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Thread: Should I exclusively pump?

  1. #1

    Default Should I exclusively pump?

    I have a baby who will be 4mos on Monday. In the beginning he would scream after nursing, everytime. He was colicky and very unhappy for the first 2 months. I also had an overactive let-down. We put him on zantac for reflux which seemed to help a little.

    Now (and for about the past month) I am only able to get him to nurse while he is sleeping. I have to put him to sleep (by bouncing on an exercise ball)and then sit down and he will root and nurse pretty well. He will not ever accept the breast while he is wide awake. Am I creating a bad habit? He will take the bottle while awake, even from me.

    Should I pump and feed him from a bottle?

    He is a very active 4 month old and has to see whats going on every minute. I just dont know if what I am currently doing with his is a good habit for the long term?

    I asked the pediatrician and she didn't really have any suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Central VA

    Default Re: Should I exclusively pump?

    I would work on getting him to nurse while awake. Pumping long term isn't easy. Breastfeeding is much easier and the boob is better for oral motor development.
    Mum to DS (04/07)
    EPing for former 28 weeker (03/12)

  3. #3

    Default Re: Should I exclusively pump?

    He won't take it he will arch his back, kick, scream, cry tears......it doesnt matter if it has been 2 hours since his last feed or 4......I offer the breast often. Is it possible to offer too often?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Default Re: Should I exclusively pump?

    What position are you using for nursing? My DD started being really picky about a month ago (at aout 3 mo), and would only nurse laying down. Did the same thing as yours. I posted it here, and some of the other moms said that their babies went through it as well. Worth a shot!

    Even if the change in position doesn't work, I would still keep offering him the breast. Here's a link about getting a difficult baby to nurse http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    It sounds kinda like a nursing strike to me! Keep at it, I'm sure it's frustrating, but exclusively pumping when you don't HAVE to seems like a lot of extra work to me!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: Should I exclusively pump?

    Sorry you're going through this. I don't have any real advice for you - but I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone. Some babies are just like this - and it's probably just a phase. My DD started the same thing around that age. I went back to work around the same time so she gets bottles of my pumped milk during the daytime anyways, but I was able to still successfully nurse her overnight. I feel confident that if I were home with her all day and not at work I could probably get her to nurse while awake. There are a few other mamas on this board with babies who went through this and they eventually got through it and their babies started nursing "normally" again. Search around on the newborn and older baby boards and you might find some of their posts and read their experiences.

    If he will nurse when asleep, just nurse when asleep for now! At his age he's probably still taking a lot of naps so perhaps you can nurse him right as he is falling asleep. Hang in there!
    Blessed with DS - born 9/2/09 - nursed/pumped for 12 months
    Blessed with DD - born 3/27/12 my dreamfeeder

    903 ounces donated.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Default Re: Should I exclusively pump?

    hey, hugs to you mama. i feel your pain. juniper (8 mos) and i have been dealing with the same issue for months now.
    finally, i've gotten my oversupply/overactive letdown under control, only under the council of the ladies here on this forum.
    i URGE you to read about oversupply. you can do this. it took me a few days to get it under control, and things still aren't perfect as we just wrangled the issue 2 weeks ago... but i ENJOY nursing now, and am about to send llli@mommal a thank you card in the mail.
    really. you can do it.
    don't EP. it sucks. i did it for 2 months.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Should I exclusively pump?

    I agree. That ep crap is for the birds. I had to for a month, and de was a newborn, so eating every 3 hours round the clock. My entire maternity leave went like this: feed es from bottle, put him down to sleep, pump 40 minutes ( only had a single pump then), sleep for 1.5 hours, wake up ds to eat. Repeat.
    Desmond Ringo Payton [5.31.12|8 lb 14 oz|22 in.|blonde|blue|beautiful|BACK TO BREAST 6.25.12]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    San Diego

    Default Re: Should I exclusively pump?

    My fear would be that you run the risk of your lo forgetting how to nurse or developing a bottle preference. especially if this is something he'll grow out of and you ghink he may return to more 'normal' nursing habits. I know what you're growing through is tough, but please remember that it's temporary.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Should I exclusively pump?

    I agree with pps, eping is so hard. Certainly possible and very beneficial for baby when there is no other option-but really hard.

    Your experience is not all that unusual. Around 4 months babies have a rep for nursing 'weird.' It is typically temporary. Whether this is what is going on, perhaps exacerbated by the baby's history or bottle use I don't know, but it's possible.
    Since its been a month, I assume you have tried pretty much everything to encourage your baby to nurse. But it never hurts to try every thing AGAIN.
    nurse while walking or standing. nurse while side lying or nurse laid back. nurse where it is dark and quiet, nurse where it's loud and bright. Nurse while focusing on baby, nurse while NOT focused on baby at all etc. Try everything in the kellymom article and if you come up with your own ideas, please share them. http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/

    What would happen if no pumps or bottles or formula existed? Not long ago, they didn't. Aside from hand expressing into a bowl and feeding the baby that way, a mother would have no other option than to find a way to encourage her baby to nurse.

    As far as can you offer to often-I don't think so. While it is probably never helpful to force the issue when a baby is out and out refusing and getting upset, I do not see the harm in offering, even if baby refused 15 minutes ago. Offering may simply mean providing access.

    Are bottles needed due to separations? I would suggest considering eliminating any but bottles needed for separations, as I am concerned that nipple or flow confusion may be increasing the problems. If baby will not nurse to the point it is a nutritional concern, you could try cup feeding, or, the very least, paced bottle feeding. If you would like more info about either, let us know.

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