Your Instagram account @to.the.pump.and.back has just celebrated its first birthday, and currently has over 6000 followers! Congratulations. You’ve built an amazing source of pumping advice, support and product reviews for fellow mothers. What inspired you to start and what are your plans for the account in the future?
Thank you! I absolutely never thought it would get so big. When I started I thought ‘Oh my gosh. If I ever even got to 2000 followers that would be wild.’ And here we are! Surpassing that!
I spent so much time researching exclusive pumping in those early days of stress and drama and triple feeding. I started pumping at 3 days postpartum in hospital as my daughter had breast refusal and then a myriad of other things. The day I decided to switch to exclusive pumping I ordered a whole bunch of products that I had researched. But so much of the information and so many of the products were quite hard to access in Australia, as America just has so much more of a wide range of options. I felt like I spent all my days googling and rambling and talking about pumping that my husband kept encouraging me to start my own Instagram page for Australian pumping mums. So I did! Unfortunately there is so much misinformation and misunderstanding out there even from healthcare professionals who are helping to look after new mums and babies in regard to pumping and I wanted a place to help clarify and consolidate information for people stuck in the pumping bubble - or more accurately abyss of isolation and confusion.
No,honestly I don’t know what the plans for the future of to the pump and back are. Once I become a qualified certified lactation counsellor I will feel a bit more legitimate, and I will feel qualified and more knowledgable in other areas of lactation. I hope to continue to be a resource and listener to followers and friends. I hope to think about doing pumping consults in the future if I feel I can manage it. I hope to post much more informative and interesting content when I’m lactating again, and hopefully the more accessible and prominent quality pumping products become, I can review and talk more about these.
What was the most valuable source of knowledge that helped and supported you on your exclusive pumping journey?
The other pages in the instagram and internet pumping community. And just the internet in general. I particularly loved Amanda Glenn’s blog, Exclusive Pumping. There are many other pumping pages out there, mostly all American. So my aim was always to adjust information, sourcing products and advice to Australian accessibility.
Armed with the knowledge and experience that you’re gained feeding your first child, do you have a game plan for feeding when baby #2 arrives?
At this point in time there is information I have gained about those first few hours after birth and how I might be able to tweak things a little bit to see if I can change anything. Although my first daughter did feed quite well for those earlier days. I just feel like I’m armed with more knowledge about frequency of feeding and how baby should be acting in those times. My daughter was very sleepy and I took this is a good sign but I now know from my CLC course that could potentially have meant she was hungry and that’s why she was going so long between feeds and sort of shutting down. All part of her issue of not drawing out enough milk to feed herself sufficiently in the rare times she would direct feed.
At this point I am hoping to give directly breastfeeding my best shot. But I will still plan to bring all of my pumping stuff to the hospital and be prepared for exclusive pumping if it eventuates into that as well. Neither my husband or myself are opposed to exclusively pumping again. However, the potential of not having to wash bottles and pump parts appeals to us greatly! So we will see how it all goes. I do love many factors about exclusively pumping such as not being so tether to your baby and being able to share the feeding and work around a schedule for pumping. As well as knowing for certain how much milk the baby is getting. But the appeal of the ease of travel, just getting out and about and again that lack of washing up is appealing about direct feeding. Although I know it is not an easy feat either by any means!
If you would like to know more about exclusive pumping tips, support and product reviews from Danielle, head to her page @to.the.pump.and.back