21 answers

Is It Possible to Breast Feed and Pump at the Same Time Without Frustration?

My baby is 4 weeks old on the 9th and I need to get him use to a bottle, but I don't want to stop breast feeding him while I still can. I have to go back to work in 2 weeks, but i am getting out the military so I can go back to breast feeding in a month. How do I pump and feed at the same time, or is that even a good idea? I dont want to confused him. I tried to pump inbetween feeding him but he is so unpredictable I don't know what to do. And is it ok to mix milk together, like if I only pumped 1 oz., can I mix it with milk I pumped later in the day or milk from the next day?

What can I do next?

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What worked with me was to feed the baby on one breast while pumping the other breast. This will make for quicker pumping because the baby knows how to let down the milk quicker.

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Dear T.,
Call the La Leche League, it's made up of mom's who breastfeed, and they can guide you on the best things to do, if there's no listing in your area, check on line or call a birthcenter or breastfeeding freindly doctor for advice.

Good luck,
LW

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Sure it is alright to do both. The bottle Avent or Advent has nipples that are pretty close to the shape and feel of a breast. I would use those when you are bottle feeding. Also, when you want to bottle feed, let someone else do it cause your baby will recognize you and want your breast. I'm not really sure about mixing breast milk with formula, but you could probably call your doctor and ask him/her. They should know or know someone who you could talk to. Good Luck and congrats on the little addition to your family.

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Hi T.,
I totally agree with the great advice everyone is giving you for doing both. I just wanted to add to remember that every baby is different. My daughter absolutely refused a bottle and I had to quit my job. We did everything that everyone said, but nothing worked for her. The only thing that we didn't do was let her go hungry (which a Dr advised..he said that eventually she would give in), I just couldn't do that and watch her hysterical and hungry.
On the other side, my son, my son was perfectly happy going back and forth.. and we did the same thing.
I hope you find it easy and your baby is happy!! I just wanted you to know that you are not alone if it doesn't go as planned. Sometimes life just won't do exactly what you want.
Wishing you the best!!!

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T., sure it is! First you have to understand that breastfeeding is 90% mental and 10% physical. If you belive you can pump and nurse, you absoultely can. The best thing is to nurse your baby as much as you have him, and when you're away pump milk as often as he would nurse. As long as you pump on a regular basis your body will continue to make that much milk, if you stop it will recognize that you don't need milk at that time of the day anymore and stop producing it. And your baby is definitely going to know you and want you more than the bottle, so it's usually best to have someone else give the bottle. My daughter is 14 months and she's just weaned herself from nursing, I pumped when I had to be out of the house or if I had to be away from her. You should contact your local health Unit or DHS site, they will have the latest breastmilk info and they will probably have a nursing counseler you can talk to...they are GREAT people to talk to about these issues and they are trained to help you. Good luck!! Liz E.

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Sure it is and I am just the person to help you. I am a lactation consultant and can give you some easy, helpful tips. It is much easier to explain over the phone so give me a call at ###-###-####.

M.

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I pumped while my daughter was in the NICU and the CICU (Cardiac ICU). I only produced about 1 oz total, so the hospitals mixed my daily pumpings in order to have enough milk to feed Emily. If I didn't have enough breastmilk, they would add formula to the breastmilk. Since you are going back to work, I would pump at the normal times that you would be at work, and breastfeed at the times you would normally be home. That way he can get on a schedule for now, and get used to the bottle. They have bottle nipples out there that help them transition between breast and bottle, so you may want to try that.

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Hi my name is J. and i have a 2yr old boy and a 6yr old girl. I breast fed my son until he was 9months old and right now your son is old enough to get use to bottle feedings. The first time you try it he might resist a little but u need to be persistent u can't give up, once he gets really hungry then trust me he will take the bottle. If you wait until he gets older it will be alot more difficult to get him use to the bottle. Another thing that i use to do being that i worked was i gave him regular formula at least twice a day so he can get use to both because reality is that once you start working and life starts getting a little hectic your body does not produce the same amount of milk and your baby is left hungry so i'ts really good to get him used to both breast and reg. milk and it's really not hard to get a baby use to a bottle at such an early stage...Well good luck with the baby and i hope everything works out great!!!!

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T.,

Now is a perfect time to introduce a bottle. Your baby is well enough established in breastfeeding that nipple confusion is no longer an issue. If you wait much longer your baby will reject the bottle altoghether. (Who would want to settle for cold hard plastic when you could have soft, warm skin?)

Make sure that your baby gets breastfed with most feedings and bottle fed only a couple of times a day at first. That will reverse when you go back to work, but by then your baby will be in the habit of switching back and forth. Milk in the fridge will keep for 2-3 days and it is fine to mix it. Just make sure the cream on top is well mixed with the rest of it. You can freeze breast milk for a month or in a deep freezer for 3-6 months. Just be careful reheating (avoid the microwave if you can) so that the milk is not too hot.

Even though I primarily breastfed for 12 months with each baby, all three of my babies took an occasional bottle so that my husband and I could go on a date or I could attend a women's meeting at my church. It was great. It also came in handy when I got sick, had to take antibiotics and couldn't nurse for a couple of days. I only regret not being diligent with baby #2. I only gave him a bottle once every 3-4 weeks and he rejected it altogether. Then I had an MRI and they told me after the procedure not to breastfeed for 24 hours. It was a mess.

Your OB and Pediatrician will have more information (brochures)if you have more questions about storing and reheating your milk.

Best of luck,
S.

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Yes you can pump and feed at the same time!! (X Air Force mom and mom of a 4 month and 2yr)Get your little pumpkin on a schedule start at feeding him every 2.5 hrs then by the time he is 6 wks every 3 hrs. I used Tracy Hogg R.N (www.babywhisper.com) method of E.A.S.Y (Eat, Activity, Sleep, you time) an example might be E= 3am S= 3:30 E= 5:30 A= Diaper Change S= 6:15 E= 8:00 A= mat time S= 9:30 E= 10:30...ect. For the next two weeks only pump his last feeding i.e 11pm and bottle feed it, if you can handle the lack of sleep transition him now to skip a feeding so feed @ 11pm then again @ 3/3:30 and pump @ 1am this will allow you to start to build your stored milk supply. Just FYI a nursing baby maybe picky about the bottle. My two year old did not care, transitioned fine between bottle and breast. The new baby very picky and will only take the nurser bottles by Playtex, brown and square nipple..go figure. Then when you go back to work, your baby will be on a schedule you can predict the before work feeding, pumping at work and then nursing at home. it is alot of work but if you are dedicated you can make it work. If pumping at work begins to be a problem...donít fret. you can still nurse in the morning and at night and formula feed at child care....

please e-mail me or call me if you need support.
C.
____@____.com

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Hello T..

It sounds like everyone in here has given great advice but I just wanted to chime in for support. My son is 11 months old and I still breastfeed him. It is possible to pump and breastfeed at the same time.

As for storing breastmilk: You can keep breastmilk in the fridge for 5 days. If you see that you're not going to use it on the 5th day-stick it in the freezer. It will store for up to 3 months. What I found worked for me was to buy some blank white labels and everytime that I pump and put a bottle of milk in the fridge I put the date on it. Plus-the labels are easy to peel off when you need to.

I don't like the storage bags b/c they're just too much to deal with but I do like the little tubes that come with a breast pump. You can also buy them separately from Medela (the hospital probably gave you a few dozen when you had the baby). These will hold about 3 ounces so I use these.

Also-our bodies are slaves to routine and breastfeeding is no exception. Try to pump at the same time everyday. Your body will learn to anticipate this and you'll start making more milk at that particular time. One thing that I do. My son doesn't wake up until around 8am everyday. If I needed milk pumped (b/c he was going to be away from me for a few hours) I would wake up at 6am. That would allow me to sneak in pumping time while he was still asleep and I would be full again by the time that he woke up.

Try not to get discouraged. I believe that it was Elizabeth who said that breastfeeding is 90% mental 10% physical. That's so true. If you stay relaxed and focus on the goal-which is providing the healthiest food possible for your baby-you can do anything! You've already gotten past the hard part-which is those first two monnths! It only gets easier to breastfeed/pump from here...

Good luck and you can do it!!!

J.

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It is OK to pump and nurse. You have to remember the more you pump the more you produce. You may want to feed him and then pump a little, or feed him and pump about 2 hrs later. If it is possible, you may also want to have someone else (such as your husband) give him a bottle and you nurse only so he doesn't get confused and then refuse bottle or breast. I used Avent bottles, the nipple is much like the breast in shape. You can also mix milk that you have pumped in the same day, but not if it is more that 24 hrs. older than the previous pump. You can also freeze it, it will last 6 mnths in the freezer, I can't remember how long in the fridge. Remember you don't want to microwave breast milk, it kills some of the nutrients. If you don't have a bottle warmer, you can set the bottle in hot water to warm it. A good place for you to call for advice is Methodist Hosp. They have lactation specialist that can give you all sorts of info and help and good advice. I don't have the # on me now (I'm not @ home right now), but in the phone book it's under Methodist Hosp. (on Floyd Curl) under Lactation hotline or specialist, or something, and if you can't find it there, there is also a store in the hosp. that sells nursing bras, bottles, etc. and that is there office, so you can find them under that as well. Hope this helps.

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What worked with me was to feed the baby on one breast while pumping the other breast. This will make for quicker pumping because the baby knows how to let down the milk quicker.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes, it is possible to do both. Pump when you can even if it isn't much. They say not to mix it, but I did. As long as it is from the same day and frozen at night. Don't worry if it isn't enough for a whole bottle. Also, when you get out in a month, your milk supply will have dropped but, its a supply and demand thing. It will get brought back up. Just nurse him when you are with him, and pump when you can and everything should work out.

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Hi T.,

Yes, you definitely can bottle-feed your baby your breast milk and continue feeding him from your breast at the same time, I have been doing it with my daughter (now 6 months) since she was born and she has never had any problem switching back and forth between the two. It's nice too for Dad because he can get involved with the feeding by giving the baby a bottle and it's still breast milk.

I also have combined milk from different pumping sessions in the same day into one bottle, but I wouldn't mix milk from two different days, because it is harder to remember when you pumped it that way and you might end up with it spoiling. Just keep each day's milk in its own bottle and you should be fine, I have done this with my daughter and she has been fine with it. You can also get those collection bags (I use Medela brand)that fit on the pump and the milk goes directly into them, you can freeze it or store it in the fridge and it takes up less space than a bottle if you want to keep each pumping session separate. There's a place where you can write the date you pumped it on, so you can remember how long it's good for. Babies R Us carries them.

Good luck--and congrats for being such a dedicated breastfeeder, it's not easy when you are working outside the home!

C. :-)

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First off, when I had this problem, the pediatrician recommended having someone other than you give the baby a bottle as often as possible. This is because your baby knows your scent so if you are trying to feed him from a bottle, but he can smell you, he is going to know something is off. If that isn't possible, there are some silicone (?) caps that you can put over your nipples that will give the baby more of the bottle feel, but still with the comfort of breastfeeding. I never used them but I had a friend who did. I think she found them at bRu.

In relation to the milk, yes you can mix it. You can also layer it. To layer, after you pump once, freeze the milk. once it is totally frozen, you can pour new milk on top of it and freeze it again, and repeat until you have as much in one pack as needed. Obviously, when you date the pack, indicate that it is layered so that you remember.

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Hey T.
I agree with what everyone has said. When I first started pumping I was averaging about .5 - 1 oz. Then as I got more relaxed and used to, I was able to pump more out. My husband fed my son his bottle. Also, timing does have something to do with it. For instance, when he had his first cold, my husband gave him a bottle of pumped milk so I could get some sleep. I missed that feeding and woke up with (what felt like) Dolly Parton sized boobs. I got lots of milk out that time. It was very inspiring. I had a friend that would feed from one side and then pump the other side. The more you feed/pump the more you will produce because it is on-demand system. But don't get carried away. You don't want to pump so much that you get sore.

Call your area La Leche League leader, http://www.lllusa.org/web/SanAntonioTX.html
they are helpful and can even come over to your house to make sure you are hooked up ok and all that.

Stick with it... breast is best! (I did this pumping/nursing thing for just over a year.)

L.

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I breast fed and bottle fed both of my boys right from the get go. I think it is best to get them used to a bottle right away anyways, I have had friends whose kids would never take a bottle and that can be frustrating when you want to go out or just need a break from them being on the breast all the time. But I started the bottle becuase I had to go back to school and knew they would have to take it while I was gone. You can do both but keep pumping as much as you can to keep your milk supply up. When your at work you will need to pup every couple of hours, how often he would eat you your body knows when it needs to make more.
Congrats on the baby and going back to school!

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Well from my experience, the more that I pumped at or breast feed, the more that I produced. When you are feeding esp. pumping, try to read baby mag. or look at pics of your baby, by doing this your will find that you produce more milk than if you were watching soaps or other daytime tv.

Also,... props to you for wanting to breast feed. Most people our age are way to selfish to committ to helping their child become healthier.

Good luck my friend, the best is yet to come!!!

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The more you pump even if you only get a little at first the more you will adjust to pumping. It also takes being very relaxed for the "let down" to happen. My son did fine at first with the bottle and breast back and forth now he just takes the breast. Just make sure you keep up the pumping especially for the month you are at work. I got out of the military myself last year when I was pregnant with my second. I had to go back to work with my first (my little girl)and I was only able to go a couple of months. Don't give up and try your best not to supplement with formula because once you do you start loosing you milk that's what happened to me with my first. My son is now almost 8 months old and we are still breast feeding and he is also eating solids. Good luck.

Yes - it is possible. I've breastfed three babies and I can assure you the first month or two is the hardest. If you can hang in there, it does get easier! Pumping and feeding at the same time is difficult because we mom's need one extra hand to hold everything. If you have an electric pump, try propping a pillow up to help you hold the pump while you're feeding with your other hands. After a few tries, you'll get use to it. When you switch sides, your baby will be able to get more milk from the breast which has been pumped (they are just better at it than a pump is), but you won't get much more from the side the baby ate from if you try to pump. So, at each feeding, pump a different side.

#2 - You can mix milk once it's at the same temperature. Put every drop you collect in the frige and combine them once they are cooled.

Try pumping one breast between each feeding and then begin Devin on the opposite breast when you feed. Switch that each time. You won't get much - just drops - at first, but if you are consistent, your body will adjust and begin to produce the milk you need.

Your baby is still very young and your body is still adjusting. I assure you that you will begin to produce enough milk to make a bottle. It takes time and patience. I understand your frustrations, but hand in there.

Hi T.!
I just wanted to encourage you. YOu can absolutly do this! I nursed my 17 month old twins until they were 8 months old. I pumped and breastfed at the same time with no problems. Rather than skip a feeding, I would pump after nursing. It took a bit to see the increase in my supply but make sure you eat well, drink a lot and get plenty of rest while you can. All of those play such an important part in nursing. I wish I would have know that when I was breastfeeding...maybe I could have nursed longer.
I tried several different bottles/nipples but mine like the NUK and then Playtex as they got older.

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