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Thread: Dropping pump to introduce formula

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014

    Default Dropping pump to introduce formula

    My son is 8 weeks now and I've been exclusively pumping since birth. We introduced bottle within first week and been working on switching back to breast but no luck so far.

    I'm pumping 8 times a day and get 120-150ml per session. And he takes 120-150ml or slightly more each feed. He's very fussy during the day and doesn't go down for a nap until 2pm that means I don't get a rest at all. And still have to pump every 3 hour.

    It's very discouraging when I can't get him to direct latch and exclusively pumping is very time consuming and tiring. On weekends we can't go out for long as I need to pump. I do bring the pump with me but it's troublesome to pump outside and hubby thinks that too so we would rather cut short our outing and go home.

    Anyway my question is if I want to do half expressed milk and half formula, how can I start to drop pump?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Louisville, Kentucky

    Default Re: Dropping pump to introduce formula

    (For those of you with me in ounces, 120-150ml = (about) 4-5 ounces; so about 32-40 ounces per day, over 8 sessions.)

    (If this conversion is correct, I guess I want to highlight how super things are going for you with pumping. 32 ounces per day is definitely on the highest end of average range for daily consumption for babies 0-6 months (I will try to return to edit with a source link later). Although I know there are women who can pump very large amounts, I think it is all we can ask for that our bodies produce exactly what baby needs, and no more-- this alone is a hard enough task with a pump. Are you using a "paced feeding" method currently with bottles? This is something to look into, if you aren't familiar with it, no matter what ends up happening with what's inside the bottles, so long as bottles are part of the picture. It is a bottled-feeding method that tries to give control back to baby, to prevent over-feeding. But before offering more thoughts maybe in this vein, I want to address your question.)

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*poppy123 View Post
    Anyway my question is if I want to do half expressed milk and half formula, how can I start to drop pump?
    Combination feeding definitely works for some women, no doubt. I hope that there may be able to be someone who has been in that boat here to chime in on their experience. That said, I think when we're talking about what "works", that is going to vary tremendously based on differences between bodies, but also how you define what "success" is (and you get to be the one to define that!).

    Oh, my babe is waking up!--More to add, but I'll post this now so at least the conversations are there.

    Alright, added later:

    If, end of story, pumping less often per 24 hour period is absolutely the way you want to go, (and you say you'd like to provide 1/2 formula and 1/2 breastmilk, does this mean your maximum number of pumping sessions is also half of what you're doing now, so 4 a day?), then, if it were me,

    (1) I would transition there gradually, to be able to give your own body a gentle transition in hopes of preventing clogs or mastitis, but also to be able to carefully observe and track how your body and your supply reacts. I would pump perhaps once less for a week or so, see how that goes, reevaluate, and then pump once less for a week or so, etc.

    (2) In this hypothetical, I would also make sure that I am maximizing the efficiency of the pumping that is happening. I am not a pump expert, so can someone else share some tips for efficient pumping (massage, visualization, pump parts etc)?

    (3) I would also make sure that those pumping sessions are pretty evenly spaced throughout a 24 hour period, with at least one of them occurring at night, when prolactin levels are typically understood to be highest.

    (4) Not directly related to pumping, but on the other side of the equation as mentioned above, I would also provide all bottles in a paced manner, on cue and in small amounts, regardless of whether there is breastmilk or formula inside the bottles.

    Alright, so, I think those are what I've got on the question you've highlighted, so you can stop there if you prefer. I feel like I would be remiss if I didn't offer some other ideas as well, but to be clear, I think you are the expert on your own situation, and so take them or leave them as you see fit.

    In regards to latching, have you been able to meet with a lactation professional or peer helper to assist with 'getting baby back to the breast'? I ask because, as you mention, exclusive pumping can be quite a challenge, and involves a lot of parts and coordination long term that nursing does not. Your little one is still so young, and it sounds like your supply is great, and so I feel like those two things together mean that getting baby back to the breast is a very real possibility. Have you looked at and tried any of the ideas in this article, https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q...back+to+breast ? If you are ready to stop pursuing this possibility, that is your call, but I want to make sure that you know its possible, that you have reached out to and received the support you and baby deserve, if you want it, etc. Not only is nursing at the breast convenient in a way that pumping often isn't, it also is a 'mothering tool' that is incredibly helpful; this part is something that I'm seeing more and more as my baby ages, and I'm so glad that I have it.

    You mention the difficulty of traveling and being out of the house when exclusively pumping. Perhaps some EPing moms can chime in with things that have worked for them to ease their experience?
    Last edited by @llli*erin.in.middletown; December 10th, 2014 at 09:34 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Re: Dropping pump to introduce formula

    I agree that your pump output is phenomenal, and I would urge you to push on to find an IBCLC to assist your child in latching. You have many good factors on your side, and I really think you are a great candidate for feeding at the breast. It's SO much easier.

    Great post, Erin

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