Breastfeeding has always been very important to me. My mom breastfed both me and my sister and I was just brought up that breastfeeding is what you do. After growing up and becoming a mother, I learned all the benefits of breastfeeding and I was a die hard fan.
My son, Michael, will be 3 in December. I breastfed him until he self-weaned 5 days before his 1st birthday. He had a tongue tie but it didn't create any problems for us. He was a champ. He caught on quick and was always in the 70's and 80's for height and weight percentiles. I never had any supply issues, mastitis, or clogged ducts. Breastfeeding just came naturally for both of us.
Now enter my daughter, Gracelynn. She was born at end of June. She is 4 months today actually. When people say that siblings are complete opposites, they aren't kidding. My two couldn't be more different. She has always been very petite, low maintenance, and go with the flow. At one month old she was doing great, although she was on the smaller side, 12th percentile, she was strong and reaching milestones. We went on like normal and scheduled her two month visit.
Long story short, I'll go into more detail in a later post, she lost almost a pound between one month and two months. It was very scary and I went through every emotion imaginable. I was confused, angry, hurt, frustrated, and I blamed myself a lot. I cried more than I care to admit but we got through it.
The doctors needed to know exactly how many calories she was eating so they could start to rule out specific complications that were causing her weight issues. Because of this, I had to pump everything and she was fed through a bottle. This went on while she was admitted to the hospital and for 2 weeks after.
Once they continued to see the upward trend in her weight, she was allowed to start nursing again. By this point, though, she wouldn't nurse. Eating from a bottle is must easier for a baby than nursing is. When nursing they have to suck for awhile before anything starts flowing and coming out. It will also stop flowing and they have to work to start the flow again. With a bottle, they get milk from the first suck and it keeps coming until they stop. She got used to that and didn't want to work for the milk by nursing anymore.
I felt so defeated and I didn't know what to do. I decided to go back to pumping until I figured out my next step. After a few days of this, I had a sort of revelation. If I was pumping them and she was eating fine from a bottle, who is to say I can't just keep doing that? So I did what any 21st century mom would do, I went to Google and Pinterest.
I started reading everything I could get my hands on about pumping. I must have read over 200 articles and blog posts in a matter of days. In all of this research, I discovered this community of moms that were doing exactly what I was trying to do, exclusively pumping. It was completely possible. I joined facebook groups and subscribed to blogs and YouTube channels that shared information about exclusively pumping. I wanted to know everything I possibly could.
I am now a month and a half into EPing and I have to say it is going great. She is finally gaining weight, not as fast as the doctors would like but still going in the right direction. I have learned so much and still read everything I can get my hands on. There honestly isn't much information out there about EPing so I thought I would take this series and share what I have learned and hopefully help other moms in their pumping journey.
What made you decide to EP? Share in the comments below!