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Thread: Thinking of pumping to replace breastfeeds

  1. #1

    Default Thinking of pumping to replace breastfeeds

    Hi there,
    My little girl is 4.5 months and I am struggling with the 4 month fussys. It's made me decide that I don't want to breastfeed forever and at around 6 months I would like to introduce EBM to her - bottle or cup (whichever she will take!) I feel like I need a bit of myself back but still want her to have breastmilk so I will be pumping.
    My questions are
    - could I pump up to a year or will my supply deplete?
    - when is best to pump?
    - will pumping and giving her bottles/cups from 6 months stop her from breast feeding at morning/nighttime (as I would quite like to maintain that connection we have - I love it!)
    - is it easier to introduce formula slowly rather than to pump?
    Thanks in advance
    Xxx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Thinking of pumping to replace breastfeeds

    There are babies who can't nurse for whatever reason (for example, cleft palate), whose mothers exclusively pump to feed baby breastmilk. So yes, it's certainly possible to continue to give your baby EBM and maintain your supply with pumping. And there are lots of moms who pump during the workday to maintain supply and provide baby with EBM while they are at work, and breastfeed baby mornings, evenings and nights. So it is certainly possible to combine pumping and breastfeeding while still feeding baby exclusively breastmilk. Pumping is often less effective than nursing at maintaining supply, so the key is to make sure that you are pumping enough to maintain supply. Which means as much as baby is drinking from the bottle or cup, you need to be pumping; usually every 2-3 hours. And if you're going to do a lot of pumping, you need a good double-electric pump.

    I would suggest, though, that not breastfeeding is not going to help with fussies - in fact it's taking away your most powerful soothing technique! But if you do decide you want to add some pumping into your routine, I would suggest starting off slowly. Substitute one nursing session with a pumping session instead and see how it goes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Default Re: Thinking of pumping to replace breastfeeds

    Are you a stay at home mom? If so you could try pumping like working moms do. To get a little bit of a freezer supply I would start now, pump just once/day. An hour after her first morning feed is usually a good time, as your supply tends to be higher in the morning. Then once you do introduce the bottles you should be pumping every time she takes a bottle to keep your supply up. For this reason I wouldn't pump if I didn't have to work, since I find pumping to be much more of a hassle than just nursing.

    I don't think a occasional bottle of EBM will hurt your supply or your nursing relationship. But if you don't have to pump for work I would suggest maybe just trying to pump enough so that you can go out once or twice/week or something like that so you can get some time to yourself.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Thinking of pumping to replace breastfeeds

    When introducing bottles and pumping into the feeding routine, there are a couple things to consider

    1) Maintaining normal milk production
    2) Avoiding nipple confusion, or "flow confusion" which can lead baby to begin to refuse to nurse.

    pp have covered the maintaining milk production. I would only add, make sure you have the best pump you can afford and that it works for you. Which pump is best can be very individual. Be realistic about what you can expect to see when pumping, it may be that you pump small amounts at first until your body gets used to the routine. It may be that you pump lots at first and then, not so much. It will almost surely vary day to day and session to session. This is normal and not a cause for alarm, as long as you are pumping enough for your baby overall.

    For number two, I would suggest that when bottle feeding, you consider continuing to feed baby on cue and use paced bottle feeding techniques. This is actually how all babies should be fed, including exclusively formula fed, because it is the most like breastfeeding, which is the biological norm. Meaning, meals are frequent and small and taken in at baby's own pace, rather than large, infrequent, and unnaturally fast. Here is info on this. https://www.llli.org/docs/0000000000...astfedbaby.pdf
    Also, be careful about pacifier use especially after bottles are introduced. A baby comforts by sucking, and if baby is eating from a bottle and comforting on a pacifier, that may lead baby away from the breast and that connection you enjoy.
    - is it easier to introduce formula slowly rather than to pump?
    If you really want what is easiest, I would suggest, continue to nurse, with, as pp suggests, the occasional bottle if you need more time to yourself away from baby. Unlike bottle feeding of any kind, breastfeeding gets easier and easier as the months go on, generally speaking. If you are having some particular struggle now and would like help with that, you can ask us or attend a local LLL meeting or call a LLL Leader. Maybe pumping and bottle feeding will give you more of 'yourself back' but not necessarily. The adjustments to mother hood are very difficult no matter how a baby is fed. So I would suggest, plan to go to "combo feeding" at 6 months if you like, but keep your options open.

    If you introduce formula instead of your expressed milk, you can continue to cue feed and use paced feeding to help keep baby interested in nursing and to prevent over feeding. But if you take out several nursing sessions each day and are not pumping, your milk production will diminish more quickly.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2012
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    Northern Virginia
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    Default Re: Thinking of pumping to replace breastfeeds

    Just wanted to chime in since it wasn't mentioned -- as a full-time working mom, I have to say pumping gets old really fast! If you think nursing is taking up time, I found that my LO nursed more efficiently as time went on (maybe 5-15 minutes), but pumping still took about 15 minutes to get a good amount, and that amount decreased as time went on. Plus, I could never find a good chair, was hunched over the pump all the time. Then sometimes the pump wouldn't work -- had to buy replacement parts. I was happy to do it, since it was my only option working full-time -- and I kept it up at least once a day until about 20 months. I even liked the breaks at work. But since I'm not sure if you are working or not, and if you haven't been pumping much, just wanted to give you a perspective from someone who pumped quite a bit. I would occasionally pump a bottle for my in-laws if DH was taking LO to see them for a few hours (happy to do it to avoid in-law visit myself and take a nap!). So you can reasonably do things like that -- probably even a bottle or two a day if you really want. But you'll also probably settle into a routine where you'll know when you'll have some breaks for me-time and the like, too!
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    59

    Default Re: Thinking of pumping to replace breastfeeds

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*filmmommy View Post
    Just wanted to chime in since it wasn't mentioned -- as a full-time working mom, I have to say pumping gets old really fast! If you think nursing is taking up time, I found that my LO nursed more efficiently as time went on (maybe 5-15 minutes), but pumping still took about 15 minutes to get a good amount, and that amount decreased as time went on. Plus, I could never find a good chair, was hunched over the pump all the time. Then sometimes the pump wouldn't work -- had to buy replacement parts. I was happy to do it, since it was my only option working full-time -- and I kept it up at least once a day until about 20 months. I even liked the breaks at work. But since I'm not sure if you are working or not, and if you haven't been pumping much, just wanted to give you a perspective from someone who pumped quite a bit. I would occasionally pump a bottle for my in-laws if DH was taking LO to see them for a few hours (happy to do it to avoid in-law visit myself and take a nap!). So you can reasonably do things like that -- probably even a bottle or two a day if you really want. But you'll also probably settle into a routine where you'll know when you'll have some breaks for me-time and the like, too!
    I agree with this totally, with the following caveat: I never got annoyed with pumping until I started back at work. Before that I found it kind of fun. Now, it is practically the bane of my existence. So like, pumping every now and then to create a stash but not HAVING to do it all the time is cool - but if you're switching to pumping most of the time, it may become incredibly annoying!

    I am in 4 month fussies as well. It is annoying as heck. Except during night feedings when she is really tired, she is kicking around and grabbing, and popping off and fussing and whining and OMG IT IS SO ANNOYING. I think/hope it will pass though

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Thinking of pumping to replace breastfeeds

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*filmmommy View Post
    Just wanted to chime in since it wasn't mentioned -- as a full-time working mom, I have to say pumping gets old really fast! If you think nursing is taking up time, I found that my LO nursed more efficiently as time went on (maybe 5-15 minutes), but pumping still took about 15 minutes to get a good amount, and that amount decreased as time went on.
    Amen! I tried exclusive pumping when my first daughter was tiny, and ugh! It was NOT for me. The hardest thing? Having to choose between caring for my baby and maintaining my pumping schedule. And that was when my daughter was a relatively immobile newborn. I don't know what I would have done when she was older and really getting into stuff!

    I know the 4 month fussies are very, very frustrating, and I can totally understand your desire to find a way out. Does it help hearing- probably for the umpteenth time- that babies change really fast? And that the things that are most irksome right now could be completely gone in a month or two? I remember when my first was about 4 months old and she was driving me nuts. Would NOT be put down for more than a minute, wanted to nurse whenever she was in my arms. And then one day- OMG! She discovered her own fingers and toes and I could put her down and walk away for a bit, leaving her happily trying to get her toes into her mouth.

    I think a lot of moms approach breastfeeding with a planner's mentality. They want to think things through and map out their lives. And I personally think that's a mistake in some ways, because babies change so fast and your feelings about nursing can change so fast. I literally HATED nursing for the first 5 months with my firstborn. I committed to the idea of nursing for 1 year, and not one day more than that. But by 8-10 months, all I could think was that nursing was too much fun and too easy to stop at the first birthday.
    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!"

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