I’m Richa Choudhary, a mother of a healthy and active 5-year-old son and I would like to share my experiences of using a breast pump and how it made it easier for me to get back to work. I have always been a very career-oriented woman and even when I was pregnant, I worked right through the end of my pregnancy. I was also able to work for as long as I did as I didn’t have bouts of nausea nor did my body parts swell up like with most other pregnant women. I did not have mood swings and even my cravings weren’t all that drastic.
Meeting deadlines, finding creative solutions and working towards results with a vibrant team made me want to go to work every day. I also enjoyed going to work because there were four other women who were pregnant along with me. It was like ours was a special club and we used to compare notes, share food, cook for each other and the like.
I was very alert throughout my pregnancy – I read several books on pregnancy and Google had become my best friend. During one of my pregnancy-related research sessions on the Internet, I came across breast pumps. Back then, I don’t think there was as much information available on the Internet about breastfeeding and breast milk. Of course, I knew that there were benefits for both the mom and the child but I didn’t know the extent of these benefits.
I always knew I wanted to breastfeed my baby, mostly because it felt like the most natural thing to do. However, I was very worried about breastfeeding and would ask my doctor questions like “What will I do if my baby doesn’t latch, “What will I do if I can’t produce enough milk?” and “what will I do if my nipples are so sore that I can’t even breastfeed?” I had never done this before, and I was worried that I would not be able to feed him correctly. Even for my son it would be a new experience, I would wonder how that little baby would automatically know how to suck on my nipple. That is when my doctor put my worries to rest, she simply told me to purchase a breast pump. By using a breast pump, I wouldn’t have to worry too much about problems that may arise, and I also didn’t have to worry about my baby going hungry, even if I was not around.
I didn’t face any of the breastfeeding problems that I thought I would run into. Nevertheless, I started using a breast pump before I went back to work to learn how to do it well. There were two main reasons for why I used a breast pump, (a) I pumped to store breast milk to be consumed by my son later, (b) I could pump during the day and sleep through the night relatively better. My house help, my mother-in-law, my husband, all took turns in feeding by son and which gave me a chance to sleep a little longer. I think as much as pumping helped me, it helped my son as well. He made it a habit to go to bed on a full stomach. With breastfeeding, there was no way to tell how much my son had consumed but with a bottle, we knew exactly how much he was consuming.
I have no problems in recommending a breast pump because I know of it’s wonderful benefits first hand. I think it is a helpful aid for any woman, especially those who join work after delivery immediately. The fact that I lived so close to work, helped me more because I didn’t have to store large amounts of milk. I never once felt guilty about using a breast pump and I voluntarily stopped breastfeeding my baby when he turned 1. As I mentioned above, there wasn’t as much awareness about the benefits of breast milk back then, and in hindsight, I feel like I should have continued to give breast milk for a longer period of time.
Many women assume pumping is extremely hard and extremely painful and shy away from even trying it. But this is not true. Using a breast pump is never painful and one gets the hang of it pretty quickly. Of course, it is a task, but not a hard one and each pumping session takes about half an hour. After each pumping session, one has to sterilise it and keep it clean, but that’s hardly a task compared to the ease it gives you. After pumping you can easily go out, sleep better, feed your baby in public spaces without feeling any shame and many more things. I have also noticed that many women don’t want to spend that extra money on something like this. If there are no breastfeeding problems, why bother? But I don’t think that women are aware of pocket-friendly breast pumps like LuvLap, and they don’t know the peace of mind that comes with this wonderful purchase.
As a user of breast pumps in the past, I can proudly vouch for it and encourage other moms to give it a try as well!