Just Starting Exclusively Pumping, Help Please!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-26-2013
Just Starting Exclusively Pumping, Help Please!
Wed, 06-26-2013 - 8:22pm
Hello ladies! First off this board is so wonderful. I didn't think there were many mommies out there going through this as well. After my fifth case of mastitis and yeast infections following antibiotics, along with inverted nipples I started thinking of alternative ways to feed my sweet baby. Bless her heart she really tried to nurse but it is just physically impossible for us I guess. She is eight weeks old now and I will be pumping exclusively so that we can be happy together and not starting and ending our feedings with tears. I am getting enough for her feedings right now but I will be pumping at least every two and a half hours. Is that enough to get ahead of her feedings? Also how do I know if she's had enough or if I need to warm another bottle? I know this is the best route for us physically and emotionally but right now it does seem daunting. Oh and is there a way to prevent mastitis exclusively pumping beyond the givens (don't skip pumpings, massage breasted, avoid engorgement, etc)? Thank you for your advice! We appreciate it!
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-31-2013
Fri, 06-28-2013 - 11:31pm

My daughter is also 8 soon to be 9 weeks and BF got us out of the NICU but didn't allow her to gain weight so I started pumping.  Well really I was pumping from the first day.  The more you pump the more you should start to get.  I pumped every 2 hours for the first week and now pump every 2-3 hours.  I fill my bottles with 3-3.5 ounces.  I watch for hunger cues if she is smacking her lips a few minutes after she finished the first bottle.  Our routine is bottle chill diaper, play, sleep.  If she is still fussy, routing, or eating her hands and crying I give her another .5 -1 ounce.  Sometimes I find that she will want a snack before going back to sleep-right now I give her another ounce.  We had a problem putting on weight so our doctor says we should wake her every 3 hours to eat.  If she takes more than 3 ounces I let her sleep longer.  

I also worry about mastitis once a day I put a heating pad on my breast, I massage and to be honest the hands free bra seems to affect my breast more than help my sanity.  Putting baby to breast even for a few minutes can help drain your breast too but today my little one screamed at the breast - so that didn't work for us.   Also I massage my breast in the shower-I hate to do it because I feel that I am wasting the milk - but it does help to unclog a duck.  Also the nurses at my OB told me to take ibprohen and put ice on my breast if I am in pain and think I might be getting mastitis-this helped the other day.  Also if we get mastitis then we take drugs and it gets better right- that's what I remind myself of.  I also drink tons of water and try to nap when she naps.  Sometimes I extra pump the breast that I think has a clog.

Hope my sharing what works for us helps.  Also the more I talk to friends the more people I learn that pumped.  I think some doctor needs to write a book.

Best of luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2013
Wed, 07-10-2013 - 1:12am
I've been exclusively pumping for 2 months now. My baby is now almost 4 months old. She nursed for the first 7 weeks, developed nipple confusion and I was never able to get her back to the breast. It is VERY time consuming and sometimes overwhelming to be a pumper, also a very lonely experience but I'm so glad I can give her the best I can. She is thriving. I pump every 2-3 hrs and now I let myself go 4-5hrs in the middle of the night to match her sleeping. That will save you. If you have good supply pump once late 10-11ish then again sometime between 1-5am when you are making the most prolactin as well as the most fat rich milk. I always use the milk from the previous pumping session to feed her. OOOH please be aware when freezing milk some women make excess lipase which breaks down fat in the milk. When you thaw it it tastes rancid like metallic soap. PLEASE freeze one and a few days later thaw it and taste it before building up a supply. I have 300bags that that happened to before I found out about it. GRR. Good luck and yay for moms who choose to pump.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-13-2013
Good job PinkWinx and Jamersanne for not quitting. I know the commitment it takes....I'm on 6 months of exclusively pumping and it is exhausting. One trick for the night is to not wash your pump parts immediately. Instead put the flange etc. immediately in the fridge in a ziplock bag and after you use it again in the morning, wash it then....This has been huge for me! Happy pumping!