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slightly confused about pumping

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm hoping I can get multiple opinions on this as it *seems* like one of those "it depends" kind of questions. I could swear that I've read from other mom's that they started pumping soon after the birth of their child in order to start building up a stash. But now I'm hearing conflicting information that that would (could?) make me produce LESS milk?!

I would think as long as I'm feeding my baby enough, that pumping would just cause my body to keep thinking it needed to produce at that level? Or am I confused about the whole thing? This is my first. I do have "the womanly art of breastfeeding", but I haven't finished reading it yet, in fact now I cant really remember what I read! I'm planning/expecting to BF for the first year (we'll see after that), but I really want DP to be able to bottle feed as well, so I'm hoping I can establish feeding without too much trouble and then introduce the bottle for at least 1 feeding a night. Plus I go back to work at 8 weeks
post #2 of 14
Your question is a great one and it makes a lot of sense. if you encourage your newborn to latch on early and often you will produce a bountiful milk supply. The healthy suckle of a newborn is the optimal way to stimulate an ample milk supply. Pumps are useful if the newborn doesn't have a strong suck instinct due to prematurity or otherwise health impaired. if you want to have a back up supply of pumped milk a good time to start pumping is after your supply is already established, around two weeks post partum. and pump either early morning or late afternoon. early am you usually have an overload of milk and late afternoon you usually have a dip in production.
post #3 of 14
Do not be discouraged if you only pump a really small amount after a feeding.

If dp does give lo a bottle, remember you must pump for that amount a time baby would normaly feed, having dp give a bottle at night does not get you extra sleep and baby doesn't usually go back to sleep as readily with a bottle. If you feed from your stash and miss feedings, your supply will drop. The pump is really designed to be used when baby is not there to feed directly. When you go back to work, you will need to pump as often as baby would normally feed (every 2-3 hrs).

Baby will almost always be able to get more out than any pump. Giving a bottle too early can cause nipple confussion and make bf more of a struggle. Wait to give bottle until you go back to work (or just about to go back). Caregivers are notorious for over feeding when using bottles.
post #4 of 14
edited. I didnt really answer your question.
post #5 of 14
If you were feeding your baby exclusively at the breast AND pumping, your body would produce more, not less. If you were replacing a feeding with a pumping session instead, yes, you could produce less.

As was already mentioned, in order to keep your supply up, you need to pump for every missed feeding. So if your baby is waking at night for a feeding and your husband is feeding the baby a bottle of EBM, you would need to wake around the same time and pump to 'make up' for that feeding. It is also important to night nurse when your baby is small in order to keep your supply going.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice ladies! I don't mind pumping whlie DP is feeding the baby. I just thought it would be a little extra bonding time for them. I'm concerned about DP and baby bonding for a few reasons. Also, at some point this fall he will start traveling again, having less time with baby

KittyDanger - I found your detailed notes about your experience really helpful! I hope you might put the info back
post #7 of 14
I think i waited a couple weeks to pump. At that time the LC concluded that he wasn't emptying me. So I would nurse...then pump. Then whatever I pumped from the time before I would offer to him. So for quite some time I had to do this. My body did great & I returned to work after 10 weeks. I had no problem w/ supplying enough milk. I think my body did great w/ the pump-everyone who saw our freezer was blown away. If baby feeds at 4 or 5am and you wake up at 6 or 7 u could always try to pump then to get an extra session in. I did something similiar to that b/c he would feed and a few hrs later still be asleep but I would be engorged. Good luck!!!
post #8 of 14
Originally Posted by SubliminalDarkness View Post
If you were feeding your baby exclusively at the breast AND pumping, your body would produce more, not less. If you were replacing a feeding with a pumping session instead, yes, you could produce less.
This. Exclusively pumping *could* make you produce less milk. Apparently no pump is as efficient as a baby. The rentable (Lactina?) hospital grade-ones are supposedly close. I've got an older Pump In Style (PIS) and it's working well enough. I think your DH can bond with baby in plenty of ways besides feeding - but what worked for me was to exclusively BF for 3-4 weeks and then have DH give 2 bottles per week after that. One bottle sometime on the weekend and one on a weeknight. I fit in pumping whenever "needed" (ie I felt engorged). I went to work at 12 weeks and will send bottles to daycare. DH is taking 8 weeks off now, so he's doing the feeding.
post #9 of 14
I just wanted to chime in with 'bottles do not a papa make!'. Bath time, rocking the baby to sleep, diapering-- all huge confidence booster for a new daddy.

I also worried a lot that DH would not bond with the baby-- he had never held a baby, rocked a baby or even had any desire to be with in drooling distance of a baby before DS was born.

After I had a difficult delivery, DH was left with the bulk of the childcare. We had trouble nursing, so we didn't want to give DS bottles. To my surprise, DH did the swaddling, diaper changes, and within weeks was posting picture on line of my DS's poop (that's my boy!). We fought over who would get to hold the sponge while giving him a bath. And my sweetest memories are of spooning with my DH and nursing DS, while DH held his tiny hand.

I'm not saying pumping and feeding are a bad thing-- but I'd hate for anyone to have the impression that nursing hurts a father-baby bond.
post #10 of 14
I pumped very early - around 3 or 4 days PP - when my milk came in, as I was so very engorged, my nipples were flat and baby couldn't latch. pumped releived the pressure and drew out my nipples, making it possible for baby to latch. I continued to pump for maybe 1/2 his feedings until I went back to work at 7 weeks PP. Now he only gets bottles when I am at work. We have had no issues with nipple confusion, but if I felt I had a choice, we probably wouldn't have introduced the bottle so early (it was around week two. before that, we used a dropper to get him enough milk to calm down so he could latch). FWIW he also got a pacifier day 2 in the hospital.

Once your LO is born, you will figure out what works for you. and you will find your DH has plenty of other ways to bond with baby other than feeding him!
post #11 of 14
I started pumping immediately. My son was in the NICU for 10 days for "observation" and he wouldn't take the formula. Then I had to go back to college when my son was only 3 weeks old. I would feed on one side in the morning and pump the other. Nurse at dinner. Nurse and pump at bedtime. You will figure out what works for you.

Pumping and feeding at same time worked out really well for me though. That kept me current on what I was using the next day, build up a stash and was pretty time efficient.
post #12 of 14
If the only concern is bonding, feeding really isn't the only or the best way to bond, but if you want a break or need/want to get your baby used to a bottle for whatever reason, that's a much better reason for it IMO. Also, regarding Dads & bonding, don't be discouraged if Dad doesn't bond with the tiny newborn right away. For some Dads (and Moms too) it is hard to bond with a baby that can't really do anything. My DH was always very protective of our DD, but he is much, much more bonded to our DD now that she can interact and play some and the same is true for me too.
post #13 of 14
I went back to work when my daughter was 12 weeks old, and started pumping regularly when she was 6 weeks.

At that point, she was eating every 2-2.5 hours, and I would pump an hour after I fed her, twice a day, so I didn't pump after every feeding. It didn't affect my supply at all, since I was still nursing her whenever she needed, and was essentially pumping my breasts for two "extra" feeding sessions.

When I went back to work, I added another pumping session after she went to bed and before I did.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for the additional advice and experiences Mamas! These help me remember too that everyone has different experiences and I shouldn't stress too much if I can't follow "the plan". I'm going to reread all of this once I get back from the hospital. If I ever get to actually go to the hospital that is, this waiting feels like forever
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