This Breastfeeding Month, we’d like to show a little love for moms who exclusively pump. If you’re not familiar with exclusive pumping, or EPing, you’re not alone. Many people, pregnant and new moms included, don’t know about this baby feeding option.
- There’s no getting around it… Exclusive pumping is A LOT of work. Pumping is a lot of work, direct nursing is a lot of work, and bottle feeding is a lot of work, but EPing is a mix of all of those. It takes time (think up to 12 hours a day), and big time patience, and clearly, a lot of love.
- The reason a mom chooses to EP is personal. Between latch issues, NICU stays, tongue ties, inverted nipples, vasospasm, food allergies, work, living situations, personal preference, and any mix of these things, the decision to EP is not made lightly. It should be celebrated instead of questioned.
- EPing can be as emotionally draining as it is (ahem) physically draining. Since EPing is not as visible as other forms of baby feeding, it can feel like even other new moms don’t understand your specific struggles and successes.
- It can cost money to make EPing more manageable. For the EP mom, the relationship with the pump can be a love/hate one. Some EP moms find it easier to rent a hospital grade pump to use at home. Other extras can include different sized flanges, bottles and nipples that the baby prefers, microwave steam bags, and hands-free pumping bras (just to name a few).
- Exclusive pumping isn't always exclusive. Some EP moms choose to EP for their whole feeding journey with their babies, some transition to formula, supplementing, or direct nursing. We believe fed is best, and whatever works for you, your baby, and your family is valid and beautiful.
Keep up the good work, Mama. We see you!