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Thread: Attempting to pump for the first time

  1. #1

    Default Attempting to pump for the first time

    My daughter is 1 wk old tomorrow, and until this point she has been exclusively bottle fed with infant formula. I have been battling the decision to breast feed, but don't feel entirely comfortable nursing so I thought I would pump exclusively. I'm trying it using a Lansinoh Double Electric pump, but am having problems getting started. My breasts are engorged, I tried massaging them in the shower, relaxing myself and pumping but nothing seems to come out. Does anyone have any suggestions - has my milk started to dry up because I have waited a week? or do I need a different pump? I've read that you can relactate after waiting awhile, I just don't know if I am attempting this with false expectations. How long should it take before I am able to produce milk using a pump? I appreciate any comments/suggestions!
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,133

    Default Re: Attempting to pump for the first time

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    I think the problem may be your pump. When a mom is having problems pumping, or isn't having problems but must or has decided to pump exclusively, she needs to use a really high-quality pump. For most moms, that means a hospital-grade rental. Correctly sized shields are also important to allow for maximum milk removal. Do you have a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, available to you? A LC can help you get the machine you need, help you maximize your pumping efficiency, and can troubleshoot any problems you are having right now.

    I am not going to lie, not nursing or pumping for a week has probably damaged your supply. However, milk supply is very resilient and as long as you do the work with the pump- the right pump- you'll be able to increase it.

    The easiest way to increse supply might be... to simply nurse the baby. After a week of bottles, I don't know how willing your baby would be to try nursing, but I really do feel it's worth a try. Who knows, you might like it! And nursing straight from the tap is far, far easier than nursing the pump. I'm not trying to discourage you from exclusive pumping if that's the only way you feel you can breastfeed. Rather, I'm encouraging you to try something a little "out of the box", just because it's usually so much easier and so much more fun than the alternatives.
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Attempting to pump for the first time

    I'm not going to lie. Exclusively pumping is WAY more work than you think it is going to be.

    I would suggest dirct breastfeeding instead. It becomes easier than EPing is.

    You will need to pump for 120 minutes a day, broken into 10-12 sessions AROUND THE CLOCK for the next 12 weeks to regain and maintain a supply for EPing. That is HARD. I had to do it when my last baby could not nurse. It was hell on earth.

    Way easier to nurse baby directly. Way easier. I do not love breastfeeding, but I love feeding the baby while laying down, and you can't pump laying down or bottlefeed laying down.
    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!

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