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Exclusively pumping breast milk

(18 Posts)
arianwe Fri 05-Jun-20 17:30:32

Has anyone exclusively pumped their breast milk?

I've been breastfeeding with a nipple shield for the past 10 weeks. Baby is barely gaining any weight although is happy and poo's/wee's a lot and sleeps well.

She has about 2 bottles of formula a day and has started getting annoyed with feeding using nipple shields. She also cannot latch properly without. She has obviously decided that the bottle is easier and doesn't want to put in required effort for boobs!

I am considering exclusively pumping, but don't know if this is unrealistic? I would like to do so for the next 3 or so months. Also, would a Medela double electronic pump be suitable for this or would a hospital grade pump be required?

Any advice much appreciated

OP’s posts: |
UnderTheBus Fri 05-Jun-20 19:17:46

It's not something I could do personally, as it is a big commitment. It's basically all the worst bits of formula feeding (sterilising, getting up at night to heat milk etc.) And all the worst bits of breastfeeding (sore nipples, waking at night, risks of mastitis etc.)

Do you do paced feeding with the bottle so that it's not "easier" than the breast? If not maybe look into that. Or using a slower flow teat on the bottle. Can you get a lactation consultant to look at your latch as she may be able to latch without the shields now shes older- some are doing zoom consultations.

peajotter Fri 05-Jun-20 19:43:12

I pumped for three months as my baby was premature. It is doable but hard work. It is hard to stimulate the milk without baby latched on sometimes, so you run the risk of drying up.

I would definitely hire a hospital grade pump, it makes a massive difference to time and is cheaper than formula. Also get an expressing bra so you can do other stuff like holding baby while expressing.

If you want to try keeping going with bf or combination feeding then I’d suggest your partner giving bottles if possible and you only feeding from the breast. This can reduce the confusion of baby and refusing the breast.

noodledoodler Fri 05-Jun-20 19:51:16

I did, it is hard work but doable, agree you should get a hospital grade pump and pumping bra. Some tips, you don't need to sterilise your pump parts every time, keep it in a plastic box r zip lock bag, store in fridge and sterilise every 24 hours. If you are freezing lots the bottles are great as you can top them up with freshly pumped milk. At 10 weeks you should be doing no less than 6 pumps in 24 hours and DO NOT drop night pump. Kellymom is great and facebook has exclusively pumping mums groups. You could also keep trying to wean LO off the shields, I did at around 10 weeks as baby was bit bigger and able to manage the boob better by then. Good luck 😀😀😀

GrumpyHoonMain Fri 05-Jun-20 23:15:05

I had to pump at the beginning as baby had a tongue tie, and he was getting similar to your baby with the nipple preference. So we used the Calma teat by Medella which requires more effort to get milk from. Once his tongue tie was fixed I just stopped expressing and moved to breastfeeding - had to initially feed him my breast like a sandwich but he made the switch well.

CCW86 Fri 05-Jun-20 23:21:44

My DS is 4 Months and I have EP almost from the beginning. It’s hard work, but doable if you stick to a rough schedule. The hardest thing is trying to keep DS occupied whilst you pump, so have lots of things nearby to help if your baby starts fussing. Due to the fact that a pump doesn’t change it’s sucking action like a baby, (I have always used the max setting) I still get a similar amount of milk as I did near the beginning. When DS was younger, I was able to store and freeze milk as I was producing more milk than he was drinking, however now I still produce the same amount but because he drinks so much more, there are days when I barely make enough so will have to give a bottle of formula instead. I could pump an extra time each day (currently do 5 pumps for 5 feeds each day) but the thought of it just No! A bottle of formula every now and then is fine in my eyes. I agree with PP about not needing to wash the pumps after every pump. Just fridge and wash once a day.

I am currently using a Bellababy double electric pump. It was really reasonable and does the job. It has mixed reviews online but I seem to get a decent amount of milk, although it does leak a little, so keep a Muslin nearby. Good luck!

Wolfgirrl Fri 05-Jun-20 23:28:49

Yes I did it for a while. Totally doable, but you need to make time to do it at least 3 times a day and once at night.

I had the Calypso double electric pump which was brilliant, I would reccomend it.

Dont listen to pumping naysayers, it was great at bringing my supply in and feeding my daughter until she got the hang of bf (around 8 weeks old I think).

You need to be relaxed for the let down so if you can do it sitting in front of a funny box set that will help! Also stay very well hydrated.

At 10 weeks old i would guess baby would be needing around 150-200mls per feed.

Good luck!

StraffeHendrik Fri 05-Jun-20 23:30:28

I did it for 6 months with both kids. I didn't think it was hard work, and did it out of choice so DH and I could share care equally and both work. I I also quite liked having control over my boobs, and knowing that the baby wasn't sucking without getting milk.

Definitely rent a hospital grade double pump, it is quicker and more effective than the little 'home' ones. When I had to use the little pump (travel) it did become quite a time burden and my supply went down as the extraction wasn't as effective.

mylittlesandwich Fri 05-Jun-20 23:36:31

I tried for a week and I didn't get on with it at all. Everyone is different though, see if you can hire a pump and see how you do. I found it very time consuming. I had to feed DS and then pump by which time it was almost time to feed again. The other option was that DH fed DS and that upset me because I was so far removed from actually feeding him.

Needsomehope Sat 06-Jun-20 00:14:32

I’m currently 8 weeks into exclusively pumping after breastfeeding didn’t work for us, it’s tough but definitely doable. We borrowed a hospital pump for the first month and I currently am renting a hospital grade pump-£50 a month. I pump approx 250-300mls a time every 3.5-4 hours. It’s great as you don’t have to refrigerate breast milk if using it within 6 hours so no faff making bottles. Never had issues with mastitis or anything

ohfourfoxache Sat 06-Jun-20 00:20:04

I did it for 9 months with DS1 (now 5)

He couldn’t latch properly and would be sick after every single feed, so I wanted to make sure he was at least getting something.

It was bloody hard going but I’m glad I did it. Ds2 was a dream in comparison, latched beautifully and fed for 22 months- but it did highlight just how much work ds1 was grin

Mammabee20 Sat 06-Jun-20 22:54:23

I pumped exclusively for 3 months as my son and I were in and out of hospital due to him being born premature. My supply was great as I had only stopped breastfeeding his sister at 10 months and he was supposed to be 16 months but it was more like 14 when he was born so the supply was there. As soon as i got out of hospital and was back looking after my daughter who I had been separated from and my son wasn’t latching and I couldn’t keep up to expressing I had to give up.

My son then latched and I thought my prayers were answered but the supply wasn’t there and he was too used to bottles. It breaks my heart the guilt I am feeling right now sad

CCW86 Sun 07-Jun-20 00:00:47

@Mammabee20 There is no reason to feel guilty. So many people may say breast is best, but at the end of the day, whats best is whatever works for both of you, and having a happy healthy child. A friend of mine said to me, if you look at a group of people, you would never know who was breastfed, and who had formula!

OnlyLittleMissOrganised Sun 07-Jun-20 04:07:11

Have you had your LO checked for a tongue tie. It can really impact the way a baby latches. If there is a breastfeeding support group in your area contact them or there will be a midwife at the hospital that specializes in breast feeding. Get them to check.

Exclusive pumping is hard. I was planning on doing it. I do however have a friend that has successfully done it twice!

Shanster Sun 07-Jun-20 04:34:50

I’d try to drop the bottles and persevere with the nipple shields. I used those with 2 of my 3 kids and got to successfully breastfeed them, though I pumped at work (from about 6 weeks to a year). I didn’t mind pumping at work, but loved coming home and having a proper cuddle/feed.

Cauliflower82 Sun 07-Jun-20 08:36:10

I’m doing this now, three months in and I manage to produce enough milk for most of his feeds, a bottle of formula needed every three days or so. I used to pump every three hours but at 8 weeks got fed up and only did four pumps - still got the same supply. At 10 weeks I dropped the night time pump and now do 6am, after lunch and 9pm and I’m still getting the same amount. My HV told me exclusively pumping wasn’t possible - it is!

Cauliflower82 Sun 07-Jun-20 08:37:29

Hospital grade pump needed - very important.

mylittlesandwich Sun 07-Jun-20 11:56:04

@Mammabee20 easy for me to say but please try to let go of the guilt. You have done so so well. Have a look for a book called "guilt free bottle feeding", it helped me so so much after I decided to switch.

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