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Thread: Exclusively pumping but want to nurse..

  1. #1

    Default Exclusively pumping but want to nurse..

    Hi!
    My baby is one month old & I have been exclusively pumping for about three weeks. I had latch on issues in the hospital. Sometimes she would latch but other times she would just fall asleep at the breast the first day. But then one days PP I was feeling ill and exhausted because I've barley slept since my water broke, so the nurses gave me a nausea medicine that made me really drowsy and I was too exhausted to keep trying to nurse (even though I wish I would have sucked it up and tried anyway).

    So eventually, they started to feed my baby formula so I could sleep and now ever since then my baby refused to latch and I was getting so frustrated at home, I decided to get breastfeed her through a bottle. But pumping every two hours is annoying and exhausting because I'm losing even more sleep having to pump, then feed her and by the time she goes down to sleep I need to pump again! I've wanted to give up so many times and just formula feed her but I really want her to keep having breastmilk.

    I want her to latch so I can nurse her, so I guess I'm just looking for advice on how I can try to get her to finally breastfeed. I've read some things online but I just wanted some more personal advice and support. It would mean so much to me if I could finally get her to breastfeed.
    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Exclusively pumping but want to nurse..

    Hi and welcome. I hope we can offer you some ideas for getting baby to nurse and to tweak your pumping routine to make it more manageable for you in case you do need to keep pumping for a while.

    First I will say it is wonderful you have managed to keep your milk production in good shape with regular pumping. This greatly increases your chances of being able to nurse baby at the breast. Also your desire to nurse is 100% understandable on many different levels. I add that because sometimes moms who are trying to get their babies to nurse are basically told "why bother" by many people. They are told to "just pump your milk" or "What's wrong with formula?" Well, there are so many reasons to "bother" I cannot possibly list them all. And really there does not have to be a "reason." It is enough that this is something you want to do. If nursing your child is your desire, there is no need to explain why here. We get it!

    Latch issues in the early days are common, as of course is little sleep, so from your story it is impossible to tell if baby has any actual barriers to latching normally and nursing efficiently, or not. This is something it would really help to figure out. The professional you would want to see for breastfeeding issues is a board certified lactation consultant- an IBCLC. Do you know if you have that resource where you live?

    When encouraging a baby to learn (or relearn) to nurse, a couple of general things usually help a good deal. One is holding baby lots, skin to skin if possible. Holding baby on your chest is basically offering to nurse without pushing it. (It's ok to 'push it' sometimes too, that is the dance you will have to figure out.) But research shows babies really respond to be held on moms chest, skin to skin if possible but just help when that is not possible. This is where a baby is most comfortable, most "at home." This is the position that will most often trigger a rooting reflex. Obviously spending lots of time holding baby is very challenging when you are also pumping! but it is very important.

    The other main thing is to make sure the non-latching baby is being fed adequately but as close to "normally" - as much like breastfeeding- as possible. A breastfed baby will nurse a minimum of 8-10 times in 24 hours. They take small amounts at a time- 2 ounces or so at a time is the average at this age. They control the flow of milk with how they nurse. They comfort at the breast even past the point of satiety. All of these is normal and important parts of nursing, and it is believed that if baby is fed in as similar a way to that as possible, the less likely baby will reject the breast (or continue to reject the breast.)
    There are several ways to make supplemental (not at the breast) feedings more like breastfeeding. The closest is to use a lactation aid- an at the breast supplementer. Other ideas are to cup feed (using a small, open cup) or syringe feed. Lastly, if baby gets a bottle, there is a special technique to use with bottles called paced bottle feeding. Of course a combination of methods works too.

    Here is a good article with many ideas for encouraging baby to nurse. Instant reward techniques in particular work well when a baby is capable of nursing but has become used to bottles: http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/nb-...ack-to-breast/

    I also suggest thinking if there are some ways to tweak your milk removal routine. Again, when pumping, you are basically attempting to replicate normal nursing patterns. (although you may not need to pump quite as many times per day as your baby might nurse- it depends how well you respond to your pump.) Yes, frequent milk removal is necessary. But it need not be scheduled every such and such hours, as babies do not typically nurse on such a schedule. You could pump more often part of the day and less often other times. That way you can give yourself a pump break here and there- for example, one of 6 hours or so once per 24 hours for uninterrupted sleep (assuming baby cooperates.) If you find you get too full over that time, or did not have time to pump much earlier in the day, then you may have to shorten that break, but this is exactly like any other mother of a newborn. No moms with one month old babies get much regular, uninterrupted sleep.

    I can add several more links but I am not sure what info would help most. More info for how to feed baby in a breastfeeding supportive way? Info on latch techniques? Pumping tips? Etc. Let us know.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; October 26th, 2015 at 01:31 PM.

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