I don’t think a lot of people understand the commitment that goes into pumping. It takes time. My first pump of the day can be between 12-28 minutes. I breastfeed as often as I can. But during my work day, it’s pumping. I pump about every 3-4 hours. Every single day, weekends too. The only time I don’t is through the night. He breastfeeds then we go back to sleep.
In order to keep a healthy supply, I drink near if not more than a gallon a day. I have a cup of coffee in the morning, mostly water through out the day….maybe an iced tea or soda here and there. I am always thirsty and often hungry. If I don’t have my drink and snack while pumping it makes it feel like forever.
And I don’t go to bed before 10:30pm because I have to pump before bed. I put all the milk in a mason jar throughout the day. I make sure there is at least one bottle prepared in the fridge for him. Before I go to bed I measure out 5 oz, put it in a milk storage bag. I do that as many times as I can and freeze it. If it isn’t 5 oz, it goes in the fridge for the next bottle to be prepared. I freeze between 15-25 oz every day.
I have donated just under 1,500 ounces of breast milk. (this go round) I currently have about 425 oz frozen in our freezer. It consumes a lot of my day. I plan around it. I am not away from home for hours on end unless I bring my pump and have a place to store the milk. I have to ensure I have enough bottles prepped before I leave. It’s an insane amount of work. I can’t miss pumping sessions. I just don’t think most people know what it takes….and to do this long term.