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Thread: Do I have to pump?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    29

    Default Do I have to pump?

    Hello everyone, I'm new here. So I'm wondering if I have to pump and here's my story. My son is 9 weeks old and has been on the slow end of gaining weight since he was born. He's gained about an average of 4oz per week since birth. We had his 2 month check up and he's in the 10th percentile for weight. The pediatrician said we were still doing ok but I can't help but worry. I've tried pumping a few times but find it not worth the time and effort for the amount of output. I've also gotten a lot of talk from family saying I should pump so that daddy can feed him. I always say "ok u can come over everyday when I pump and hold the baby so I can relax enough to pump." A lot of people comment on how small he is and it really bothers me. Should I be concerned with the slow weight gain? My midwife says he has a pretty good latch and he still eats about every 2-2 1/2 hours. Thanks for your input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    2,628

    Default Re: Do I have to pump?

    I don't think there's a good reason to pump if your baby is removing milk well. Also, family can keep their noses out bc Daddy doesn't have breasts and he can bathe the baby, burp him, rock him and do a million other things that don't involve giving a bottle which can cause latch problems, flow preference and nipple confusion (not like I have an opinion or anything). Keep offering baby breast, don't limit his nursing especially at night and you should be fine. I think people get too attached to pumping. And if you don't need to do it I cannot recommend it. I have had to pump for my babies but they had milk removal issues. It doesn't sound like your little guy does. I would say relax, enjoy him and accept that somebody has to be in the 10th percentile and that's not a bad thing.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Minnesota
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    240

    Default Re: Do I have to pump?

    If the pediatrician isn't worried I wouldn't either.

    9 weeks should be fine to introduce a bottle but only if you want to/need to get ready to go back to work, or if you are thinking about having bottles ready for future babysitters. Family pressure is never a good reason to do anything, IMO.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,731

    Default Re: Do I have to pump?

    It really depends why you want to pump. It sounds as if you have two concerns going on. One is that your baby is gaining on the slow side. The other is that some people are bugging you and trying to get you to pump so dad can give baby a bottle.

    If you believe that you have low milk production, and that that is a contributing factor to your child's slow weight gain, then pumping could be helpful for that reason. But pumping is certainly not the only way to increase milk production, and it is often not the best way. Probably the simplest way to increase milk production is to encourage baby to nurse more frequently. switch nursing (which means encouraging baby to switch breasts every time you nurse maybe even more than once) or breast compressions, or even considering galactagogues either herb or foods would also help. Also when weight gain is on the slow side it is often a good idea to have breast-feeding assessed by a board-certified lactation consultant. She would be able to tell you if your baby is transferring milk appropriately and if not, give you a plan for helping that situation. On the one hand I agree with the previous poster that if the doctor is not alarmed then maybe there is nothing to be alarmed about. However it certainly has happened that the doctor is not alarmed for a while and then becomes very alarmed by three or four months when the baby continues to gain very slowly or even more slowly as is typical. So sometimes it is smart to be proactive and make sure you were doing everything to ensure that breast-feeding is in good shape before that happens. In other words you don't want to wait until the doctor does decide that formula supplements are needed. 4 ounces according to some sources is appropriate gain however more and more of what I am reading that would be considered quite slow especially in the first three months. Whether it is too slow or not depends on the specific situation.

    As far as having someone else give baby the bottle, unless supplements are needed or mother and baby are separated for part of the day, both pumping and bottles are totally unneeded. They could even be harmful to breast-feeding and certainly more work for mother in many cases. I would not worry about what people generally say because of course this is your baby and not theirs. Parents are inundated with all kinds of suggestions and pressures and in my experience that continues well past babyhood and probably even into adulthood! So learning to tune out the ones that are not helpful to you is a helpful thing to learn.

    However if dad is wishing to be more involved in the care of dear baby, then that is different. there is an excellent short little tip sheet for dads on this site. Search in our search engine the word toolkit the first thing that comes up will be the tearsheet toolkit look for the one called 'what about partners.' There is another one about tips for fussy babies which is also nice.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; February 24th, 2014 at 02:14 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,236

    Default Re: Do I have to pump?



    I also have to say that I like your response to the people who are telling you to pump. People are so quick to suggest pumping and bottles, but rarely think about the time and effort involved for the mom. I think that everyone who tells a nursing mom to go and pump for some stupid non-essential reason, like dad giving bottles or so that the baby can have a bottle when out in public, should be compelled to hook themselves up to the pump several times a day, so that they know what's really involved.
    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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Do I have to pump?

    Thanks for all of your responses. I really think I am letting everyone else's opinions get to me and need to stand firm on my decisions to exclusively breast feed. I do take mothers milk supplements and drink lactation tea. I wouldn't mind pumping but my baby likes to be held pretty much all the time. I also have a scale and monitor his weight at home. I guess I am a little confused on how to pump to increase production. Would I pump after each feeding? I wouldn't mind seeing a LC but we are really on a tight budget because I'm not going back to work.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    29

    Default Re: Do I have to pump?

    Oh and I do switch breasts every time and he pretty much drains both each feeding.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,236

    Default Re: Do I have to pump?

    Supply = demand, so any pumping you do in addition to nursing will increase supply. Someone who wants a small increase might pump just once a day. Someone who needs a big increase might want to pump after every feeding, and in between feedings as well. The question I'm thinking about here is: do you really need to increase your milk production? Your baby has a normal feeding frequency, his pediatrician isn't concerned about his weight, you're not reporting any nursing problems (e.g. pain while nursing, baby refusing to eat)- all this sounds normal. Increasing supply doesn't automatically change a baby's weight gain or feeding frequency.

    If you are concerned about your baby's weight, I'd recommend nursing him more often. Sometimes that can bump a baby up a few percentiles, without you having to bother with the pump. Night nursing is often especially helpful, since babies can take in a lot of calories overnight.
    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!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Do I have to pump?

    Ok thank you so much. I am going to try to nurse him more. We do co-sleep so he munches all night. I will try to feed him more frequently during the day and night. Thanks again for the support!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Do I have to pump?

    Continue to nurse your LO. Pump only when you REALLY HAVE TO. And at this point, I think there's no need. He'll gain weight gradually as long as you continue to BF him.

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