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Support thread for those of tied to the breast pump!

(8 Posts)
Hangingbellyofbabylon Thu 29-Oct-09 23:26:36

I know there are a few of us out there who are expressing rather than breastfeeding. I thought it might be good place to offer support as it is as we all know, very hard work.

Here's my story:
Dd3 is now 8 weeks old. She had a normal birth and latched on to the breast soon after birth. I felt she was feeding ok but did get sore nipples very quickly and that was something I never experienced with my first 2 dd's. She fed pretty well around the clock non-stop and often fell asleep after a few sucks. At 3 weeks she hadn't got back to her birth weight and basically kind of gave up on everything. She stopped breastfeeding and looked grey and thin. I now believe that she had never fed well but because of my over-supply in the first few weeks she had just about survived by feeding non-stop and lapping up the milk that more or less dripped out. sad.

I started expressing immediately and also gave her some formula for a few days until I had enough milk to give her only breast-milk. I am extremely lucky as my dd1 had problems with her palate and couldn't breast feed so I pumped full time for her for 6 months. It meant that this time around I knew the score and already had a good pump - I'm using the Ameda lactaline.

Dd is now thriving and I know it's the right thing for her. I am pumping about 6 or 7 times a day and very lucky to have great supply, I'm freezing around 20oz of excess milk a day. With my last dd I was able to donate to the milk bank but can't this time as I'm still on blood pressure meds from the birth.

Anyway enough babbling - would love to hear from anyone else who is pumping as it is hard hard work and the rest of the world seem to think I'm a loon for being so bloody minded wink.

Hangingbellyofbabylon Fri 30-Oct-09 09:09:34

bit of a bump - I know I'm not the only one! smile

belindarose Fri 30-Oct-09 09:16:07

You are brilliant for doing this so long for both DDs. I'm not in this position (now) but thought I would be. My 10 week old DD couldn't latch on for 4 weeks so I expressed for that time and it was so hard! It seemed impossible to find time to express, feed and look after the baby, especially in those first difficult weeks anyway. Fortunately, we got the latch right by the end of week four and although she can only feed from one breast, she's doing great. 'Tied to the pump' is definitely the right way of describing it! So although I can't support much, you have my every sympathy and admiration!

ladylush Mon 02-Nov-09 00:58:18

Well done you smile I expressed for dd (now 15 weeks old) for the first 10 weeks as she was prem. Luckily she took to bf really well - so well, that I now have the opposite problem of her not wanting a bottle which makes getting to the gym tricky! IKWYM - people do tend to think you're a bit mad for putting yourself through it but the urge to what you think is best for your lo is so strong. I had a problem with my supply and had to take tablets to boost it so at least you are blessed with good supply.

SuperAmoo Mon 02-Nov-09 10:26:26

Well done you. You're not a loon! Good on you for sticking by your guns. I expressed for ten months with DD1 as it helped alot with her reflux problems to be fed from a bottle mixed with gaviscon. The thing that helped my supply keep going was expressing once at night between 1 and 3 in the morning. It was a hassle but it kept my supply going till she was ten months even though she'd stopped actually breastfeeding at 8 weeks. I stopped the night expressing at 8 months I think. Personally I didn't get along with the pump you're using - I hired a Medela pump from I am really glad I stuck with it. I am breastfeeding DD2 but because of constant ductal thrush I toy with the idea of expressing again - if it was necessary I WOULD do it again because I feel so strongly that my children should get breastmilk. Maybe we are mad! The health visitor certainly thought I was!

mrsjuan Mon 02-Nov-09 11:06:17

Hi Hanging Belly, I was wondering how you were getting on. It sounds like you're doing a great job. smile

I have been slowly loosening my ties to my breast pump and now DD is nearly 6 months I am only expressing a couple of times a day for her. The rest of her milk is formula. She's not interested in breastfeeding at all now -still don;t know what really caused the initial problems it think it was an unfortunate mixture of not having a clue about 'normal breastfeeding', me being quite ill after the birth, her being very small and quie sleepy, giving her a dummy, her having reflux & a shallow latch!

I just feel that although breastmilk is undoubtably the best, now she is getting a bit older she might benefit from me giving her more good quality attention rather than just trying to keep her happy while I expressed several times a day.

I'm sure others would be more dedicated but I feel like I've done my best. I certainly would have been classed as a loon at the height of my pumping - I even expressed 6 x a day on holiday in a caravan - trotting over to the washing up hut after each session!

One time saving way I found to express was to do it in the car (obviously with someone else driving!) My DD always slept in the car & it was a good opportunity to sit down & have a good session! I was/am beyond caring if anyone saw!

Picante Mon 02-Nov-09 11:09:00

Hi there - I did this for a year. It's hard work so well done you! I did find after about 6 months I could reduce the number of pumps every day and still make plenty of milk. There's a fantastic forum in the US on ivillage for EP (exclusively pumping) mums. I'll find the link later when I have more time.

thaliablogs Mon 02-Nov-09 23:29:50

There is also a yahoo group for women who are pumping - try here for info.

I pumped for DD and am pumping for DS, but am also feeding at the breast - I have low supply so pump to boost/maintain supply and allow me to supplement with EBM rather than formula. So far DS is up to 7.6 kilos at 17 weeks solely on breastmilk other than a little formula in weeks 2-4 as I got supply established. Feeling quite good about that!

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