I was talking with a friend who is returning to work and she asked about pumping. Since I've recently started back to work after maternity leave myself, my memory was refreshed about how involved it is to pump. By the end of my first son's time breastfeeding, all of this was old-hat and not too complicated. So rest-assured that you will get the hang of it and it will become second nature. But there's a lot to get a handle on at first.
A few disclaimers:
1) Any way you slice it, feeding your baby is a lot of work. It requires a whole lot of time, patience, and energy. There are lots of ways to nourish your child. Whether your choose breastfeeding or formula or a mix of both is a decision based on your family's needs - your needs, your baby's needs, your family's schedule. Check out 30 Ways Breastfeeding and Formula Feeding are Exactly the Same.
2) I'm not a lactation consultant - get professional advice if you need it! Even if you don't need major help - try to go to a pumping class at your local breastfeeding center - you can learn so much from watching other women nurse or hearing about how they pump. A lot of what I share here are things I learned from other people!
For our family, breastfeeding works - it's a decision Andy and I made together (because it impacts all of us in how we spend our time and energy).
Exclusively breastfeeding means that you'll have to pump if you are going to be away from your baby for more than 2-3 hours, both to meet their demand, and to keep your supply up. If you are working outside the home, you'll have to pump at work. If it seems like that means you'll be pumping a lot - you will be!Read More