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I plan on exclusively pumping, can someone tell me a few things about it?

I want to know things like how often you have to pump in the beginning to get your supply up, what to do with the extra breast milk as far as refrigerating or freezing and how to go about it. How to freeze and unthaw the milk. Just any need to no things about it. Thanks so much.

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Asked by Anonymous at 12:38 AM on Jan. 22, 2010 in Pregnancy

Answers (10)
  • I supplemented with formula from the beginning, and only pumped my breast milk. I had a very low supply regardless of many attempts to raise it. Not only that, but my son was in the NICU and wouldn't latch on to my breast due to the fact that they immediately gave him bottles, and I hardly ever got any milk in. If you can, I would definitely breastfeed normally. I tried for months, worked with many lactation consultants, and eventually had to give up when my supply just diminished. However...if you're going to pump, get a good, electric pump. A good on will cost you at least about $400. Also, get a double pump. It is very time consuming, and sometimes it's hard to do between feedings when you're trying to take care of the baby. I would pump every 2-3 hours for about 30-40 minutes. It wasn't easy. I would google storage recommendations for breast milk. There are websites that go into better detail than I can on here. Good luck!

    Answer by StefanieN84 at 12:50 AM on Jan. 22, 2010

  • By exclusively pumping, does this mean you have no intentions of nursing at all? That would determine the frequency of your expressing. I combined nursing with pumping. I fed on demand, which was about every 2-2 1/2 hours. I would initiate pumping on the non-nursing side so that only some of the hind milk was in it before switching sides. The nursing side would thus contain "pure" hind milk which I would add to the freshly pumped milk. I would pour this milk into a plastic bottle liner, date, seal and freeze. When frozen solid, I'd run it under lukewarm water from the faucet, to thaw. That took less than 5 minutes. I'd imagine if you want to increase your production, you'd have to pump every hour on the hour.


    Answer by Ewadun at 12:51 AM on Jan. 22, 2010

  • The first thing is you need to get a good pump. I used the Purely Yours double pump
    My milk came in right away. I would have to pump about every 2 hours in the beginning. You will be able to tell when you need to pump. You will feel engorged. I would freeze my extra milk in breastmilk freezer bags that you can get at your local target or walmart or babies r us. I used the Gerber seal and go. When using Frozen milk you have to let it thaw at room temp or in warm water, NOT hot and you have to use it the same day you thaw it. It will last in the freezer for about 3 months. I also recommend getting a hand pump, they may have them at teh hospital you deliver at, if they do ask for one. These come in very handy if you get a blocked milk duct. I would use mine in the shower while massaging my breast and the blockage would go away.

    Answer by melliesmom1207 at 12:55 AM on Jan. 22, 2010

  • Buy "Everything to Know about Breastfeeding" there is a whole chapter on pumping.

    1. You need a hospital grade pump (don't let other ppl. tell you non hospital grade worked great for them. It's a rare thing when a non hospital grade will help you exclusively pump).

    2. My DD was in the NICU for her first 10days, I remembered that my son BFed about every 2hrs so I pumped every 2hrs. I started to get about 9oz from my right breast & 7-8 oz from my left at every pump about every 2 to 4 hours in the 2nd week. You shouldn't expect my results though.

    3. Freezer bags to me were better then the plastic bottles (they can crack after a while) & you can either let the milk defrost on it's own in room temp or boil water & put the bag of frozen milk in there.

    I used the Playtex Original Nurser Drop Ins bottles & the milk storage baggies from the BM worked great with that bottle. I just defrosted, dropped in the bag & ....

    Answer by Happ-eToBme at 12:56 AM on Jan. 22, 2010

  • rolled the top of the bag over the top of the bottle, placed the lid on & that was that.


    Answer by Happ-eToBme at 12:57 AM on Jan. 22, 2010

  • I used the Medela Pump in Style

    There's also something called Mother's Tea which helps with milk production & I love lactation cookies I have made them for all my pumping friends to help with their lactation. It's much easier to lactate if your breastfeeding them when your strictly pumping because moms start off with the best intentions then get tired & lazy & eventually start to suplemant then forget it the baby is 2months old & there's no more breast milk BUT it's not "not doible" you can do it. You just have to not listen to nay sayers & be disciplined in pumping. Honestly being a mom who has done both (since my DD wa sin the NICU for 10days. I have to say breastfeeding is SO much easier.

    Answer by Happ-eToBme at 1:02 AM on Jan. 22, 2010

  • A non hospital grade pump DID work for me!! I rented the Medela pump from the hospital with baby #1 but with baby #2 I borrowed my friends Medela Swing just to see how it worked and it worked as good as the hospital Medela IMO. However, I have a GREAT milk supply so maybe it wouldnt be as good for someone who didnt.

    I exclusively pumped with baby #1 and was very successful at it. To keep my milk supply up, I pumped after each one of his feedings. Milk supply is typically based on the supply & demand theory. The more often you pump, the more often your body will produce. You only need to produce as much as your baby is eating so I would pump whenever he ate. I produced WAY more than he needed which was fine with me.

    I knew I was going back to work when he was 12 weeks so I would freeze almost all of the milk but I would leave enough in the fridge for his next feeding (2 oz at the beginning all the way up to 8 oz)

    Answer by Jaydin_Makenna at 1:14 AM on Jan. 22, 2010

  • As for thawing it out... I would put hot water in a coffee cup and place the frozen bag of milk in the cup. I would let it sit for about 5 minutes and then replace the water with hot water again for another 5 minutes. Sometimes i would have to repeat that again but usually 10 minutes was enough.

    Although I agree with another poster that breastfeeding is easier (I nursed baby #2) DONT let any mother make you feel quilty for pumping. I do NOT believe that breast is best, I believe that breast MILK is best! So it, IMO, does not matter how your baby gets the milk, as long as he/she drinks it:)

    Good luck:) Pumping takes alot of dedication but it is worth it to give your baby the nutrients that he/she deserves. Another poster mentioned Mother's Milk... I havent needed to use it but it did not work for any of my friends however fenergeek (sp?) did, so I would recommend that if you have an issue w/ your supply

    Answer by Jaydin_Makenna at 1:18 AM on Jan. 22, 2010

  • Mother's milk has fenugreek that's what "makes it work" & it doesn't always work right away for some mome they will drink the tea a few times (3-4 times) and suddenly they have more milk other moms need to go through 2 to 3 boxes of the tea or more. I agree it's a supply and demand thing & that breastmilk is best no matter if it comes from a breast or bottle.

    But what I was saying is that it's just easier to BF then to pump, it's just less work, less steps although I would do it again if that was all I could do to provide my child with BM.

    Also, as you freeze you should use the older milk first & newest milk last. The baggies have places where you can write the day (even time) on them to better help you. I would recomend laying the baggies flat in the freezer only becomes when they freeze they will be less bulky.

    Here's info on how long you can store at what temps, etc...

    Answer by Happ-eToBme at 2:02 AM on Jan. 22, 2010

  • Breastfeeding is much less work and hassle; even less if you co-sleep.

    This is what worked for me, when I had supply issues:

    Nurse frequently
    Drink lots of water, at least 6 oz every time you nurse and every time you pump
    Have lots of skin-to-skin contact with your baby
    Take brewers yeast tabs
    Look at pictures of your baby while you pump
    Wait at least an hour after nursing to pump.

    Answer by rkoloms at 6:29 AM on Jan. 22, 2010

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