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Thread: Exclusively Pumping and Feedings

  1. #1

    Question Exclusively Pumping and Feedings

    My son is three weeks old and is breastfeeding just fine. However I will be returning to work in nine weeks and need to start preparing to pump. I'm interesting in how exclusively pumping works. How does EPing and feeding the baby work? It seems to me if you pump every 3-4 hours and then feed the baby, you are strapped to the pump or baby almost all day long. How does this work? What is your schedule? TIA!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping and Feedings

    EPing works great for us. It is the hardest during the first 8 weeks when they're eating more frequently and still waking up lots at night. The worst was at night at first when it would take me an hour to feed and pump, less time if your DH is willing to get up too. I would pump everytime DD ate at first until my supply evened out. At 12 weeks I went back to work and here's our schedule now.

    5:45 DH and I wake up, I immediately pump. 25 minutes.
    6:15 DH wakes up DD and feeds her and gets her ready for the day and puts her in the swing until I'm ready to leave.
    7:00 head to daycare
    11:00 Pump at work 15-20 min
    4:00 Pump at work 15-20 min
    5:15 Pick up DD at daycare
    8:30-9:00 Last bottle and DD is down for the night. Sleeps through until 6:15 most nights.
    9:00-9:30 Pump 20 min. and off to bed.

    Before heading back to work I was pumping 5-6 times a day from 6-12 weeks. 7-8 in the first 4-6 weeks. With a 3 hour feeding schedule and pumping every feeding at first I had about 1.5-2 hours of "free time" depending on how long DD slept.

    I would have breastfed longer while at home if I hadn't of gotten thrush. If EP is the right choice for you I would start pumping and introducing bottles at night and continue to BF during the day.
    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!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping and Feedings

    Just some potential problems that you should be aware of before choosing EP:
    1. Pumps tend not to empty the breast as well as a baby does, and that means that it can be harder to maintain/increase supply when EP than when EBF or when combining breastfeeding and pumping. Many EP moms struggle with supply.
    2. By the time most babies are a few months old, they can get a full meal in at the breast in 5-10 minutes. Pumping never gets any more efficient: if it takes you 20 minutes to pump today, it will take you 20 minutes a year from now and you'll need to find that time while caring for a mobile baby.
    3. EP means always lugging the pump with you and always needing to find a place to pump. If you think breastfeeding in public is tough, imagine pumping in public!
    4. Pumps and bottles fall on the floor, get too old in the diaper bag, or get forgotten at home. Milk in the breast is always clean, fresh, and at the right temperature.
    5. EP means sometimes having to choose between caring for your baby and maintaining your pumping schedule. It is NOT FUN listening to your baby cry while you're frantically trying to pump out her next feeding.
    6. The breast is more than food. It's comfort, too. Nothing soothes a bumped head or skinned knee or teething as fast as the breast does, and as your baby gets older, breastfeeding becomes a really important mothering tool.

    Obviously some moms- like the PP- make EP work for them. But I think that it can be a harder road than combining breast and bottle.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping and Feedings

    I'm just curious why you are thinking about going to exclusive pumping if nursing is going well for you? Most moms are able to pump while at work and nurse when they are with baby, is that something you are interested in knowing more about?
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping and Feedings

    I agree with mommal on this one. I have to pump and once you start the bottle is is hard to get away from it. Everyone say wait until 6 weeks to give a bottle.

    Are you looking to pump to store milk away when you return to work and to have some milk just in case? If so pump after a feeding or when your LO is asleep to get some milk stored away.

    Really, I strongly discourage EPing if your can BF. Pumping isn't fun. You have to make sure you can pump every 2-3 hours, which means you watch the clock all day. You have to choose between things. You have to worry about bottles being clean. It is just more work. Pump while at work and nurse while at home. Trust me, that is what I would do if we were better at BFing.
    My little surprise born 2 December 2009 7 lbs 1 oz 20 inches.

    Our goal is 1 year, but I'm willing to go 2!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping and Feedings

    I EPed with DS1 but for DS2 I pump at work but feed him when we are together. Things are waaaay easier this way. EPing is a serious PITA. There is no way I would ever choose to do it. I did it for DS1 because he could not latch due to tongue tie.
    Beth

    Exclusively pumped for Lance Oct 07
    Nursed until just before he turned 3 Levi Oct 09

    Do you have extra milk? Consider donating!
    http://www.hmbana.org/:

    "So I was welcomed by the consolations of human milk; but it was not my mother or my nurses who made any decision to fill their breasts, but you who through them gave me infant food, in accordance with your ordinance and the riches which are distributed deep in the natural order." -St Augustine

  7. #7
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    Dec 2009
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    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping and Feedings

    to the PP saying a combo of BF and bottles later on would be the easiest....especially if you are planning to provide BM for awhile. I have been pumping for 9 months - couldn't get my son to latch well for various reasons. I just met with a new ped. today and he was very surprised I have been pumping so long. Said most EP mom's switch to formula by 4-5 months. It takes a LOT of dedication and time to EP. But, being a working mom, I can understand how deciding to just EP might be what you feel would work best for you and your LO.

    That being said, my schedule at 3 months was similar to the PP, but I think I pumped a bit more often. (Keep in mind, we had a long day b/c I was driving 60 miles to work each day) The day was kind of like:

    4:15am Wake up & pump **dropped this session around 14 weeks
    4:30-5am LO wakes up to eat, goes into swing for more sleep
    5:45am Pump
    11:30am Pump
    4:30pm Pump
    7pm Get home, feed LO bottle if needed
    8:15 Pump
    8:45 Bedtime bottle, out by 9
    2am Nightime bottle
    2:30am Pump **It is really not fun having to stay up for 1-1.5 hrs so you can feed and pump. I was able to stop doing this around 6 months when I could get enough milk only pumping 4x/day.
    Cynthia
    Mom to Jaxon born 5/1/09. He would not so we and !

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping and Feedings

    Mama, my suggestion, if at all possible, is to continue your nursing relationship while you're at home / with the baby and pump while you're at work. Ideally speaking you should pump every 3 hours that you are away from your baby, and the milk you pump then is the milk that your little one will drink while you're away.

    In order to prepare and start a freezer stash, choose 2 nursing sessions during the day when you'd normally be pumping at work. After you nurse your little one, pump for 15 minutes. You may get very little but don't worry. Save that for a freezer stash to prepare yourself for growth spurts and hungry days. That milk can also be used on your first day back to work while you're at work pumping away.
    Wife to DH February 17, 2004.
    First time mom to my precious baby girl, welcomed to this world August 3, 2009!
    Birth: 6 lbs. 6 oz. and 18.5"
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  9. #9
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    Dec 2009
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    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping and Feedings

    If you're still serious about EPing and want more information and SUPPORT about how it works in the long run there is a dedicated EP forum on ivillage.

    I commited in the beginning to 6 months of EP but now it's gotten so easy with 4x a day that I could see myself making it work for a year. Some people just don't enjoy breastfeeding but want to give their little one the benefit of mama's milk. I think there should be support here for what we do which there currently is not much of.

    Good luck to you and your little one whatever decision you make.
    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!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Exclusively Pumping and Feedings

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*vtmtbkr View Post
    If you're still serious about EPing and want more information and SUPPORT about how it works in the long run there is a dedicated EP forum on ivillage.

    I commited in the beginning to 6 months of EP but now it's gotten so easy with 4x a day that I could see myself making it work for a year. Some people just don't enjoy breastfeeding but want to give their little one the benefit of mama's milk. I think there should be support here for what we do which there currently is not much of.

    Good luck to you and your little one whatever decision you make.
    If she had said she didn't enjoy breastfeeding she would have gotten support from me, though I'd have also told her that it does get easier. As it is she did not say that, she gave the impression that breastfeeding was going well and I think many of us assumed that she felt she had to go to exclusively pumping because she was returning to work. I'm sorry if you've felt you weren't supported in your decision to exclusively pump, but there are many many mothers who frequent this forum who exclusively pump who would probably disagree that you can't get support for that here.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

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