To the Mama Who is Pumping to Feed Her Baby

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Dear Pumping Mama,

It’s lunch time, but you are cramped in a closet-sized room, tapping your foot to the methodical hum of your breast pump.

Just like days before, your moments are defined by washing bottles and pump parts, by measuring your productivity against ounces of liquid gold that fill the containers you’ll bring home at the end of the day.

It’s the juxtaposition of being in two places at once: the reminder of the baby you’re nurturing while not being physically there to let her feed from you. You go through the motions of your day while simultaneously counting down the time until you are reunited.

In the absence of baby cries and soft snuggles, you’re met with the chugging and churning of a pump. A pump with which you have a love-hate relationship; a device that makes you cringe every time you attach the cold flanges to your body while also grateful you have a way you can still get your baby the milk your body has worked so hard to produce.

You may feel devastated that you’ve been away from your baby for what seems like forever, or frustrated that you’re attached to a machine instead of connected to your little one.

But you don’t give up or stop pumping. You are determined to keep going, to get your baby what your body is making to help her thrive.

I know you’re tired, mama.

I see you pumping late in the night after everyone has gone to sleep and early in the morning before you head out for the day. You’re cramming in pumping sessions between meetings, in your car, in the bathroom - anywhere you can possibly manage to keep up with your breastmilk supply.

In those moments of weariness, don’t forget this:  

You are doing a good job, mama.

All of this: the bottle-washing, pump-cleaning, stress and tears over spilled milk, preparing and packing bottles...all of it is not done in vain.

From your sacrifice, the seeds of life are sown and watered as your baby thrives from this tangible expression of love.

So whether you are pumping to increase your milk supply or simply to provide nourishment to your sweet baby in your absence, you are giving life.

You are doing the best you can for your baby by providing her with care and sustenance, and that love and selfless devotion day after day is what makes you a good mama.

One day, you’ll be able to pack up that pump and put it away on the shelf. You’ll prepare that last bottle and turn off the alarms on your phone that remind you to pump. That day will come soon.

Until then, be encouraged in the daily grind of pumping to feed your baby. In the selfless acts of love that you give day after day, the thankless job of being mama and feeding your baby in the best way you know how. In this season of life as a pumping mom - you’ve got this.