The journey of motherhood is often experimental and full of surprises. You learn through your experiences and you also unlearn through them! I strongly believe motherhood is a different journey for every mother. The situations may be the same for all of us but the outcome varies all the time. When I got to know I was expecting, I had a whirlpool of emotions building up. The biggest inhibition was how would I be as a mother? There was one thing that I was very sure of and that was, continuing with my work. I had assured myself that I would resume work once my baby is about 4 months or so. I even began prepping up for it by spending a few hours away from him, even though a part of me always stayed with him.
Then came the time when I had to introduce him to formula milk as he was exclusively breastfed. To everyone’s horror, the formula did not suit him. Nope not even 5ml of it. We thought it’s just a phase because maybe the baby was experiencing separation anxiety. So we tried a few different brands of formula. I even got my brother who lives abroad to send me a box of the best baby formula. Nope, none of them suited him. He would puke literally half a litre of vomit with just little formula going into his system and then, this mommy began to panic. From being super confident about returning to work, this mommy became extremely paranoid. We soon got to know that the little man’s digestive system is extremely sensitive and he has to be only breastfed. So much for the mother-son bonding. Pheww!
I was well aware of the benefits of breastfeeding and definitely did not want to stop it for him but I also had to get back to work and be able to balance. I then remembered how a nurse had helped me with expressing milk when the baby was hospitalized for jaundice.
It soon occurred to me that I should try using a breast pump. I had never used one and I was apprehensive on which one I should buy. I asked for options on various social media groups and everyone had different opinions about which one to buy. I asked a few friends who I knew had used breast pumps. They suggested opting for something that was simple to use and was electronic. I understood the difference between electronic and manual as the nurse at the hospital had used a manual one. Expressing milk through a manual breast pump seemed like a cumbersome chore.
I then began looking for options online because I was confused with all the suggestions that were given. Once I was browsing through amazon for some clothes because I needed to soothe my super hyper hormones through shopping, I decided to look for a few options for breast pumps too.I finally bought a electric breast pump due to the many benefits it offered.
It had a soft silicone massage cushion which made expressing milk a smooth and comfortable process. The comfortable sitting position made it convenient for me to express without bending. It had a closed pumping system which ensured that the hygiene would be intact as it prevented contamination via back-flow of milk into suction tube. As per the details mentioned about the product, it had a 2 phase operating system. This meant it had an option for stimulation and expression of milk. It also had an option to set the frequency of expression. The best part was that it had the option of being battery operated; hence I even took it to work with me. I was able to preset the frequency of expression and expressing milk was an easy task now.
Besides being a life saver for many moms, here a few more benefits of using of a breast pump
Increases the milk supply – We all know that breast milk works on the demand and supply rule however it is not always possible to feed the baby when your breasts are full. Hence, pumping milk works similar to baby sucking milk, which ideally helps to increase milk supply.
Convenience – They say, rest when your baby is resting however no mother ever experienced it completely. Pumping and storing milk can give you or another care taker, the convenience of feeding the baby when it’s hungry. This gives the mother also some time for comfort and relaxation.
Helps reduce the discomfort due to medical conditions – Not all moms are able to breastfeed easily. Using a breast pump to a certain extent, helps mothers feed their babies easily.
There are also certain contradictory notions about the constant use of a breast pump such as engorgement of breasts or loss of vital nutrients while pumping milk. The decision of how frequently one must use a breast pump completely depends on the comfort and condition of the mother and child. One must also check with their medical practitioner for any additional tips and help.
Whether a mother breastfeeds or not shouldn’t define her bond with her child. There is always a lot more to motherhood than just breastfeeding. Everything should be balanced well and done as per what is best for the mother and the child.