My first son was born in August 2013. I never would have thought I would become a full-time breast milk pumper. I always thought I would nurse my kids until they were at least one year old, and only pump here and there, if at all. It is one of the hardest and selfless things I have ever done. I call it a labour of love.
My first son had problems latching. From the day he was born, I started to pump so he could at least have my milk in a bottle. I felt strongly that I didn’t want to use or supplement his nursing with a commercial formula. The lactation consultant said it will be hard, but as long as I pump every 2-3 hours, I’ll be able to keep producing breast milk.
She referred me to another IBCLC (Internationally Bored Certified Lactation Consultant), to see if we could work with my son to get him to latch. While in the hospital he got donor breast milk and I got a good start on saving up my breast milk. I think I had around 1L pumped when leaving the hospital.
The first week after my first was born, I rented a double electric breast pump from the hospital. I would pump every two hours around the clock, even at night time after I fed him, I got up and pumped. With all the pump supplies and bottles needing to be washed every day, the first couple of months weren't pretty. I was exhausted and emotional.
I remember I would wake up, my husband would start to feed our son with that day’s supply and I would be sitting at the table pumping. It was hard when I would go to support groups or just anywhere in public because I noticed a lot of mums breastfeeding. I felt sad that I had to use a bottle. I would get looks and whispers when I would get the bottle out even though it was all breast milk, but you couldn’t tell unless I said something.