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Thread: Pumping to Nursing Transition

  1. #1

    Default Pumping to Nursing Transition

    This is a long winded set of questions but it is after much contemplation over past 72 hrs.

    Situation: Water broke early and ended up with a section. Baby girl born at 36 wk 2 days 5lbs 2 oz, dropped to 4lbs 11oz. Considered border line premie- pre term, as we were told. She was healthy and latched immediately an hr after C section. We both did well during the hospital stay with colostrum latching pumping for extra situmulation etc. The lactation consultant was pleasantly surprised. I was thrilled and quite motivated as I wanted to exclusively BF her.

    From then on started the trouble, I was nursing and when we went for her 5 day visit, she gained half an oz from hospital discharge. So, we thought we were OK. Used syringe feeding atbhospital and a few days after. Although she had wet diapers and small specks of poop all along, on day 12/13 she only gained 1/10 th of an oz :-(. That's when we realized she wasn't getting much from my on demand nursing sessions. I was pumping all along, doing ok on increasing supply and statshed up a bit in the fridge. Som when we were asked to shift to complete pump n feed so we know how much she is getting, first was guilty was letting her starve and then got over it and decided to pump as much as needed to get her to gain some strength. Have been Pumping for last 4 wks and just having her at the breast twice for about 10-15 min, so she doesn't forget her latch.
    She is doing well with weight gain, so slowly want to transition her to nurse. Using all techniques for the past 3 days.

    Questions on those:

    1). Is it better the baby nurses and then drinks slightly less than her normal feed. If so, how long do you recommend to nurse. I am trying to nurse anywhere from 20 mins to as long as she takes, couple of feeds a day.
    2). If she looks distressed, is it better to nurse directly. Is it better to give her some at the beginning and let her nurse?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Kansas
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    Default Re: Pumping to Nursing Transition

    In this time she has probably matured and grown stronger, so I would put her on, on demand feeding (the faster you ditch the bottles, while she will still take the breast the better, for her not to get nipple preference). Let her nurse as much and as often as she wants. If you are really worried about her intake rent a baby scale (cheaper then all the pump parts and every thing o keep on pumping believe me! I EPed for 2 1/2 years! lol) And see how she does for a few days with just nursing. And you weighing her before and after to see how she is doing. Also since she was having a problem at the beginning I would also offer before she starts giving cues, you can't force them, but some babies to better with more offering, they will take more and gain more better.

    If she is in distress then yes give her a little by bottle, however, again the offering before you see any hunger cues, will help lessen the frantic distressed problems of getting too hungry.

    ~Heather~
    Wife to
    Vincent since 2001
    SAHMommy to
    Lela 2006 EPed 2 1/2 Years
    ~Donavon & Jeremy~ 2009
    Belle 2010 Nursed over a year
    Raphael 2011 Nursing like a champ
    Raphael & Hubs

    My Blog
    ~Heather's Prairie~

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: Pumping to Nursing Transition

    If your baby is nursing, go to bed and nurse on demand for several days. Keep a close eye on number of wets and poops. And see how it goes. You can always pump and give a bottle...but it's so hard to EP long term that if you can transition now, go for it!
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Pumping to Nursing Transition

    Definitely nurse as much as possible. Baby might seem a little cranky at first, as she gets used to not getting topped up with a bottle, but as longs she has the right number of wet and poopy diapers you can be confident that she is getting enough to eat.
    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!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: Pumping to Nursing Transition

    If babe gets really distressed you can try this: pump until you let down, then offer to nurse. It offers more of an incentive and less work.
    Baby Girl "Piper" born Feb 12th, 2010. She is a true blessing!

    And a baby who is now an Angel in Heaven Feb 7th, 2008.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Pumping to Nursing Transition

    Thank you so much all the responses - really helped. Right now she is trying and we had one or two good sessions where we latched on held that for about 10 min. We are topping it off with bottle but once we get a weighing scale, I am ready to go full swing into nurse as often. My dilemma is if I keep nursing and never pump, the milk seems to get accumulated an not getting emptied. I guess I need to just take couple of breaks and do small spurts of pumping ( otherwise ther won't be anything when she gets really fussy) don't have any stash, wish I did, so I could use that to top off as needed. Any one else experienced this during the transition? Also, in the night time, we are just giving her pumped milk, felt that it is better I don't fight her while she is asleep. any recommendations for night time feeds?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Default Re: Pumping to Nursing Transition

    It took me about a week to transition. But, that's ALL I did, I didn't do anything else that week, stayed home and worked on nursing baby.

    As long as you are nursing on demand there's no need to pump, or give a bottle, the less you give a bottle the less fussy she will be at the breast. Plus dream feeding most babies are LESS fussy to feed at breast if they are sleepy is what most people find. (I didn't find a difference with my girls one way or the other though). Sleeping with baby will help you notice her hunger cues faster so she isn't so hungry she's upset, you can feed her from breast right away. And that's faster, easier and even less upsetting then waiting for a bottle to warm up and be ready.

    You don't have to pump at all though once you get her to the breast, your milk will adjust to her and she will be fine. People lived for thousands of years before pumps were invented, so they aren't a need in a breastfeeding relationship most times-unless there is extenuating circumstances.

    ~Heather~
    Wife to
    Vincent since 2001
    SAHMommy to
    Lela 2006 EPed 2 1/2 Years
    ~Donavon & Jeremy~ 2009
    Belle 2010 Nursed over a year
    Raphael 2011 Nursing like a champ
    Raphael & Hubs

    My Blog
    ~Heather's Prairie~

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,940

    Default Re: Pumping to Nursing Transition

    I think that as you transition to nursing exclusively, it is probably a good idea to take a couple of breaks per day to pump. If baby is having trouble emptying the breast, then you do want to pump. Once you get the scale, and can determine exactly how much the baby is taking at a feeding, you can either drop the pumping or keep at it, as needed. Having the data to base the decision on will make all the difference.

    I am with the PP that you may find nighttime nursing to be easier than nursing during the day. Babies often fuss less when they are sleepy and relaxed. They're hungry, but not alert enough to put up a fight. I'd definitely try going without bottles at night.
    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!"

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