Pumping

Updated on April 17, 2008
E.L. asks from Smithville, MO
133 answers

My baby is 1 week old today. I tried nursing, but it was not working. I told my ped that I a strictly pumping. They seem to think that I will not be able to supply enough milk this way and should continue to try nursing. I hate the way that the drs. make you feel, baby is still getting breastmilk, so what does it matter how the baby is getting it? Has anyone strictly just pumped without nursing? Did you have any complications? Any advice would be great. I hate being made to feel guilty for not nursing, but am trying to still supply my baby with what is best for him.

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for you advice and encouragement. The response I got was amazing.
I feel better on doing what I am doing. Baby is 2 weeks old now and everything is working out great for us.

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A.D.

answers from Columbia on

I know a women who only pumped for 10 months. She said she got down to only having to pum 3x a day.
I also had problems nursing, but I continued to try, while still pumping. Eventually my son latched on well. I had a great supply from pumping and feeding him. I would not have nursed if it weren't for the pump. Good Luck!

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M.W.

answers from Joplin on

My son is 18 months old today. When he was first born I had a lot of trouble breastfeeding him. I did the pumping, but your supply does not stay up where your baby needs it to be. I am not trying to tell you what to do, but I feel that it is more beneficial to you and your baby to try and nurse when you can, but still pump also. Still today my son is what the doctors consider under what he is supposed to weigh. but he is healthy. Yea he might be on the smaller side, but he eats a lot and has a high metabolism.

M. Whitchurch

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M.N.

answers from St. Louis on

Kuddo's that you are making a great choice to give your baby breast milk!!!!, The most natural and nutrious choice even though the nursing was hard. The norm is for most moms to quit altogether. You are making the healthiest choice for your babe and how he recieves the milk is your choice. Your ped should be congratulating you for not giving in to formula. I know plenty of moms who strictly pumped. You body will supply the milk, just as you would if you nursed naturally. I have not read if you have received any notes from any LaLeche leaders, but here is what I know from being in a support group for two years. Pump every time you are feeding the babe. As well as every other hour in between, in the beginning. Then you will be able to stretch out the times as you go along. Basically you will feed by bottle holding her on your left side, while pumping on the right side for approximately 10 minutes. Then switch her to the right side of your body and pump on your left side. Then the opposite hour, pump both breasts. You will eventually up-stock your freezer. One of my friends pumped for 6 months straight and ended up with over a year supply. Therefore her child could still have breast milk beyond the age of one.
Please contact your local LaLeche League for more support.
Again Congratulations for making a very smart choice..!!!
p.s. invest in breast milk freezer bags, not bottles, to save on space. M. N.

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A.S.

answers from St. Louis on

Of course you want what's best. It's great that you're trying to nurse, and I'm sorry it's been a struggle. The first weeks are so hard, so don't feel bad about any problems... breastfeeding is natural, but it's not easy. I think you're getting some great responses here.
You could try talking to a lactation consultant. I have the number of an awesome one, and she could give you advice on nursing and pumping and all that.
That said, don't let the nursing issue stress you out too much. People can be very emotional about it, but ultimately you know what's best for you and your baby. Good Luck!

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J.K.

answers from Kansas City on

I nursed with my baby for the first couple months but I just wasn't supplying enough, he was always hungry. My doctor told me after he was done eating to pump for another 15 mins and that would help my milk supply come in. But it got to be such a pain and once he was introduced to having the milk in the bottle he liked that much better. So I finally just pumped all the time. I found that if I just pumped ever 3 hours for about 15 mins on each side I started supplying more. I did it that way until my son was about 6 months old. It worked for me better this way. I would just do what works best for you!! Good Luck!!

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K.B.

answers from Springfield on

My baby is tongue-tied and had a hard time latching on. After two weeks of trying to get her to latch on I decided ot pump. I asked my Doctor and she said that was fine as long as I was producing enough milk. I pumped 3 months and then around the holidays all the time away from home made it hard to pump. Pumping is really hard due to the fact that you need to pump everytime your baby eats and that makes feedings that much longer. My milk supply gradually decreased as time went on. My baby now is on formula and is doing well. My doctor said that a pump does not give your breast the same stimulation that the baby would which makes it hard to produce enough milk. I think with my upcomming babies I will try a little harder to get them to latch on. I would have to say breastfeeding is one of the hardest things about having a baby. Good Luck!

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K.B.

answers from Kansas City on

Thats not right. I had trouble nursing also. I have been just pumping for the last month and a half. He has put on sufficient weight and is doing fine. Just keep up with what you're doing. Breast milk is the best thing for them.

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K.A.

answers from St. Louis on

E.,

My son had acid reflux and my doctor encouraged me to put him on formula with added rice. I refused. I pumped and fed my son breastmilk, with added rice, for 4 months. It was hard keeping up with the pumping (I felt like I was either pumping or feeding him with a bottle)...but, I would do it the exact same way again. Best of luck!

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S.H.

answers from St. Louis on

I pumped for 6 months and my daughter never breastfed due to oral-motor difficulties. She was hospitalized for 2 months following heart surgery, so I stored my breastmilk until she was able to receive it at 3 months of age. I then bottle fed her a mixture of new and frozen breastmilk until I ran out of frozen and gave her only fresh.

I have a few thoughts. If you really would like to breastfeed, I would urge you to give yourself and your baby time to adjust. It can take a month or two before you really feel like you both have a handle on it. I now have a 3 month old child who is breastfed and given the occasional bottle. I can say in the end, breastfeeding will be WAY easier than exclusively pumping and bottle feeding. And probably will be more sustainable.

That said, if you're sure you don't want to or can't breastfeed, there's no reason you can't pump as much as you need...but it will be a full- time job. You'll need to get up every three hours at night and during the day for the first month or two in order to firmly establish your supply. Invest in or rent a hospital grade pump. I rented one for 3 months and then found the Medela Pump-in-style Advance to be sufficient. If you can use a double-pump it will be more efficient (and thus you'll be less likely to stop pumping before your breasts are empty). Find ways to help you relax and encourage let-down while you're pumping - a heating pack on your shoulders or across your chest, a hot cup of tea, relaxing music, staring at your newborn on your lap. Pump until your breasts are empty and masage your breasts to help bring all the milk down while you're pumping. This will increase and maintain your supply. You can take Fenugreek supplements or tea if you think your supply is waining.

Right now, while the baby sleeps a lot, it might feel easier to pump and bottle feed, but when they get older, it's really hard to do both. I eventually quit when my daughter was 6 months old because I couldn't care for her AND pump AND feed her all day...it was exhausting.

Finally, if possible, get hooked up with a local LaLeche League group. They will encourage you on your breastfeeding/pumping journey and can answer LOTS of questions. Remeber though, any breastmilk you feed your child is a gift. Even if it's one bottle a day. Good luck on deciding what to do!

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D.K.

answers from Kansas City on

E.-
When I had my little girl a little over a year ago, she had a terrible time latching onto me. I wanted to breastfeed her so bad but she just couldn't get the hang of it. My doctor encouraged me to continue pumping as long as I wanted to or was able to supply milk. I was very discouraged about not being able to actually breastfeed. I had a very good support group including my hubby, my mother and my doctor. They constantly kept telling me that the baby was still getting my milk regardless of it was from a bottle or directly from my breast. I pumped for 3-months and even though it was very tiring and got really old, I am so very glad I did it for as long as I did!!! And honestly, I kind of enjoyed not being tied to my little girl during all of her feedings. It was nice having the option of having her daddy or grandma feed her. They enjoyed the bonding time as much as I did!! I'm sorry your doctor has made you have mixed feelings about this. I am convinced that if it wasn't for the support of my doctor and my family, I would have given up on the pumping all together. I hope this helps! GOOD LUCK!!!

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K.G.

answers from St. Louis on

I pumped when my baby was not quite a week old because he didn't drink enough to relieve the pain. I breastfed and pumped, almost exclusively pumping when he was six weeks old. He had breastmilk until he was almost a year old.

Just do what you need to do. Don't worry about what the doctor says... if you can feed your baby just pumping, keep it up! There is a pump (Medela, I think) that helps stimulate a let-down reflex. It helped a bit.

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D.K.

answers from Lawrence on

Hi E.,

I didn't have time to read all the responses, so maybe somebody already said this..... I have a friend who successfully pumpped till the baby was a year old with no other breastfeeding. She was millitant about pumping every 2-3 hours, however. That being said, if you decide to try to breastfeed, did you know that we have a La Leche League right here in Ottawa? They are super nice (they sure helpped me!)They meet the 3rd Monday of the month at 7:00 pm at the Presbyterian church. Here's the website with contact info: http://www.lllusa.org/web/OttawaKS.html

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M.T.

answers from Kansas City on

Initially you should have enough milk supply for your baby. However, strictly pumping has decreased MY supply. I know I produce enough milk b/c I breastfed my daughter for 1 year. My son does not eat orally so I have pumped for about a year. I pump every 3 hours, I have taken Fenugreek (breastmilk stimulant,hydration,etc) and my supply struggles. Pumping does not have the same effect on the 'let down reflex' as breastfeeding does. I have to supplement him with formula b/c I don't produce enough. HOWEVER, the most important thing is that he got straight breastmilk for the first 8 months of his life. Even though the baby may need some supplementation, at least he is getting breastmilk. That is my experience.

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G.C.

answers from Springfield on

You shouldn't feel guilty for this, no matter what the outcome is.....you tried!

I do recommend that you still try to nurse because I felt that it was such a tremendous experience for me with my son. Words cannot explain how it feels to have that baby nursing and just being absolutely content. I really had a rougher time than he did after weaning because I missed this special time with my son!

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L.E.

answers from Kansas City on

Of course you are doing the best for your baby! However, there are reasons why your doctors may want you to continue to breastfeed directly from your breast. While pumping does still give your baby breast milk, it also does not stimulate the breast as well as actual breastfeeding. I tried this because my daughter, at 3 months, wanted nothing to do with my breast and only took from a bottle. Eventually, my supply decreased significantly just from pumping. You produce more milk and the baby gets more milk from direct breastfeeding. Exclusive pumping can lead to your supply decreasing. I think that is why the doctors are trying to get you to try breastfeeding again. It is tricky. Breastfeeding definitely takes patience and persistance. Have you thought about joining La Leche League. They offer great support and don't make you feel guilty, like doctors may. Hope this helps!

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T.C.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi, E.. I also don't want you to feel guilt, but it also sounds like you want the best benefits of breastmilk. The thing is, it's very, very difficult to get a full supply of breastmilk if pumping is the only source of BM stimulation. It's not impossible, but in the long-run it can be very difficult to maintain. Most women (not all, but most) can achieve breastfeeding at the breast with lots of support from really good lactation professionals. I don't know where you live, but the lactation group at St. Luke's on the Plaza is outstanding. Often, when BF isn't going well in the early stages it's because of a latch-issue, which a good lactation consultant can help you with. Also, if you want to try to correct it on your own, you can look up Dr. Jack Newman's information on the web, and he has videos which demonstrate a good latch, and other good ways to get BF going nice and strong.
Often, the push to BF is not meant to be about guilt, but it's meant to say, "hey, this can be hard, but let's try a bit longer! It really can work!"
Hope that helps.
T.

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E.B.

answers from Springfield on

I strickly pumped after a while with my oldest. She actually liked it better. But, I will admit that I didn't stay with it as long as I should. I went to formula at 4 months(we we're moving, lots of stress and babysitters). She is 6 now and just fine. With my second child I sarted pumping after a week. So, don't feel bad! It's fine:)!

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S.R.

answers from Wichita on

Pumping and bottling is great. Your milk supply may not be as good as if you were actually putting baby to breast but any way you can get breast milk to the baby is good. Breast milk is best for baby but don't let anyone make you feel like a bad mom for not actually having baby at the breast.

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L.C.

answers from St. Louis on

E., I breast fed all of my children. If you want to just pump you can. I belong to a breast feeding group over the Internet and they are really supportive. I know several people who only pumped and then bottle fed it. If you want it to work it will. Your body only produces enough milk as needed, so I would set up certain times to pump and stick with those times. Your milk will come in at those times every day. It's will definitely work it you stick to your
pumping times. I wish you the best.
L.

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G.A.

answers from Joplin on

E.,
I know a couple of people who have pumped only and they have had varying success. One of my friends pumped EVERY time she fed her newborn and was able to sustain milk for 8 or 9 months. Another of my friends, however, ended up having a problem with the milk drying up from pumping - her dr. told her that it was because a pump (even an expensive one) can't mimic the suction of a baby and that in most cases a woman just can't keep the milk supply going. In my case, my daughter stopped nursing well around 4.5 months and I pumped for three mos. but did struggle with supply and had to supplement. I hope this helps you...this is an amazing time in your life, and I hope these feeding issues will be resolved soon!

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S.V.

answers from St. Louis on

E. -- I had problems too my first few weeks with my first child. She was so weak with jaundice she couldn't latch and didn't have the strength to nurse. I'd say keep pumping, but also keep trying with the baby and eventually both of you will get the hang of it. From what I understand, a pump really can't stimulate your body to produce as well as a baby. I'd strongly encourage you to go see the lactation consultants at the hospital where you delivered -- it's free and they can give you all sorts of tips. You can see them as many times as you need. I breastfed both of my kids and I really enjoyed it as nice quiet time with them. Congrats on your new baby and don't give up!

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N.R.

answers from St. Louis on

I have 3 children and I nursed them all. If you do nothing but pump than your milk production will show down and then stop. I would continue to try to nurse! You have to keep in your mind that your little baby has not a clue in the world what to do. I would try nursing every time your baby wants to eat. Do not get upset or fustrated (yeah I know it is easy for us to say we are not sitting there listening to a screaming baby...I've been there a few times and it does get easier!!) Breastfeeding is not just about giving your baby the best milk it is about the bond that you form, a bond that only you have! Another tip that I had was to pump a little right before you are going to feed the baby, that will get the milk to let down. My son even as early as 1 week acted like he was starving he wanted the milk right now and didn't want to keep sucking and get nothing. I saw the same fustration as you and I just pumped a little before so that it was ready and waiting. As they get older this isn't a problem. You just have to in a way reinforce him that yes it is there. Goodluck and don't give up!! Feel free to email if you have any questions!
[email protected]____.com

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T.H.

answers from Wichita on

Hello E., I am a mother of four boys and I nursed every one of them at least 11 months. I did not just pump, but I did nurse the baby on one side and pumped on the other side while nursing. This is said to help increase the production of milk. After I pumped on one side, I then would switch sides and let the baby nurse on the side I pumped. Sometimes I would try to pump the side that the baby just nursed on, and could still get about 2-3 oz. from that side also. It is a little awkward getting it all put together at first, don't give up until you absolutely have to. Most new nursing mothers quit in the first two weeks when it really can take up to four weeks to teach the baby and to get used to it yourself. Good luck. T.

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J.A.

answers from Denver on

I glanced through most of the replies and one thing I didn't notice is that no one touched on the fact that she is only one week old. You are both new to this and it can take more time than one week to figure it how. I highly recommend visiting a lactaction specialist. It will cost less than $100 and is a VERY thorough look at what the problem may be, much more so than in the hospital. I only wish I had done it sooner!

About pumping. A lot of people have touched on milk supply, etc. The fact is, it takes twice as long to feed the baby when you are pumping and then feeding them. I know because I did it the first 4 weeks. Try the breast, pump, feed, change diaper, try the breast, pump, feed, change diaper....that was my life! After awhile it is hard not to think about giving up on the pumping all together just to get some time back!!

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J.B.

answers from St. Louis on

My son never latched on no matter how hard we tried. So, I pumped. I didn't make enough breast milk so, I had to supplement with formula as well. My son got breast milk in every other bottle. My husband and my family really liked this as my son was using bottles and anyone could feed him, not just me. It made it easier for me to be able to sneak out of the house and run errands as he didn't need me there to be fed. No one ever made me feel guilty about this decision and it makes me sad that someone would make you feel this way. My son is now 21 mo old and a happy healthy growing boy. I hope that this makes you feel at least a little bit better.

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S.M.

answers from St. Louis on

Hello E.,
I have a 16mnt old..I breastfed for a whole 5 days! In the hospital I nursed and then restof the time while I was there I had to pump in between trying to nurse..I got so engorged :( I had to pump..I pumped for about a week or so later and all I would get is an ounce or two. The doctors told me. as long as he is getting some it will benifit him! I just mixed my milk with formula.Is doesnt matter how your baby is getting it as long as he is getting it! try not to worry about what what others say, dont be guilty. You know whats best for your child.
Good Luck!

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M.M.

answers from St. Louis on

I've recently heard that by strictly pumping the supply will be much less than if the baby nurses. Breastmilk is the best thing for the baby. Nursing is VERY difficult in the beginning Especially where you are now. My suggestion is to keep on trying it is truly worth it. I had a very hard time and almost gave up. Try to get some support from some other nursing moms. I don't think strictly pumping is going to last very long.

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J.N.

answers from Kansas City on

Hello,

dont feel guilty. you are still doing a good job by providing your child with breast milk. I have never strictly pumped but if it works for you there is nothing wrong with it.

J.

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C.G.

answers from Columbia on

My sister tried nursing and it didn't work at first. The baby wasn't latching on, but she would take the bottle of breast milk. My sister was getting tired of spending all that time pumping, then additional time to actually feed the baby. After about a month, she went to a lactation specialist, and the baby latched on right away without even needing help from the specialist. It probably just took a while for the baby to really learn how to latch on and suck. Anyway, I wouldn't totally give up on nursing just yet. Give the baby some time, and try again in a few weeks. It's great that your baby is still getting the breast milk in the mean time. A lactation specialist might also be helpful.

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S.K.

answers from Kansas City on

Dear E.,

I had a friend who pumped her breast milk and she had no problems. I think as long as your milk is coming in and the baby is gaining weight you shouldn't worry about it. It shouldn't matter how the baby is getting it as long as he or she is getting the milk. Do remember you are a new mom and in time you will get the hang of it. At times it does seem very overwhelming but in time it will all work out and it will be come a breeze. Good luck!!
S.

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A.K.

answers from St. Louis on

I nursed and pumped until my son was around 5 months old. From then until 1 year old, I exclusively pumped. I never had any trouble with supply or any other issues with the pumping. I think it's great that you are deciding to pump since many moms would just give up all together if they can't nurse!

I say, try exclusively pumping and see how it goes. The key is to pump often (every 2-3 hours, I would think for a newborn), drink plenty of fluids and keep track of your stored milk.

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V.E.

answers from St. Louis on

My son had some health issues in the first few weeks and never latched on. I strictly pumped for 9 months. My boy got PLENTY of milk and was and is a happy, healthy baby. You are right...you are doing the best that you can by giving him the breast milk. You should be commend because pumping is hard work. Feeding takes twice as long since you have to pump and then feed them! :)

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S.C.

answers from Kansas City on

I am very impressed that you are willing to pump! It can be very difficult for some women. My first son was VERY difficult to nurse for about 6 months. I was determined, I don't know why it is difficult for you but our problem was he could not get a good suction. I ended up getting nipple gaurds and he could latch on to that very well.

My 2nd son was nursing well and then quit all together a few days after being born! He started making hard jerks with his body constantly. The doctors did not know what to tell me and said go home. I talked to my chiroprator and he said bring him in. Dr. Clarke adjusted his neck and he started nursing immediatly! I pumped a lot with my 2nd som b/c it made it so much easier to go out in public and having company, it did not confuse him or make feeding him any less special. He was getting what he needed!

If you need help producing more milk you can get "Milk Thistle" from your local health food store. A lot of my friends have used it to make it easier to pump and it very healthy for you and your milk.

I believe that every mommy needs to do what they feel is best for their baby, don't let doctors push you around. You know what you and your baby needs. But, we also have educated doctors available to us we need them. And I am VERY thankful for that.
Good luck and happy pumping!
S.
[email protected]____.com ~ feel free to write with any questions

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D.P.

answers from St. Louis on

If you really don't want to nurse, then that is your decision. Don't let anyone pressure you into it or make you feel bad - you are the one that has to do it, therefore you get to decide.

However, if you are at all interested in nursing, it takes more than 1 week to "get it". I nursed my first baby for 11 months and it was at least 8 weeks before it really worked well for us. I am now nursing my second child - she is 7 months. It took about the same amount of time to get the hang of it again. With my first girl, I went back to work and pumped all day long. I didn't produce enough milk with pumping to feed her while I was gone. You just don't make as much as when you nurse. I had a VERY good pump too - a Medela and still couldn't keep up. If you aren't going to nurse, you will almost certainly have to supplement with formula. But, some breastmilk is better than none, so I admire your resolve to pump.

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C.W.

answers from St. Louis on

I totally understand where you are coming from. I have 3 beautiful girls that I solely pumped breastmilk for. I realized after about a week with my first daughter that breastfeeding was not for me, but still wanted her to have that nutrition. I ended up pumping for all 3 of my children the entire time. I pumped for anywhere from 6-12 months with each child. I was also told by doctors that this would not work, but I never had any problems with my milk. Please do what you feel is best for your child. I believe that any breastmilk your child gets is better than none at all, even if it is pumped. Good Luck!

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D.K.

answers from St. Louis on

E.,
great news! There is a whole community of people out there exclusively pumping, but not alot is known about it in the medical community.
Go to:
exclusivelypumping.com

I did it. It was great. You can do it too. If you want the book more quickly, I am willing to lend you mine while you wait for your copy.

Keep pumping! Make sure you absolutely have the correct shield size and consider upgrading to a hospital grade pump.

email me directly [email protected]____.com
for support, questions, whatever you need!

Dr. Jeannette, chiropractor

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J.C.

answers from Kansas City on

Don't give up on breastfeeding. The first few weeks are challenging, but it is actually gets so much easier if you can hang in there. My children don't even know what a bottle is! Breastfeeding works for some moms, and not others. I breastfed my first child for 13 months, and I and still breastfeeding my 9 month old. I have not pumped in over 5 months. But, I work from home and can feed my baby on demand. Pumping is meant to be used when you cannot feed your baby. Exclusively pumping will NOT build your milk supply, or keep up your baby's needs. You are pumping on your schedule, not your baby's. If you breastfeed - then feed on demand to keep up with you baby's growth. Pumping is not meant to be an alternative to breastfeeding. Plus, pumping can take twice as long as feeding your baby, so you are sitting next to a pump when you could be sitting next to your baby. I am not trying to make you feel guilty. Breastfeeding is not for everyone. So either choose to breastfeed, or bottle feed, but don't strickly pump.

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K.G.

answers from Kansas City on

I know someone who only pumped and gave breast milk in bottles for both her kids. I breastfed both mine for the first couple of months when I was home with them but once I started pumping and feeding them with bottles they fed less often and started sleeping through the nights and I never went back. For me it was soooooo much easier. AND OF COURSE your body can keep up with the milk production. It is the same thing as nursing the more you pump the more you make so you need to make sure you pump at least as much as you were nursing. With my kids it would take them about 20 minutes a side to nurse and then I was waking them up and trying to keep them nursing at that. When I pumped I used a double electric pump and could express both sides at once in under 20 minutes for the same amount of milk or more!!!! The key is to pump as often as you can and once you get a schedule try and stick to it. I would pump first thing in the morning, then my morning break at work, then lunch, then afternoon break, then immediately when I got home, then at least one to two more times before bed. And I did not pump at night, just kept a breastmilk bottle out after my last pumping before bed because it is good at room temp for many hours. Then when the baby woke up the one time in the night, gave her a bottle of breastmilk sitting on the nightstand and went back to sleep. Almost as easy as actual nursing. Don't let anyone discourage you from trying to pump.

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B.S.

answers from Kansas City on

My son is 4 weeks old today and I've been strictly pumping for 3 weeks. It's been working out wonderful. At first I had more milk than he was eating so I stored that. Now we are right on target for what he wants. I make sure to pump right after he eats each time to keep on track of his demand. I hear some are better producers than others but it shouldn't matter if you pump or not. I've been getting the same "should feelings" but they can't say anything because he's getting breastmilk and he's gaining weight! :)

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K.B.

answers from St. Louis on

E., I know exactly how you feel. I had the same problem with my son. I pumped for over 6 months and always had enough. I missed the so-called bonding time but it was easier because everyone could feed him. He is now a healthy ,active 5 yr.old. Best Wishes!!! Don't feel guilty-he is still getting breastmilk.
K.

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D.S.

answers from Kansas City on

Breastfeeding my daughter was one of the most rewarding and difficult experiences in my life. If pumping works keep doing it. I got advice from the La Leche League Blue Springs group. Try visiting the website for more info. that may help or contact one of the leaders. They are the most kind and understanding people when it comes to breastfeeding. Good luck!

www.llli.org

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A.P.

answers from Topeka on

I had this problem with my first. I was lucky that we had a lactation consultant that would make visit's when you went home from the hospital. My son would do all the motions of feeding but wasn't. I pumped and bottle fed for 3 months. I know that people make you feel bad for not being able to breastfeed. But for some it's not as natural as everyone makes it out to be. Don't feel bad that you can't do it, I couldn't. My son is now 7 and perfectaly fine. Hugs to you hun. If you need to talk let me know :)

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S.H.

answers from Kansas City on

As one who's been pretty much strictly pumping for 3 of my daughter's 4 months, it can definitely be done, and you will not necessarily "lose your supply". You will need to pump every time the baby eats for 20 minutes or so with a high-quality electric double pump. www.breastfed.biz has the best prices going in the area (I didn't buy from her, but would have if I'd known about her at the time!). As your body gets used to the pump, you may be able to pump less frequently for a longer time without dropping below your needed "production level". For instance, my daughter takes +/- 40 oz. a day, and by pumping for an hour at a time 3 times a day (every 8 hrs.), I can produce about 48 oz. It does take some time (and perserverance through some discomfort) to stretch out pumping sessions, but it was necessary for my own sanity. When I was pumping more frequently, I produced 60-70 oz./day, so I did drop some when I spaced out pumping, but I'm still getting a little bit ahead, so that was ok with me. Your body will have its own rhythm with output (mine is 20 min. slow & steady, 10 min. of almost nothing, 5 min. solid good output, 10 min. nothing, 5 min. so-so, 5 min. nothing, 5 min. lots), so just pay attention to what it's doing and be patient.

The only complication I've had is that my nipples were for quite a while shedding skin very badly, so it was painful even for air to blow over them. I *think* (hope!!) I've got that managed now by being very careful to let them "dry out" as much as possible before putting on a bra & nursing pads and wearing a very thin or no bra (and no pads either way) at night.

All that said, unless you really would much rather feed by bottle, I would strongly, strongly urge you to contact an LC. The ones at Shawnee Mission Medical Center are GREAT - very supportive, but realistic and low-pressure. They also have a support group (open to all BFing/BPing moms) that might be helpful for you. The reason I suggest this is that although there are some benefits to pumping, it can be a real pain sometimes, too. I BADLY wanted to BF my daughter, and she just wouldn't do it for me. She'd do it at the LC's office, but not at home - or for just a few minutes, but then she'd get furious and demand a bottle. We tried for a while, but in the end, after many tears shed by all 3 of us, DH and I decided to just pump & feed. I can't tell you how many times - especially since going back to work - I've cried, wishing I could spend those hours holding my baby instead of attached to a machine. I wish there was something we could do to get her to nurse, but at 4 mo. and with a necessity of bottles while I'm at work, I just don't think it's going to happen. At 1 week, you still have plenty of time to get things worked out. If it was me, I'd do whatever I could to make it work, but again, that's just me.

Other downers about exclusively pumping:
- extremely difficult if not impossible to do "in public", so you're really tied to the house 'til you're able to space sessions out several hours. It would be WAY easier to take the baby along.
- takes a significant amount (both weight & bulk-wise) of equipment that you have to have a place for at home and tote around with you when you're out. If, for example, you were only pumping at work and BFing at home, you could maybe leave the pump kit there instead of dragging it to and fro every morninig and night.
- lots more "dishes" to wash - not just all the bottles, but also the pump parts. And, we're using wide-mouthed bottles which aren't compatible with my pump (Medela P.I.S.A.), so I have to wash one set of bottles that I've pumped into and another set that my daughter's eaten from, in addition to the pump parts.
- difficult to tend to the baby while you pump - with the "horns" & bottles attached to you, you can't really hold, pick up, etc. your baby. You can feed him if he's in a seat, and could do a diaper change (assuming you could reach it in the distance your "leash" (pump cord + pump tubing) reach, but to move the baby to & from diaper station, you can only really just dangle him holding underneath his arms. When my DH isn't around, I try to pump during naps, but sometimes she just won't go down, and I have to pump, so she's just gotta wait it out, because stopping & starting don't work for me - once I stop, so does output.
- it's more expensive than BFing (although still less than formula) because you have to buy the pump - and a good one for EPing will be over $200. Rentals are available as well, but if you're planning to go at least 6 mo., you'll pay as much renting as buying. If you're lucky enough to produce extra, you'll also need to buy BM storage bags
- depending on weather conditions, you'd better have a plan if the power goes out at a bad time!!

Good things about EPing:
- the primary thing, of course, is that your baby still gets the breastmilk!
- others can help feed (especially night feeds!) the baby
- no worries about getting him to take a bottle if/when you need to go back to work - he'll already know what to do
- you can hopefully (after a few months) get your schedule regulated so you can pump less frequently than the baby's eating, giving you more freedom
- you can get ahead on your production and store extra BM to be able to quit pumping earlier while your baby still gets the milk
- you aren't associated with "dinner", so the baby doesn't automatically want to eat whenever you hold him (a friend of mine had this problem)
- you're still saving the $$ that would otherwise be spent on formula
- you still get the calorie/weight loss/body recovery benefits of BFing

Best of luck in whatever you decide to do. Don't let anyone feel guilty for doing what works best for you and your baby!!

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J.C.

answers from St. Louis on

I hate it when doctors think breast milk has to come directly from the breast. If you pump you will know exactly how much milk your baby is getting. You may have to pump more often to insure you make enough milk to feed on demand, but I feel it's better this way because you do know exactly how many ounces your baby is getting. Remember, this is your baby and you know in your heart what is good for him/her. I know several people who didn't pump and had to forfeit breastfeeding because their babies were starving and they didn't know it. They thought they were producing enough milk, but weren't.

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A.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi, E.! I tried breastfeeding, and my son had a very high palate, so it just killed me each time! So, instead of continuing the torture, I just pumped, and gave it to him in a bottle. My husband wanted to try feeding him also, so this gave us the best of both worlds. I got a break, and he got to enjoy that bonding time, all while getting the wonderful health benefits of breast milk. I think I was pretty lucky, I was able to continue supplying enough breast milk for 7 months. I probably could have continued, but our dog had broken my pump on a Sunday, and I wasn't able to fix it until Monday when the store opened at SM Medical Center. My peds seemed just fine with our alternative, they just liked to see him being fed breastmilk. So, feel comfortable in any decision you make! All that matters is that he is getting love and nutrition, no matter what form!

A. C.
mom to Grant, 27 months

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C.P.

answers from Kansas City on

I have a cousin who pumped and didnt' nurse for over a year and did just fine.

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T.L.

answers from St. Louis on

I had my baby exactly 1 year ago today as a C-Section and I was under general anesthisa (sp)and she got her first meal as formula from a bottle. I had to stay the rest of the week, but she never latched on. So I pumped and I had plenty until I had an operation that I did not get any fluids to drink for 36 hours...I dried up at that point. If you keep drinking fluids you should have no problem I don't think. My pediatrician did not give me grief over giving it to her in a bottle

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S.S.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi E.,
I strickly pumped with my daughter because she wouldn't latch on correctly and breastfeeding was extremely painful. So I strictly pumped for 5 months and gave the breastmilk to my daughter in a bottle and it was fine. My daughter is almost a year old now and she is still getting frozen breastmilk. I had a huge milk supply though, which is rare from what I hear. I kinda strictly pumping because I knew how much she was getting and I could feed her anywhere. It was also nice because my husband could feed her too and they were able to bond through that experience. The only complications that I had was clogged ducts every now and then, but they always worked themselves out. I felt guilty at first too, but I kept telling myself that my daughter is still getting breastmilk and it doesn't matter how she's getting it. This system worked well for me. I only have one child, but I know that if I have the same difficulty breastfeeding my next child I will do the same thing and strictly pump.

Good Luck!
S.

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S.S.

answers from Kansas City on

E.,
You could try talking to a lactation consultant. SMMC has one that you can call and they will call you back, even if you did not deliver at their hospital. They were real nice when I called them after having my son.

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S.T.

answers from St. Louis on

I just had a baby four months ago, and I really got frustrated with breastfeeding because it HURT! But, it gets so much easier. It took about four weeks and it became so natural, and with absolutely no pain. Pumping is kind of a pain in the butt. Nursing is soooo convenient, especially if you're able to stay home with you baby. I think it's awesome that you're not giving up on breastmilk. It is absolutely the best for your baby no matter how he/she gets it. Good luck!

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B.W.

answers from Kansas City on

My son, who is now five months, also would not nurse. I pumped to make sure he was still getting breastmilk. But both my OB and the ped told me that pumping can only fool your body for so long into producing milk. And they were right. I had a pretty good supply for about the first week and then it tapered off pretty drastically. By the time, he was a month old I was no longer producing any and we ended up having to switch to formula. They didn't work for me, but maybe it would work for you if you run into that problem. I wish you lots of luck!!

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K.B.

answers from Wichita on

E.,
Way to go! You are listening to your instinct as a mom and providing your baby with the best! You'll want to look for wet and poopy diapers. I believe he should have at least 10 wet diapers a day and 5-6 poopy ones. Also, watch for signs that your baby is satisfied and keep an eye on his weight gain for the next few weeks. Also, I strongly suggest you contact your local La Leche League whether you decide to try nursing more or strictly pump, they will be supportive and give you the best information you can get!!! You need lots of support right now so don't hesitate to seek it out!! Here's the link to find your local group http://www.llli.org//WebUS.html

Also, you can click on the home page and type in 'exclusive pumping' and they should have articles and info relating to your specific information. But, please, please call your local leader and talk to them for one on one support!!! YOU WON'T REGRET IT!!

K.
p.s. congratulations on the new baby!!

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J.L.

answers from St. Louis on

When my son was born, he had low blood sugar. So, the nurses would not allow me to try to breastfeed him. The number one focus was getting his sugars up so he needed to eat...A LOT! Well, by the time we got home, 6 days PostPartum, he was SO used to a bottle that the idea of Breastfeeding really ticked him off. I would make attempts to breast feed and he would SCREAM because he could not get it fast enough! I tried nipple shields, but those were a MUCH bigger mess. So, I pumped...and pumped...and pumped...I was able to pump for 4 and a half wonderful months. My supply was AMAZING!! I was making 12 8 oz bottles a day. I pumped every 2 hours. But, life started happening and I started missing playing with my son. My son was sleeping through the night, yet I was not. My grandmother started having heart problems and I was at the hospital with her all day without a pump or a place to store milk. So, I had to stop. I agonized over this decision..I wanted to pump for AT LEAST 6 months. But, I realized that it was more important for me to be there to be a mommy to my son. I gave him 4 and a half glorious months with my "liquid gold."

Don't feel guilty for not nursing. I did for a long time. You are still giving your son breast milk. Ignore the doctors (I don't say that very often, but in your case you need to). You can keep your supply up if you choose. When you pump, your supply is solely dictated by you and how much and how long you pump each time. I wish you the best of luck and remember, try not to feel guilty when it does come time for you to stop pumping. Your child benefits from every bottle of breast milk he is given.

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C.G.

answers from St. Louis on

My daughter was born with a poor sucking reflex and low tone in her neck, so she was unable to nurse or even suck from a bottle. I only pumped and it was a nightmare. A breast pump is no where near as an effiecient pump as your baby, so you will most likely not be able to supply her with enough milk and you will have to supplement. Example. I pumped every 2 hours when I feed her and was only able to give her about 1/4 of what she needed. I even tried reglan and fenugreek which are supposed to increase your milk production. After four months I was barely making any milk at all and finally gave up when I started getting 0.5 oz total per pump.

My advice is go see a good lactation consultant and try to stick with it if you can. If not, pumping is good, but you most likely won't be able to meet the demand of your baby.

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A.J.

answers from Topeka on

Hi E.,
Pumping alone may not produce enough milk supply, especially later when your baby demands more food. I recommend that you keep trying to nurse. I had troubles in the beginning with my 7 month old but I kept trying and eventually he started nursing. You may want to see if there is a breastfeeding support group in your area that can give you tips about nursing or tips to keep your milk supply up while you are pumping. The group in my area is called the La Leche League. They are great! Maybe you can search it online to see if there is one in your area. Good luck!

A. J-mother of 10 yr old and 7 month old boys

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C.Y.

answers from St. Louis on

Oh goodness...i am here to tell you it can be done. I like another mommy who posted had a preemie...she was 13 weeks early...i pumped exclusively for approximately 14 weeks (she's 3 now..i also did the same for my son who is 14 now)...after that time i managed to switch her from the bottle to the breast(finally weaned her at her first birthday)...somehow around her due date her sucking reflex was finally ready and it wasn't actually all the difficult...with pumping you need to be sure you have the proper pump...the best ones can be rented from the hospital pharmacies...drink plenty of water...continue taking your prenatal vitamins...and pump consistently...to establish a routine i would do it around every 4 hours or so to start...and unless the baby has you up at night it is not necessary to get up...i think you will be able to establish your milk supply and provide sufficient nutrition for the baby, but nursing can be confusing and a little frustrating at times and i would definitely continue to try so you won't necessarily have to pump exclusively (oh boy was i happy when i was finally done with the pump!)...sometimes it takes a little time before they r ready...i applaud you for your continued effort!...breast milk is good stuff--specially made just for your little babe...feel no guilt, for whatever you are able to provide is better than nothing at all.

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J.C.

answers from Kansas City on

You ARE doing what's best for your baby. Getting some breastmilk is better than none. And unfortunatley, it is most likely that your supply will eventually dwindle and you will have to supplement with formula.

I had problems BF my first. She was not latching on correctly, and I was bleeding from both nipples. (MAJOR OUCH!!) So at about a week old, we got a pump and I pumped exclusively for 1-2 weeks. After that, I had healed and decided to try BF again-- and we did fine. However, I was never able to get my supply up to where I could BF her exclusively. This was a major frustration for me-- I had always imagined that I would BF. And trust me when I say that taking time out to pump (and CLEAN the pump parts) will get VERY old, VERY soon.

My suggestion to you is to see a lactation consultant TODAY! Most hospitals have one on staff that you can visit for free. So call the hospital that you delivered at. You can also try a hospital that is closer to you-- they may help you even if you didn't deliver there. The LC will take a look to see what the problem is and give you ideas for getting back on the right track.

I couldn't get my milk suppy up, so I was only able to BF my first for about 6mos. Because of all the research I did during BF my first, I did great with my second baby and was able to BF for a year. My second baby is much more laid back and sleeps better and I really think it was because she was breastfeed-- for comfort as well as food. She got a lot of "close" time with me and I was able to comfort her by BF if nothing else worked. So now she really trusts me and knows that I will take care of whatever she needs, even though we're not BF anymore.

Even if you decide not to try BF again, check out "The Breastfeeding Book" by Dr. William Sears. It has FABULOUS advice about BF, pumping, keeping your milk supply up, etc. This is a "must own" book. ("The Baby Book" by him is also a "must own").

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C.C.

answers from St. Louis on

E.,

I strictly pumped with my son just the same as you did. I was never told that I wouldnt make enough for him. I actually had extra in the freezer ........ I did that for about 5 months. I did however keep trying to have him latch on ... and it finally worked around 4 months.... the best feeling I have ever had!!! I rented a medela industrial machine from Once Upon A Child. It wasnt overly expensive, but then again, that was over 5 years ago. My next baby did perfect, and I nursed her for 8 months. :) You can do it. Get in touch with La Lechie League... they can help. Or even get in touch with your lactation consultant at the hospital where you gave birth. Pumping is great, but you HAVE to do it every three hours if you are going to keep up your milk supply, expecially in the beginning - and that can be tiring...

Good Luck!!!

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R.M.

answers from Kansas City on

First of all you should not feel guilty about not nursing. You have to do what is best for you and your family. They make very healthy formula and many of us grew up perfectly healthy and never had an ounce of our mother's milk. With that said, I loved nursing my first daughter and I had many struggles for the first several weeks - I pumped a lot and tried to nurse, but she wouldn't do it, so I would end up giving her a bottle of breast milk. I did continue to offer the breast every feeding, and finally to my surprise and joy she just decided to do it one day - she was almost 2 weeks old. What the doctor is saying is that your breast will produce much more milk when stimulated by the baby feeding directly from your breast and w/o that your milk supply is likily to decrease and you may have to supplement with formula. In any case, you have to feed your baby and you have to keep your sanity. I nursed my first daughter for 10 months and my second daughter for only 5 weeks before finding out that she couldn't digest the milk and we have to put her on a special formula and medication. My second daughter has always been much healthier than my first - less allergies and ear infections, as well as various other illnesses; so while I agree that breast milk is the best, this is no promise of a healthier future for the child.

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A.H.

answers from Topeka on

I didn't do that (I nursed and pumped), but I do know a lady who did and she stuck with it for a YEAR!!! Every single time I saw her I applauded her for her efforts. And, she never had to supplement with formula...she only used breastmilk. The more you pump, the more milk you'll start getting, just as if you were actually nursing. I think some people will disagree, but that's what I believe. I would say give it your best shot and don't let anyone tell you what the outcome is going to be. Just see for yourself. You'll know if your baby is starving or not!

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M.B.

answers from Kansas City on

The thing is, breastmilk comes or lets down based on sucking and the stimulation to the nipple. It's like suppy and demand, so the more the breast/nipple is stimulated by sucking, the more milk is produced. While pumping does stimulate your breast, it does not stimulate your breast as well as the baby sucking will. Science just has not been able to replicate the real thing. That would be what your doctors are concerned about when they say you won't be able to pump enough. Another thing to think about, it's a heck of a lot more work to sit there and pump (and try to keep baby entertained while doing so), clean the damn pump and parts, then sit down and give a bottle - it's at least twice as much time as just nursing.
Having said that, my son stopped nursing at four months and I went from four months to ten months exclusively pumping. I have a new baby and will definitely work to not be in that situation again. One week is really early, your baby could till take the breast and it is in both of your best interests in the long run to encourage that!!
And I do have a girlfriend who successfully exclusively pumped for about four months, and one who did it for about six weeks - both to be commended - that it is a lot of work.

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M.D.

answers from Kansas City on

First off, don't let ANYBODY make you feel guilty for how you supply your child with milk, breast or otherwise! I think its great that even though nursing isn't going well for you you're still trying pumping. I tried breastfeeding with my daughter (now 7 months old) and it just didn't work. I tried the pump but couldn't get more than a half ounce at a time no matter how often/long I sat there with the pump. I started feeding her formula and giving her whatever milk I could pump, but finally got tired of spending so much time away from my baby while I was in my room and my sister or mother were holding her... she's a formula fed baby and she's just fine! You do whatever you feel you need to, to feed your baby, and if the breastfeeding doesn't work out, don't worry and don't feel guilty! Sometimes it just doesn't work out... good luck!

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D.H.

answers from Springfield on

It's difficult to keep up your milk supply when only pumping. I'd offer the breast first every time. Part of the benifits of breast feeding is the skin-to-skin contact that is so good for infants. And congratulations on your new baby.
D. -mom of 9 (all breast fed)

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K.G.

answers from St. Louis on

I strictly pumped and fed my second daughter and it worked out just fine. I actually had such a large supply that I only had to pump first thing in the morning and again right before bed. It was much easier to do with another two year old daughter running around. Don't let other people make you feel bad, you do what feels right and works for you. I know I felt much more comfortable pumping and feeding than breast feeding and it was what worked best for my baby. Good luck!!

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N.M.

answers from St. Louis on

I'm not speaking from person experience, but a friend of mine delivered a premature baby and had no choice but to pump for her baby. She did this for a few months with no complications. However, eventually, her baby was eating more than she could provide. I don't know if this was a personal problem but I have heard that pumping does not extract as much milk as nursing does. Hope this helps!

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R.P.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi E.,

I nursed my daughter for the first couple of months but then she just was not as interested/easily got distracted...she would eat just enough to tide her over and then a little while later she wanted to eat again. This was really taking a tole on me and wearing me out so I started pumping and it was the best thing I could have done! I would nurse her first thing in the morning (she didn't eat that much and would kind of play around, but it was nice to still have the bonding time) and then anytime she woke up in the night (she was sleeping all night around 3 months but if she did wake up it was so easy to just nurse) and then the rest of the day I would pump around her naps and my schedule. It is definitely time consuming and sometimes seems like that's all you're doing, but it is SO worth it. I just got a good single pump because then I could read a book while I pumped (I had a free hand to turn pages!) and I actually kind of enjoyed it because it was pretty much the only time I had to sit and read! I did occasionally have to supplement a little bit (maybe 2-3oz per day at the most) and then I stopped around 5 months. My only tip is to make sure you keep on a pumping schedule as much as possible because otherwise your supply definitely will go down. I have no regrets and if I have to do the same thing for my next baby I will! I know so many people who switch to formula after a couple of weeks because it is too much of a time-constraint to nurse/pump so I am really proud of you for sticking with it!! I just stopped BF a month ago so it's all still very fresh in my mind...feel free to write if you want to chat or have any questions!

Take care,
R.

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S.V.

answers from St. Louis on

E., my son wouldn't nurse for the first 2 weeks, so I pumped and kept trying to nurse... finally he did nurse though!

Your doctor is right...

I was half nursing and half pumping and feeding through a bottle for six months. After six months he didn't want to nurse anymore, so I thought that if I just kept pumping and feeding it by bottle, he could keep getting it til he was a year...

well what happens is you can't predict your child's appetite, and them sucking is stronger than a pump. Your breasts will make milk by what your child nurses... it's harder with a pump.

Well my breasts couldn't keep up with his appetite even with an expensive pump. You would have to pump ALL THE TIME to keep up. My breasts stopped making milk all-together ..they "dried up."

The doctor isn't trying to bring you down, but he's right that you need to keep trying to nurse if you want your baby to get the breast milk.

A friend of mine had the same thing happen with her second child... One of her breasts cracked so she thought she would just pump for a while til it got better than go back to nursing... well her breasts dried up as well.

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L.G.

answers from St. Louis on

I strictly pumped also. My baby got enough for a while, but by 4-5 weeks, I wasn't producing enough. BUT....my doc did say that the first month was the most important, so if your baby just will NOT breastfeed, (like my little angel,) pump for as long as you can, and then decide what to do from there.

I would say not to give up yet though, breastfeeding can be a wonderful thing, but it does take some work initially.

Good luck!

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B.R.

answers from Kansas City on

E.,
The position you hold your baby in is the most critical part of being "successful" in nursing. That said, you are doing great. I pumped for my daughter as well. I had so much milk that she simply couldn't take it all in. Ultimately, I would pump off a full 8 ounces and then feed her. I stored the rest and we had breast milk for months after I was finished. With my son, I did it all natural and etc. I didn't have nearly as much milk as I did with my daughter. I think the reason was that when my milk first came in, I pumped it off b/c of the pain (with my daughter). My body thought I needed that much milk. With my son, I put up with the pain and the milk supply regulated itself - hence less milk. So, I think the pump will get it for you. Get a good one. Spend the money. You are about to pump many times a day (do it as often as your baby eats. I would pump and then feed. In the beginning, you are either pumping or feeding or washing pump parts ALL DAY! And, don't feel bad if you feel like a cow, b/c that is how the pump made me feel. Using the pump loses some of the mommy bennefits of breast feeding ie - no clean up and instant food so baby doesn't have to cry for you to get things ready - and doesn't gain any of the mommy benefits to formula - ie daddy can help you feed in the middle of the night and you get to feed wherever whenever without risk of exposing yourself. However, breast milk is free and it is the best food for you baby. I say go for it and try to store some if you can get it pumped off, but keep trying to feed your little one naturally so you aren't hooked to a pump and you can actually look down and enjoy your little one. I liked the stomach to stomach old the best as well. CONGRATS on your new baby! This is one wild ride you just hopped on!

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C.E.

answers from Topeka on

Do not let the docs make you feel guilty. Nursing is not for everyone and if you are stressed over it the baby will know it and not nurse appropriately anyway. Pumping is fine and can be supplemented with formula if necessary. You are still doing lots more than the totally non-nursing mother so congratulations to you!

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J.B.

answers from Wichita on

Hi E.,
My sister in law had trouble nursing with all three of her kids, but her problem was that she couldn't provide enough milk, so she supplemented with formula. And her kids are doing just great! Don't let anyone make you feel guilty, what you do as a parent is between you, your spouse and your child. You're still providing him with breastmilk, and if you don't mind the hassle of pumping, go for it! They may be encouraging you to nurse, because it is so much more convenient (no messing with bottles, taking time to pump). I'd keep trying to see if he'll latch on, but quit if it's stressing you or your baby too much. Congrads on your new baby! They will teach you soooo much!

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A.C.

answers from St. Louis on

Hey E.
Do what feels right to you! Breastfeeding is not for everyone. I breastfed my daughter and everything went well, except I was lacking a vit. (even though I took them religiously) that caused her teeth to come in bad. So even though "they say" breastmilk is the best for your child, anything can happen. Go buy some formula and don't sweat what "they say".

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C.Z.

answers from St. Louis on

I am the mother of a 16-month old girl, and would like to suggest you don't give up on breastfeeding from the breast. Everyone I know who has ever breastfed has some initial difficulty getting in the first few weeks. But if you have the desire to stick with it, you will find that it is truly one of the most wonderful experiences as a mother that you can have! If I would have stopped after one week, I would have missed out on some of our most precious memories! There is an amazing bond you develop with your baby that is priceless! Try giving it a few more weeks... you will be amazed just how easy and second nature it will become. There are many people who can help support you in this such as lactation consultants or your local La Leche League group. In the end, you shouldn't feel guilty about your decision as long as you know you have made educated decisions. You have to do what is best for you and your baby.

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C.S.

answers from St. Louis on

You shouldn't be made to feel guilty. I applaud you for wanting to do the very best for your baby. I would encourage you to keep your fluid intake up - drink plenty of water. I would also encourage you to nurse the best that you can when your baby shows signs that he/she is ready to eat. I know the feeling can be a little uncomfortable, especially if your baby prefers one side to the other. When you feel that your baby has gotten as much as he/she can, then pump. The other thing to keep in mind is that they don't need that much right now. I was trying to pump and nurse, but felt that I wasn't getting much milk when I pumped. I found that taking really warm, almost hot, showers helped with the let down, which helped me get more milk when I pumped. I was also encouraged by some moms I know to only nurse on one side and allow my milk supply to build up on the other and then pump. I can understand you not wanting to supplement with formula. It is so expensive and it stinks! However, if you needed to supplement for a short period while your supply is building up (which I had to do because my husband and I went out of town and he didn't want to travel with the baby), I would recommend using the pre-made stuff and then just match ounces (1oz of breastmilk to 1oz. of formula). Also keep in mind that the more frequent you try to nurse your baby that will also help you with your milk supply. The thing to keep in mind is that as long as your baby has wet diapers and poopie diapers and is gaining weight, your baby is getting enough and your baby is thriving. Good luck to you.

P.S. Try not to allow anyone to stress you out too much because that is the worse thing for your milk supply. And don't try to lose your baby weight too fast too soon, because that will also effect your milk production.

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A.L.

answers from Lawrence on

With my first son, I strictly pumped. He was a preemie and we needed to know exactly how much milk he was taking (you can't measure that on the breast). It was difficult to keep up with though, having to pump as often as your baby eats, which is like every 2 hours. I kept up for about 6 weeks, but eventually switched to formula.

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D.J.

answers from St. Louis on

First of all, you should never feel obligated to continue to see a physician who makes you feel guilty about how you choose to parent and provide for your child. There are plenty of Physicians out there who will support, encourage and assist your choices so DON'T FEEL TRAPPED...I am not an expert on pumping as I was unable to breastfeed my first and chose not to try with the second but there are many resources out there - try contacting one of the local hospitals and speaking with a lactation consultant and remember - YOU know best how to parent your child.

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T.K.

answers from Kansas City on

My sister tried for a month to nurse her son. But for whatever reason - her body just couldn't do it. She tried pumping, but was not successful and it put her in terrible pain. She and I have gone thru the guilt of "not being able to provide for the baby" feelings. There is a drug that the dr. can prescribe to help increase your milk supply. There are some side effects to you. I took it for a week. It worked that week only. After that I had to just quit nursing all together. An emotional decision, but I worked thru. It just took a little time. Good Luck and take in all the advise and make the decision that is best for you and your son.

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T.Z.

answers from Topeka on

First off, congrats on your new baby and your commitment to providing the best food for him. You should never feel guilty for that. I don't have any experience personnaly with your type of situation, but I have attended La Leche Leauge meetings for a long time and I know that they are a great resource. I would recommend contacting a Leader. You can find a local leader through the website: http://www.llli.org/ They may try to help you with nursing, but they also have a ton of current and accurate resources on pumping and maintaing your supply. Good luck in your journey as a new mother.

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J.H.

answers from Kansas City on

My sister pumped exclusively for her daughter (for a year) with much success. In fact, she ended up sending a ton of surplus milk to a breast milk bank in Colorado. Does your ped's office have a lactation consultant? They should be helpful. I know my sister invested in a quality pump. And don't lose heart, she was able to nurse her second baby who was more cooperative about latching on!

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D.O.

answers from Kansas City on

E., Good for you! I had the same problem with my first child. He would not latch on, he would get frusterated and so would I so I began pumping when he was around a week old. My dr was very supportive of me and told me that he didn't care how I got my breastmilk to my baby. I ended up pumping every single feeding for 18 months. Your supply should be fine if you are pumping every single feeding. Pumping worked out well for us and I am happy that he got breastmilk for so long (he drank it out of a sippy cup starting at around 9 months and we used it on his cereal even longer!) I used the Medela Pump in Style pump and never had a problem with it. I would recommend using the microwave steam bags to clean your assessories since you will have to clean them so often, it is easier that washing everything every time. You will get good at pumping. It does take some practice but before long you will have it down to a science!! Don't feel guilt for not nursing him. It is your decision and is totally personal. My mother in law treated me like I was doing something weird or wrong because my son was not "nursing" but he ended up healthy and I am totally satisfied with my decision. Looking back, I am proud of the decision that I made. Yes, it was a lot of work but it was the best gift I could give my child!! :)
Good luck!
D.

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R.D.

answers from Wichita on

My twins were 11 weeks early and unable to nurse. I have been pumping for 8 months now and plan on continuing until their first birthday. I had to start supplementing formula when they were about 3 months old because I wasn't producing enough for both, however, I do still produce enough for just one. You will need to pump often (I was told to pump every 3 hours), and you should rent or buy a good pump. I use the Medela Pump in Style Advanced. Fortunatly, I have had few complications. I think I had a clogged milk duct once, and I had to really massage my breast while pumping to make sure I was completely empty. Sometimes my husband getes frustrated because it seems I am always pumping, but it really is best for the boys. They have had the sniffles a few times, but no fevers and no ear infections. If you have trouble with your supply you may want to investigate herbal supplements. I have used fenugreek several times with success. In fact, I'm using it now to get my supply back up after having a stomach virus a few weeks ago. If you really wanted to nurse, you may want to try again in a few months. My sons' PT recommended that I try nursing again when they were 3 months gestational age, and after several attempts I was able to nurse. Unfortunately with two I was never able to quite get a schedule so I went back to pumping exclusively. Pumping all the time isn't easy, but it is very worth it. Best wishes to you and your new baby!

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N.C.

answers from St. Louis on

Do NOT feel guilty!! It is fantastic that your baby is getting breastmilk regardless of whether it is via breast or bottle. My daughter (who is now 3) was not a strong nurser, and it was very time consuming. I don't recall exactly when I began primarily pumping (4-6 wks maybe) but I was able to pump until she was 5 months old. During this time I also nursed her at night and on weekends - when I had more time to devote to it. I am not sure how long you will be able to maintain a sufficient milk supply if you are only pumping. Also, don't be afraid to supplement formula if your milk suppyly is low. This is something else I also became comfortable doing with my 2nd child. Good luck & go with your gut on decisions - mom's intuition!
N

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K.K.

answers from St. Louis on

alright i am sorry this is about a month too late but i have a 6 month old son and i breastfed for 6 weeks. Then he had acid reflux and would not nurse so i pumped. I also had really sore and cracked nipples so it hurt really bad to nurse. Anyway i started pumping and after about 3 weeks or so or maybe shorter i dried up. When all you do is pump and no nurse, you lack the friction (thats what i want to call it) kinda like a stimulation from nursing. Your breasts are not draining like they should because your baby is not using there tounge to get the milk out it is strictly a pump. Dont feel bad. I stopped giving my son breastmilk at 2 and half months and he is very healthy and doing great. Let me know how everything went and is going for ya!

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D.G.

answers from St. Louis on

Have you tried using the breast shields. You can purchase them at Target I know for sure.
I have 2 children tried nursing the first but she just would not latch on, so I ended up just giving her a bottle, but I found out with my second from one of the nurses at the hospital, since my first was born early that her sucking reflex might not have been developed completely and that could have been the problem.
So I'm not sure about if pumping will produce enough or not, but I do know you will be VERY sore. With my second he nursed every 2 hours for a good while and I thinking pumping really hurts. So good luck and remember don't get to overwhelmed if you make it through the first two weeks of nursing it does get easier. And you and him are both still learning right now. It takes alot of time and patients and trying, but it's worth it all. I LOVED nursing.

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T.C.

answers from Springfield on

if you dont nurse him and just pump like one or to times a day the dr. is trying to tell you that you will dry up faster so if you nurse the baby then you will produce more because a baby will eat the same probably but your breast will produce what is needed and you won't have to worry about drying up to fast untill you are ready to stop breast feeding and they say that is the best time for you and your baby to really bond.are you making sure he is latched on good if not you both will get upset real quick.

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L.D.

answers from Wichita on

You and the baby are still learning. You can pump and feed the baby. Prime the baby with some bottled milk and then go to the breast. Don't give up. Keep trying the breast. The baby doesn't have to try as hard with the bottle. They get lazy. Find some one with Lelechi league to help you. They are wonderful.

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G.C.

answers from Wichita on

Have you tried getting in touch with a La Leche Leader or lactation consultant? La Leche Leaders ( who provide mother to mother support) can be a great help in trying to figure out your nursing problems and how to overcome them.

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A.P.

answers from Kansas City on

I had trouble getting my first baby to nurse. He was only 4.5 lbs at term and the hospital put him on a bottle straight away which I believe ruined my ability to get him to nurse. He never did, and I pumped exclusively for 2 months or so. I had a TON of milk stored up. The lactation consultant I spoke to at the time, instructed me to pump both sides until they emptied, then to continue to switch back and forth for as long as I could until absolutley no more milk would come. I can't say for sure that had I continued that I wouldn't have dried up, but I can say that I continually increased production until I was pumping more than 10 oz/sitting. I used a hand pump the whole time. The avent brand. I would say continue pumping as long as you can, and when you stop, whether by choice or because you've dried up, know that you did the absolute best you could. Good luck and God Bless.
A.

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S.H.

answers from St. Louis on

My son has been breastfeeding from birth, but it wasn't easy! It took us a good month to get it all figured out for both of us. I would recommend that you keep trying as long as you both can. But, if it just doesn't work for you...it's OK! I asked my ped about my concerns (the same ones you're having) and he said that he has had moms that strictly pump for the duration and never did breastfeed. He said the hardest part was on the mom because it's double duty to pump and then feed. But, if that's what we wanted to do it would be just fine! I kept trying to breastfeed, but pumped and fed that in the bottle until he caught on. Good luck!!! Hope that helps.

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L.G.

answers from St. Louis on

E.,

I know the frustration you are feeling right now. With my first baby, he would not latch on, so I strictly pumped. I pumped every two hours and filled an 8-oz. bottle with each breast. I continued pumping for three months. My son was gaining weight by leaps and bounds and was very healthy! His pediatrician was very supportive of my pumping and told me to do it as long as I felt I could. I stopped after three months because I went back to work.

If you are comfortable pumping, then keep on doing it! Your baby is still getting your milk and will be healthy!

Hope this helps.

L.

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R.S.

answers from St. Louis on

I agree with you, what does it matter how the baby gets the breast milk. I pumped with all three of my children. I did it for three months before I decided to stop. With my first child I made enough, with my second and third I did a little supplementing because I didn't quite make enough but they mostly got breast milk. My sister in law pumped and made enough for one year. I think it depends on the woman and child. I tend to stress out a lot and that does affect milk production. I say do what is oomfortable to you and make sure your child is getting what he needs, like wet diapers and growth. If those things are fine he is getting enough and you should continue pumping if that is what you want to do. I think it is great that you decided you wanted him to have breast milk and are doing what you can to provide that for him. Please, please don't feel guilty.

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M.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

I am a nursing mom (first timer too) & I can tell you from experience that your baby can suck a lot more out than you'll ever be able to pump. That being the case, you'll probably be able to get a certain amount that might be adequate for now, but later you might not be able to keep up with your babys demand & find yourself using formula more & more. However, if you bought a top of the line pump, you might be just fine. Working moms pump all the time & don't seem to have a problem.

It's tragic your doctor's are making you feel guilty; you're the mom & knows what's best for your baby. I'm a member of Le Leche (breastfeeding support group) & they helped me a great deal with lach-on issues & pain b/c I didn't really know what I was doing. Breastfeeding can be confusing, frustrating, & painful if you don't have any help (it's not as easy as you might expect it to be even if it's "natural"). Sometimes it takes weeks before breastfeeding is firmly established & it's a huge help to have support during this transitional period. This is where LL comes in. If breastfeeding is a priority for you & you need help, contact them (internet is easiest). They will give you amazing support, have local group meetings (nice to meet other moms & U-City chapter meets at Penera) & before you know it, nursing will be easy & convinient. One benefit of nursing over pumping is the skin on skin contact that forms a special connection with you & your baby, however, I am sure your baby will get plenty of attention & you'll form amazing bonds regardless.

When I thought I couldn't breastfeed anymore, someone came to my home, had informative books & no kidding, my baby & I "practiced" in front of this kind lady so she could see exactly what we were doing. It made all the difference in the world & we've been nursing 4 months now. You are doing such a wonderful service to your child just by offering your breastmilk to your baby. And in the end, whether you breastfeed or pump, you'll be glad you did.

J.B.

answers from Kansas City on

First of all, good for you for not giving up. Secondly, if you do have to forego breastmilk, don't feel badly. You are not a bad mom. Yes, breastmilk is ideal, but when you have a baby, you have to rip the word "ideal" out of your dictionary, because nothing will go as planned or be how you dreamed it would. Remember when you got married and found out that the fairy tale isn't reality? (Not that it isn't wonderful, but it's far from perfect.) The same holds true for motherhood. It's incredible and amazing, but definitely NOT perfect. And that's ok. No matter what the books say, do what works for you.
That said, I was very lucky and didn't have much trouble breastfeeding, but I do have a friend who was only able to pump. I hated pumping, and eventually got to the point that I didn't get much that way, but if you are diligent about doing it often and drink lots of water, you may be able to continue to do it as long as you want to. Everyone's body is different, so if it doesn't last, again, don't worry. Every day you give him breast milk is better than none, so you are already ahead of the game!

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A.J.

answers from Columbia on

E.- Hi! I bring a dual perspective into my response- breast fed both of my kids and have been a Peds/NICU RN for years. Over the years professionally I have learned to really rethink breastfdg. I have come to the conclusion, that what works for you is best. Yes, you may not be able to pump as much volume as if the baby were on the breast, but then again if you didn't pump, your infant wouldn't get any breastmilk if you can't get him to latch on.Many of our NICU baby's moms exclusively pump and give it to their little ones(partly because the infant got used to getting milk via tube fdgs. at first so didn't get real established at the breast and partly because the moms felt better about being able to quantify the volume of breast milk the infant received). Have you tried to hook up with a lactation consultant? The hospital where you delivered or a local pharmacy should have one. Also, what about working with a friend who successfully breastfed? I have found that soft shields work wonderfully- again, I've heard consultants say they shouldn't be used long term, but have seen infants breast fed for over a year while using them and they were well nourished. One thing you have to keep in mind- pumping and giving via a bottle is double work (takes a lot longer) so if you can get established at the breast, it woould be less time consuming. Try putting something on the breast(breast milk, a little formula) to entice your little one to latch on. If you are really devoted to providing your infant with breast milk, don't give up...it can work one way or another. ALso, if your supply diminishes, there are teas and medications that you can take to increase your supply. Good luck.

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S.B.

answers from St. Louis on

The first 2 weeks of breastfeeding my daughter were miserable - we both cried at every feeding. Then, it got better, and she nursed till she was (almost) 13 months old, and we had the hang of it well enough that I nursed her at a major league baseball game at 10 weeks old. Talk to a lactation consultant or someone at La Leche League. They will be able to see if you could hold your baby differently or something. It's amazing how just a little shift can make a difference in nursing!
Good luck!

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D.D.

answers from Topeka on

Hi E.~

I just pumped, my baby had to be in the hospital an extra week and I could not nurse. I pumped for almost eight months and I think that I got more milk by just pumping than nursing. I could really store up a lot of milk. I think that as long as your baby is getting breast milk it should not matter how they get it. Good Luck!!

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M.C.

answers from Kansas City on

I think you should continue doing what you're doing because breast milk is the best thing for your baby; however, if you do find you have to supplement, I would recommend not using formula, but Goat's milk. You can buy it in powder form and it's about the same cost as formula, but it's much gentler on their digestive system and is a natural source of supplementation - whereas formula is a synthetic source. I have a friend that pumped and when her son needed an supplement, she gave him goats milk... her son didn't have near the problems my son did with acid reflux and spit up.

Good luck - I hope it helps and just remember, doctors know surgery and medicine... 9 out of 10 doctors have no clue when it comes to nutrition. Go with your gut and research and make the decision that works for you and your family!

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J.T.

answers from St. Louis on

I started out breastfeeding in the hospital but by the time I got home my nipples were so sore I just couldn't even force myself to try and put them on there. I pumped. With my first one, I eventually put her back on at like 2 months old but I ran out of milk even with nursing her and was done breast feeding at 3 1/2 months. With my 2nd one (they were both c-sections so my hospital stay was longer then otherwise) I was pumping before I left the hospital cause they were sore and bleeding (she didn't latch well) so I pumped and bottle fed. She never was put back on and I nursed her for 5 months. I don't know if my "running out of milk" was due from them not actually feeding off of me but like I said, my first was put back on and it didn't help. I did have so much milk in the beginning that I stored it in the deep freeze and after my body ran out of milk I still had milk to give them. I see nothing wrong with pumping, that's what I did. They do make you feel bad for not actually having the baby on there but like you said the important thing is that they get the breastmilk, it's not important how. You should feel very proud of yourself for taking the time to pump it and sticking with it even though actual nursing didn't work the way you wanted it to. Good luck to you:)

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H.S.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi there. I have a friend who had trouble breastfeeding. Her daughter was not getting enough milk - so she was pumping. but to increase her milk, she would pump on one side while she nursed on the other. and it worked! she had plenty of milk for the baby and was still able to nurse until the baby was 9 months. she also drank some teas that were said to help increase milk supply. I also have another friend who only pumped - and it was fine. do not worry or feel guilty! You are doing the best for your baby! Take care.

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G.B.

answers from Kansas City on

AFter my my son had surgery at 11 days old, he was too weak to latch on so I stopped nursing and pumped like crazy. Don't feel a bit guilty about not nursing, however that baby gets nutrition is just fine. As long as you pump about as frequently as you would nurse, your supply should be just ok too. Plus, you don't have always be the one to feed the baby, you can share the responsibility with others so you can get a nap in every now and then. Trust me, not being able to nurse is absolutely nothing to feel guitly about!

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S.H.

answers from St. Louis on

E.- I experienced the same thing with my daughter. I understand completely. Although my doctor supported me either way which should be the case. There is so much pressure out there to brestfeed and in my opinion its negative. If you can continue to pump and get milk for your son than do so. But if you don't produce enough and have to supplement with formula thats ok too. It doesn't make you bad mother or that you love him any less. I agree that breast milk is fantastic for our babies and it shouldn't matter how they get it. I had such a hard time breast feeding that after pumping for 2 weeks I went strictly to formula feeding. I felt awful and was shocked by the lack of support in my decision-with the exception of my pediatrician and a handful of friends. You are not alone and remember you have to do what is best for you and your family!

S.

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C.O.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi E.,
In my opinion it's more important that he gets the breast milk. It doesnt matter how. You are doing great!!! Enjoy your precious little gift from God!
C

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W.H.

answers from Springfield on

Hi E.,
Don't feel guilty. Only you can decide what is going to work best for you and your baby. Having said that, I will let you know that I had a similar experience as you are having and found that the pediatrician was right, when I only pumped I was not able to produce enough milk for my daughter. I ended up continuing to do both(nurse and pump) and also had to supplement with formula because I just simply wasn't making enough milk. I don't know what you're situation is, but if you haven't tried a lactation consultant, I would suggest doing so. I would have given up nursing completely after the first week and a half had I not gone to one. She was VERY helpful and showed me a lot of things about nursing that I would have never figured out on my own and made it a much less stressful time for me and my daughter. I was still only able to nurse for 10 wks, but it was well worth it in my opinion. Good luck and remember, it's your choice. Do what's best for you.

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J.H.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi E., I have a little experience in this area, I have a 5 yr old I nursed for 13 months(with a lot of trouble in the beginning) and am expecting my second in July. I know a woman who tried the pumping exclusively with her twin boys and after about 3 months her milk did dry up. What I believe happens is the pump is not able to empty out the "back ducts"( probably not the right words) the same way a baby nursing does. I know when I nursed I would feel my milk let down a second time after several minutes of nursing and that is what I am referring to. I do understand your wanting to breastfeed, however your baby gets it, but I read your message and really wanted to respond. Does your local hospital have a lactation specialist, I visited mine a few times and they were very helpful! Good Luck and Congratulations!

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K.N.

answers from Wichita on

You may have problems with supply eventually. Pumping is not as efficient (even with the best they make) as a baby's sucking. There are things you can do if you start to run out of milk if pumping turns out to be not as efficient as your body needs. My SIL had this problem, and her dr prescribed a med that worked instantly in getting her milk supply back up.

If you would LIKE to keep nursing, I'd say keep trying. A lactation nurse at the hospital you delivered at can help, or a midwife... they can observe you and your baby and offer help. If it's just the pain--don't give up because of that...that WIll go away with time! :) But if breastfeeding is not a big deal to you, and bottle-feeding is what you prefer, then that's your decision and you shouldn't feel guilty from the dr.

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A.B.

answers from Columbia on

E. - I was strictly pumping, and I had a problem with one breast producing more than the other. I was given advice that if you let the baby breastfeed at first and then give a bottle it will stimulate your milk production. I decided to stop pumping and breastfeeding all together because the stress was causing less milk and I was starting to get the "baby blues". Don't let anyone make you feel guilty. You know what is best for your baby, if you are able to satisfy his needs, than keep pumping.

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C.H.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi E.,
Hang in there. Also try Medela Contact Nipple Shields, You can get them online at Babies r us. Also try finding a local group in your town or some other nusing mothers to give you support.
My sister used a pump with her children and had not trouble at all. I think the biggest concern is not keeping up with your babies demands. My sister would alway Pump 1 or 2 extra ounces. That way when she needed to pump more she could.
I have 4 kids and breast fed only 3. I did not breast feed my second child. He is as happy and healthy as the rest of my children. Brestfeeding is the best way, but what ever decision you make, be sure you are happy with it.
C.

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E.M.

answers from Lawrence on

I think its great that you're giving your baby breastmilk when nursing wasn't working for you! So many people would have just given up completely, and done formula. First off, I'd switch Drs and find someone who you feel respects you. If you don't like your Dr, then when you have issues, you won't feel like you can talk to them. Right now you are doing the best for your baby and that is great, but if it were me, I'd keep trying to nurse. Try pumping a little first and then nursing. It could be that you were letting down too fast and gagging him. I had a friend who had a very hard time nursing at first, but eventually got the hang of it. She had to nurse her son laying down for a long time. It was the only way he would do it for a while.
Good luck!

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S.C.

answers from Joplin on

Hi E.,

I breastfed my daughter until she was almost 10 months old. I only pumped a few times because I noticed that when I did the amount that came out wasn't very much. The baby's suction is so much stronger than the pumps. If you definitely want to only pump then you might just supplement occasionally with formula. You'll be able to tell at your appointments. If the baby isn't gaining enough you might have to do this but some breast milk is better than no breast milk. It sounds like the Dr. is just speculating at this point. You may very well be able to produce enough this way. So don't worry yet.

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L.M.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi, E.. As I am really a grandma these days and not a mom, my answer is second hand. My DIL mostly pumped. She had plenty of milk. She froze it as she pumped and it was used. Matthew would nurse a little for soothing but he LIKED the bottle. They did not do any formula until he was around 6 months old. She did pump often--but she also traveled for her job and the milk was there so I think it can be done. Good luck. L.

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M.T.

answers from St. Joseph on

I have four children. My daughters I exclusively nursed and my twin sons I nursed for 4 months, the last 2 of which I was pumping instead of directly feeding them. My milk supply didn't last very long and now they are on formula. I think it CAN be done, but it takes great effort. You also have to be aware that as your baby starts to eat more and less often, it will be more difficult to pump. I think the best advice I can give is, do it until you can't :) and don't be "ashamed" of formula!

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D.A.

answers from St. Louis on

I can tell you through experience (nursed two children) that the pump does not extract the milk as well as the baby. Your milk supply will drop and you will have to supplement with formula. This will cause your supply to drop further. As long as you are ok with that, then there is no problem with pumping solely.

I don't think a week is long enough for you or your baby to get the hang of nursing. I would give it a minimum of six weeks. If you need help, contact LaLeche. They have people who will come to your home and help you out and they are a wonderful resource and support.

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B.E.

answers from Springfield on

I pumped for 7 months and my supply was just fine as long as I drank plenty of water. As long as you are using a good pump you should be fine. I've never heard of doctors criticizing this method. A lot of working mothers do this. I used a Medela pump and it worked great. Keep it up!

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S.S.

answers from St. Louis on

When you put the baby to the breast it stimulates your milk production. A pump can not stimulate the breasts the way a baby does. Nor does a pump effectively empty the breasts. I agree with your pedi that you should try to put the baby to the breast as often as possible & do a lot of skin to skin contact (undress the baby to the diaper & let baby lay on your bare chest).
Some women are able to pump enough milk to give only breastmilk but others notice their supply continously decrease.
Remember, any breastmilk your baby gets is better than none at all.

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J.E.

answers from Springfield on

Hi, I think it is admirable that you are willing to pump just to give your baby breast milk. I had to do the same. I had twin girls and neither would take to nursing, I tried for over a month and they never could get the hang of it. I pumped for 6 months so they could have breast milk. I had to supplement with formula b/c I couldn't produce enough milk, but my ped said any amount of breast milk is good for the baby. I think you should do what you feel is right. If you don't want to nurse, that is your decision, not the doctors.

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C.P.

answers from Topeka on

HI
I strickly nursed for my first child until SHE turned 1yr old. and for the first few weeks i pumped. its hard but i did it. i had to pump for 25 minutes each breast every 3 hours even if nothing came out, you have to stimulate your breast to make milk. you can also put really warm wet cloths on your breast to help milk come out its a lot of work but once the baby gets older and is able to lach on to you, you will be fine .but at first you have to make the effort to pump every 3 hours and each breast 25 minutes. im glad i did it my daughter doesnt get sick as often, i believe its because i breast fed her i didnt breast feed my son as long and he gets sick way more often then my daughter. be patient its better for the baby in the end.
good luck!

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B.K.

answers from St. Louis on

E.,

Please, please, please don't feel guilty!!!! You have to do what you think is best for your child. Every mom knows that breastmilk is best, and guess what, it doesn't matter how your child gets it whether it is from a bottle or the breast. My daughter would not nurse well because either. She was born with torticollis, which is a muscular neck condition. Everytime she would try, it would pull on her neck and hurt. I didn't figure this out until she was about 2 1/2 months old, but that entire time, I pumped and gave her a bottle. The key is to get a great pump, drink lots of water, and pump, pump, pump!!! It does get a little teadious, but it made me feel as if I was giving her what she needed. Ever so often, I would try to breastfeed. And guess what, one day she thought it was great...then she couldn't get enough. The lactation consultant told me at the hospital to never give up. That a baby can and will finally figure it out. After we started physical therapy, my daughter's neck started feeling better and then she was able to nurse. Believe me, I never thought it would work and I was really bummed out, but don't give up. Breastfeeding my daughter is the most amazing experience that I have had in my life, which I will treasure always. But, if your child won't nurse, you need to know that you are doing a great thing...even if you can't keep it up (like your doc thinks) at least your child has had some breastmilk, which will give him the best start. Kuddos for you!!!!

P.S.
One thing I learned was that the hold you use during the nursing process is key. I took a breastfeeding class and they promoted the "football" hold. That is the hold that the hospital tried with me and my daughter too. Guess what, my daughter did not ever nurse like that. She prefered the natural "baby" hold...stomach to stomach. Good luck.

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R.H.

answers from Kansas City on

Hello E.,

Well, I want to say congratulations on doing one of the best things a mother can do for her baby. Many moms are not able to do either. I have a daughter that I was able to breastfeed and she never got formula. However, my second child was born with a cleft lip/palate, so the majority of time they are not able to nurse from the breast. So, I was determined that he would have the same as his sister. I pumped and never nursed him I did this for 10 months. Woo Hoo, so determination goes a long way! Towards the end I did end up supplementing with formula. I must tell you I went by a schedule and even woke up during the night for the 8 weeks and pumped so it was a rigourious schedule but I needed to make sure I was getting the stimulation and it is different than a baby nursing, but do not let the doctors discourage you. You do what is best for you and your baby. I wish luck!

Proud mom of Emma 5 & Fisher 3!
R.

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D.S.

answers from St. Joseph on

It is great that you are sticking with breast milk. It doesnt matter if you pump or not.
I had problems nursing when my daughter was a baby but I stuck with it and we managed to work out what a way that worked and sometimes I used the pump.
I had plenty of milk and if I lived closer to the bigger hospitals I would have pumped more and given the extra milk to the pre natal department of the hospital. They would have mothers with extra milk pump and donate the milk to premmies for the extra nutrition that mothers milk provides. So if it would work for them why wouldn't it work for you to strictly pump? As long as it works for you go for it.
I would still nurse part of the day the because it brings a special closeness/bond between you and your baby and even though nursing now isnt working completely as you would like you could develope a way that works like it did for me.
Some times being a new mother it takes a bit to get used to the new baby and changes your body has so as you get more comfortable with your baby and with nursing you may relax more and nursing will be easier. And it will also help you in keeping to produce the milk needed.
The stimulus you get from nursing helps to produce the your milk.
Good luck

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J.B.

answers from Kansas City on

Good for you! Keep up the Nursing. I have 4 children and nursed each one. To get pro. help you should contact the local la leche league. They can help you with your breast feeding. If you need to produce more milk for baby, try drinking or taking Alfalfa Tablets or both. That will give you more milk. To make less milk, drink Sage Tea.
I found that when I pumped, I didn't give as much milk. You may be differant.
Don't worry about how the Dr's feel about you nursing. YOU ARE THE MOM. Breast Milk is BEST!
J. B

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N.A.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi E.,
Those first few weeks are really hard, even when you have nursed before. I nursed all 3 of my kids and even with my last child I had a heck of a time for the first 3-4 weeks.
Pumping doesn't tell your body how much milk to make, so it is very hard to keep up a supply when pumping, and honestly it is so much harder to do than actually breastfeed.
What about breastfeeding isn't working for you? Is it painful? Are you having a hard time getting baby to latch?
Pumping is of course better than going to formula, but if you could get him back to the breast it would be much better for both of you in the long run.
I would be more than happy to help however I can.
Remember your not the only Mama to have a hard time with this, its not as easy as it looks. :bighug:

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J.W.

answers from Kansas City on

E., the fact that you are willing to pump for your baby is awesome. My last daughter was born 6 weeks early and with 1 year old twins at home I was unable to be with her at every feeding to nurse (which in turn meant that I needed to allow them to give her a bottle so that she could come home quicker than just eating from a tube). Due the fact that she just couldn't get the hang of latching on for long enough I opted to pump and pumped plenty for her and did it until she was almost a year old...yes I pumped for just over 11 months and I had pumped soo much that she was able to have breastmilk for about two weeks after I quit pumping. She know that you need the proper equipment to store it right for it to last long enough. Good Luck and keep it up. J.

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R.L.

answers from St. Louis on

I would call a Lactation consultant. Call your local hospital and get the number of the LeLeche' League. They will be a wonderful source for you. They will have suggestions on how to get your baby to nurse. They will also be able to tell you if strictly pumping will allow you to produce enough milk for the baby or not. In the meantime...keep pumping! Breastmilk is BEST!

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J.S.

answers from Kansas City on

I had the same problem with my first born. My Dr.s had me all freaked out that I wasn't supplying enough milk so I pumped. I ended up pumping for a WHOLE YEAR. I was adiment that my baby was given the best he could have. If you think your supply is getting low, try an herb called fenugreek. It is incredible at bringing your supply up fast. Also, something I wish I would have done the first time around was use Le Leache a Leage group. I used the for my second and they made a world of difference!! A lady came to my house to check the latch and even though I thought I had it right, I didn't. Most of the time fi the latch isn't riht the supply won't be either.
Good luck and stick to you instinct.
J.

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Y.B.

answers from Kansas City on

Doctor's know a lot but not everything. It happened to me years ago & the only problem I ran into is that I wasn't producing the milk fast enough & had to give my children formula as well. After about a month of pumping my breast dried up, so MAYBE there might be something in the baby doing the actual sucking that keep the milk flowing. Pumping won't contract your uterus like the baby would. YOU will bond with your child by showing your child love & nurturing the child.

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J.K.

answers from Topeka on

Contact your local Health Department for some help. More specifically, contact the Healthy Start Home Visitor or a breastfeeding educator in your area. It may be a very simple solution from someone with some experience. Keep trying. I know it is not easy but the benefits are a worth a lifetime. Good luck!
J. K.

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S.M.

answers from Kansas City on

with my 1st son - he did not want to nurse - i pumped for 6 weeks and he got plenty of milk - my dr. did not have any problem with it - and i did not have any complications! i know what you mean about the nursing - when i was in the hospital right after my son was born - the nurse was insistent that my baby was going to nurse eventhough he was not latching - she tried every method possible - finally i told her just to give him a bottle! he needed to eat! it was not a pleasant experience ... i thought maybe when i was home without any of the pressures things would be different - but he still not have any interest - so i just pumped and it worked for me!

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K.M.

answers from Springfield on

I don't think that your doctor ment to hurt your feelings they are just saying that your body nauturaly produces more when you are nursing. When you pump you don't empty your brest so the next time it doesn't produce as much then the next pumping does the same and again you won't produce as much so soon you will not have enough for you baby. I did both pumping to me was great for some reasons but a pain in other ways. I hated the washing of the equipment. Has anyone worked with you on the nursing? You might find a lalache group in you area. You are going through some real emotions right now and they to will calm down after a while. Keep pumping by all means if that is what you are wanting to do.

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A.B.

answers from Columbia on

E., my oldest spent three weeks in the NICU when he was born. I pumped milk and took it to the hospital for him. I only nursed him once a day(just for the emotional bond) and pumped the rest of the time. I would pump for about 30 minutes in the morning (it would take that long to empty), then twice at work, again when I got home and at bedtime. I did that for a year (decreasing my pumping according to number of times he ate in a day). It worked great for me. Anyone else was able to feed him and I had a lot of milk in storage that I was able to use when I stopped pumping. I started the same way w/ the baby, but since about 8 weeks she has been strictly nursed. We had some oversupply issues in the beginning that were causing some colic and latching on issues. Come to find out, it was because I was pumping and not just nursing. The more you pump the more you produce. Bottom line, do what works for you. As long as you keep pumping you shouldn't have a problem w/ milk production.

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J.H.

answers from Lawrence on

E.,

I have a 3 month old son who now goes to daycare because I am back at work. I am pumping in the morning when I wake up, during the day when I am at work, and then usually right when I get home from work. My son only nurses maybe once a day and the rest of his feedings are bottles that I have pumped. I have plenty of milk for him by just pumping. I have had to supplement only twice with formula, but the rest of it has been breast milk. As long as you can pump enough for a feeding I would think that you will be fine. Good Luck! J.

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B.H.

answers from Kansas City on

What's the saying....BreastMILK is best. I don't believe that it is BreastFEEDING is best. Do what YOU want. Your his mother and it is your body. I have three daughters and with the first two I breastfed for about 4-6 weeks then began to pump and feed with a bottle and that lasted for about another 2-3 weeks. My supply did demish and I had to start supplementing with formula then eventually switched to formula altoghether. With number three I breastfed exclusivly and only pumped with I was super full in the begining. I do have to tell you that breastfeeding gets easier the longer you do it, but I also understand the demands of life, escpecially with a new baby and can tell you that whatever you decide to do will be OK. Breastfeeing is not an easy thing to do and it doesn't come as natural to some people as the books and "experts" would have you believe. You are not a failure or a bad Mom if you bottle feed your baby, do not let the opinions of others make you feel that way.

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R.K.

answers from St. Louis on

Don't feel guilty. Sometimes it's better to listen to your baby than to the doctor! If your baby is getting satisfied and is growing on bottled breast milk, and you are happy with pumping, then more power to you. Lots of moms who have trouble nursing go straight to formula. Pumping is a lot of work, so you should feel proud of yourself for doing the very best you can for your baby. Look at the positive side of this - by pumping only, you have more control over when you give breast milk - you can schedule pumping when it's most convenient for you, not whenever your baby hungry. You may tire of the routine after a few weeks or months, but any amount of breast milk is very beneficial to your baby. I say do what works until it doesn't work anymore! You're a good mom!

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