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Right now I breastfeed but occasionally pump to try to build up a stash for when I go back to work (I'm only going part-time though). I am considering switching to pumping exclusively. My reasons for wanting to switch to pumping and bottle feeding is a) she takes a bottle so, so much easier than the breast, and b) she is very small for her age and recently there have been some concerns about her weight, so this way I can see how much she is eating instead of having it be a guessing game. I just have a few questions.
1. Will my supply drop if I switch to only pumping and not breastfeeding?
2. Is there generally a time of day when you can get more milk than another time?
3. How many oz per day approximately would a 10 week old (11 weeks on Monday) eat?
1. Will my supply drop if I switch to only pumping and not breastfeeding? I think it's harder to maint./increase your supply by EP. I know a lot of ladies that were only able to pump for a couple of months b/c their supply dropped b/c their body stopped responding to the pump.
2. Is there generally a time of day when you can get more milk than another time? In the AM you'll get more milk
4. Anything else I should know? This is just my opinion but try only pumping for a couple of days to see how you like it. Pumping may seem like an easy answer but I think pumping can get very frustrating/time consuming also. I thought about switching over to pumpin only also b/c my LO wasn't gaining weight like the doctor wanted, and she was a snacker so she bfed for a very very long time like an hour or long. Part of that time she used me as a pacifer. I felt like I couldn't go anywhere, and it's so easy to give her a bottle and then I'd know how much she's getting. But I had a bfing goal in mind, and I knew there would be hard times, and that was one of them for me. I realized that if I pumped I could easily see myself getting lazy and stopping that and just using formula. I learned to appreciate the bonding time I had with her b/c I knew it wouldn't last forever and soon enough she wouldn't want to nurse. Which is happening now, she'd rather be on the floor playing than cuddling with me.
Sorry it's so long, but do what's best for you and your family, and good luck if you chose to pump full-time. Just pumping at work is enough for me, and I can't wait to stop:]
ashley5 said everything I was going to say I also just want to add that as your baby gets older, they will become more efficient at nursing and it won't take as long. Also, some babies are just small. Not saying this is the case with your LO, but watching diaper output is a better indication that they are getting enough milk. My neighbor's son was always really small, they supplemented with formula probably by 4 months or so and were totally weaned from all breastmilk by 9-10 months. And he never got big, he's always been at the smaller end of the spectrum. He is 2 1/2 now and doesn't weigh much more than my average 13 1/2 month old. Actually she borrowed his life vest last week and she's a bit wider than him, but he is taller. So just watch diaper output and developmental milestones, and that her weight is going up, but it doesn't have to follow the same curve as every other baby
Ditto to Ashley and Erin. You have to make the best choice for you, but IMO as a part time pumper, pumping is so much harder than BF'ing. I'd encourage you to stick it out a little longer and see how it goes. I think you'll find in a couple more weeks ... a month max it should get easier.
If you do choose to pump be sure to pump regularly. At least every 3 hours (even nights) otherwise your supply may well suffer.