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Thread: Question about exclusively pumping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    11

    Default Question about exclusively pumping

    I've been lurking on this site for the past 8 months. There is such good information here! My daughter is due in July and I have planned on exclusively pumping for her. I don't wish to breast feed for personal reasons. However, I was told by someone at my local health department that EPing for your baby is not possible as it would hurt your supply. Now, I've lurked on here enough to know that some mama's do EP only. This woman was not an LC by the way. I was asking her about renting a breast pump and she told me the health department wouldn't issue one until 2 weeks after birth. I only plan on taking 4 weeks off after I have my daughter for financial reasons.

    So my question is, can I exclusively pump for my daughter starting at birth? Any recommendations would be great. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    MA
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    206

    Default Re: Question about exclusively pumping

    The health department is involved in renting a pump? I EP'd for my daughter starting at birth up until she was 5 months old. There is no reason that you can't do that. I did have to be more diligent about how often I pumped, but I never had to supplement.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,120

    Default Re: Question about exclusively pumping

    Welcome to the forum! It's always nice to see a lurker come out and post.

    It is definitely possible to EP. Lots of women do it, some by necessity and some by choice. Most mamas here, I think including most or even all of the EP mamas, would generally advice against choosing EP if breastfeeding "straight from the tap" is a possibility. Here's why:
    - It is easier to maintain and increase supply when nursing than when EPing, because babies are generally more efficient at emptying the breast than pumps are. Many EP moms struggle with supply for this reason.
    - Nursing becomes easier and faster as time goes on. Pumping never does. If it takes you 20 minutes to pump a bottle when your baby is a month old, it will take you that same 20 minutes when he's a year old, and you'll have to find that time while caring for an active, mobile baby. If you nurse, by the time your baby is a few months old you'll probably be able to nurse in under 10 minutes.
    - Nursing in public can be difficult at first, but rapidly gets easier and can be done discreetly. It is much harder to pump discreetly in public!
    - Breastmilk in the breast is always clean, fresh, and at the right temperature. It can't get forgotten on the counter, or go sour in the heat, or spill all over the dirty floor.
    - Breastmilk in the breast is immediately available. There are no bottles to warm or prepare or store or transport. That seems like a small thing until you are standing in the kitchen at 3 am, listening to your baby cry while you warm up a bottle!
    - Nursing offers more than just nutrition. It can be very sweet to cuddle a nursing baby, and as the baby grows, nursing becomes a valuable mothering tool. Teething, tiredness, tantrums, bumps to the head- they all evaporate the moment the baby is at the breast.

    Okay, so those are the negatives of EPing. I really don't mean to discourage you- but I'd feel remiss if I didn't give you all the information, no matter how not fun it may be to read it. That all being said, if you want to EP you can do it, and here are some things I'd recommend that I think will give you the best shot at success:
    - Get the best pump possible. I suggest using a hospital-grade rental from the very beginning. If the health department won't help until 2 weeks out, I advise renting the pump yourself for the initial 2 weeks.
    - Pump frequently. You want to pump about as often as a newborn typically nurses- approximately every 2-3 hours round the clock.
    - Aim to pump at least as much as your baby eats over the course of a day. If you aren't pumping that much, you need to add in more pumping sessions or pump for longer time periods, since output depends very much on pumping frequency and duration.
    - Be prepared to increase your pumping frequency and duration when or if you see a decrease in supply.
    - Make sure you can pump at work. Discuss your needs with your employer. You'll need a clean space with an outlet, a fridge or cooler in which to store your milk, and time throughout the day during which you can pump.

    Finally- and I hope this isn't being too intrusive- but is there'd a specific reason why you want to EP? As detailed above, it can be the harder path and We are always hoping to make things easy for a new mama! We would love to help you find a way to nurse, if that's something you're at all interested in.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Question about exclusively pumping

    Thank you both for your replies! I don't really have a reason to not breast feed her except that its just not for me. Does that makes sense? This is my first child so that "want to" may kick in, but so far it really hasn't. So its just a personal preference that I EP instead of breast feed. I'm taking a leave of only 4 weeks when I have her then going back to work. Would breast feeding then bottle feeding confuse her?

    I shouldn't have a problem pumping at work if I can get my supply started. I plan on pumping on my lunch break (at noon) and I'm usually home by 4:30. So that would be four hours between two pumps during the day. At home, I could pump every two hours no problem.

    I plan on buying a pump since I can't get one from the health dept. right away. I was looking to buy a Medela Pump in Style since I read on this site they are one of the best. I'm sure I will get my money's worth out of it since I'm gonna attempt EPing for one year. Lets hope I make it six months!!

    Thanks again for the advise Mama's! I really love this site and I have learned so much already.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,056

    Default Re: Question about exclusively pumping

    Google "discount breast pumps" when you go to buy one - there should be several options for you. I got my PISA from www.bestbuybaby.com last December for $210 (retails up to $280). Another site I've bought from is www.nursingmothersupplies.com
    Little SW, Aug '09
    Miss MW, Jan '11
    Sir RW, Oct '12
    3 kids in 38 mos

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,293

    Default Re: Question about exclusively pumping



    It is great that you are doing research now. I recommend keeping an open mind about nursing your little one. It is so much more than just food, it is a way to keep a close relationship with your baby even when you cannot be together.

    When I would come home from work, exhausted and all stressed out, I would sit down with my son and nurse him. It was the best feeling in the world. He and I were so happy to be in each others arms after a long day. I can also say that nursing is very relaxing. It was just what we both needed.

    Since you are researching, may I suggest you read through the book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (8th edition)? If you like this site I can guarantee you will enjoy it.

    All the best to you... keep us posted!
    Last edited by @llli*mtmama; May 25th, 2011 at 03:38 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,120

    Default Re: Question about exclusively pumping

    with the PP about keeping an open mind. Breastfeeding can seem very weird until you try it. But if you try it... You may like it! . A lot of mothering is like that. I mean, i don't think any woman goes into motherhood thinking "yep, I'm going to obsess over the color of my baby's poop" or "I am going to cry when they get onto the school bus for the first time," but once your baby graduates from being a hypothetical to being a reality, things can and do change so much!

    Combining breast and bottle-feeding should not confuse your baby too much, provided she's willing to switch back and forth with ease. Some babies rapidly come to prefer the bottle to the breast, which is why women are generally advised to introduce the bottle only after they and their babies have become proficient at breastfeeding. And as the PP said, nursing at the end of a difficult workday can be really relaxing! A lot more so than coming home and having to hook yourself to the pump while simultaneously trying to manage the baby... No pressure, of course!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,984

    Default Re: Question about exclusively pumping

    Definitely don't feel like your short maternity leave is an insurmountable obstacle to getting breastfeeding going - it can definitely be done. My baby always switched between breast and bottle with ease. We had issues, but that, thankfully, was not one of them. And of course, I'm biased, but I couldn't agree more with PPs - nursing is SO MUCH EASIER and more pleasant than pumping!


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Landof2toddlers, Oregon
    Posts
    3,113

    Default Re: Question about exclusively pumping

    I know that many women can and do EP. I am pretty sure that I could not. Me and my pump did not get on. I had over-supply. I had to block feed (only feed from one side for hours at a time) to keep my supply under control. And I *just* managed to pump enough for my baby. *Just* while pumping both sides. Some women do not respond well to their pump. So it is certainly something to be concerned about. Most women are not like this though.

    Please consider actually breastfeeding your baby. If it isn't for you then that is fine. But consider it. There is a lot that is part of breastfeeding that is not about breastmilk.
    proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies

    • my surprise baby: the one and only D-Man born 3 weeks late (5/5/08) at 9 lbs 14 oz and 21.5 inches, and
    • the shock H-Girl born about a week late (10/7/09) at 8lbs 15oz and 20.75 inches.


    If I am here I am covered in baby (probably two) and fighting for control of the keyboard.

    Family beds are awesome

    Wondering if you have PPD? Take the screening and see your doctor. You deserve to feel better.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Denver, Co.
    Posts
    1,164

    Default Re: Question about exclusively pumping

    I applaud your decision to provide your baby with breastmilk!

    To be perfectly honest, it kind of freaked me out too when I was PG. Then something just happened once I had her. I can't explain it but the freaky part was gone for me.

    It might be good to keep talking about it and even write on it.

    I pumped for 7 months while working FT. I pumped 3X a day 5 days a week. I am proud of what and how I did it. But I FOR SURE had a better time and still do actually nursing my daughter.

    Pumping is hard work. Nursing is nice.

    Nobody here wants to make you feel weird. But I would encourage you to maybe keep talking or thinking. Maybe you could check out an LLL meeting? Do you know anybody IRL who has nursed who you could talk with about it?

    Christine
    Baby Girl Born 2/17/10 to her two mommies
    BF from day one. I looked up one day and realized I'm nursing a toddler!

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