Day Ten | Jasmine's Journey | Pumping through College
As my little girl grows older – she is almost two now - she is mostly just comfort nursing, but that is perfectly fine because I know she is still getting so many nutrients. Plus, I love the connection it has built between us.
Stress of Back to School Pumping and Supply
Most of my stress came from knowing I was going to be going back to school for 8 hours a day with too short of breaks to be able to pump, minus lunch. I was really nervous that I wouldn’t be able to pump enough to keep up with what she needed as a baby or even keep my supply up for when we were together. In the months leading up to going back to class I worked to build up as much of a stash as I could. This worked really well, I would get at least 6 ounces every time I pumped.
The actual experience actually worked out fine. I talked to the teacher and simply asked if I could pump in the back of the room. I wanted to make sure that the sound of the pump wouldn’t bother anyone else in the class. Everyone was very understanding. My boyfriend actually surprised me with hands free pump attachments so I could even take notes and pump at the same time. It worked out so well. I was able to sit in the back of class and pump during lecture as needed. Even during the days we had clinicals my instructor helped me to find a private and comfortable room for me to pump in every few hours.
In order to store the milk I was pumping in class, I just took a little cooler with ice packs in it. It worked perfectly for class. The days I had clinicals I had access to a fridge I could put everything in. Then I would separate the milk into 3-4 ounce bags and put them in my moms deep freezer. She was the one that was going to be using the milk so this made the most sense. She was appreciative that I separated the milk into ounces so that she could defrost and warm enough for a bottle at a time.
Nursing in Public
In the beginning, I never went anywhere without a cover. But around her two month birthday, the thought of nursing in public didn’t seem to bother me anymore so I stopped bothering with all of that.
Thankfully, I have never had anyone say or do anything negative to me. But I did have one experience that changed the way I thought about nursing in public. It was my first time nursing in public without a cover – we were at the museum. I found a seat and sat down and got comfortable. My dad kept a watchful eye to make sure no one bothered me. We finished and were walking away when someone tapped my shoulder and handed me a note and walked off. I got so nervous thinking they were going to say how horrible it was, but I opened it to find them saying "Thank you for normalizing breastfeeding in public! You help it become easier for us all! Rock on mama!" I still have the note! It gave me so much more confidence, I never bothered with a cover again.
The only person that knows what is best for you and your baby is you. Follow your gut and do what feels right, no matter what. Getting advice and help when you need it is essential but know that what you feel means something. Don’t ignore it. Stay strong and don’t be afraid to seek guidance when you need it.
Be sure to leave a comment below giving her some encouragement or advice. It is always wonderful to know you are not alone. If you would like to share your story, contact me and we can start to plan how to share your story through words and photos. And keep following along with all of the stories this month.