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Thread: Where to start with exclusive pumping?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Question Where to start with exclusive pumping?

    I just can't take my son (8 wks) biting me anymore... without teeth! I'd like to exclusively pump. Right now he is eating 5 times a day 6am, 10 , 2, 6, and 9-10. In one day I can pump about 24-30 oz. My max capacity is 12 oz. But more comfortably is 6-8 oz. I must admit that sometimes I'm a little lazy about pumping. I hate that it cuts right in the middle of the day or in the middle of what I'm doing. I was wondering if I could pump 4 times a day or less. Is that possible? Also, I'd like to know that if I have a scheduled pumping at 10am and I'm not able to pump for another hour or two, will that effect my milk supply? Sometimes I just can't do it on time. I've gone through some of the other threads and saw that to cut out pumpings I need to go slow. What does that mean? Is manual pumping more efficient than electric pumps when it comes to getting milk out? Thank in advance for helping me figure this out! Chrissy

  2. #2

    Default Re: Where to start with exclusive pumping?

    This is probably not what you want to hear, but because of the supply and demand nature of breastfeeding, if you want to exclusively give your baby breastmilk and not supplement with formula, then you'll need to pump at the same times(or same number of times at the same time intervals, if you're exclusively pumping ) if you want to keep your supply up especially since your baby is only 8 weeks old. You'll also need to be attentive to growth spurts, and pump more often during them to build your supply up higher when baby needs more breastmilk. You'll also need to be fairly regular with your pumping times. At 8 weeks, baby's only food option is breastmilk (if you're not supplementing), so I do think that being off of a pumping time by an hour or 2, is way too much. The longer between pumping sessions, your body is being told NOT to produce as much breastmilk. By missing sessions, you'll be telling your body you don't need breastmilk and you'll be lowering your supply. I'd guess that a few minutes or 15 or 20 minutes late once in awhile, isn't as critical as long as you keep the right number of sessions and are vigilant with continuing pumping.

    I'm not sure if you've already decided to pump exclusively, or are just considering it, but I've heard from many exclusive pumpers that it is twice or three times the work of doing most of the breastfeeding at the breast. You might want to take that into consideration in your decision. There are ways to teach a baby not to bite, and med. issues like tongue tie that can be corrected that will make breastfeeding at the breast better for you too, and if you want to talk about those things, we can help with that too. It's all up to you. I just would hate to set you up for more work if your problems can be corrected IYKWIM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Where to start with exclusive pumping?

    Hi, I'm a first time mom and I've been exclusively pumping for 7 months. I had trouble breastfeeding but wanted my dd to get my milk for as long as possible. I invested in a double pump (Medela's pump in style advanced) a few days after she was born and pumped 8-10x a day for about 4 months. Then she started sleeping through the night so I cut back a bit. Now I pump about 5-6 times a day. It can be challenging and difficult but it's worth it. You feel like you're tied to the pump all day so between that, bottle duty, and caring for the baby and household there's much more work involved compared to breastfeeding or formula feeding. Each pump session of mine is about 25-30 minutes total. At first, my goal was to make it to 3 months, then once I made it to 6 months, my goal is 9 months, and then hopefully I'll make it to 9 so I can go a full year. DD is not close to being interested in solids, so she gets all her food from me still. It's very rewarding to see your little one thrive on breastmilk even though it's not straight from the breast.

    My biggest advice to you is to be persistent. It helps to have a support system from friends and family who continually cheer you on for your efforts. Before you know it, you'll be used to it and it won't be a big hassle. Definitely invest in a good, double pump and lots of bottles. I even bought some of those baby milk/food cube trays so I could freeze extra. If you are blessed with a large quantity of milk, resist the urge to toss extra out. Always save it...you never know if you'll need it. I found my production to fluctuate often b/w 2-4 months...sometimes the milk would be overflowing and other times I came close to running low.

    I believe ivillage.com has a board of exclusive pumping moms. I never joined it, but I would view it on occasion to get "inspiration"!

    Good luck!!!

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