14 things I hate about pumping breastmilk

By | February 19, 2009

Pumping breastmilk for your little one is easier said than done. There is lots of hard work and dedication that goes with that. I thought it would be good to provide a list of the top 10 things I hated about pumping.  It ended up to be 14 and I am sure I could easily extend that further. It would be great if you share your hates as well. Send me your top 10 and I will put together and publish our most common hates.

1. Looking at the clock and knowing that the pumping session is about to start

2. Looking at the clock and knowing that the pumping session is about to start and the little one is in the middle of a crying tantrum.

3. The LO is feeding sooooo slowly from the bottle and you want the clock to stop as it ticks past your pumping schedule. You know that you still have to burp and clam the baby

4. Turning on the pump and listening to the eih-eye, eih-eye sound of the pump

5. Turing on the pump and listening to the pump as it sirens away and as the first drops are being expressed and you finally are relaxed enough to have a let-down the LO decides to wake up with a loud cry

6. putting the pump parts together

7. washing and sterilising the pump, parts and bottles

8. Not able to use your freezer for your own needs. After all with a little baby you hardly have time to take a shower, let alone cook. Now the freezer has been cleaned out to leave space for frozen milk

9. Pumping in the public toilette while there is a line up and people are wondering what on earth you are doing in your stall.

10. Only being able to leave the house with a strict timetable as you have to either be back for your pumping session or need to have a public toilette close by. Especially one for disabled persons if you have the buggy with.

11. People not understanding why you can’t just breastfeed.

12. Waking up at night to pump while the LO is sound asleep – that just isn’t fair.

13. unsupportive doctors

14. Not having a label on the bottle that says ‘breastmilk inside’

Feel free to add your hates in the comments.

So why the hell do we pump? Simply put, to provide the best start for our little ones.  Have a look at the list for10 things I love about pumping for more.

16 thoughts on “14 things I hate about pumping breastmilk

  1. Christine

    That is so true. Not that I have anything against formula, but I would like to show off my hard work by with a label like ‘pure breastmilk’ for the bottle. Maybe I should get make one.
    Thanks for the list! :-)

  2. Sarah

    I am totally making labels with my label-maker that say “pure breastmilk”. I feel like people give me dirty “your feeding your baby formula you lazy mom” looks. Little do they know that I have been forced to take the most difficult route of exclusively pumping. Oh, I hate pumping so much. I want to smash pump with an axe.

  3. Sara

    Oh I so understand your frustration!! People EVEN approached me and asked why I am not breastfeeding!!! You can imagine how I felt. I guess best is to ignore everyone and just think about the positive side… our baby gets breastmilk. I was so tempted myself to put a label like “pure breastmilk” or “breastmilk inside” on my bottles, but I have a friend whose baby was formula fed and I didn’t want to offend her….

  4. zenia

    i feel ur fustrations too… i hate it when i need to wash the pump parts and bottles. and also have to rush to pump before putting baby to sleep at night. and i’m all alone doing these, I’ll be lucky if my bb isnt cranky and my father in law helps to carry her for a while. i had to buy a chest freezer to store the excess milk and when it’s full, i had to throw them away cos no one wants my febm.

  5. Leslie

    I really hate how badly my nipples hurt 24/7! No matter what time of day it is, they are always erect and always tender!

  6. Rebecca

    What a great post! I’ve been EP for 6 weeks now. Sometimes you feel like your all alone. It’s good to know others can relate! :) To add to your list…somehow I manage to get milk on me every time. I hate the sticky feeling. Secondy, I hate the irony of my baby crying because he wants to eat and knowing that his food source is just inches away but he wants nothing to do with it!

  7. smearzke

    Yes, people assuming I’m giving my baby formula is annoying…especially when you
    Feel their eyes on you. It’s also incredibly frustrating when you’re asked how breastfeeding is going at every doctor visit, then having to explain how it still isn’t working out. Then you get the “just keep trying” speech.

    I also thoroughly dislike how pumping feels. I get so uncomfortable and just downright angry about it haha

  8. Zoe

    I also want to smash the pump with an axe or just throw it as far as I can. I have low milk supply so it’s even more frustrating to be on a stupid, loud, uncomfortable, super expensive piece of crap and only get about 4-6 ounces a day! #15) having to choose between pumping ‘real quick’ or between taking a nap, feeding a crying baby, taking a shower, shaving, or just trying to get caught up with all the other stuff we have to do!…. Oh and work once that lovely short (cause we don’t live in Europe) maternity leave stops; assuming you are lucky enough to have maternity leave. #16) feeling like a prisoner!

    So glad we are all finally being honest about this too… I will now make sure to tell all soon to be moms, that it is not only a new baby that is life changing, but all the fun in feeding is a whole other story! Would have loved some advice on this part, but I guess it’s just a little secret that lactation specialists and doctors leave out when they talk to you.

    So in the end, pumping sucks but we stick with it as long as we can, formula is not bad (it took me a bit to get to that) and what’s most important is that our babies thrive so we can hug them tight when they cry and kiss their bellies when they laugh.

  9. Susan

    So true!! I have been exclusively pumping for 3 and a half months now as my LO is physically unable to breast feed despite input from several doctors, lactation consultants and breast feeding specialists and I hate it!!!! I also have a low milk supply. My ultimate hate is looking at the bottles after a session and seeing so little milk! I wish I had the freezer problem he he he! I am also a prisoner in the house and I haven’t been brave enough to express outside of my own four Walls yet! Why oh why do we doit. Formula really isn’t all that bad is it????

  10. Kerstin

    I’ve had to pump with both my children. My first was full term and due to my milk coming in late, a low milk supply and inverted nipples he wouldn’t nurse. I tried for 3 months before I decided to bottle feed him breast milk mixed with formula. I never had enough milk for him but I figured half and half was better than nothing. Then at 6 months I got sick, my milk dried up and he drank formula from that day on. Now 31 months old he is a perfectly healthy little boy and I realize how hard I was on myself for not being able to provide enough milk or nurse him. I decided with my second I would be more easy going. Well life has a way of changing your plans. My daughter was born 6 weeks early weighing 2 lbs 12 oz. I started pumping in the NICU 8-10 times a day only to juggle life between there and home. We tried nursing but she fell asleep on the breast and she needed so many extra calories that I would have to bottle feed twice a day regardless. So child number two is bottle fed as well. This time however my milk supply kept up with her for 6 months before I started to mix it with formula. (They say your milk increases with each child and for me it was true) Now at 10 months she drinks half and half and it really is a labor of love or I would be done. I thought 6 months was long with my son, 10 feels like forever lol. So if you’ve made it through this long post I would say if you want to pump, keep up the good work. Because it is a full time job that no one but you and your baby and other EP moms really appreciate or understand. I don’t even want to calculate how many hours I’ve spent pumping. However if your done, good for you. I felt so guilty when I quit pumping for my son, like I had failed him in some way, but I finally figured out that a happy mom equals happy babies. After all it’s you raising your child not anyone else. Don’t get me wrong, there has been lots of frustration, sleep deprivation, guilt and tears that have led me to where I am now, but I hope that maybe my experience will help other EP moms to do what’s best for them and be happy.

  11. Sara

    Thanks Kerstin for sharing. It’s true that things don’t turn out the way you plan, no matter how much energy or thoughts you put in the planning process. You certainly have done the best and the hardest thing by pumping so long. Guilt is a constant companion during the pumping times. First of all for not being able to breastfeed and then not knowing how long to go on with it without going insane. You can dirve yourself crazy with guilt for wanting to stop, and I always think, a happy mother is actually what the baby needs so as long as the pumping is not intervening with that and I can be there mentally and physically for my baby, it should be ok to go on…..

  12. Pingback: 14 Things I Hate About Exclusively Pumping | C'est La Sara!

  13. Amanda

    #14!!! I always want to scream “it’s breast milk in here, not formula! Don’t judge me!”

  14. Stephanie

    I am currently EP for my preemie who is currently still in the NICU. I’m four weeks into this journey, and I hate it!
    She can’t go home until she’s big enough, and able to feed at breast or bottle, and we’ve just started practicing her latch, but she quickly falls to sleep. We’ve still got weeks to go before she’s home.
    I’m not able to feed her myself yet as she’s still being fed breastmilk thru a tube to her stomach in the NICU.
    I hate watching the clock, doing the countdown until pump time.
    I hate feeling like I’m tied to the pump around the clock.
    I hate losing the sleep at night, and being told almost daily by the LC at the hospital to keep up the 8-12 pump sessions daily, and not to skip the overnight pumps.
    They tell you to get your rest, but how is that possible pumping overnight, and spending your days at the NICU, and evenings trying to take care of the house, pets, and older child.
    I hate that my husband doesn’t seem to understand just how hard it is. He tries to help by washing parts, and telling me I’m doing a good job, but nobody quite understands like another EP mom.
    Glad I found a place where I can see that I’m not alone.
    Oh, and I hate when the LC comes around to the NICU and asks how pumping is going, and telling me it’s good, but we need more milk. I hate the pressure to produce more, and staring into the bottles to count the mLs.

  15. Leyla

    Ohhhh I am sorry you are going through this. During those first days I felt so horrible, because I couldn’t enjoy the fact that I just had a baby. The only thing that was on my mind was my pumping schedule, my milk, my pump parts etc… The worst was when they told me to get REST! It felt like an insult! Do they think I’m making this up? There is NO time for REST! Just repeat to yourself “This is temporary…. I will get through this”. When we are in this place, and we also have so little sleep, it so easy to fall deeper in this hole. Just remember IT IS TEMPORARY and things will get better…

  16. Stephanie

    Thank you so much for your reply, Leyla. Knowing I’m not alone in this journey helps a lot. I’ll keep reminding myself that it’s only temporary.
    I’ll definitely look at the ebook.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *