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Thread: Pumping necessary in the first weeks?

  1. #1

    Default Pumping necessary in the first weeks?

    With my daughter I remember someone telling me to pump after feedings during the first few weeks to help produce more milk. Is this necessary? I also remember waking my baby up every two hours to feed regardless of how well she slept. Is this necessary or helpful? Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Pumping necessary in the first weeks?

    Hi mama, welcome to the forum! And congratulations on your new baby! Are you having any trouble with breastfeeding? How has baby's diaper output and weight been?

    Normally, if everything is going fine, there is no need to pump during the first few weeks. The best thing to do is nurse, nurse, nurse. If baby demands, nurse. And yes, during the first couple weeks, if you have a sleepy baby, you may need to use techniques to keep baby awake to feed frequently enough - which is 10-12 times in 24 hours. These include skin-to-skin, tickling baby's neck or feet, having a fan blowing on baby, changing baby's diaper mid-feed. Baby may cluster feed, for example in the evening hours, and give you a slightly longer stretch at other times - for example one 3-4 hour stretch - and that's okay too, as long as overall frequency is fine. (This usually doesn't happen within the first week or two, but you may start to see it after 2 weeks or so).

    Pumping in the first couple weeks is usually reserved for situations in which there is a problem - baby won't latch well or transfer milk well, for example, or baby has needed supplements for whatever reason.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: Pumping necessary in the first weeks?

    Agree with PP It's not necessary to pump in the first few weeks, if everything is going well. As far as waking baby to feed, I was told to wake every 2-3 hours until baby was back to birthweight. Once he was back at birthweight, I was told I could let him sleep up to 4-5 hours if he didn't wake to feed on his own, but once 4-5 hours had passed to wake him up to eat if he didn't wake on his own. We never had a problem with that, he was up every 2-3 hours to eat like clockwork. Just my experience. Also, pumping in the early weeks can give you oversupply problems. While oversupply might sound like a good thing it can lead to trouble for baby with being unable to manage the rapid milkflow, stomach upset, and mastitis for mommy, so you want to avoid it if possible. Only pump if baby is not able to nurse effectively or if not gaining enough weight. Otherwise, plan to sit on your couch a lot and spend the first couple weeks at home nursing most of the time. That's the best way to get off to a good start with breastfeeding.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Pumping necessary in the first weeks?

    Excellent advice from the PPs.

    Newborn babies are supposed to nurse at least 10-12 times a day. So a lot of people will say "wake your baby to nurse every 2 hours," because if you do you're guaranteed to nurse at least 12 times a day. That sort of clockwork approach is useful for some moms- particularly those who have extremely sleepy babies- but is not necessary for most. Often newborns will naturally have a pattern that includes both times during which the baby feeds extremely frequently and some longer sleep stretches. So if your baby has one or two 3-4 hour naps but still feeds 10-12 times a day, that's generally okay.
    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
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    Default Re: Pumping necessary in the first weeks?

    My doctor had told me not to let my baby sleep longer than 4 hours in the first couple of weeks so I don't think it is necessary to wake the baby every 2 hours. Then again like the other posts state, your baby will prob be waking up on their own anyway..my baby did
    Happy Mama of 4 beautiful boys ages 14, 10, 7 and the newest member of the family:
    Damian Gabriel 2/13/13 , , twice a day at work, and finally successfully. We never gave up and we are as happy as can be !!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: Pumping necessary in the first weeks?

    I wouldn't say pumping is necessary..however, if you do want to build up a stockpile for a return to work or to have some bm on hand, it doesn't hurt to start early with that. Looking back, I wish I started stockpiling in the beginning (when I would get engorged).
    And I never had to wake my LO up to feed. She was more than capable of that herself and is in the 95th percentile for weight.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Pumping necessary in the first weeks?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*joannafaith View Post
    Looking back, I wish I started stockpiling in the beginning (when I would get engorged).
    I totally get why this feels so logical- but early pumping can be a "booby trap" for a lot of moms. It can provoke persistent oversupply problems, worsen fast letdowns that make nursing a challenge for the baby, and lead to situations where mom feels that she must offer the bottle that she planned to stockpile because the baby wants to nurse right after the mom pumped. For some moms, especially those who struggle to provide enough once they are back at work, those risks can seem like a fair price to pay for a freezer full of milk. But having dealt with oversupply, I feel that it's something to avoid if at all possible!
    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!"

  8. #8
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    Jun 2012
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    Default Re: Pumping necessary in the first weeks?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    early pumping can be a "booby trap" for a lot of moms. It can provoke persistent oversupply problems, worsen fast letdowns that make nursing a challenge for the baby
    This is what happened to me. I was very painfully engorged at first and nurses and OB/GYN told me to pump out the whole breast until it was as floppy as my tummy (very floppy at that time!). They kept making me show them my breasts and then criticizing them (boobs) for being so full. They said I'd get mastitis if I didn't "empty the breasts completely" but they also told me to nurse 15 min on each side every 3 h. After 15 minutes feeding, my boobs were still very full. I had os and oald and it was very frustrating for the first 3 weeks until I got it under control. I now think feeding 15 and 15 (without emptying either breast, ever), and pumping too much, contributed to the OS problem. Do you agree?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pumping necessary in the first weeks?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*pteroglossus View Post
    I now think feeding 15 and 15 (without emptying either breast, ever), and pumping too much, contributed to the OS problem. Do you agree?
    When you're frequently and painfully engorged, the last thing you want to do is pump to emptiness or to maximize stimulation to both breasts.

    I'm so sorry you had such a negative experience with the obstetrician and the nurses! I can't believe anyone would dare to criticize a mom's postpartum body in any way. It's beyond insensitive.
    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!"

  10. #10

    Default Re: Pumping necessary in the first weeks?

    I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner. I haven't had my baby yet - I'm due May 19th. This explains so much about my constant fullness. I nursed my daughter for 9 moths and the whole 9 months I wore breast pads because was constantly leaking, but having never nursed before I figured it was normal. This time around I have to head back to work after 12 weeks, so I want to make sure I have enough milk in the freezer, but also have my baby on a good schedule. Thank you for your responses. They were very helpful!

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