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Old 04-14-2012, 09:37 AM   #1
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Exclusively Pumping

After leaving the hospital, I had so much trouble getting my baby to nurse, so I made the decision to exclusively pump and bottle feed. I have been doing this for 3 weeks now, and so far so good.

I was wondering if anyone else does/has done this? If so, have you ever had complications with it?

I am concerned that my supply may go down without actually having the baby nursing. Could this happen?

Any advice/info about exclusively pumping would be very much appreciated!

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Old 04-14-2012, 10:38 AM   #2
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I only pumped for my first. I produced massive amounts of milk. I did both breast at once and would have to stop to empty the 6oz bottles. I was told that b/c I was empting my breast each time my body thought it was needed so kept making that amount-supply and demand. I think as long as you make sure breast are empty you should be fine. Have you thought about trying to get baby on the breast? It didnt work for us but I know it works for a lot of ppl.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:44 AM   #3
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Re: Exclusively Pumping

For my first 2 weeks, I was producing WAY more than I could ever need... so my freezer is pretty full right now. Now, I am producing about 3 oz per breast at each pump, which is double what I need, so I'm still good. I have tried getting him on the breast a few times and he gives me a really hard time. He likes to throw his head around and scream, which pretty much wears me out before I can even get him to latch. Happy to know that you were able to only pump... I don't know anyone who has done it that way so that's why I was a little concerned!
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:00 PM   #4
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I EP'd for 4 months until I couldn't do it. I pumped every 4 hours around the clock. I never had supply issues. I had an intermittent clogged duct on the same spot, but always got it out within 2 pumping sessions. I would use a thermacare patch on the clogged tender spot in between pumping and put a hot washcloth over my nipple for about 5 minutes prior to pumping, then massage the area while pumping.
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:21 PM   #5
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I've been EP'ing for 9 months now and it's rough. I will go probably for 12 months maybe further but it's definitely been a hard road. It's possible to do though. You can have supply issues if you drop your pumps too quickly but if you keep it up and devote the time needed then you will be fine. If you're just starting out may I suggest visiting babycenter.com's exclusive pumpers group? I have had SO much support from that group and wouldn't have made it this far without the ladies on there.
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:40 PM   #6
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Re: Exclusively Pumping

This really gives me confidence that it can be done! Luckily I work from home, so I can pump all throughout the day. I just joined the babycenter exclusive pumpers group, thanks for the suggestion!
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:46 PM   #7
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I EPd for 5 months and had a huge supply. It's hard, but you can do it! I found that hand expression after pumping could get even more. In fact, when I tapered off, I switched entirely to hand expression.
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chelsea111390
This really gives me confidence that it can be done! Luckily I work from home, so I can pump all throughout the day. I just joined the babycenter exclusive pumpers group, thanks for the suggestion!
Awesome! I'll see ya there

Just read my post. Seemed kind of dismal lol I was pumping at the time so please excuse me. Let me reevaluate: it's hard at first but the longer you do it the easier it gets. Right now I pump 3 times a day and still make more than needed. Make sure to pump 6-8 times a day for the first 12 weeks to establish your supply. At 12 weeks pp your milk production will switch from hormone driven to supply and demand so you want to be sure you programmed them to make enough. YOU CAN DO IT.
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:51 PM   #9
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Re: Exclusively Pumping

If you want to excusivdly pump you can definitely do it!

But you should also know that a lot of babies who are resistant at first will take to it sometime between 4 and 12 weeks? If you would like to breastfeed it is also totally still possible! A lactation consultant could help.

It took my daughter 6 weeks before she could nurse so I exclusively pumped the whole time--this is after nursing my son for 2 years with no problem. I really wanted to get her nursing because it really is sooooo much easier and the idea of having to wash so many bottles forever was killing me. I think if it had been my first I would have been less committed to it--but I knew how easy breastfeeding gets later on and I wanted that, especially with a toddler around!

Anyway, my daughter wasn't really resistant but just couldn't really figure out how to do it. We kept trying and she started getting it. I ended up realizing that a bunch of food issues were weakening her suck to make her less efficient. Once I took dairy of of my diet completely she started nursing (this is not a super common thing, the LC said she had seen it twice). She still had a crappy latch till about 6 months when she just began nursing beautifully.

Anyway, I know a few people who exclusively pumped and totally loved the decision. I just wanted to chime in and say that even though it feels like you have been doing this forever, it is still super early in the game so it isn't written in stone that you can't still nurse. Jack Newman said something like the majority of babies he sees who vehemently refuse the breast in the first couple of weeks will take it later on. Only there aren't so many moms who have kept up their supply to be able to try.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:10 PM   #10
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You can definitely do it long term, and there ard lots of moms doing it!

I ep'd for 4 months, when DS finally started nursing. I was also very strict initially about not waiting more than 4 hrs between pumping and making sure to pump once between 2 and 6 am ( which is important for supply). I had tons of supply and ending up donating the excess to local moms who couldn't bf. after a while I dropped pumps and was down to 3 or 4 a day and none at night, which was more reasonable. I also had problems with plugged ducts intermittently, but taking lecithin helped thin the milk and took care of the problem. I found the ep forum at ivillage to have tons of info and I highly recommend taking a look and joining. They have a beginners guide which is a great resource.

I am so happy I ep'd for the first 4 months. If DS hadn't started BFing I would have continued. But if you do want to bf, don't give up. Take a break on it until your baby is older if it is stressful. That made a huge difference for me. When he was bigger, he seemed to learn how to suck properly. I think it took so long in part because he was a premie.

Good luck!

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