Breastfeeding and Pumping, Again . . . Do I Have To?!


We are halfway to baby boy #2, which means halfway to breastfeeding . . . again!  Oh, but do I have to?!

One of the many questions a first-time mother is asked before having her first child is, “Are you going to breastfeed?” My answer (over three years ago) was that I was going to give it a solid try, truly hoping it would work for me/us. However, I always followed up by saying that I wasn’t going to the ends of the earth to make sure I checked that box on the SUPERMOM resume. Dear cloth diapering, I was totally cool with keeping your box blank from day one!

If nursing didn’t work for us (for whatever reason), I was prepared to go the formula route. At that point, I had seen nursing work swimmingly for some mom-friends and miserably for others. I did not judge those mommies’ overall mommy success (“mommabilities” if you will) on the nursing yay or nay. With all the vulnerability, hormones, and learning that goes on during the first season of motherhood, we mommies just do our very best!

My son and I struggled with his latch at first. I had about a month of severe pain that was only relieved by extreme amounts of Lansinoh HPA Lanolin (no other brands worked) and time. I kicked my feet in pain on every latch for that month and almost threw in the towel a handful (ahem, maybe more like 100) of times. My husband supported me either way, but my stubborn self persisted, and luckily it paid off.

My firstborn son and I after our very first breastfeeding session.

After that month, breastfeeding life was wonderful. I adored that downtime with my baby, away from it all. We bonded, I stared and memorized that precious face, and cried from happiness . . . a lot.

Then this annoying thing called work crept back into my life and the dream came to an end. Instead of holding this sweet baby in my arms, I had to hook myself up to a pump and it all sort of fell apart.

I made it a little over four months exclusively breastfeeding, went back to work, and almost immediately had to start supplementing with formula. Truth? I sucked at pumping. I never got the amount that I should have; I stressed about it constantly, was in pain, and I felt ridiculous during every single pump. It felt extremely unnatural and I just could not fake it.

My son and I completed eight months of nursing, four of which were part-time, before we called it quits. I feel we would’ve made it longer and with little to no formula if I were able to stay home with him. Pumping was the enemy and I will meet that beast again come this Spring. So as much as I am thrilled to bond with and nourish baby boy #2 through breastfeeding, I am already dreading the pump.

I raise my fist at you, breast pump (and maybe a particular finger):

All the parts, the stupid bra, the pain, the noise, THE CLEANING — Everything! Curse it all. Until we meet again . . . Or will we?

Did you hate pumping? Love it? Have you figured out a trick that must be shared? Do tell in the comments below!


  1. Hey Sarah,
    I had similar problems with Rocco but Nico went so much smoother!!! Personally I love breastfeeding becuase of the bond, snuggle time and down time for me. I stressed a lot with my milk supply with Rocco but with Nico I took a do what I can do and I can’t do any more. It was much nicer and stressed less. Pumping is a B#*~^!!!!!!!!! Once I found the hands free pumping bra it helped some. I would scroll through pics of the boys or did some work so I was not thinking about pumping and relaxing more. Wish we could get paid to stay home for the first year of our kids lives!!!! Thought about moving to Canada but a little late for that!
    I would say try to make it the first month becuase they say that is the most important. Looking forward to reading more. Best of luck!!!

  2. Thank you for your honesty 🙂 As a non-breastfeeding mama, it’s always refreshing to not feel the judgement from others. Although, I do not judge myself and I am 100% sure that I made the right decision for myself and my family, this is such a sensitive topic and there are A LOT of strong opinions out there about it… which leads to unsolicited “advice”. Love your thoughts here – and I know whatever happens with Baby T #2, it will all be alright! Can’t wait to meet him!!!! 🙂

  3. Great post!!

    The first month was definitely painful!! BUT, I like you suffered through the first month. Several friends said “if you can make it 6 weeks you will be golden!” I trusted them and we were!!

    I LOVED the time Lainey and I shared and went a total of 10.5 months. She gave up before I did so thankfully I didn’t have to ween her! I remember being sad about it though 🙁
    Once I went back to work at about 4 months I instantly had to supplement with formula. I couldn’t keep up with the supply and demand 🙂 I also dreaded the pump, BUT it wasn’t awful!! I figured as long as I was nursing in the morning and at night it was enough. Pumping 2-3 times a day was hard work, and would only get 1 maybe 2 bottles if I was lucky!! I ended up pumping longer than nursing bc I couldn’t give it up!

    Ugh….dreading the pump and the inevitable of going back to work when we are blessed with #2 but very much looking forward to breastfeeding and having a newborn!

    I think the 2nd time will be easier and you know what to expect! Less crazy super mom expectations. At least that’s what I tell myself ?

  4. Great post! Ah the dreaded pump…I 100% feel your pain! It was my absolute least favorite thing about breastfeeding! I was always SO stressed about how much I produced in a day and if it would be enough. I definitely had to push through the beginning of breastfeeding too…the pain for me lasted a good solid 8 weeks and then would come and go another 2 weeks or so after that. I remember my first week back at work freaking about my supply and rushing out and renting a hospital grade pump…that I kept at work until Caleb was 1 year old! I am NOT looking forward to the pain those first weeks. Ya know what sucked for me…I nursed Caleb until he was 16 months old. I was down to just morning and night, no more pumping and my plan was to just go until he stopped (unless it was past 2…I had to draw the line). Unfortunately the last few months I went back to major pain, cracked and bleeding nipples and mastitis. I mean seriously…what the heck???!!! The end should just be total bliss and happiness! Not for me. I went to see one Dr…older gentleman…shall we say old school and he basically told me to just stop nursing. Thanks dude! In the end I had to…it ended up being a good decision but I was sad.

    I will say this…I have friend who’s supply basically tripled if not more for her second. She lost 8 million pounds and ended up donating a TON of milk because she had so much. She thinks it is because she is so much less stressed this time around. Who knows…maybe that will be so for us! If we can just relax and not worry so much it won’t be so torturous and stressful!

    You’re a month ahead of me so you’ll have to keep me posted!!

  5. A friend advised me to have some videos of baby playing while pumping,and it was the best advise I got for my first. I pumped up to her first birthday supplementing quite a bit. I absolutely hated the pump and it was a glorious day when we parted, but the savings alone was enough motivation for me to keep at it.

  6. I had supply issues with both of my boys. I had to nurse and then pump immediately after for about a month and that was really hard, but totally worth it! After that my supply regulated and I exclusively breast fed until their first birthdays. I didn’t like pumping and it was a lot of work to breastfeed and pump, but it’s so worth it! Do the best you can, that’s all you can do!

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