Breastfeeding in 2020: 12 Mamas Share Their Story

We’re celebrating World Breastfeeding Week by highlighting 12 deeply personal Mother Pumper submissions we’ve received so far this year. Not only are these women learning to navigate the early stages of motherhood; they're doing so during a global pandemic. Join us in celebrating their strength, vulnerability and willingness to share their journey with other mamas in our community!

I’m a mom of three – my oldest is a 13-year-old boy and my girls are 7 and 6 weeks today. My hands are full! That pretty much explains my life... But baby girl made her entrance on December 9th and it’s been mama on the go ever since. It had been almost 8 years since I had a baby at home and I had completely forgotten what the pumping and nursing life was about. I have surprised myself by doing so well.

Lately, I’ve been finding myself nursing from the left, pumping on my right, and managing to snack or read some work emails. I’ve gotta tell you, this being able to feed my baby girl the most natural way is an incredible feeling. Returning to the office will be tough, but knowing I’ll be able to provide natural and the best nourishment for my little one is proof that moms rule! 6 weeks in and more to go.
- Meshia

I just had my second NICU baby! I attempted breastfeeding with my first baby, but failed after 3 months of trying because of the lack of initial support with getting my milk flowing. I was determined with my second baby to be a breastfeeding momma! I researched a ton about breastfeeding and increasing my supply on Pinterest and breastfeeding groups. My second child is here early just like my first child and in the NICU. When my baby was born I was unable to hold her for over 24 hours. I finally got to hold her twice before she had to have chest tubes placed in her lung, and I haven’t held her for a week.

The lactation consultants told me it would be harder to increase my supply, but my Medela Freestyle Flex has been amazing - it has a ton of suction and it’s so easy to carry in my bag since I had a c-section because it’s only a pound. I love this little pump and it has helped so much! I actually enjoy pumping this time around, and I’m pumping up to 3-5 oz per session! My little one is getting just what she needs, and I’m praising God for this sweet liquid gold and a healthy baby!
- Whitley

Although I’m pregnant now, I’m proud of the breastfeeding experience I had with my last child. She was born and within 15 minutes she was nursing. She was nursing for almost an hour! We ended up breastfeeding for 26 months! Whenever my production slowed down, I tried things and it worked, and we kept going!

We never had to deal with dirty looks in public or snarky comments. We were prepared though with a print out stating it was against the law to discriminate against us breastfeeding! Because my experience was so great, my next baby will be breastfed again.
- Ambrielle

I have worked with Aeroflow two times. The first when my son was born three years ago, and this year when my surro-girl was born. I completed a surrogacy journey on May 11. This journey was not only humbling and full of love, but one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The only exception being the birth of my own son.

My belly buddy’s mom and dad and I decided to exclusively pump for her until they made their return back home. I ordered my breast pump through Aeroflow. They made the process so seamless and easy. The journey did not end when they went back home, I now pump and donate to a very good friend of mine who delivered 2 weeks after me. Thank you Aeroflow for being so awesome.
- Amanda

Hello! My name is Candice and I’m an EXCLUSIVE mother pumper. Going 8 months strong! This was never my plan to exclusively pump.. but here I am. There’s been lots of tears, pain, and heartache. One really important thing I have learned about exclusively pumping is that it’s really hard mentally. I had so many people especially in the beginning say to me, “are you still pumping?” or “It’s okay to stop for your own well being.”

I get it. It’s mentally and physically draining but it was the one thing in my entire birth story that I could control. Having preeclampsia and my baby born at 37 weeks 5lb 4oz was a battle of its own...but it was my battle. Everyone tries to tell you what’s best and give their advice.. but mama/future mama, you’ll find your way. To exclusively pump until the next month is always my goal. The day I decide to stop isn’t the day I quit. I will never quit on my child. Love to all mamas from this EXCLUSIVE Mother Pumper.
- Candice

I am a military spouse and mama of two under three. I had my daughter two years ago via C-Section. My breastfeeding experience was challenging because of latching troubles, and my first day they gave me a nipple shield. I did not get to see the lactation consultant until the second day and by then I was comfortable with the shield because of cracked and bleeding nipples. Soon after, it became very inconvenient to use the shield outside the house.

It took FOUR MONTHS to wean her off of the shield. We successfully made it until June of 2019, a few months after I found out I was pregnant with my son. I had my son November 2019 via VBAC and my breastfeeding journey so far has been a breeze. Unfortunately, I had to return to work earlier than I did with my daughter. But this time around, I feel like a pro! I even do better when I have to pump at work during my 10-12 hour shifts!
- Caitlin

As a first-time mom of a NICU preemie, I was dependent on my pump for the first few weeks of my baby's life. Transporting milk daily, I relied on the pump to effectively express milk. As she came home and latching was still work, the pump was still instrumental in feeding times. As a pumping at work mom, the pump is still coming through clutch! Finally learning what settings work best for me was a game-changer. I'm sooo thankful for this double electric pump!!!
- Shari

My first pumping journey started in 2018 after my first daughter was stillborn. I pumped for 8 months to donate. I am now 3 months into pumping journey number 2!! Baby girl didn’t have the best latch so pumping away it is! It’s so hard somedays but so worth it! It helps that my best friend is on a pumping journey right along with me!
- Lacey

My third baby and my third experience breastfeeding and pumping successfully! I feel very honored and blessed to be able to do this again for a third time! Here’s a photo of me pumping in the nicely updated mother’s room at my office. It’s such a privilege to be to do this!
- Allyson

Breastfeeding is a vital part of my life and I truly enjoy the bonding experience between me and my little one! Now that I’ve returned to work, pumping is important in maintaining my supply. Lucky for me, I work in Labor & Delivery and we are avid supporters of breastfeeding mothers and it makes for a wonderful environment for me as I receive the same support we give daily!
- Exzora

First time mom here! I set small goals for breastfeeding to help me not give up and it has worked. We are going on 3 months strong! I recently went back to work and have started pumping regularly and it is a job I was not fully prepared for. However, we are trucking through and I even had my first pump session on the go in the Target parking lot the other day!
- Bonny

I gave birth to my first child in October. He is an awesome little dude! I never gave myself any expectations and did not know if we would breastfeed or formula feed. From the very beginning, he was a super eater (literally latched and drank the first hour and a half of his life!) Because of this my milk came in super fast, before I left the hospital.

So, the day I got home I had to start pumping to release some pressure. I am working hard pumping multiple times a day on top of his feeding so I can donate milk to mothers in the area who have had complications so we can help out another baby! Pumping is hard but so worth it!
- Mickayla

We love these stories of trials and triumphs, and really appreciate their encouraging messages to other mamas. We’d love for you to join our Mother Pumper community, too! If you’re interested, please share your stories and photos with us here.