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Exclusively pumping

(79 Posts)
KayTee87 Sat 03-Sep-16 17:58:02

Posting here for traffic sorry!

Are there any threads or groups for those that are feeding their baby expressed bm only?

My baby's latch was always terrible due to a traumatic birth, he's 5 weeks old tomorrow and every time we tried he hurt me and got hardly any milk so would scream shortly afterwards. As he's got used to a bottle his latch got worse so I decided to feed him expressed milk and save both of us the stress while still trying to do what I hope is best for him.

There's lots of people that bf or ff but I don't know anyone that has exclusively pumped so have no one to talk to about it or answer any questions I might have. Hoping there's a thread on here or something.

bumblemouse Sat 03-Sep-16 18:02:41

That sounds like it's been so stressful and I hope you're recovering from the birth.

Pumping is really hard work I found. I hope you have a better pump than me, well you must do. It sounds like you're doing amazingly but don't beat yourself up if you want to mix feed a bit too to let yourself recover.

FatalFemme Sat 03-Sep-16 18:03:15

I exclusively pumped for the first 6 weeks and it's hard, so hats off to you. I was lucky that ds suddenly cracked it after that and we're still feeding now (20m).

I'm not sure about here, but baby centre has a 'pumping mummies' group. I found them very knowledgeable and eager to help.

I seem to remember the Kellymom website also has some useful information about amounts etc, which are obviously different to the amount of formula you'd give at the same age.

Heirhelp Sat 03-Sep-16 18:06:29

Speak to you health visitor. Mine offered to borrow a hospital grade pump for.

CrohnicallyAspie Sat 03-Sep-16 18:07:00

I managed to exclusively pump for 2 weeks and it about broke me- so well done. I did manage to start to transition Dd to the breast at that point, her issue was tongue tie and a nasty midwife that forced her onto the breast. If you've got questions I don't mind you PMing me- pumping and breastfeeding problems became 'specialist subjects' of mine for a while!

DearTeddyRobinson Sat 03-Sep-16 18:07:19

I did this, for 5 months. You need a really good pump - I had a Medela Swing maxi double pump. I found I settled into a schedule of pumping 4 times a day (both boobs) which produced enough for my DS but my supply was pretty good. You may need to do a middle of the night pump too.
Kellymom has some good info.
Also it's definitely worth trying nipple shields, that was the only way DS would consent to go near a boob!

eurochick Sat 03-Sep-16 18:08:38

I don't know about a thread but I exclusively pumped. My baby was prem and never got the hang of latching. It is a pain - you have the time consuming pumping, sterilising, etc and then have to feed the baby! When my husband was home he dealt with input while I was dealing with output. It also means you need to be quite organised when going out to make sure you have enough but without any going to waste.

Robinkitty Sat 03-Sep-16 18:13:22

Almost exclusively expressed from 6 weeks -5 months.
I had an easy baby though who slept through from 6 weeks so I managed to get 2/3 feeds pumped throughout the night. I used this milk when I went out or towards the evening when my supply got low.
It was very hard work.

Thingmcthingyface Sat 03-Sep-16 18:15:30

Op where do you live?
Can i seriously recommend you book a breastfeeding counciller (if London based I can recommend a miracle worker who fixed my little ones latch)...

jennifer86 Sat 03-Sep-16 18:18:26

I also had a lot of difficulty with DS's latch, a lot of pain and he was hungry very shortly after every feed, so I expressed. It took until he was about 2 months for my supply to match his requirements (mixed fed until then) then he was fed exclusively EBM from 2-6 months, then I had decided to gradually cut out expressing over the next 3 months after that. It meant expressing 7 or 8 times in 24hrs for me, which was effectively 20 minutes every 3hrs day and night. I had a lot of support from my partner, basically whenever he was not at work (eg during the night) he would feed DS whilst I expressed. I would not contemplate aiming to do what I did if my partner had not been so supportive and helpful! Could you try mixed feeding any of your preferred methods and see how you get on?

FathomsDeep Sat 03-Sep-16 18:20:51

Exclusively pumping is much more common in the states as women typically have a much shorter maternity leave (<6 weeks isn't uncommon). So I would recommend looking at US based sites for the best information. There are several FB groups if you use that.

HughLauriesStubble Sat 03-Sep-16 18:23:23

I exclusively pumped for 6 weeks and it nearly broke me! Fair play to anyone who does it for any length of time. I found it very stressful trying to pre-empt when the baby wanted a feed and then have everything sterilised and ready to go. I reckon it takes MAJOR dedication to do it for any length of time. Have you tried a lactation consultant op?

Planty18 Sat 03-Sep-16 18:23:55

There is a Facebook group you fill in a form for to join, based in America but I found it absolutely amazingly helpful when starting my pumping journey, exclusively pumping moms PRIVATE GROUP loads of good advice, tips on pumping and also ways to increase and maintain milk production, it's a hard slog but worthwhile smile

KindergartenKop Sat 03-Sep-16 18:24:44

I know nothing about pumping exclusively. I couldn't get much out with a pump but as someone said above, nipple shields are good and also if you end up mixed or formula feeding then it's ok. Don't risk your mental health for ebf!

trying29 Sat 03-Sep-16 18:29:31

I did this for four months it's v hard and I admire you. I also had a difficult birth and my son wouldn't latch. I never hired a hospital grade pump did it with an avent electric

pontificationcentral Sat 03-Sep-16 18:30:53

I pumped for six weeks with dd2 as she was born with no suck/ gag and was tube fed initially. I have to say that I stopped pumping at six weeks and moved to formula as it was too hard to be caring for a baby with special needs, and two toddlers, as well as pumping/ sterilizing etc. I don't feel guilty about stopping at all, and it has made no difference at all to her health or intelligence in comparison with her two breastfed siblings. I would always encourage mums to bf, and to try and fix issues with latch/ tongue tie (we did consult a breastfeeding counsellor about supplementary feeding systems etc) but ultimately yo have to do what is best for your whole family (including you).

HeCantBeSerious Sat 03-Sep-16 18:31:56

I EEd for 9 months per child. It does take hard work - I had to wake 4 hourly at night to pump even once DC had dropped the night feeds. Ended up with a big enough supply in the freezer to take them to about 12 months. I took fenugreek and detox tea, lots of oats to keep supply up. And had a bloody good double pump (6-8oz per side per 10 min pump).

One thing I've realised since is that not having their mouths in contact with the nipple means that my body never got signals about what the milk composition should be. So it always looked to have the same amount of creamy stuff in it. Both of my children are shorter/skinnier than you'd expect (looking at me and DH). I don't know whether that had an effect.

BestZebbie Sat 03-Sep-16 18:36:24

I had the same situation as the OP and pumped for a bit over 6 months - that was when I decided to stop, by that point I could physically have carried on if required but was getting tired of it all.
Get a good double breast pump! I'd also recommend a laptop or tablet that does iplayer, as you have a lot of hours sitting still clutching your chest with both hands ahead of you....
I had the Medela Freestyle double and really liked it, but you can't sell it on (and therefore shouldn't use it for a second baby of your own either) because of the tube setup

Planty18 Sat 03-Sep-16 18:40:17

Oh and something amazing that I learned from this or possibly a different fb group was that babies get the immunological benefits of breast milk by drinking only 3oz a day! I ended up having to give one bottle of formula a day because of pumping timings and this made me happy to know, good luck and feel free to pm me if you want to ask anything directly, happy to help if I can, am at 10m with twins

Planty18 Sat 03-Sep-16 18:41:46

Second double electric breast pump and buy a hands free bra - simple wishes one on Amazon, makes a huge difference!

stiffstink Sat 03-Sep-16 18:50:15

I did it for 16 weeks with DS. I was so tired I was hallucinating!

With DD, I had a ridiculous fear of having to pump again so we mixed fed and used nipple shields (had to experiment with different sizes) up to 6 weeks and then she figured out how to BF directly.

BFing did hurt for the first 30 seconds or so but once my nipples toughened up it was fine (took a few weeks).

Melawen Sat 03-Sep-16 19:20:05

I expressed for about six months with enough frozen for me to introduce formula before DD started nursery at nine months. (Was very proud to be able to offer a few litres to the milk bank too- I clearly had uber boobs!! grin ) But it was incredibly time consuming and made it difficult to have long trips out. Would also recommend a good quality electric double pump - I forget which one I used now.

I was certainly very pleased to have been able to do it at all as DD had a tongue tie and I struggled with feeding anyway. I might have expressed for longer if my supply hadn't suddenly dried up following a massively high temperature that put me out of action for a while. But then I was going back to work soon anyway and didn't want to express at work.

HeCantBeSerious Sat 03-Sep-16 19:22:13

I had a medela pump that was in a backpack so I could (and did!) express anywhere!

ILikeBigBumpsAndICannotLie Sat 03-Sep-16 19:40:53

I expressed for 9 months. In the first three I had to top up with formula but then I had a big oversupply and filled the freezer. It's incredibly hard work, but she had a rough start and I really wanted to do it for her.

A few things I would say about it.

Stick to your schedule. Every three hours to start with and then gradually increase by 15 minutes increments to four hours and then five. The longer the time between is what will give you your sanity back. If you do it too quickly, you risk mastitis.

Read kelly mom. Know how to recognise mastitis when it starts and how best to avoid it. I had it twice and it's horrible. Look after your boobs!!.

I found the pump miserable, I had a good one but it would take 40 minutes to get a small amount out and the noise of it drove me mad. I found some research on hand expressing and for me that was a game changer. Initially messy, there is a knack to it, it horrified everyone, and it's not easy to do when when out and about. But I could express in 15 minutes, and my supply increased enormously.

When you decide to stop, do it gradually, I took three months to wind down and supplemented with the freezer stock as needed.

Looking back I can't believe I did it and for as long as I did, but once you get established and into your routine, it becomes much easier.

seven201 Sat 03-Sep-16 19:50:32

Have you tried nipple shields? They would feel similar to a bottle teat. Obviously only if you did want to try and breastfeed. My sister exclusively pumped for about 6 months I think. I don't know how she did it for so long!

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