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Thread: How soon is it to start (almost) exclusively pumping?

  1. #1

    Default How soon is it to start (almost) exclusively pumping?

    If breastfeeding is not working out as it is becoming unmanageable, when can someone (with a perfectly good milk supply) make the switch to mostly pumping and giving bottles with breast milk?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: How soon is it to start (almost) exclusively pumping?

    Welcome to the forum!

    You asked a very tough question, one with no real answer. On the one hand, exclusive pumping (EP) is generally much, much more difficult than breastfeeding, and therefore a mom who wants to breastfeed should do her best to avoid EP. But if the choice is between EP and quitting breastfeeding altogether, then a mom should make the switch when it feels right to her.

    Can you tell us what is going on with you and your baby? Maybe we can help.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: How soon is it to start (almost) exclusively pumping?

    I agree with Mommal. In terms of milk production, speaking very generally, I would say it does not really matter when you start exclusively pumping, although if baby is breast-feeding well enough to bring in a normal production you probably want to wait until about six weeks at least which is when production normally comes to its full fruition. On the other hand if baby is nursing well enough to bring in a normal milk production, then the question would be why would exclusively pumping be better Aside from that, I would say that exclusively pumping is either going to work for you or it is not. For some mothers it is very hard to maintain normal production when pumping only, for others it works out fine. There are benefits to nursing at the breast for both baby and mother that of course are lost with exclusive pumping and also many mothers find exclusive pumping far more difficult then nursing. If you are exclusively pumping you want to have the very best pump you possibly can get and pump as often as you possibly can.
    The problem with switching to exclusively pumping is in one way similar to the problem with switching to formula. While with pumping you will hopefully keep your milk production in good shape, Once baby starts getting bottles exclusively it becomes harder and harder to ever bring baby back to the breast. Not impossible but very hard. So I suggest please be very sure that breast-feeding is not working out for you before you go down this road. I have talked to many moms who later regretted going down the exclusively pumping or formula road later on. On the other hand when you are pumping and giving your baby your breastmilk, this is a wonderful gift of health for your baby. so if you truly cannot breast-feed but feel that you can pump for your baby then I wish to offer our support.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; January 30th, 2014 at 10:47 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Cleveland, OH

    Default Re: How soon is it to start (almost) exclusively pumping?

    I am going to focus on your "almost" that you have in your title.

    I have had two friends that have had success switching to daytime EP and nightime nursing around the time they returned to work, so in the 8-12 week time frame. Baby would nurse at bedtime and at all night wakings, but get pumped bottles the rest of the day. They continued this routine over the weekends and on vacations. Personally, I thought they were nuts, but mama and baby were happy with it. Once they pump weaned around a year they still had night nursing to keep going, so that was a plus to keeping some regular nursing sessions and not switching completely to EP.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: How soon is it to start (almost) exclusively pumping?

    Personally, exclusive pumping in the early weeks of my son 's life was awful. Much worse than the issues we faced later once he was latching. But like the PP said, it varies for every woman and it may work well for you. I am curious how old baby is. Most women begin with a degree of oversupply that regulates on average around 6-12 weeks. If you're not past that point, you'll likely find pumping gets harder as time goes on. Here's a link with a lot of good info on EP ing so you can get a better idea of the pros and cons. http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/p...usive-pumping/

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