7 answers

To Pump or Not to Pump

Our son was born a week ago and I have been breastfeeding...he seems to be latching on well, his appetite seems good, his weight 4 days after birth was the same as at birth, etc. However, I am engorged and I don't feel like he is emptying me. I don't know whether I should pump for some relief...the nurse at the hospital said not to because the baby will regulate my milk. But I don't want to lose any production. I would freeze the milk for when I go back to work. Any suggestions?

1 mom found this helpful

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More Answers

JG:

it is fine to pump to "comfort"

P., RLC, IBCLC
Breastfeeding and Parenting Solutions

1 mom found this helpful

J G,

Hi! Congratulations on your new baby!

I've been nursing my twin boys for eight months now. Go ahead and pump out the excess milk. Yes, the baby will regulate your milk, but it's okay to pump any excess. Too much milk is better than not enough. When you pump after a feeding, it sends a signal to make more milk than what the baby ate, not reduce your production. Especially if you want to start freezing milk for your return to work, then by all means pump after he eats.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with the other posters. Pump for comfort and you will have a nice little stockpile for later on, like when you have to be away for a few hours, or when you go back to work.
Congrats on your new baby boy!

OH YES! Pump. It is perfectly okay to do this now. You have to get that milk out and you will feel SO much better. With my second son, I became so engorged on the fourth day. I had a fever and felt awful. I pumped and got... ready for this? SIXTEEN OUNCES of milk out! I felt like a new woman.

Yes, it's true you should rely on your baby for the most part to regulate milk. But the pump is fine to use to get relief from engorgement. Absolutely. The extra benefit is, freeze it and you can have your hubby feed the baby for you sometimes! :) I never let hubby feed my second baby... and I regretted it. I also held on to that first milk for over a year in the freezer. Sentimental I guess because it was our second and probably last baby.

So yes, pump away sister!

Yes to the pump! Especially if you are going back to work. Once you feel the engorgement subsidiing, around week 3-4, you may want to begin routinely pumping at th same time everyday to start building your work supply. Mornings are best, because that is when milk levels are highest. I used to pump one side and feed the baby on the other during my first morning feed. After a short while, your body will start to make more at this time and it gets easier to keep doing it.

You can pump if you want... after about 2 weeks your breasts will have figured themselves out. I remember saying nearly every day after I had my daughter last summer "I am going to pump off the extra tonight" and never getting around to it. After 2 weeks I didn't need to. She turns one on Sunday and we are still going strong with nursing (though I am looking forward to stopping pumping at work soon). Congrats on the new baby! Sounds likew you're off to a great start.

In the very early days, your milk is not completely regulated by the baby's needs. It is partially hormone driven. The baby suckling tells your body to make milk, but not really how much, at this point. I would not do alot of extra pumping though cause it could cause you to have overproduction issues later. Maybe once a day, just to store up milk, like you said, would be ok. You might be right that he is not needing as much as you are making. Overproduction can have it's problems too...beyond just being engorged....baby doesn't get enough hind milk, the force that the milk comes out with can make them fussy/fighting at the breast etc. So, I wouldn't go crazy with the pumping, but maybe once a day wouldn't really hurt anything.

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