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Exclusively Pumping?

Forum: 2013 Playroom


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  • 1 Post By Mel_Kay
  • 3 Post By MsRK
  • 1 Post By Anitha

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April 23rd, 2013, 11:49 AM
Missa_Mae's Avatar First Time Mommy!
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 3,062
Any other mommies out there exclusively pumping like me?

Tessa had a lot of latching issues due to her being a preemie so we started the bottled breast milk around one week old. She takes the bottle perfect but won't take the boob!

I've been exclusively pumping for 4+ weeks now & it's exhausting! I am seriously considering introducing formula but feel like a failure for giving up so soon. I am pumping every 3-4 hours during the day, about 6oz total ... and overnight I pump about every 5-6 hours, plus I'm up feeding the baby every 2.5 hours ... I don't know how I function during the day on barely any sleep.

Anyone have any tips or advice?
Oh, Sweet Child of Mine

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April 23rd, 2013, 04:08 PM
linds2012's Avatar Expecting#1 (Due 4-15-13)
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 534
I'm exclusively pumping also, but I'm having to supplement with formula! Yes, it is really exhausting!! I'm trying to pump every 2 hours to help build up my supply, but it's really hard! Right now my DH will get up in the middle of the night for feedings, so that helps, but he goes back to work tomorrow and I know it'd going to get alot tougher!
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April 23rd, 2013, 05:50 PM
Mel_Kay's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2005
Location: TX
Posts: 2,360
I am not exclusively pumping although I purchased a better pump in case it comes to that. In one of my other DDC a lady successfully ep'd for triplets for a year. One of the tricks that she had, and one I wished I had known when I was trying to ep for my last was just put the pump in the fridge rather than washing it after every single pump. I found it exhausting to not only sit and pump, but to have to wash all the pieces to the pump after each session. She would wash the pump at the end of the day, keeping it in the fridge allowed her to wash only once.
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Mommy to 4 boys
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April 23rd, 2013, 11:08 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 820
Yep. EPing and just learned the trick about the refrigerator!

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April 24th, 2013, 01:46 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 132
Not currently (still pregnant), but BTDT, it is very exhausting. If you do have to switch to formula, please don't beat yourself up emotionally. I had to after getting mastitis twice, having the baby and myself allergic to the meds I took for it, and then on my way to a third bad case of mastitis that was about to turn into an abscess. If you're lucky enough not to have these issues on top of the exhaustion you can continue, or even supplement and do some formula, some EBM. That is what my LC at the time recommended before it became impossible with the breast issues.

Having an extra set of pump parts helped too. I never heard about the refrigerator trick. I kept all my pump cleaning stuff in the bathroom to quickly wash it out in the night and then put a set in the dishwasher every day.

I feel your pain- I remember trying to drink out of the pump I was so delirious with all the waking up and pumping. Hang in there.
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April 24th, 2013, 01:55 AM
MsRK's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,611
I don't exclusively pump. But I exclusively pump during the night AND pump after any breast feed so I'm pumping just as often. Here are my tricks to making it easier.

1. MOST IMPORTANT: Buy a handsfree breast pump bra thingy! I didn't buy a bra, I just used one of those stretchy belly bands that I was using in early pregnancy when I stopped being able to button my pants. (Not using them anymore anyway) I put it on like a tube top and cut two small holes where my breasts are. Then I fit the pump flanges through the holes and PRESTO hands free pumping. This frees up both of my hands to allow me to read, type or fuss with the baby a bit while I am pumping. (I'm pumping milk RIGHT now) This little tube top allows me to leave on my shirt and nursing bra. I just peel down the nursing bra flaps, put the tube top on, lift my shirt while I get everything adjusted and just let the shirt hang over it all. Or leave my shirt tucked up above my breasts if its tight enough.

2. Get a GOOD pump!! Don't cheap out on the pump. I use a Medela and it pumps so well! But I still take about three minutes on each breast and squeeze them (hand expression type squeezing) at the very end of my pumping. Keep the breast pump on while you are doing this and you will be surprised at how much extra comes out. This also helps gets the fatty milk at the end which keeps baby full longer.

3. DEFINITELY put the pump pieces in the fridge. My flanges just pop off of the tubes and I just put them into the fridge and clean them once before I go to bed each night. I pump for 15-20 minutes each time.

4. Up your milk production. I pump every 3-4 hours and am getting 10oz each time. A little more if I pump closer to the 4 hour mark. There are a TON of sites out there with tips on how to do this.
a)I have found that drinking lots of water helps a LOT. I bought a few water bottles with handles and I drink 8-16 ounces EVERY single time that I pump. With free hands this is a snap! I also drink lots of water through the day.

b)Eating right and eating often helps too! Don't eat crap! Eat good protein, veggies and dairy. I eat 6 small meals a day with some snacking too. Three of the meals are "regular" meals and the rest are things I can hold in one hand and eat like sandwiches, fresh veggies or fruit sliced, granola bars, etc.
c) When you are having some quiet time do some skin on skin time with the baby.

5. Become a multi-tasking champ! - Once you get the hands free pumping going start multi-tasking. I bring the laundry basket over to where I am pumping and fold clothes. Or put the baby in his rocker right after he burps, then I put on my pump before rocking him to sleep in the rocker. I have even brought my pump into the kitchen and prepared the fixings for dinner while I stood at the counter. (Like things I needed to chop up or mix) Or preparing my sandwiches which I store in sandwich bags so that I can grab and go. I do work on my laptop, read, hem my pants, eat my meals, pay my bills, make my phone calls, on and on and on. Get the small things done while you are sitting there pumping so they are also done when the pumping is over.

Anyway... those are my tips and tricks. I hope that you find some of them helpful and it makes your pumping easier. GOOD LUCK!

Last edited by MsRK; April 24th, 2013 at 02:04 AM.
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April 24th, 2013, 09:49 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 7,185
Lurking from Sep DDC. Not many tips here. But I just wanted to offer support. every little bit of BM you give your baby is precious. Do not beat your self up if you eventually have to start supplementing and or switching to formla. Only thing is make sure you tried your best and come to peace with that decision.
Also another important thing: even though you are EP ing, since he latching issues are only due to being a premie and not becaus eof anyother abnormality, I would suggest offering the breast to her every single time. I have heard of many mom's who have said that the babies started latching and breast feeding after 3 or 4 weeks of bottle feeding. It is possible!
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Expecting baby girl September 29th

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April 25th, 2013, 09:12 AM
melshaz@earthlnk.net's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 2,398
I am also EPing right now. Owen is ravenous eater and though we have tried again and again to BF he just doesn't get a good latch. I had cracked and bleeding nipples which could have caused my mastitis. Through pumping I also found I wasn't yet producing enough for him (he takes 3-4 oz a feeding!) so I do have to mix with formula which the doc said was just fine. He seems content and I am less stressed though I wish the mastitis would go away!!!

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April 25th, 2013, 10:11 AM
~AmazedByYou~'s Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NH
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I am also EPing right now. Owen is ravenous eater and though we have tried again and again to BF he just doesn't get a good latch. I had cracked and bleeding nipples which could have caused my mastitis. Through pumping I also found I wasn't yet producing enough for him (he takes 3-4 oz a feeding!) so I do have to mix with formula which the doc said was just fine. He seems content and I am less stressed though I wish the mastitis would go away!!!
Pumping that amount doesn't mean you're not producing enough for him. Pumps cannot empty the breast like a baby

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April 25th, 2013, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1
Another tip - I received a set of Pumpin' Pal flanges from a friend who had EPed for her LO as a gift and I wasn't really sure I was going to be pumping much at the time, and I put them away. Well, I started pumping more and more to increase my supply (every 2 hours now) and my nips were killing me. I was talking to this friend about it and she asked "aren't you using the Pumpin Pal flanges?". I stopped for a minute and said "Oh, no". I felt terrible I had completely forgot about them.

From the first time I used them it was such a relief. The nipple pain was immediately gone and within a few days my output was up about 2 OZ per pump and still going up. I now realize it was the best shower gift I received! LOL!
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