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Thread: Pumping vs Nursing

  1. #1

    Default Pumping vs Nursing

    My son is two weeks old. I have been providing pumped breast milk and supplementing with formula since he was 5 days old (following a doctor's appointment which was discovered that he was losing weight; he had lost 1# since coming home for a total weight loss of >15% since birth). After seeing several lactation consultants, we were referred to an ENT for an upper lip tie and possible posterior tongue tie (although his pediatrician didn't mention any of this). I have rented a Medela Symphony and I'm pumping every 2-3 hours, but I'm not able to keep up with my son, so I'm continuing to supplement with formula. I'm an RD, so I'm certain my nutrition and hydration are adequate. I'm taking fenugreek (4 capsules 3x/day), drinking mother's tea (3-4 cups/day), and asked my ob-gyn to prescribe Reglan (which I've been taking for 6 days). I allowed my son to latch on this evening, and he continues to latch, but there is just no milk transfer (I don't feel the let down and can't hear him swallow). Will snipping the ties help him latch? The appointment with the ENT isn't until next week which means he'll have been getting bottles only for two weeks by the time the appointment rolls around. Will he be able to relearn to latch? Will I produce more milk by nursing instead of just pumping? I can't keep up with him pumping despite everything I've done, but I don't want to put my son through the pain of snipping those ties and the recovery of that if it's not going to help him nurse in the end anyways... I want to exclusively breastfeed, but don't think I'll be able to with just pumping.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,912

    Default Re: Pumping vs Nursing

    Will he be able to relearn to latch?
    yes, probably. But if nursing is not painful to you or causing injury, and gain is back on track, it is fine to let baby nurse as much as baby likes while supplementing. Then he will have less to learn post procedure.

    Will I produce more milk by nursing instead of just pumping?
    you do not mention how much you are pumping. "Not being able to keep up" with baby can mean many things. But typically, yes. Also, nursing is usually much easier than exclusive pumping, and there are many benefits to nursing at the breast that have nothing to do with the milk.

    I can't keep up with him pumping despite everything I've done, but I don't want to put my son through the pain of snipping those ties and the recovery of that if it's not going to help him nurse in the end anyways... I want to exclusively breastfeed, but don't think I'll be able to with just pumping.
    I suggest you research tongue tie and breastfeeding. This is not usually considered a very painful procedure in newborns and recovery is very rapid. Many babies latch and nurse right away and never look back, others require some excercises and suck training post release, and a few require further intervention and even multiple clips.
    Will snipping the ties help him latch?
    Results do vary, and no one should make false promises. But there is no doubt that getting lip and tongue tie released can have dramatic results in helping a baby latch and breastfeed normally. And since you are facing a situation where without treatment, your baby is unable to nurse effectively and you very well may not be able to pump enough milk for your baby, it is hard to see the down side of release. Any surgery, however minor, is scary, but imo the cost-benefit analyses comes down pretty strongly for the procedure in your case. Of course you could keep pumping what you can and supplement as needed. The benefits of the your milk are certainly very much still there in such a scenario. But that is very hard on mom, also, the many benefits of nursing at the breast are lost, and it may not be sustainable for the period of time you would like your baby to get your milk.

    You should know it is not surprising that your pediatrician did not mention tongue tie. For decades the "treatment" for these types of feeding issues was to tell mom to stop breastfeeding and give bottles of formula. It is only in the last couple of decades that tongue and lip tie are again being recognized as serious breastfeeding barriers that require real treatment and surgical intervention. Many doctors are totally unaware that the thinking on this among breastfeeding experts has changed dramatically.

    There are moms here who have gone through this. Hopefully they will share some resources and thoughts with you.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; August 7th, 2014 at 09:00 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    1,503

    Default Re: Pumping vs Nursing

    Hang in there Momma!!!!! Pumping is HARD! I don't respond very well to the pump so hand I needed to pump to feed my baby early on, I probably would have given up. Get the tongue/lip tie release, the trauma is minimal (mostly to you hearing your LO cry for being held fast for the procedure)
    http://forums.llli.org/showthread.ph...ransfer-Issues
    I have had to supplement though and been pumping to increase my supply.

    If baby latches and sucks at the breast and it isn't horribly painful for you with the ties, then I suggest getting a lactation aid so you can give the supplements right at the breast and baby can be used to the breast and get away from the bottles. Then you get the stimulation of the nursing at the same time that you are supplementing and then you can pump to further increase your supply and provide the supplement to put in the Lactation aid. Medela has a supplemental nursing system and then there is the LactAid or you can make a home made version using a feeding tube and bottle.

    Hang in there.
    We didn't get our tongue/lip tie done till 8 weeks and did need the help of a speech therapist for oral motor therapy.
    I haven't used ANY formula in over a Month and have been able to pump the 4-6 extra ounces we have been supplementing daily now. My Son is almost 5 months.

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