse in the freezer as a result. My plan, once we figure out a time to go on a date night and actually have a babysitter, is to pump an extra time every night the week leading up in order to build up more of a supply in the freezer. It will be annoying but worth it, as you said. I sometimes remind myself that this is only for a certain length of time, but truthfully I’m not sure when this schedule will be able to change…maybe once I have a bigger supply frozen?

    I’d love to know more about your lipase excess–how did you figure that out? Just that the milk went bad? Did you have it tested?

  5. I didn’t end up pumping with Theo, just gave him formula top up instead. This time I intend on pumping once Anwen is out of the newborn stage so that I can go out for the evening or get my hair done. I have an electric pump ready. I do so hate pumping, which is why i never did it with theo. It truly sucks. I only did it to try to increase my milk supply. x

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