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Thread: Exclusive Pumper but thinking about breasfeeding...

  1. #1

    Default Exclusive Pumper but thinking about breasfeeding...

    Hello everyone,
    I posted a topic in the pumping forum with a couple questions and some of the replies got me thinking about breastfeeding my now 8 day old baby girl.

    A short history on me: My first baby was unable to latch correctly and being a brand new mom, I was scared and started my pumping career. I pumped for 5 months for him. Here I am now with my second baby and am pumping exclusively again. She was doing relatively well while we were in the hospital as far as nursing goes. I had to use a nipple shield though. Soon as we got home though, the first night she had a little bit of trouble and frustration and I cracked. Out came the pump and I've been pumping ever since.

    Some of the ladies in my other topic suggested continuing with breastfeeding. Is it not too late? I feel as though she will be so frustrated at the breast and will scream and cry because she is used to the bottle. I certainly have no issues with milk production as I am already putting out 3-4 ounces per breast at each pumping session.

    I am hesitant though because EPing just seems easier... I know it isn't really in the long run, but it just seems that way. With EPing, I am able to know exactly when I need to pump and know that I only have to do it for 15 minutes each time. When it's time for my daughter to eat, I can see how much she is eating. I hate having to store the pumped milk and would love not having to mess with it if I were able to breastfeed.

    I am finally over the engorgement stage. My breasts hurt so badly, almost to point where I was ready to give up even pumping and switch to formula. It just seemed as if the pain would never go away. I stuck it out though and feel much better. If I were to try to breastfeed, the engorgement would probably happen again, right? My baby is no where near eating as much as I am pumping right now. Wouldn't that hurt my overall supply?

    I just wish I could have a LC come stay with me for a whole week to help me learn to breastfeed my baby. I really do wish I could do it. I just don't know that I can.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: Exclusive Pumper but thinking about breasfeeding...

    Breastfeeding IS so much easier in the long run! It's REALLY hard to pump when you have more than one kid, and it's really hard to pump when kids are mobile. I'm only able to keep pumping now because I only need to pump twice a day (granted, for an hour each time, blarg). It was a long haul to get to that point, and it didn't happen until he was a year and eating other food well though.

    Yes, you might be engorged again when you start nursing, not because of LO, but simply as a way to regulate your supply. Sounds like you have an oversupply, which is a good thing to pump (well, until you fill the freezer), but it can cause problems for the baby. So....you start out blockfeeding from the get go, and by that I mean use one breast for a couple feedings then switch, watch wets and poops, and run with it. And obviously, you can't go cold turkey stop pumping, just for your own comfort.

    Inverted nipples....my midwife told me just to nurse, and the adhesions break down. I was also given a nipple shield and used that then weaned him off of it.

    http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    It is possible that your baby will have some nipple preference. Most babies fed from bottles from the start do. They get frustrated because the breast is more difficult to use than a bottle. You can overcome this with time and patience. Don't give up!

    It is also possible your big supply is accompanied by an over active letdown. Again, this takes some management. The blockfeeding will help with that too. It can make a baby frustrated, so just be aware of that.

    It will also be possible you will get sore, and if so, come back quickly. We can help you figure out the cause. Most of us get some level of soreness. but there is always a cause.

    It's also possible you will feel like all you are doing is nursing. That is how it is supposed to be and it will save time in the long run. Your baby won't have to eat like this all the time. And you won't be storing milk, have to tote bottles around, have to do anything special. You just nurse. Easy as that. And no more bottle and parts washing!

    If you can, even one visit with an IBCLC will be helpful. They can show you positions to try, ways to manage things that will be problematic, etc.

    I want to tell you this: everything worth having is worth a struggle. This will be hard. You may cry. Baby may cry. But put in the time, and you can do this. I would have given anything to be in your shoes. Breastfeeding turns into a beautiful relationship that is about more than food.
    Last edited by @llli*aprilsmagic; April 17th, 2012 at 05:46 AM.
    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!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,349

    Default Re: Exclusive Pumper but thinking about breasfeeding...

    with the PP. Definitely try to get baby back to the breast. I am always shocked when a mom says she made it to 5 or 6 months with EP, because it is so much work. Breastfeeding... Generelly if you can make it through the first 6 weeks I don't think there's any goal you can't reach.

    One thing you do not have to worry about is going through the engorgement phase all over again. That won't happen just because you nurse your LO straight from the tap.
    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
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Exclusive Pumper but thinking about breasfeeding...

    I'm so glad you're thinking about giving it a try. The nipple shield is ok to use, I would try at least once a day to latch your baby without it though. I used one for a few weeks with my first baby, for the same reason you are considering using one. Good luck and keep coming here with questions!!
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    SW Ohio
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    Default Re: Exclusive Pumper but thinking about breasfeeding...

    You and your baby can do it, mama!

    Start right now with plenty of skin-to-skin time with the two of you, without pressure for baby to feed at the breast. Get her nice and comfortable being in that area. If you have a wrap or a sling, try to wear her in it as much as possible, with both of you shirtless.

    Laid back breastfeeding would be good to try. So often we pressure moms into feeling like they have to be positioned just so-so, but laid back breastfeeding allows 1) you to be comfortable and 2) baby to take the lead. Many times babies who have had a difficult time otherwise latching on are better able to in this position.

    She will likely have a flow preference since receiving bottles, this is true. There are a few things you can try to help with this:

    1) Hand express or pump until your milk begins to let down, then offer her the breast. The instant gratification may be motivating for her to continue. As you are supporting your breast with your hand, use that hand to do breast compressions to continue releasing more milk into her mouth.

    2) If baby gets too worked up, calm her with skin-to-skin. Sometimes babies need a bit of breastmilk fed by cup, syringe, or bottle to take the edge off of their hunger. This is okay to do at the beginning of a feed to calm her down and allow her to finish at the breast. Moms are frequently told to nurse first, then offer a bottle, but there is research (and plenty of anecdotal research supporting it) that if we allow babies to finish at the breast they will link feelings of satiety to the breast, not the bottle and will be more willing to feed at the breast again.

    3) Offer the breast when she shows early feeding cues such as sucking on her fingers, turning head from side to side, or smacking her lips. Babies who are at the point of crying are not going to latch and nurse well!

    4) Offer your breast when she is sleepy or in the period of sleep where her eyes are rolling back and forth under the lids- she won't be in deep sleep, but not fully awake either.

    5) You can also try rebirthing. I've had some moms have good success with it.

    Patience will be key here, mama. There is no easy button to press to make it all come together unfortunately, but with patience and persistance it can be done. Susan is so right when she says that anything worth having is worth working hard for and yes, both and baby may have some tears of frustration on the way. Take it one feeding at a time.
    JoEllen married to Jason 10-29-2005.

    Mama to Logan 12-26-2007
    Breastfed for 2 years and weaned on his own terms


    Our Lincoln 6-11-2011 to 9-12-2011
    my homebirthed-water baby, who was born with a broken heart




    And our special blessing, Leonidas 9-5-2012. A toddler who loves his "boops!"

    Come visit our blog here!

    SURPRISE!!! We caught the first PP egg and are currently baking baby BOY #4! Due to arrive late-Jan/early-Feb

  6. #6

    Default Re: Exclusive Pumper but thinking about breasfeeding...

    Thank you all for the amazing advice.

    How would I go about juggling feeding her and weaning off the pump? As it is right now I am pumping every 4 hours for 15 minutes each. This always results in the 3-4 ounces per breast each time. Should I offer the breast to my baby whenever she wants but still pump a little at every 4 hours and maybe only allow 1 or 2 ounces to be pumped out?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    6,562

    Default Re: Exclusive Pumper but thinking about breasfeeding...

    Hmmm... I think that sounds like a good plan. How often was she eating before? I might only pump if I felt like I absolutely had to. So you were pumping 6 times a day and getting between 18 and 24 ounces a day? How much were you feeding her from the bottle? I would probably just pump to comfort, so less than an ounce if you can deal with it.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Posts
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    Default Re: Exclusive Pumper but thinking about breasfeeding...

    If she feeds well off of both sides, then I wouldn't worry about pumping afterwards. However, if she doesn't feed well (on either side), pumping would still be a good idea to maintain your supply until she is breastfeeding more and more.
    JoEllen married to Jason 10-29-2005.

    Mama to Logan 12-26-2007
    Breastfed for 2 years and weaned on his own terms


    Our Lincoln 6-11-2011 to 9-12-2011
    my homebirthed-water baby, who was born with a broken heart




    And our special blessing, Leonidas 9-5-2012. A toddler who loves his "boops!"

    Come visit our blog here!

    SURPRISE!!! We caught the first PP egg and are currently baking baby BOY #4! Due to arrive late-Jan/early-Feb

  9. #9

    Default Re: Exclusive Pumper but thinking about breasfeeding...

    She usually takes 2 ounces from the bottle. Sometimes she will take close to 3. She's a very slow eater and often puts herself to sleep before she takes even an ounce. We will burp and change diapers and try to feed more, usually she will take more then.

    I really want to do this the more and more I think about it. I am so frightened though of the possible engorgement. I just got over it with the pump. Oh it was terrible. *shiver* I am also considering consulting with an LC. Does anyone know what a general estimate is on what LC's charge?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Posts
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    Default Re: Exclusive Pumper but thinking about breasfeeding...

    Was there an IBCLC at the hospital where you delivered? You may be able to schedule a visit with her and it can be billed to your insurance as a nurse visit if she is a RN, IBCLC, which most hospital LCs are.

    The cost of a private practice IBCLC will vary depending on where you live. Around where I live, an hour long consult can range from $60-120.

    What state do you live in? You can search for a LC in your area here. The list isn't exhaustive however, and only includes those who are members of ILCA.
    JoEllen married to Jason 10-29-2005.

    Mama to Logan 12-26-2007
    Breastfed for 2 years and weaned on his own terms


    Our Lincoln 6-11-2011 to 9-12-2011
    my homebirthed-water baby, who was born with a broken heart




    And our special blessing, Leonidas 9-5-2012. A toddler who loves his "boops!"

    Come visit our blog here!

    SURPRISE!!! We caught the first PP egg and are currently baking baby BOY #4! Due to arrive late-Jan/early-Feb

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