Sometimes, just when you think you've mastered the art of caring for a new baby, something comes up that makes the whole thing skid to a halt. For many parents, that "thing" relates to pumping. It could be a physical problem, it could be an emotional hurtle, or it could simply be the rat race of life. But make no mistake, there are definitely signs you need to take a break from pumping.
Breastfeeding alone can be physically exhausting, so when you add pumping to the mix the entire ordeal can take a toll. Your health is most important, because if you are ill you can't help your baby, yet moms are often encouraged through subtle (but powerful!) messaging to put themselves last. But if your boobs are telling you they need a break, listen to them. It may also be that the pumping isn't necessary at that moment, so there might be better ways to use your precious (and rare) free time.
If you're unsure or worried that a break might mess up your nursing routine, you're not alone. In fact, reach out to a girlfriend who has been there, done that. Go online and surf the mommy blogs, and don't be afraid to seek professional help. Even nursing moms with well-established milk supplies sometimes have to check in for a tune up. There are different levels of lactation support, too, so it's good to know who is who and what the difference is between an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) and a Peer Counselor. The United States Lactation Consultant Association has a list of providers who are IBCLC.
Taking a break from pumping can be a really healthy, necessary thing. But it's good to know the signs of when it just might be time to do it.