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Thread: BF and Pumping

  1. #1

    Default BF and Pumping

    My LO is 3 weeks old and from about week 1, I've been pumping a couple times a day so my husband can feed him a bottle. For the past few days, I BF during the day then give him a bottle before bed and pump. I also pump when he wakes up at night to feed while my husband gives him a bottle and occasionally first thing in the morning if my husband feeds him. According to my LC, this isn't a problem and I don't have an oversupply or anything. BF is going well and I've used a nipple shield from day 1 due to flat nipples and he seems to have no problems emptying my breast despite the use of the shield.

    Here are my questions. At night, he's been sleeping 4 to 4.5 hrs so I go at least that long without pumping. Is this ok or will it hurt my supply? (We are definitely getting in 8 to 10 feelings between BF and pumping each day). Also, once I start BFing during the day, he only eats from on side at a time so one breast stays full for quite awhile. Is this ok? I really don't want to have to feed from one side and pump from the other unless its truly necessary.

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: BF and Pumping

    Hi mama, welcome to the forum!

    I guess I'm wondering what the purpose is of the pumping and the bottle-feeding? Is this so your husband can feel involved with feeding the baby? Personally I would hate getting up in the middle of the night to pump when I could be lying in bed, dozing, with baby nursing in a side-lying position. And the best way to make sure you and baby are matched up in terms of supply and demand is simply to nurse often and on demand. Once you introduce pumping into the equation, you have to start worrying about undersupply, oversupply, etc. etc. For a mama that goes back to work outside the home, pumping is a necessary chore to maintain supply and provide milk to baby during the workday separation, and there are certain special situations when a mother may need to pump instead of nurse - but if none of those apply, why complicate things? In addition, your baby is still very young, so there's the possibility of bottle preference developing, where baby prefers the ease of the bottle to working at the breast. There are many, many ways for your husband to be involved with baby even without giving a bottle! Holding baby skin-to-skin on his chest (my babies have loved sleeping on their daddy like that), burping baby after the feeding, changing diapers, walking baby around the house or holding baby in a sling or carrier.

    In terms of the nighttime stretch, what's important is that baby overall over 24 hours as enough feedings to satisfy his needs. That is often 10-12 times or more. But if baby is nursing frequently during the day, having good diaper output and weight gain indicating that your supply is on track, then a 4 hour or so stretch at night is fine. In terms of one-sided feedings, this can happen when mother has a relative oversupply. In that case, a longer stretch of not nursing from the unused breast helps regulate supply. However, it never hurts to offer the other breast - and if baby is sleepy, you might want to do something to rouse him after he finishes the first side (I usually changed baby's diaper at that point) and then offer the second. If he's truly satiated he won't nurse more (another beauty of nursing rather than bottle-feeding - baby won't overeat at the breast, whereas it's quite easy to overfeed baby with the bottle).

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