Why you shouldn’t tell a breastfeeding mum that they should just pump to go out
Have you had a friend who either has no children or has weaned their little ones and they have said: “Why don’t you just pump so you can come out for the night?” Yes, it’s easy to just say that. Just pump some milk then you can come out and drink. Here is why that is not helpful.
A little back story. My little one is over two years old, it has been a very long journey to get to a position where I have reached the WHO standards of recommended feeding time (2 years). The world average age of breastfeeding is 4 years. 4 years is a long time for me now but when I am 60 Yrs old, this part of my life will be so short to look back on. I also co-sleep with my daughter and I am happy to feed her at night. The average age of a toddler night weaning is between 2 and 4, so I might have some time to go before she is done.
Number one reason, in my eyes, that many mums give up breastfeeding sooner rather than later is that they want their body back, they want their life back and to be free like they were before they had a child, free to go out and not to worry about their kids on the night out. I get it, I am not blaming any mum for giving up for that reason. It’s a great reason as I know how hard it is to keep breastfeeding. Sharing the responsibility with friends and family is very helpful. I specifically chose not to do this. I have had many thoughts like, if only I wasn’t breastfeeding I could go out with my friends and chill out, have a drink and not worry.
So when you have these friends asking you out and saying ‘why don’t you pump?’.
Well, pumping is hard, it’s not like the pumps you see on farms where cows are pumped so quick. Their udders are unnaturally over producing milk so that when they are pumped, lots of milk comes out fast. When you are only feeding one child, the milk comes throughout the day, if you want to pump, I have to start about 2 weeks before I go out to get enough milk for my little one. It takes a lot of time to get going and then you need to get into a routine of pumping milk. I usually don’t have time. I have tried a hand pump and hand expressed. They all take a long time.
I can’t really drink like I used to. This one has two meanings. Firstly, if I did drink like I used to, I would have to have a whole day after to recover, so that’s another day of pumped milk needed. The second meaning is, I don’t drink, so I won’t be able to handle my alcohol. So I am not really going to drink that much anyway.
All this make me feel like whats the point of breastfeeding when it impacts my ‘social’ life so much. Oh yeah, I am doing the best for my child. It’s such a small amount of my life that I am giving my child. You might think that one night won’t hurt. Of course, it won’t hurt her. It hurts me, I have to plan a month in advance, I have to prepare everyone for my night out, I will end up feeling hungover, and I have to get back to life at 6:30 am that morning. I have no choice. This makes planning a night out feels like a chore.
I know I’m not alone when I say this. I also know I’m not alone thinking if my little one would just finish up feeding so I can have a normal ish life. Personally, it’s not worth it and I am happy (most of the time) to feed my daughter as long as she needs.
Things you should do is be understanding of my choice, support my decision and accommodate. I will probably be done feeding before you know it, so till then. Let’s all be patient and not rush my daughter into weaning. She isn’t ready and neither am I.
This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure page.