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Thread: Ready to Exclusively pump and kick the supplemental formula

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    3

    Question Ready to Exclusively pump and kick the supplemental formula

    DD had problems latching onto my flat nipples, so I have decided to exclusively pump. Breast feeding just stresses us both out so I think this is the best option for us.
    Problem is, we have to supplement about one bottle of formula a day to keep up with DD's huge appetite. I have been pumping everytime DD eats. (anywhere from 2 - 4 hours). Should I be pumping more than this? What is a good schedule for someone just starting out? DD is 2 weeks old.
    TIA for any help or suggestions you have!
    DD born 01/16.
    Working on exclusively

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,149

    Default Re: Ready to Exclusively pump and kick the supplemental formula

    I am sure your baby's difficulties with latching are hugely frustrating, but I really urge you not to give up on breastfeeding just yet. Difficult as getting your newborn to nurse is, you never know when things might turn the corner. 2 weeks is still so early! And flat nipples often correct themselves after you've been nursing a while- mine were flat but now they're everted. Have you been to see a lactation consultant? Nothing beats hands-on help!!!

    The reason I urge you to continue is that exclusive pumping (EP) has it's own special challenges:
    - It's usually harder to increase/maintain supply via pumping than nursing because even the best pump is not as good as the baby at emptying the breast.
    - Breastfeeding gets more efficient with time. By the time most babies are a few months old, they can get a complete meal in 5-10 minutes at the breast. Pumping never gets easier: if it takes you 20 minutes to fill a bottle today, it's going to take you 20 minutes a year from now and you'll need to find that 20 minutes while taking care of a mobile, active baby.
    - If you pump, you need to haul your pump everywhere you go. You need to constantly wash bottles and pump parts. You need to store milk and warm milk- and sometimes that means listening to your baby cry while you frantically try to get his bottle ready.
    - Breastfeeding in public is embarrassing for some moms, but it's a lot easier to be discreet while nursing in public than pumping in public!
    - Breastmilk from the breast is always clean, available, and at the right temperature. Breastmilk in a bottle can fall on the floor, go sour, or get forgotten. Breastmilk in the freezer can get ruined when the power goes out and the freezer defrosts.
    - Breastfeeding is more than nutrition- it's comfort. It soothes teething and sickness and bumps to the head.

    I really don't mean to get you down with this! Many moms EP and make it work, and just because it can be harder to EP doesn't mean it will be for you. You have all our support either way!!!

    I have been pumping everytime DD eats. (anywhere from 2 - 4 hours). Should I be pumping more than this?
    You should be pumping as often as it takes to meet your DD's demand. If you're not there yet, and needing to supplement with formula, then you need to increase your pumping frequency. There's not really a good "schedule" to recommend, because every woman responds so differently to pumping. Some moms can get by pumping every 4 hours, other will need to pump every 1.5 hours or even more frequently...

    What sort of pump do you have? If you're going to EP you need a REALLY good pump- like a Medela Pump in Style Advanced or something like that. Make sure you have extra pump parts just in case one gets lost or broken or eaten by the dog.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Ready to Exclusively pump and kick the supplemental formula

    At that age I was pumping every 3 hours and my LO was taking a 2 ounce bottle if I remember correctly. I never had to supplement. I was pumping more at first then she would eat so we never had a problem. Eping is the hardest at the beginning and I've found it gets a lot easier when your supply evens out and you can cut out pumpings while not affecting the supply (+/- 12 weeks).

    Definitely get a good pump and a second set of everything. I've got a set for work and one for home.
    Trying to keep up with a busy 3.5 year old Morgan Alexis born 11/5/09 at 6 lbs 5 oz and proud retired 1 year EP'er!

    Nursing our new addition Jordan Catherine born 10/21/12 at 7 lbs 14 oz.

    Total donated milk so far - 1,368 ounces!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: Ready to Exclusively pump and kick the supplemental formula

    If you wish to do away with supplements it will be necessary to either get the baby back to the breast or pump more frequently. Generally exclusive pumping works out best if you have a hospital grade pump.

    It is still possible to attempt to get your baby back to the breast. If you are interested in getting the baby to the breast, the following strategies can be helpful for flat nipples:

    - Stimulate the nipples before feedings. If the nipple can be grasped, roll the nipple between the thumb and index finger for a minute or two. Afterwards, quickly touch it with a moist, cold cloth or with ice that has been wrapped in a cloth. Avoid prolonged use of ice, as numbing the nipple and areola could inhibit the let-down reflex.
    - Express some milk onto the nipple or into the baby's mouth to entice him. Have a helper drip some milk onto the breast near the nipple with a spoon or eyedropper while the mother works to latch on the baby. The baby's natural response to a swallow is to latch on and suck.
    - Compress the breast during latch-on to make the area baby is latching onto more defined. The idea is similar to what you do when you eat a big sandwich, first you gently squeeze the sandwich so that it fits into your mouth.
    - Use a breast pump to draw out the nipple prior to nursing.
    - As a last resort nipple shields are sometimes used. If other strategies are not working, a nipple shield could help baby latch on and nurse well by providing the stimulation to the roof of the baby's mouth that signals his suck reflex. Nipple shields should only be used with the guidance of a lactation professional as they can lead to problems if not used properly.
    Theresa
    LLL Leader

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Ready to Exclusively pump and kick the supplemental formula

    I totally understand the frustrating part of trying to nurse...and not being successful. However, 2 weeks is still very early and there is a good chance you can still nurse. Definitely get all the help you can from an LC asap. I was not able to get my son to nurse for several reasons -tongue tied, flat nipples, had to give him a bottle for the first week in the hospital. We have been pumping for 9 months now, but it would have been really nice if he had learned to latch.

    That being said, pumping is definitely possible. I have been fortunate to have a pretty good milk supply. Here are just a few things I might add to the PP suggestions and tips:

    1. When trying to nurse, it helps to pump for a few mins first then try latching. I definitely had more successful attempts by doing this since it started milk flow and made my nipples not so flat.
    2. Relax. I would get very emotional and stressed when trying to get my little guy latched. I think the tension added to his resistance.
    3. Pump frequency. I pumped about 8x/day at the beginning so probably about what you are doing. This worked for me, but it sounds like it might help you to add in an extra session or two for awhile to boost your supply. Hang in there, you should be able to pump less often after a little time.
    4. Pump. I highly reccommend a hosptial grade pump to establish your milk supple. I have used both a Medela Lactina and Symphony which work great. The Pump in Style Advanced has also hung in there as my main pump for about 6 months. Great for work, travel, etc.

    Hope this helps....good luck!
    Cynthia
    Mom to Jaxon born 5/1/09. He would not so we and !

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Ready to Exclusively pump and kick the supplemental formula

    The comments thus far are great ones! I exclusively pumped for my son for a year. I used the Medella Pump in Style with no problems. But everyone is different. Here are some additional suggestions.

    If you add a pumping session or two try to do it in the morning. Your supply is naturally greater in the AM so take advantage.

    Make sure you are pumping long enough. A couple of minutes past your second let down is a good place to start. Some can't get a second so at least pump till you get no milk for several minutes.

    Do what I called double pumping. Pump then pump again in an hour. This works better than pumping for one session longer. It ressembles cluster feeding which is what babies do if they are trying to increase supply. Try this with maybe your mid morning pump. Don't do it first thing in the AM because you will end up too full.

    Good luck to you!!

    BTW - I also have flat nipples. My first had a tongue tie and I exclusively pumped. My second, now 6 weeks, was able to nurse. My nipples were just as flat this time as last but without the tongue tie it was easier. I wouldn't give up just yet! See a consultant and keep at it a little bit longer. Take some deep breaths and try to relax before feeding. They really do sense your emotions. But if it doesn't work don't worry! You're doing the best you can and exclusively pumping is not that bad. Hang in there!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Ready to Exclusively pump and kick the supplemental formula

    Thanks for all the input ladies! When DD wakes up, I think we'll try Bfing again. We have seen a LC and have lots of knowledge behind us. I just need to get over my fear and frustrations of BFing.
    Now I also have more knowledge for pumping - TY! (still need to keep the pump around for going back to work!)

    I really do appreciate all the different points of view from you all! I am so glad I found this forum!
    DD born 01/16.
    Working on exclusively

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Ready to Exclusively pump and kick the supplemental formula

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*passaskat View Post
    Thanks for all the input ladies! When DD wakes up, I think we'll try Bfing again. We have seen a LC and have lots of knowledge behind us. I just need to get over my fear and frustrations of BFing.
    Now I also have more knowledge for pumping - TY! (still need to keep the pump around for going back to work!)

    I really do appreciate all the different points of view from you all! I am so glad I found this forum!

    Good Luck! And let us know how it goes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Ready to Exclusively pump and kick the supplemental formula

    I decided with a LC to EP when my baby was three weeks old. We tried everything. I have one flat and one inverted nipple. ALL the suggestions above were tried to no avail. Thus I've been pumping for over a year. At that beginning stage of 3 to 4 weeks of age, I pumped every three hours. I established such a incredible supply that I was able to freeze quite a bit. I used a PISA and it has been wonderful. As time went on I moved to pumping only every four to five hours. That was a steady cycle for a few months until baby was 8 months. Then I dropped to about every 5 to 6 hours. I double expressed, massaged, and I needed 20 minutes on average. I now only pump three times a day and what a feeling of freedom! So it does get better but EP only works if you are disciplined--I truly believe that. Don't believe the posts that say oh you can miss a session or two. NO. Keep the faith and keep pumping religiously and with a schedule/timer. It's the only way to ensure getting rid of supplementation. I'm a testament to that. My DD only had the supplementation the first two weeks of life when my life and hers was literally the worst experience of my life. But a LC helped me see that EP was my answer. Good luck!

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