Re: Solely Pumping???
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on upcoming baby #3!
What you want to do- exclusive pumping (EP)- is definitely possible and lots of women do it, often by necessity (like the PP) and more rarely by choice. The reason most women avoid EP unless they are forced into it is that EP has some drawbacks that breastfeeding straight from the tap doesn't, and you should know what they are before you embark on the path you're considering. They are, in no particular order:
- Difficulty in maintaining/increasing milk supply. Pumps don't stimulate milk supply as well as a nursing baby does, so many EP moms ultimately struggle to produce enough milk for their babies' needs. If an EP mom finds her supply has dropped below her baby's needs, she needs to either increase her pump frequency or be okay with supplementing with formula.
- Time management. Pumping is generally time-consuming. You're looking at pumping 10-12 times per day in the early days/weeks, for around 20 minutes per session. As time goes on, you can probably drop down to pumping around 8 times a day- and a few moms can get away with pumping less!- but you may need to increase your pumping frequency from time to time in order to bring supply up. And of course, while you're doing all this pumping you're also going to be providing care for your baby and your older kids!
- Nursing in public is generally very easy, but pumping in public can be tough. You need a place that is warm, clean, and has a power supply, and that place is not always available.
I really don't mean for that enumeration of potential drawbacks to be discouraging, because I think what you want to do is doable. I just don't want you to get into it and then feel like no-one warned you of possible complications.
Have you considered combining nursing and bottlefeeding? For a lot of moms, that option provides the best of both worlds. For example, you can nurse the baby for part or most of the day and then hand her over to dad or older sibs for a bottle while you jump in the bath or run out to the store or whatever. You formula-fed your older kids so I am sure bottle-feeding feels really comfortable and second nature to you- but nursing might be something you'd enjoy if you tried it. And we're happy to answer any questions you have about what it can be like. 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!"