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Thread: Pumping vs. breast feeding

  1. #1

    Default Pumping vs. breast feeding

    I am so frustrated with trying to bf my 4 week old son. I keep asking myself why not just pump. With my dd all I did was pump n that worked well. But I somehow feel that if I give up ill be a failure n what if this gets better ill have missed out on a great bonding experience. I'm trying to convince myself to stick to this but this is how I see it;

    I don't have to fear feeding him. I can give him a bottle and admire him rather than be angry at him.
    My dh can help me out when I'm too tired.
    I can give him a bottle when out in public.
    When going somewhere I can feed him while the car is moving rather than having to stop n take him out of the car seat n stay there for an hour or so.
    I won't have to work around his feeding schedule because he can eat anywhere even on the go
    The pump I have is the medela free style which I just strap on n can walk around n do what ever chores or be with my 14 month old daughter. I know the downside is washing bottles and a pump but at the moment that doesn't seem so bad.

    I don't want to give this up but these are my thoughts at the moment

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pumping vs. breast feeding

    We are on same boat, my wife is trying to exclusively breastfeed but baby is having hard time latching, and once latched he sucks 3-4 times then fades to sleep. Normally he is awake when he is hungry, he just likes to fall asleep whenever he is close to mother's breasts. So are pumping, about 10 to 15ml each pumping and try to feed every 2 hours. It is very difficult to determine what is enough.. We have our first appointment tomorrow with the doctor and we will seek some advise there.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pumping vs. breast feeding

    My baby use to fall asleep too I read something that may help you on dr jack newmans website, read about it or watch the video on compression. Hopefully that helps.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    NE PA

    Default Re: Pumping vs. breast feeding

    I know that when things are tough pumping can seem like a good solution however pumping never gets any easier where as nursing does. Also it is harder to maintain a good supply while pumping. 4 weeks is still very young yet. Most babies take at least 6 weeks to fully get the hang of nursing. What specifically are you having problems with? There are a ton of great resources on here who may be able to help.
    Starfish54 as for a baby that falls asleep at the breast this link may be helpful
    Try breast compressions and undressing baby to keep him awake. Also I would caution you that doctors that know anything about breastfeeding are few and far between so don't take what your doc says as the gospel. Check out more info on the LLL website or www.kellymom.com

    Moma to DS1-the monkinroanie (3/09) and DS2-the sweet pumpkin (5/12)
    Strong Women- May we have the delight of knowing them, the courage to be them and the privilege of raising them.
    And yes I know my spelling terrible (is that spelled right? )

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Pumping vs. breast feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*rcsmom View Post
    I know that when things are tough pumping can seem like a good solution however pumping never gets any easier where as nursing does. Also it is harder to maintain a good supply while pumping. 4 weeks is still very young yet. Most babies take at least 6 weeks to fully get the hang of nursing. What specifically are you having problems with? There are a ton of great resources on here who may be able to help.
    Starfish54 as for a baby that falls asleep at the breast this link may be helpful
    Try breast compressions and undressing baby to keep him awake. Also I would caution you that doctors that know anything about breastfeeding are few and far between so don't take what your doc says as the gospel. Check out more info on the LLL website or www.kellymom.com
    I am facing the possibility of EPing, as baby #4 has at least a cleft lip, if not a cleft palate, and babies with such conditions can't suck well enough to nurse exclusively at the breast, if at all. And I'm DREADING it. Because I KNOW how much easier nursing is in the long run.

    In a few weeks, your baby can just nurse and be done. No bottles, no pumping. No washing. And this whole idea of you can't be away from your baby is just for the first few months. Then you can leave a bottle if necessary, or if baby is taking solids, just skip a feeding.

    It seems hard hard hard to nurse at the breast now, but it will get easier. EPing never gets easier. You will be pumping every few hours until you are done nursing...which IMHO is probably one reason that over half of women who start out nursing quit by the time baby is 6 months. It's a ball and chain around your neck.

    Why are you angry at the baby at the breast, OP? Is it hurting? Or what? Perhaps there's merely a little issue that needs to be resolved so you develop a better nursing relationship.

    For the baby who won't stay awake, try side lying nursing in a bed, undressing baby and just leaving him to suck while he sleeps. I also clean their ears, blow on them, massage their feet...and switch sides a million times. That stage goes away eventually, as in about another week, your baby will probably go through a growth spurt where all he wants to do is nurse.

    Don't believe anything your doctor says. Most know nothing about BFing, and most actually think you must supplement with bottles, which is a slippery slope to early weaning.
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: Pumping vs. breast feeding

    Don't seek breastfeeding advice from your doctor! Find a IBCLC! Or your local LLL leader!! Many doctors mean well, but they just don't teach this stuff in medical school. If I had a dollar for everytime someone came on this forum saying that their doctor advised them to do something that is KNOWN to be counterproductive to breastfeeding ... well, I would have a cushier bank account!

    Breastfeeding was very hard for me in the beginning too. Getting the latch right, resolving my soreness, battling some thrush and clogged ducts ... it was hard. I did not always feel like it was a "bonding experience" ... okay, I hardly ever felt like it was a bonding experience. I know the temptation to just pump.

    But I stuck with the BF'ing and I am very glad. Once your baby is moving around, you won't have time to pump all the time. And by that time, nursing will be fast, easy, and convenient. No sterilizing, no washing, you always have the milk with you every where you go!

    Definitely let us know what your specific problems are, and consider getting some hands on help with a IBCLC, or go to your local LLL meeting. You can do this!!

    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: Pumping vs. breast feeding

    I was sore and frustrated in the beginning. I'm glad I stuck with it. When we have to give him a bottle (when I'm away) it's a pain in the butt. I am paranoid about the bottles being cleaned thoroughly, I hate pumping, etc. I find its just easier to take the baby with me.

    I was afraid to feed in public too - but remember that breasts are to feed a baby. If someone stares at me, it's THEIR hangup. I'm just feeding my baby. Bottles are not the normal way to feed a baby, breasts are. Society is what has sexualized the breast. It's not wrong, weird or creepy to feed your baby.

    I also felt anger sometimes, esp. with cluster feeding. I won't go in details, but I had been molested as a child and raped as an adult. The idea that someone was touching me in a way that made me uncomfortable again was very hard to deal with at first. It was usually at the end of a long day or clusterfeed that I felt this way. I kept reminding myself it was my baby who needed me. It got easier. People sometimes don't like to admit that they get angry at the baby sometimes, but I will. I don't act on it, but I have felt it. It's so hard when you're tired, hurting, and totally touched out. It really will get better.
    Proud mama to Ryan born 6-19-10

    We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.
    - Anais Nin

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Pumping vs. breast feeding

    Mama, if you give up nursing for exclusive pumping you won't be a failure. You won't not bond with your baby. But I still encourage you with all my heart to continue to nurse!!! It's so much easier in the long run. No bottles to wash, store, transport, warm, spill on the floor... No choosing between caring for the baby and maintaining your pumping schedule, no need to find a clean place with an outlet in which to pump when you're on the go...

    Can you tell us more about your fear of feeding your baby? Is there an issue there (like a painful latch or something) that is causing you to dislike nursing?

    And can we help you feel better about nursing in public? A lot of moms have trouble with it at first- but like everything about breastfeeding, it does get better with time.

    One thing I would encourage you to do if you do feel like EP is the right way to go is to keep your options open. Keep the baby on the breast for a few feedings per day. That way he'll maintain his latching skills, and will still be able to nurse if you do decide to transition back to exclusive breastfeeding, or to combining breast and bottle feeding but doing more breast than bottle.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Pumping vs. breast feeding

    Thanks everyone for your encouragement. I do feel angry at times because of the pain, he doesn't open up wide enough, he constantly does this clicking sound and loses suction and ends up with the tip of my nipple in his mouth which hurts like crazy because I'm still sore n the cuts are still healing, he gulps a lot of air in n end up with lots if gas, so I have to try latching him on over n over, so after a while he's upset so he won't open his mouth and I'm in tears from the pain and frustration especially when I'm up in the early morn hours for 2 hours trying to feed him. I can't help but feel angry, I don't act on it of course and I guess the anger isn't toward him per say, it's just anger at the fact that we can't get this right
    Everyone I talked too said it takes 3 to 4 weeks to have no pain n get the hang of it, I guess I just thought it would be good by now.

    I am going to a lactation specialist today I really hope this gets better soon I would like to know what it's like to feel good while bf. I'm hesitant on going to this specialist though I can't believe it's 45.00 for one session!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: Pumping vs. breast feeding

    Please see a lactation consultant to get help. We were ready to throw in the towel at 2 weeks, but saw a lactation consultant as a "last ditch" effort, and it saved our breastfeeding relationship.

    As your baby grows, he will change in ways that will make breastfeeding easier. His mouth will get bigger, allowing a deeper latch. He'll have more head and neck control, so he won't slide down off the nipple when nursing. He'll be more alert and focused when he's nursing, and more interesting in what happens when he's not nursing, so that nursing sessions don't take forever.

    I'm nursing an 8 month old now, and I don't know what I would do without nursing in my mom's toolbelt, honestly. My little guy is miserable with teething, and he finds it very soothing to nurse. He's crawling and trying to stand, and getting frustrated and falling and hurting himself. Nursing really comforts him. Nursing gets him back to sleep after waking up for the one millionth time because of teething discomfort.

    I considered exclusively pumping. I currently have to pump while I'm at work. The hard stats and my experience are that you are slogging uphill, trying to exclusively pump, and the vast majority of women who attempt it fail to provide at least a year's worth of milk to their babies.

    A pump is nothing like a nursing baby, and your brain, which is designed to respond to sight, sound, and tactile cues from baby, does not respond with the same milk production signals to a pump. Even with a good pump, over time your supply decreases. I have also had several episodes of clogged ducts, and 2 rounds of mastitis, because my breasts simply do not respond well to pumping and don't want to empty fully. I did fine with pumping in the beginning, so before you say "this isn't me," just be aware that this issue has become progressively worse over time.

    Pumping is a massive hassle. To do it right, you need to pump about every 2 hours, around the clock, until your supply is well established (6-8 weeks). Then at least every 3-4 hours. Some moms manage to go longer between pumping as baby gets older, but many find themselves struggling with supply.

    In between each pumping session, you need to rinse out your pump parts (and some are more comfortable sterilizing), and be sure that you've got clean, sterile bottles into which to pump. You need to be sure you've got sterile nipples for feeding. You have to have spare pump parts around at all times, in case something breaks or tears, because this is the only way to remove milk and to feed your child.

    Pumping annoys me, and I've only done it 1-2 times a day, 4 days a week, for 6 months now. I can't wait to stop. I hate the sensation of the pump tugging on my nipples. I hate strapping this artificial milking machine onto myself. I hate dripping milk onto my lap when I remove the horns. I am counting the days until I can stop. While I used to think that I'd breastfeed until 12 months exactly and be done, now that we're doing so well, I think I will continue for longer, to not "cut off" my son from nursing and to continue to give him the health and immunity benefits of nursing. But there's no way that I could go beyond 12 months if I had to pump for all of his needs.

    Right now, your baby mostly eats and sleeps. But as your child becomes more alert and active, you're going to be losing more and more time that could be spent interacting with him, because you're busy pumping, sterilizing, and prepping bottles. Your life with baby will center around obsessing about your pumping output and how to increase it.

    Particularly at night, a baby wants to eat right now. If you're nursing, you pop a breast into his mouth. If you're bottle feeding, you've got to try to soothe a crying baby while trying to warm a bottle.

    Psychologically, once you start bottle feeding expressed milk, it's much easier to bottle feed formula, because you've crossed a threshold with the feeding method. IMO, that's one of the reasons why most moms who try to exclusively pump end up formula feeding for some or all feedings within a few months, and are no longer offering any breastmilk well before the one-year minimum for which a baby should be nursed.

    Breastfeeding is about more than just the milk - baby benefits enormously from the physical motion of latching on to the breast (helps with proper dental alignment and speech development), and from the close physical contact.

    Ultimately, breastfeeding provides benefits that bottle feeding does not. And it's very rare for a mom to successfully pump and supply only breastmilk for at least baby's first year of life. I don't mean to sound harsh, but there's a reason that you feel like giving up on breastfeeding would be a failure. Please see a lactation consultant and do everything that you can to keep nursing.

    ETA: I saw that you're going to see a lactation consultant, good for you! $45 is nothing compared to the cost of formula or the psychological scars you'll carry if you spend the rest of your life feeling that you failed at breastfeeding. It only took us one session to get on the right track. I can honestly say that I love breastfeeding and wouldn't have missed this for the world.
    Last edited by @llli*manatee; September 22nd, 2010 at 10:05 AM.
    First-time mom to Little Manatee (1/7/2010)

    Nursed for 3 1/2 years!

    My little boy is my everything.

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