Why did you decide to exclusively pump?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Why did you decide to exclusively pump?
Thu, 04-24-2003 - 1:26am
Just thought it would be nice to share.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Thu, 06-26-2003 - 10:57am

With my DD (4.5 yrs ago) I was a true EP-er. DD had poor appetite, fussy and I my let dows were so strong, she got overwhelmed and choked every time she tried to feed (she latched just fine tho). We both ended up crying until I tried EP-ing -- not knowing that it was a viable option ... well ... then I EP-ed until she was 1 yr old, she was solely on BM almost until 8mo, and has always been very healthy - no major sicknesses yet.

With my DS (now 2.5mo old) I was sure lucky -- DS seemed to be an aggresive feeder and latched on and fed really well. I exclusively breastfed him until he was 2 mo. Like last time I do want to return back to work when baby gets 3 mo so I started transitioning him to bottles of BM. Guess what, soon the baby figured out it is lot less work sucking milk from a bottle than BBs and prefers bottle for serious feedings now. Takes on BB only for comfort, and for night time feedings (thank goodness I dont have to fix bottles in the middle of the night this time yet!). I am happy with the setup -- gives me lot more freedom during the day, also EPing ensures that I am producing enough and he is eating enough (now that he can focus his eyes, he gets really distracted while on breast and does not eat very well). He is ready and I am ready to start FT work starting in another 10 days :-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Thu, 06-05-2003 - 5:49pm
Well, I think this will be long, so please bear with me:) DS#1 bf fine for 1 year, so when ds#2 came along I figured, no problem! Well, not so. By 2 mos he had only gained 7oz from birth and was looking really scrawny(once I actually opened my eyes and 'saw' him). I went to an LC who said he had a weak suck and therefore my supply was diminished so....I tried bf'ing, pumping and then bottle and would have to turn around and do it all over again, I went on Reglan as well. I did this for a month. Nothing fixed his latch/suck and I was horribly depressed by then and still had a 19mo old to take care of as well..... so I gave up and fed formula for the rest of his first year. Then ds#3 came along and I was very paranoid about his eating, but he did fine- at 2 weeks he had regained to his birthweight. But, by 3 weeks he had lost 1/2 pound. So I started pumping after feedings to increase my supply and saw an LC who is a pediatrician. She said that everything should be fine, just to give it time, he also had a weak suck. Well, a week later he had lost more weight, so I tried an SNS, which is very frustrating. He didn't suck any better with the extra milk coming so I tossed that. I woke up one morning when he turned 4weeks old and he had been nursing 3-4 times that night but my breasts were rock hard so I knew he wasn't getting anything. I got a bottle, my mom gave it to him while I pumped. I got 7oz total out at that time- the most I had ever gotten. It was really wierd, at that moment I decided that I would just pump and not worry about the bf'ing anymore and I felt at peace. So my supply has dramatically increased since the first day(10oz) to around 25-28oz/day(wish it were more)! I am much happier with this situation and now I get the best of both worlds. I still miss the ease of bf'ing that I had the first time but I'm just happy that the majority of his feedings are MM. I'm so glad I found this board, it's amazing to me how many other EP'ers there are out there, didn't know it could be done. Thanks for listening.


EP'ing for Yuri 3/3/03

~~~~~Robin and Yuri 1 year~~~~~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 6:36pm
After my first ds got severely ill and we switched formula's so many times I looked into re-lactating and found this board. It ended up being some mystery virus and he eventually regained all the weight he had lost while sick. After spending the time researching the values of BM in the first weeks of life, I decided that with my next child I would try to EP. Breastfeeding just didn't seem like "me", even though I'm not an overly modest person...LOL. Found out in Feb 02 that I was pg, and a friend of mine who was done having kids and moving to FL sold me her PIS for $75. That pg ended up in miscarriage. However, God had plans for me and I found out I was pg 3 weeks later. That pg was successful and my ds#2 Reide is the result. I didn't even try to bf in the hospital, I was only there 24 hours and formula fed while we were there. As soon as I got home I started pumping every 3 hours during the day. I didn't pump at night as I need my *beauty sleep* and am not a pleasant person when woken up in the middle of the night, and dh almost always did the middle of the night feedings with both our sons. At my peak of pumping I was yeilding about 40-50oz EBM per day. Reide is now 6 months old, and I'm weaning. I'm down to 1 pump per day, which yeilds about 8-12oz, and using frozen EBM and supplementing with formula.

An interesting side note...

My ds #1 who was exclusively formula fed has battled ear infections since he was an infant, and has probably had 12-15 in his 2.5year life span.

My ds #2 who is primarily EBM fed has not had a single ear infection yet!!!

~Mel (reidenreillysmama) Long Term Goal 6mos...I made it, and am proudly hangin' up my horns!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Sun, 06-01-2003 - 11:08am
My DS was born 9 weeks premature- induced due to pre-eclampsia. So, I started eping right from the start. I did try to bf- spent 2 weeks in the hospital with him but he was still so little and tired that he wasn't able to take a full feed every time. Eventually we introduced the bottle to feed ebm in order to get him home sooner ( the longer they stay in the hospital the more chance they'll get sick!).

Once we got home we started the cycle of bfing, bottle, pumping. I was told to wake him every 3 hours to feed, so I was maybe getting 1- 1 1/2 hours in between his feedings. He began to start screaming everytime I tried to bf, and this led to a horribly stressful experience! At this point I decided to ep and work on bfing occasionally.

I did finally get my DS to latch without the use of the nipple shield we had been using, but then sore nipples (cause still unknown) kept me from bfing all the time. It was a catch-22: I think the pump causes it, but he wasn't bfing well enough to stop pumping!

Now, he bf occasionally- he does seem to enjoy it, but only for comfort and entertainment! I certainly would not choose to ep again if I have the choice, but it is an option that I am thankful for and one that women need to know about.

Stephanie and Graeme (born at 31 weeks 12-16-02)

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-22-2003
Thu, 05-29-2003 - 5:39pm
I cried when I found out about this message board - didn't know there were so many others EPing as well! I tried BFing and spent 5 days in hospital with every nurse and LC taking turns trying to get Annabel to latch on. I've never had so many different people manhandling my 'breast tissue'. I was so glad to get home after that ordeal! Annabel was little - 6lb 3oz - and my nipples were quite flat and she just never managed to do it for longer than a few seconds at a time. So cup fed formula until day 4 when offered bottle. I pumped every feed but took till 6 weeks before had enough milk to cut out all formula, meanwhile I was still offering my breast and seeing a LC each week. Now I'm just EPing and quite happy with that - certainly offers more flexibility, although have been having supply problems just in last couple of weeks.

Felicity and Annabel (4 months)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 4:19am
Hi there.

I pump because I do not seem to be able to BF sucessfully. The first time (6 years ago) I tried for 10 days but stopped because of latching problems, reflux, and painful nipples (I have inverted nipples). I was devastated not to be able to BF (especially in NZ where the rates of BFing are very high, and I think it contributed to my postnatal depression.

The next time I tried again for 11 days with more support and knowledge. There were no latching or reflux problems but in the end the pain became too much and I stopped again - but continued to pump because my maternity nurse told me she once had a client who had done it for 8 weeks for twins. A few weeks later I found this board and haven't looked back since!

Victoria and Sophia (5 and a half months)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 04-26-2003 - 11:41am
I exclusively bf'd my dd until she was 4 months old and then decided to give her a bottle now and then so dh and others could feed her now and again. Well she absolutely loved the bottle. While many babies won't take a bottle from their mommies my dd did immediately and there was no turning back. Bfing was actually never what I had hoped for. DD was always very fussy at the breast and would literally snack all day long. I was a feeding machine and it seemed I was never doing anything except but bfing. The first bottle dd drank 6 ounces in 15 minutes and didn't drink again for 3 hours. I couldn't believe it she seemed more satisfied than she ever had following a drink from the breast. Well needless to say, dd decided that bottles were way better for her and by week 2 of bottle feeding she completely rejected the breast and will no longer bf even though I offer her it a few times a week - even in the middle of the night. DD will be 7 months on the 27th and eping is going well for us although I do wish she would nurse so that I could go back and forth - oh well.

Margaret and Olivia

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosting by Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 04-26-2003 - 2:29am
When I *originally* decided to pump, it was because I had never pictured myself bf and I thought this was a compromise I was willing to make to do what's best for Connor. The *second* time I decided to pump, it was because I actually did attempt to bf at the hospital, and by the third day I couldn't stand the pain anymore. The LC stuck her finger in Connor's mouth and said, "OMG he's a baracuda! I think if you put his lips up to the wall he'd stick there!"

Susan and Connor (15 months)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Fri, 04-25-2003 - 4:01pm
I had purchased a pump when I was pregnant for the occasional bottle when I left baby with my hubby to have some time out on my own. She took the bottle so easily, and breastfeeding was not going as well as I had hoped. I have an older daughter who is 2 1/2 and I felt that my breastfeeding the baby was taking time away from her. As I pumped more bottles my days got easier and hubby was able to help with the feedings as well. This way, we still get the benefits of breastmilk, with the flexibility of a bottle and we do not need to use formula all of the time.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 04-25-2003 - 3:10pm
Thanks so much for everyone sharing! Keep the stories coming as I think mother's really need to get info out there to prepare others. I am exlusively pumping for dd#2, Brenna Lynn who is 5 mos on the 2nd. I was lucky in that I found this board before conceiving #2 and found great info ahead of time. With dd#1 she was 9 lbs 6 oz, born by cs, and very drowsy. She fell asleep at the breast, lost 10% of her birth weight by day 2, and the hospital had me supplement and pump. When I got home she had trouble latching on one breast due to a flat nipple. My dr had me see a breastfeeding Dr (yes we have one!) and she told me to use a nipple shield. My bm came in overnight as I forgot to pump due to lack of sleep. I became engorged and my breasts felt like they were ready to explode. I had to go on medication for mastitas and it was a real mess. I was bfg, pumping, cleaning bottles, pumps, and sleeping 30 mins in between! I was in tears all the time. By 3 weeks I decided to give up bf and use formula. Withing 3 days my dd had reflux and was in the hospital overnight. We put her on a special formula and she was on that until about 14 mos. So when I became pregnant with #2 I read about exclusively pumping and although I wanted to try bfg again, I knew I had that as a back up. With dd#2 she was again large, and HUNGRY, not tired. I had a c-section, dh went home with dd#2, I delivered in the morning, by 7 pm they had the cathedar out, the intervenous out, and had me looking after my baby! She was so hungry and I didn't have anything to feed her, so I latched her on alright, but she was on my breasts every 30 mins thru the night. Just what you need after major surgery. It wasn't until the next afternoon that the Ped came in and told the nurses to let me supplement and pump so milk would come in. It did come in, but dd gaged on the bm and especially when using a nipple shield. By the 3rd week I gave up bm and just went to pumping. I knew what she was getting, I wansn't in tears, and dh could feed her. It all worked out and she is one healthly little baby (16 lbs)! Hope more of the expecting mothers, visit the board to help them prepare. I am sure glad I did. I guess I would tell them all to ensure they have a good pump and use it right away to ensure they don't get engorged. That is I believe the most important thing. Thanks for reading my story! Patricia, and Brenna Lynn (4 mos)