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exclusively pumping breastmilk?
15 replies to this topic
Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:17 PM
Hi - are any of you exclusively pumping breastmilk? Please share your experiences - I just wanted to know whether it is even worth trying or am I crazy?! Thanks!
Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:27 PM
I hope you don't mind me moving your topic jayskette, there is a chat thread for women who are (or have been) exclusively pumping and it is a topic that comes up now and again in the Breast feeding form.
If you are not wishing (for what ever reason) to directly breast feed then expressing breast milk for your baby is the next best thing, not crazy at all. Lots of women have done it (a family member and I expressed for 15 months with an older baby).
There is quite a bit of information "out there" on this method of feeding.
All the best.
Link to Chat thread re exclusive pumping, it hasn't been active since last year.
other online resources-
Edited by lucky 2, 16 November 2012 - 09:51 PM.
Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:29 PM
I exclusively expressed for the first few weeks of DS's life - it was pretty hard but doable. I had a very good pump - I hired the Medela symphony which definitely handles the many sessions a day better than even the Medela Swing that I have. I had good supply and still had to express every 3 hours to get what DS needed each day plus extra to 'bank' some. Every session took 30 mins. Plus then having to actually feed him 8 times a day. That's what was so intense, the feeling that every meal was a double up of time and energy and effort. Plus the time to clean and steralise all the equipment - bottles, teats, lids, pump parts. I hope I'm not putting you off, I just wasn't prepared for how much was involved.
Good luck, I would give it a go and see how it works for you - it can definitely be done!
Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:35 PM
I did it for 6 months for DD2 (third baby). I use the medela symphony. It was tough with a 4 and 2 year old as well. I didn't start enjoying my baby until I stopped pumping. It was very draining but I was also struggling mentally with being unable to breastfeed her like I did the first two. I would do it all over again though.
Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:37 PM
I expressed exclusively for 6 months due to a few reasons which led to the recommendation I express instead. It is easy when there is only 1 baby, very difficult when there is a toddler thrown in the mix later.
It was hard at first, especially the night expressing but after a while you get used to it. It can get a bit uncomfortable if you're out and about and have no place where you can express but no major dramas if you skip once (at least for me).
I used the Medela swing which was pretty good. Only thing is I found the Medela bags to be really expensive and ended up using the ones from Swisspears.
Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:40 PM
I did it for differing amounts of time for 2 of my 3 kids (the first and third) - 3 weeks for the first and 3 months for the third, after breastfeeding difficulties. It wasn't ideal, and it was hard work and time consuming, but for me it was the second best option after breastfeeding didn't work, I'm happy the babies got what breastmilk they could.
The seond time I didn't have an electric pump, I was using a handheld Avent pump, which was a bit silly of me, I would have made life easier for myself if I'd spent the money on hiring a decent pump. So definitely use an electric pump if at all possible.
Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:47 PM
Hi OP. I've been exclusively pumping for DS since he was 3 months old and he will be nine months old on Monday. I was expressing and trying to breasfeed him early on, but breastfeeding didn't work for us so at three months I switched to fulltime pumping, and everyone has been a lot happier since! I wish I had actually made the decision to fulltime earlier, but struggled to find information about it.
At first, as I was increasing my supply, he had one bottle of formula but by about four months I was expressing eight feeds a day for him. I now only express in the morning and night for his four feeds a day and it takes about 20 minutes each time I express (more if I;m stressed and tired!).
Admittedly, it is tough and time consuming and can be really annoying, but it eventually it just becomes part of your life and you don't even think twice about sitting down to it. When/if we have another bub, I would definitely invest in a double-pump to cut down time. A lot of people comment that they don't know how I do it, but in the end to me it's just like changing his nappy or giving a bath - just part of the daily routine.
You are definitely not crazy for doing it/considering it. I was hoping to 'wean' at six months but have just kept on going. I am now planning on having him on formula by christmas by which stage he'll be 10 months.
I would as PP suggested, give it a go... and maybe invest in some good equipment. I've been using the medela swing. But don't feel bad if you think it's all too much, it is very time consuming especially at the start.
Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:56 PM
Hi, I tried this after issues with breastfeeding.
My one piece of advice is to try hiring one of the heavy-duty pumps from a chemist - I tried quite a few different pumps and the Medela Symphony worked best.
It is a lot of work but it is worth trying.
Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:14 AM
I use the Medela pump in style.
I am contemplating throwing in the towel.
Dh wants me to exclusively pump as I have low supply and bubs not very efficient at building my supply due to using bottle from the start.
From next tues on I will be nanny-less, wondering how to cope with pumping 8 times a day, plus feeding bb, plus attending to bub, plus cleaning sterilising equipment, plus work from home PT job, plus a 7yo to take care of.
How did the rest of you in similar situation manage?
Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:55 AM
I'm doing this ATM but due to my hormones are having issues with low supply so my baby has a couple of bottles a day of formula.
I have just started taking Motilium and some herbal tablets to increase my supply.
I have a pump on loan from my local maternity ward. It's a double pump which is great and much less time consuming. I pump every 3 hours for about 20 mins each side. I'm usually pumping whilst my Husband is feeding the baby. My local midwife toldme to only pump twice overnight unles I am already awake.
I do know that the local lactation nurse can lend out breast pumps from the ABA that are hospital grade. It's about $20 a week to hire.
Good luck with the pumping.
Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:02 AM
I am 17 months (today!) into my exclusive expressing journey My DD was unable to breastfeed due to a cleft lip and palate. EEing is hard, hard work. But for me it was worth it. There is a good support group on FB if you search Exclusive Expressers Australia
Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:40 AM
I am currently expressing full time. I have been expressing since about 2 weeks. I was prepared and brought a medela pump in style double breast pump. And it is definatly worth the investment!
To begin with I was expressing every 3 hours for 15 minutes and I was only getting a small amount, but it was enough to keep bubs going but I had none left over. The Kelly mum website had heaps of great info I definatly recommend you read all the articles as there are a lot of great tips.
I had the MCHN tell me to express once every 4 hours, but she was not very supportive of expressing. Then after reading the Kelly mum website somewhere it said to build a good supply express every 2 hours for the first 12 weeks. So I started doing this but by about 5 weeks I was back to 3 hourly for 15 minutes and I had plenty of milk and had started a freezer supply. The Kelly mum website also said that MCHN's and GP's often say every 4 hours is enough but then go on to say full time expressing doesn't normally work and it is because you have given your self enough pumping time to build supply.
I have a toddler which makes it hard but I had someone help me full time for 6 weeks. Without the help I am not sure if it would have been possible to get a good supply established.
I don't think you are crazy. If you want to do it then give it a try. It is now just part if my daily habits. People say it is time consuming and it is, but so is breastfeeding. And that it can be a pain washing and sterilising And it is! But you have to do the same with formula bottles.
But my main advise is but or hire a good pump! And dont be put off if you only have a small amount if milk to begin with.
Edited by MakesMeHappy, 06 December 2012 - 07:38 PM.
Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:59 AM
I exclusively expressed for 11 months after developing breast abscesses due to DS's upper lip tie (undiagnosed at the time).
My rule of thumb is for every hour a bfing Mum spends getting milk into her baby, expect it to take you two. I had a great supply so it was totally doable for me, although a complete PITA. Try discreetly pumping in public!
I had a medela swing which was fab, although I would upgrade to a double pump if I ever have to fulltime express again.
At first, you have to pump at least 8 times a day with preferably at least one early morning pump, when your milk production is highest. You will find that you may be able to drop pumps as your supply establishes. I eventually could fully meet my son's needs with 4 pumps a day, although once I got pregnant again my supply dropped slightly.
There are many wonderful supportive FB sites for fulltime pumpers. My experience was that you will not recieve help or support from LCs if you take this path. Good luck.
Posted 17 November 2012 - 12:12 PM
I expressed for 3 months but due to several factors moved onto FF after that.
As others have suggested, you are not crazy, if oyur supply is good it can be a very effective method of feeding bubs, I have friends who have done it for a year or so.
My only advice, hire the double electric pump from your hospital, Medula, you can't buy them I don't think. I used a Medula swing also which was fine but that was toward the end of my expressing journey & my supply was low.
MY LC was VERY supportive (Breastfeeding Assoc)of this path as she knew we had tried everything else, shop around & fine one you like & who gets you if you are seeking their support & advice.
It can be time consuming so be prepared to be a bit housebound initially until your supply is regular & you fine your feet.
Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:40 PM
It falls within the role of a LC to provide women with education and support to exclusively express if this is how that woman wants to or needs to feed her baby.
Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:22 PM
I exclusively expressed for my DS1 for 16 months and again for my DS2 for 15 months. I'm lucky enough to have a good supply and never needed to use formula for my babies.
I'm now exclusively expressing again! My DS3 is 4 weeks old and I'm working with two LC's hoping I can finally breastfeed and be rid of the pump!
Expressing for me isn't to bad because I have a good supply and can express a bottle of milk in under 10 minutes. I have never had a problem with low supply but I don't let it drop because It's easier to maintain a supply than to build it up.
I have never had a problem with mastitis or blocked ducts (only in the early days when baby was still breastfeeding).
It's worth giving it a go but if it doesn't work out formula is not the end of the world.
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