i exclusively pumped for a year


August 1, 2018

if i’m looking sad and forlorn in any of these photos it’s because i’m morning the loss of my once youthful breasts. can i say that on here? youthful breasts? well from youthful to useful i guess they went while i exclusively pumped for a solid year. thats right ladies and hopefully no gentleman. a solid year. they’re tired, they’re worn, they have had the crap beat out of them 6-8 times a day for a solid year by a evil witch doctor named madela. i have had a lot of people reach out to me and ask me for tips on how i did it… short answer… like forest gump “i just kept pumping”

i always said that i was going to give breast feeding and pumping a try. i was never going to commit myself to something that 1.) i didn’t even know would work and 2.) something that i didn’t know was best for both otto and me. when i had my c section i got to hug and kiss my baby before he went to the nicu and then i was wheeled into recovery and handed some plastic cones and was told “get to work” ok nurse didn’t exactly say that. she was super awesome but the sooner you can pump the better off you’ll be. i got nothing. like .2 ounces but i kept going until one morning i woke up and my milk came in. that was weird. painful rock boobies. starting off i didn’t really have a choice i had to pump. otto was in the NICU and if i wanted him to have breast milk i had to pump. it was easy while we were there because all the supplies were readily available and you had nothing to really do but sit next to your baby and pump. for the first few months i pumped 8 times a day. otto couldn’t eat orally that well so i didn’t put the extra stress on him to feed. after about 6 months i was starting to fade. it was hard. especially with all of the doctor appointments and then ottos surgery. it was just really hard to keep going. so i let myself cut back to 6 times a day and then after 9 months 5 times a day. then around 10 months 4, 3, 2 you get the point. by the time ottos first birthday rolled around i was pumping when i woke up and went to sleep. i have only had to pump once or twice after quitting cold turkey. and don’t hate but i’ve been taking a bit of dayquil to help diminish my milk supply. i remember that from when i had the flu. and it’s actually worked a bit.

ok so some things i found super useful while pumping:

why oh why did it take me so long to order a hands free pumping bra. it’s a game changer. you’re still tethered by plastic tubing but you can at least shop on your phone with both hands free. i ordered this one from amazon and it worked amazing. like nothing makes you feel sexier than a “soft pink” sassy hands free pumping bra. plus once you pull your cones off you look a little like madonna because your nips are pulled through.

i have an outlet in my car so i would try to schedule my pumping sessions on when i had to drive somewhere. we always have to go at least 20 minutes so i would strap otto in, strap myself in, strap my boobies in and go. i always thought my my i pity the cop who pulls me over. i would take a small lunch cooler with me to keep my milk cold and then i would use these wipes while we were on the go. and these bags for storage.

i used an app to keep track of my sessions and amount. not only did i get myself in a little competition with myself but it allowed me to see how certain diet changes and other factors affected my milk supply. also it provides wonderful material for some day when otto tells me he’s going to his girlfriends house for christmas. oh really otto? i have 10,643 ounces and 473 hours that tell me differently. you’ll be here for christmas until time is served. the app i used is called “pump tracker” and it’s pink.

pumping and breast feeding is a big commitment and there is no shame if you do for the first year, month, day or if you just decide it’s not for you. FED is best. you have a big adjustment to a newborn and it’s hard. don’t put that extra pressure on yourself if you just feel you can’t do it. pumping for a year was super hard. my breasts now look like fruit by the foot. i literally have to roll them in to my bra. and i have no shame someday when we are for sure done having children i will be making a nice visit to the “spa” to get a “corrective lift” because i’m going to level with you. the other day i got out of the shower and was putting on my calves. i kept feeling a fly and swatting it a way. nope that was my nip. dragging in a place it never used to drag. but you know what? it’s all good. i think they’re actually kind of funny now. and the best part of being done pumping is being able to wear jumpers and other high necked articles of clothing that do not require getting undressed to pump.

pumping and breast feeding isn’t for everyone and i never thought it would be for me i just told myself i’ll keep going as long as it’s going well. and then a year … see ya!


thanks to my pal ashley for these photos!

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  1. Diana says:

    Way to go! I exclusively pumped for my twins for 13 months…and it is a commitment (but also strange how quickly it just becomes a part of life). My pregnancy wasn’t great, the twins came early and did time in NICU. Somehow I think having kids in NICU makes the resolve to ‘just keep pumping’ even stronger…kind of like, if I can’t do all the mom stuff at first myself, then the least I can do is keep the milk coming!

    If you have extra froze milk you won’t use, look into donating to The Mother’s Milk Bank at Bronson. I did it and they are always looking for more.

    Cheers to a job well done and banana boobs 🙂

Abigail Albers       Author

Abby is a wife and mother, antique shopper, entrepreneur, gardener, sheep lady, sequin enthusiast and your Midwest Martha Stewart Wannabe.. Follow her on instagram @adventuresinabbyland.

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