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Thread: exclusive pumping?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    40

    Question exclusive pumping?

    Hi,
    I have a 2.5 year old daughter and an 11 month old daughter, both were breastfed for 2 weeks. I struggled tremendously because I have inverted nipples. Even the lactation nurse I was working with during both times wasn't quite sure what to do to help me. We tried everything, changing positions, breast shells, breast shields, pumping, ice cubes(!!). My DH and I are considering having another baby and the thought of what to do with feeding has come into my mind. I would so love to breastfeed if we did have another baby but know it would likely end the same way the other times did. I've been thinking a lot on the idea of exclusive pumping. I'm trying to learn about it, how to do it, what to expect, etc. I was wondering if any exclusively pumping moms out there could tell me about their experiences with it, why they chose it, how they feel about it, etc. Basically anything! For those who do exclusively pump, did you start immedieatly after birth or did you attempt at the breast feeding first?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,653

    Default Re: exclusive pumping?

    I'm not an exclusive pumper, but I considered it when I was struggling with nursing. (I had low supply and really badly damaged nipples. Ouch!)

    The benefits of exclusive pumping:
    -baby gets breastmilk
    -you always know how much milk the baby is getting
    -no struggling with public nursing- just grab a bottle and go
    -other people can feed the baby

    The downside:
    -pumping takes time, and never gets any more efficient. If it takes 20 minutes to pump a bottle for your newborn, it'll take the same 20 minutes when the baby is mobile and needs supervision
    -washing pump parts and bottles
    -can be hard to boost/maintain supply (not true for all moms)
    -pumps are expensive, but still cheaper than formula

    If you give E.P. a go, I would definitely make sure I had the best possible pump. I personally needed a hospital-grade rental to boost my supply- nothing else gave me the stimulation I needed. So get out there do some comparison shopping/renting, and talk to the LCs about where to get the best pump, because you may be using it for a year or more! I would definitely try nursing first. Perhaps the third time will be the charm, and everything will go smoothly from day one! (I hope so!) But you might want to pump, too, just to make sure you're getting the proper stimulation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: exclusive pumping?

    Quote Originally Posted by momtobaby1 View Post
    Hi,
    I have a 2.5 year old daughter and an 11 month old daughter, both were breastfed for 2 weeks. I struggled tremendously because I have inverted nipples. Even the lactation nurse I was working with during both times wasn't quite sure what to do to help me. We tried everything, changing positions, breast shells, breast shields, pumping, ice cubes(!!). My DH and I are considering having another baby and the thought of what to do with feeding has come into my mind. I would so love to breastfeed if we did have another baby but know it would likely end the same way the other times did. I've been thinking a lot on the idea of exclusive pumping. I'm trying to learn about it, how to do it, what to expect, etc. I was wondering if any exclusively pumping moms out there could tell me about their experiences with it, why they chose it, how they feel about it, etc. Basically anything! For those who do exclusively pump, did you start immedieatly after birth or did you attempt at the breast feeding first?

    Thanks!
    We gave bf a go and had a hard time with it, my DD was lazy and would only stay latched in the morning when I was about to explode - if she had to work at it at all she wasnt interested. So she was a morning breastfeeder for the first ocuple 7 weeks , then I went back to work Now I had been pumping for every bottle but morning but this was so difficult. My supply plumetted. it was so hard to get it back but 3weeks of hard work did the trick. I take fenugreek and lecithen to keep me going strong!
    As far as emotionally I feel great, while the pumping is bothersome sometime, you get a good schedule, and during my very busy day at work everytime i pump is time jsut devoted to DD. Its a guaranteed way I know ill be thinking of her. My schedule is:
    4am pump
    7am pump
    10am pump
    12pm pump
    5pm pump
    8 - 9pm pump
    11ish pm pump

    this schedule is keeping DD in 4 7 oz bottles a aday. so far as i have increased her oz's I have been able to keep up. As though my body does understand whats going on!

    Goodluck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: exclusive pumping?

    I bf'ed two babies when I was given the choice for EPing for my dd. She had a severe stroke which took all of her feeding reflexes. We had a great bfing relationship for the five weeks she was here before her stroke. I am glad I was able to provide her with milk for as long as I did. She is now two and receives about 1/3 of her food orally, the rest is by feeding tube.

    That being said, I would never choose to EP as just a choice. I never could produce as much milk when I was pumping as when I was bfing. I also didn't maintain infertility with pumping like I could with bfing.

    Have you ever tried Reverse Pressure Softening? It's kind of a newer technique that is helping lots of moms with inverted and flat nipples.

    I used a hospital -grade pump as well as an "everyday" double-electric pump. The rental was by far a better choice for me. A tleast in terms of milk production. i had a friend that was also an EPer and I know I couldn't have done it without her. She had lots of tricks and helps. She could also commiserate when all I could do was complain about pumping. Find someone else who has done it. You might find someone at your local LLL meetings. That's how I met my friend.

    I hated pumping. My pump now has a spot of disgrace in my garage where I pointedly ignore it. ;-) the only thing that made it better was knowing that if my dd couldn't bf, she could at least still be nourished by me. If you do plan on pumping, why not giving bf a try when the baby comes...it can't hurt anything, right? And you can always pump if it doesn't work out.

    You're doing a great job gathering info before you actually need it. Many moms who are thrust into EPing don't get that chance. I'm sure there will be others on this list that will have other suggestions.

    warmly,

    belcantomom

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    736

    Default Re: exclusive pumping?

    I tried to nurse my daughter in the hospital but she wouldn't latch. The nurses kept forcing her on the breast, and she kept crying and fussing. It was horrible. I was told I had a flat nipple and an inverted nipple. It was even harder because of my c-section, my belly hurt (still does, grr). So holding her to breast feed was pretty much impossible. And she was so long that the football hold folded her in half practically...

    One of the things the nurses had me try was pump. In the beginning I only pumped a few ml of colostrum -- but then again you don't need much. Still, they had me feed her 2 oz total -- I ended up usually giving her an ounce of formula, but that was because she was jaundiced and they told me it wouldn't go away unless she ate more to pass it.

    I tried in the beginning to breast feed with a nipple shell -- but that didn't work. It'd take her over an hour to nurse and she's never seem contented. I had a bad pump in the beginning -- if I hadn't rented a hospital grade for 3 months, I don't think I'd still be pumping. I use a Pump In Style Advanced now and haven't had any issues.

    At first when I had the hospital pump I pumped every 3 hours, for 20 minutes. Or after one of her feedings, which ever came first. Eventually her schedule and mine got out of sync; I now pump every 6 hours. I'm unusual -- I pump 12-14 oz in a sitting.

    In the beginning I had clogged ducts like mad. It was painful. I was lucky that I 1) had a lot of PTO accrued and 2) worked at a place where they liked me enough that if I had to leave early because of a clog they'd let me (plus they had flexible hours, so I'd usually make the time up by staying longer on another day or working a Saturday.

    After about 3 months, the clogs evened out. I still get them occasionally, but I know how to get rid of them now. From time to time my nipples get tender... if you look at my nipples, I guess you'd say they're cracked, because the little pores separate, and then I have like a little crater. I try to pump with less suction then, which is hard at work sometimes because I need to put the suction up a little bit in order to get that 12 oz out in 20 minutes (they're very much about being on time, so I only have 30 minutes to pump and get me a lunch to eat at my desk, ugh!). I usually use lanolin for a little then until they get better.

    Learn to manual express, even if you're going to nurse. I constantly get clogged nipple pores, and it's only through manual expression that I clear them up -- and consequently my clogs, too.

    Whatever you do, get a GOOD PUMP. I know they seem expensive, but like others have said, in the long run they are MUCH cheaper than formula. Make sure you pump round the clock and on as close to a regular schedule as you can -- or at least after every feeding (I eventually built up a supply that I would warm a bottle of milk, feed her, put her in her swing, then pump for 20 minutes. In the beginning she'd fall asleep while I was pumping). Keep to your schedule and slowly adjust it to your needs. Also don't get discouraged by only pumping a couple ounces combined -- especially in the beginning. Pumping 3-4 oz in 20 minutes is actually very good. Pumping more than that is EXTREMELY good, and usually only happens to those who have oversupply.

    Make sure you do your best to empty your breasts completely -- I fully believe the reason why my supply has not gone down is because I have learned how to pump in order to empty my breasts -- I use breast compressions, take the pump off every few minutes and hand express a few times then put it back on -- don't just sit there, whatever you do.

    And when you get sick of pumping -- and trust me, you WILL get sick of it -- just think about what your hard work is doing for your little one. Invest in a counter. It helps me keep going on the rough nights to look at it and see it slowly creep closer and closer to that 12 month mark.

    But if you can -- try to breast feed first. Only pump as a last resort. I'd give anything to breast feed my daughter normally, but alas -- she won't do it no matter what I try, and I spend 2 hours a day total pumping and washing and sterilizing.
    Momma to K 05/24/07 (due 05/31/07)
    Momma to I, 06/04/10 VBAC'd (due 05/31/10). Read about it here

    Exclusive Pumper to first for 18 months.
    I got my VBAC!

    Struggling with nursing but one way or another breast milk is all they get.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: exclusive pumping?

    I had looked at the reverse pressure softening but didn't try it, it would be something to look at this time though and try to learn.

    I wouldn't say that if I did EP that it would be a choice entirely, obviously it would be a choice between that and formula feeding. The BF went so horribly last time (both of them) that I almost feel like it's not a real option. I would be willing to try it but would expect the same difficulties to be there again. I like to benefits of BF, no bottles to clean, no pump parts to clean, being able to just in the middle of the night lay the baby beside you and put them to breast. I did find some success with laying down feeding but at times it was definitely as hard as other positions. There was one nurse at the hospital that was always able to get the baby to latch, wish I knew what the heck she was doing!

    Fortunately when I had my DD2 I had an Ameda Purely Yours pump and it did work great for me. I was able to at almost 2 weeks post partum pump about 4 ounces at a sitting. However I tended to attempt to BF and then pump after so think I may have caused some oversupply which made my mastitis worse. Ended up in the hospital for 2 days on IV antibiotics, for the mastitis and uterine infection. Showed up at the hospital at 2 a.m. with excessive bleeding and within about 2 hours of being there my temperature had gone from normal to 104.

    Thanks for all the info everyone has given me, I like to hear about other people's experiences, it is very helpful.

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