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to pump or not to pump?


Forum: Pumping Mommies

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  #1  
July 30th, 2013, 08:20 PM
ducksaresnazzy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: new york
Posts: 2,372
i asked my mother this, but she just laughed at me.

the idea of breastfeeding has always kind of icked me out (maybe because i'm naive, i don't know). but i do want my daughter to get the nutrients she needs from breast milk, so i was thinking about pumping. that would also open the door for others to feed her because i work and won't be able to myself. i just wanted to know what pumping is like, is it a comfortable process? is it time-consuming? would it be easier to give her exclusively formula?
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  #2  
July 31st, 2013, 07:25 AM
juleeannk's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Pawleys Island, SC
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That is awesome that you want to provide your baby with breast milk! This is a personal decision but I just wrote a blog about it please feel free to read it. I have exclusively pumped and I have exclusively breastfed so I am coming from both perspectives.
Ask Julee

My recommendation is to try spend some skin to skin time after birth and try to breastfeed just once and then make your decision. You may like it and you may not but you will never know unless you try. Pumping for me was time consuming but I couldn't get my baby to latch and that was my only option as I did not want to give formula so I would pump exclusively again if I had to. When I finally was able to get my baby to latch on (he was in NICU and got formula bottles and would not latch), it was so much easier and it saved me so much time and effort.
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  #3  
July 31st, 2013, 09:02 AM
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im just lurking around JM and saw this post - my daughter was in the NICU getting fed through tube, then after she got the tube out, a bottle...i was pumping night and day and still not keeping up with her demands, so they were having to supplement with formula. As soon as i was able to take her home, though, we ditched the bottles...and exclusively breastfed. She was hungry for a while & slept very little, but soon enough, my supply upped and she started getting satisfied for longer and sleeping for longer periods. I returned to work at 8 weeks PP, and pumped 2-3 times a day until she was a year old, and continued nursing her until she was 18 months.

i say all of that to say - YES. pumping is extremely time consuming, and for me, not as efficient as my baby was. In MY experience, its easier to BF (after the first couple weeks, of course, because in the beginning, you're in pain and just plain tired) & i found pumping extremely stressful. I wasnt able to keep up, and everyday i was at work, i would stress about pumping enough that day, to use for daycare the next day. To say the least, it was a huge relief when she started eating solids at 6 months.

i would encourage you, also, to at least TRY to nurse. Even if just for the first month to really build your supply and get past the initial "painful/tired/hormonal/am i making enough??" stage. Once you get past that, it's smooth sailing. I too felt "ick" about nursing, but once i started and got past the hump....i loved it & i miss it.

if i couldnt nurse for whatever reason, i would definitely pump. And you know, you may not make enough...who knows...but even if you're supplementing with formula some, your baby is still getting some pretty good stuff in the breastmilk that you are able to give her! good luck!
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  #4  
July 31st, 2013, 12:28 PM
ThaiSpice's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: May 2009
Location: AR
Posts: 16,420
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moontan View Post
YES. pumping is extremely time consuming, and for me, not as efficient as my baby was. In MY experience, its easier to BF (after the first couple weeks, of course, because in the beginning, you're in pain and just plain tired) & i found pumping extremely stressful. I wasnt able to keep up, and everyday i was at work, i would stress about pumping enough that day, to use for daycare the next day. To say the least, it was a huge relief when she started eating solids at 6 months.

if i couldnt nurse for whatever reason, i would definitely pump. And you know, you may not make enough...who knows...but even if you're supplementing with formula some, your baby is still getting some pretty good stuff in the breastmilk that you are able to give her! good luck!
Totally agree with all of that. I have done some of both (breastfeeding and pumping) with each of my daughters. I would MUCH prefer breastfeeding, and if I didn't have to work, I wouldn't pump much at all. Initially it can be challenging, but you get to a point where it really is much easier than pumping. One thing about pumping (and bottle feeding in general) is the washing of all the parts, bottles, nipples, etc. It nearly drove me crazy last time. Also, it takes me forever to let down with a pump (seriously, it sometimes takes me a full 20 minutes or more just to get a let down). I actually find hand-expressing to be faster and more efficient than a pump, but that's because I can get a let down much faster that way.

As for whether pumping is comfortable...in the beginning, no. It was painful, awkward, and to be honest, it kind of weirded me out, much more than nursing. Eventually, after doing it so much, it wasn't painful or awkward anymore, but it still never felt as comfortable as breastfeeding. With #2, she was in the NICU at first, and I wasn't able to start breastfeeding right away, so I pumped in the hospital until she could feed by mouth. It wasn't as awkward the second time around, but I was still sore in the beginning. If you're going to exclusively pump, I would definitely recommend getting a hands-free pumping bra--very helpful!

Ultimately, I think the best thing to do would be to at least try and see how it goes. What's the harm, right? Any amount of breast milk will be beneficial for your baby, so it's worth a try!
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Last edited by ThaiSpice; July 31st, 2013 at 12:31 PM.
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