or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Breastfeeding › When and Why PUMPING
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

When and Why PUMPING

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi! I am a stay at home mom and I am exclusively breastfeeding my 12 week old baby. I have not pumped yet. Some people are telling me to start pumping because If i do not introduce a bottle to my son, he will refuse it later... if I ever want to feed him breast milk with a bottle. Has anyone experienced this? When and Why do you recommend that I pump? Thanks!

post #2 of 21

I've been a SAHM with this baby, and I did introduce a bottle. he has had two practice bottles, one when I wanted to get pedicures with a friend, and one when DF and I went on our anniversary date. grand total of 4 bottles, but none were necessary (didn't have to get pedicures, could have taken him with me on our date, the other two were practice while I was home). 

post #3 of 21

Eh. It isn't such a big deal. I have lots of friends who SAHM with babies that didn't take bottles. It wasn't a huge deal for them. They didn't have regular childcare and pumping was a PIA. As a mom who seriously has pumped a gazillion bottles wft if I have another and sahm I probably won't even bother. It was mostly DH with the kid on the weekend while mom ran to the store or a haircut or lunch with friends. If there was an issue they would bring the baby to mom.  They were mostly around their kids until they had solids and then had solids as a backup with a bottle if really hungry. And really, a baby who won't EVER take a bottle is kind of a myth because a hungry infant will be often willing to make termpo            rary adjustments.


The real issue is how much time you intend to be apart from your LO. If it isn't a lot then don't stress. 


If you do want a bottle feeding regime in place the best thing to do is to get a regular routine down in the a.m. to build a freezer stash. A lot of moms do this for whatever reason until they have the amount of milk that is safe in their heads "fun" or "emergency" or whatever. But really, if you want to nurse exclusively and you want to give bottles without messing with your supply, you pump each and every time you are going to be away. i.e. movie with DH always is proceeded by a quick pumping session or whatever

post #4 of 21

Yes, like the PP said, how often do you plan on being away from your baby? ANd for how long? 


My baby is 1 years old and has never had a bottle, not once. THere just hasn't been a need. By 3-4 months old, she could go 2-3 hours without nursing, so I didn't leave her longer than that. THen, when she was 6 months old, she started solids, so I could leave her even longer as my dh or parents could give her some solids and water in a cup. As it is, I don't think I've left her more than 5 hours. She was 8 months old, and I went to a bridal shower I was hosting. I nursed her right before I left, and dh gave her solids and water while I was gone. She was happy and happy to nurse when I returned! dd1 also never took a bottle and I left her too. 



Most people IRL can't believe my kids haven't had bottles, like it isn't possible for some reason? But it is, and it doesn't mean you can't leave baby at all with someone you trust. It just means that you can't leave for long periods of time or overnight in the first year :) 



post #5 of 21

I'm a SAHM on baby #4, and I'd never pumped, never used a bottle (we went straight to sippy cups), and really never found it a problem.


I am NOW pumping for the first time in order to help a friend who is adopting a newborn and wants to provide as much breastmilk as possible.  Let me tell you, it is really a bother (although I am very happy to give this gift to my friend) and I wouldn't think it was worth the expense of a pump and the bother of figuring it out and going through the bother of pumping unless you have a reason to be away from your baby consistently.



post #6 of 21

I started pumping around 4 months. Ds was a pretty constant nurser & I needed a break occasionally just so I could get a solid 2 hours of sleep. I couldn't even run to the grocery store without him wanting to bf. It also made dh feel a  lot more confident knowing he could give him a bottle if need be - even if he didn't need to, it was reassurance.


I think you need to do what works for you. I didn't find pumping terrible. I had good supply, in the morning I'd nurse ds outside on the back patio, then he'd lay on the floor & watch the trees & the dogs while I pumped on the other side. It was just part of our routine.

post #7 of 21

I woh with my first. Now that I'm home... I'm not going near that pump with a 10 ft pole unless I absolutely have to.

post #8 of 21

I agree with PPs that it depends on how often you intend to be away from DC.  Pumping can be a PITA but it can also be a PITA when DC will not take a bottle!


I started pumping and giving DS a bottle when he was 3 weeks old.  He didn't have one very often, maybe once a week (if that).  Then, at 3 mos of age he started absolutely REFUSING a bottle.  Since I was SAH until he was 1 year of age, it wasn't a huge deal.  I did try to get him to accept a bottle.  I tried everything EXCEPT starving him to make him take it. I tried for several weeks, and nothing.  So, the idea that a hungry baby will eventually take a bottle is true, but it can take hours and hours and hours of screaming before they will (as experienced by a good friend of mine who had to suddenly wean her DC who wouldn't take a bottle.  It took something like 9 or 10 hours before he finally broke down and took it!)  If you think you may want to be able to get away or a situation may arise when DC has to take a bottle, then I would start trying now!  I had a VERY bad flu this winter and was unable to nurse DS for several hours (physically unable, I was sleeping on the bathroom floor it was so bad).  DS would not take a bottle for those several hours even though he was screaming from hunger.  I sure wish he would have taken a bottle then!  Unforeseen things can arise.


And, I have to say the situation might last more than the first year, to PP who said no nights away in the first year.  That's assuming your DC is sleeping the night or night weaned in the first year.  My DS (14 mos) still wakes at LEAST 2-3 times in the night.  You don't know what your DC will do until you're there.  So take that into consideration as well.


Also, my DS will not drink milk out of a sippy cup either (cows milk or EBM).  So this is now more of an issue than the bottle thing.  Because really, by 4 or 5 mos you can start a sippy cup even if they refuse a bottle.  So I think it is more of a getting them used to drinking milk that isn't "on tap" than getting them to take a bottle issue.


Anyway, now that I am back at work and haven't had more than 4 hours away from DS in the last 14 months I have been thinking about this issue a lot.  I wish that I would have given DS a bottle more when he was younger so that he would have taken one as time went on.  Who knows, he may not have anyway, but I sure do wish he would now. When we have our next DC, I am going to remember this and try to give bottles with EBM more often.

post #9 of 21

I have oversupply issues if I pump. I left DS when he was 2 months old with my friend for about 4 hours & had left him with pumped milk and breastflow bottles. He did great with them, BUT the enitre rest of the day he refused the breast..  It was hard work trying to get him to nurse again. He finally did but it was miserable :/

post #10 of 21

I nursed 3 babies and never had to leave them with someone long enough that they would need a bottle. That is just something people tell you. Introducing a bottle can lead to problems and is associated with premature weaning.


If there is an emergency and your baby won't take a bottle there are other things you can do. I had to be hospitalized with pneumonia and septicemia when my premature baby was only 4 weeks old. They wouldn't let me keep him at the hospital at night (11-7). We decided it was critical that he breastfeed (both so he wouldn't have any problems with nipples and so he would have protection since I was so sick)and a friend took him to another friend that had a baby about the same age and she nursed him at night. That is love. That was the only emergency I had.


Babies can be fed by cup, dropper, or syringe.

post #11 of 21


Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans View Post

I nursed 3 babies and never had to leave them with someone long enough that they would need a bottle. That is just something people tell you. Introducing a bottle can lead to problems and is associated with premature weaning.


If there is an emergency and your baby won't take a bottle there are other things you can do. I had to be hospitalized with pneumonia and septicemia when my premature baby was only 4 weeks old. They wouldn't let me keep him at the hospital at night (11-7). We decided it was critical that he breastfeed (both so he wouldn't have any problems with nipples and so he would have protection since I was so sick)and a friend took him to another friend that had a baby about the same age and she nursed him at night. That is love. That was the only emergency I had.


Babies can be fed by cup, dropper, or syringe.

Really?  How many people are lucky enough to be in this position?


And what do you mean by "that is just something people tell you"?  Don't you think it depends on the baby and the mother?  And I do agree that bottle feeding can lead to early weaning, but there are many mothers who occasionally bottle feed their babies and go on to have long, healthy nursing relationships.  I also had never left my DS with anyone long enough that he needed a bottle until he was 13 mos and I returned to work.  I had no choice, he wouldn't take a bottle.  Then he just refused to drink milk period (from a cup or a bottle)  But you know, sometimes I wish I would have had the option to leave DS just to get a break.  To go on a nice date with DH, to attend a friend's birthday, or if I was tired just to let DH take a shift at night (I have a frequent night nurser/waker).


Also, if the "problems" you refer to are nipple confusion then this is not likely to be an issue in a baby who is 2 mos old, when the breastfeeding relationship is well established.  You don't specify what these "problems" are.


I don't disagree with most of what you say but I don't think you are considering the flip side of the story and (perhaps I am mis-interpreting you) your tone is a bit sanctimonious.


post #12 of 21

Eh - if you don't plan on being away from baby much, he may never really want or need the bottle anyway. I did pump and introduce a bottle to my DD at 8 weeks so that she would not freak out when I went back to work at 12 weeks (practice bottle). She had to take a bottle 2x a day, 3 days a week, for 4 weeks. So she probably had about 25 bottles? And then I was able to leave my job and she was 4 months. Now she is 7.5 months and I have a storage of milk (emergency supply is one reason to pump... but depends on your needs). My storage mostly exists due to oversupply issues when I was weaning from pumping at work. DH has tried to give her a bottle a few times when I was running or out somewhere and she was wanting to nurse, but ultimately she's given it the big NO. She will drink a little milk or water from an open cup but that's it. 


So, she actually was introduced a bottle at "age appropriate" and used it for a period of time, and ultimately became a "no bottle thanks" baby anyway. Babies who are nursed 99% of the time may just not like a bottle, and if you're not going to be leaving, it's not a huge concern. I haven't pumped at all since I stopped working (besides weaning). I definitely won't/wouldn't do it if I didn't need to, it was always a huge negative for me.

post #13 of 21
Pump if you want to leave your baby and have the caregiver feed him breastmilk. I generally kept a bottle of breastmilk in the freezer for the times I went out without the baby. The only time I really pumped a lot (I was a terrible producer with the pump) was so I could leave my 7mo for 6 hours when I went to see Bruce Springsteen. It was totally worth the week of pumping it took to get those 14 ounces.
post #14 of 21
I pumped at work so that I could the baby sitter could feed DD breast milk. I got a big elastic band that held everything in place, and I was free to use my hands. This time, I'm not working and I likely won't pump nearly as much.
post #15 of 21

Meh, I did it for a while and at some point was like...why am I doing this?  The only times it was helpful was when I was beyond exhausted, and DH would take him in the mornings so I could sleep a little longer.  I'm never away from him, and pumping gave me mega oversupply.  Not worth it for me.  


I also found that even my well-intentioned midwives were like, "pump, pump to help your supply!"  Yeah...pretty sure that nursing on demand is all it takes to get a good supply.  To insinuate that pumping is necessary to have adequate milk only perpetuates the myth that women don't make enough.  Blah.

post #16 of 21

I wouldn't bother unless you do intend to leave baby for a few hours at a time, even if it's only occasionally. I don't think pumping is a huge hassle personally, but it is a bit of a hassle and if it weren't for work I wouldn't do it nearly as much. It is nice to be able to leave for a couple of hours occasionally and leave a bottle of pumped milk and know that baby can eat if s/he gets hungry. I, too, don't buy this thing like the occasional bottle of pumped milk is going to ruin one's nursing relationship.

post #17 of 21

its amazing to me how much emotion always seems to go into this topic. only second to formula and sometimes even weirder.


to the original poster, pumping and having a stash and the practice bottles that go along with it can be useful in a good number of ways, some of which you can not plan for a see coming. on the other hand beating yourself up to pump when you would rather be sleeping or whatever can be a very taxing thing.


i have don't just about every part of the spectrum

pumped for babies that could not latch well

pumped to give myself a feeding off for a critically need 3 hour nap for me

used my stash for when i suddenly had to take a non breastfeeding compatible pain killer or 36 hours

used my stash when a death in the family and the resulting grief reduced my supply to a trickle for 3 days

i have also nursed exclusively for months and blown off pumping because i hated doing it


now i am at a nice balance, i do my best to pump one quick bag for the freezer one a day, right before a go to sleep (a hour or so after the babies have gone down) it keeps a nice stash i nthe freezer that we do happily use from time to time. and it allows me a sense of security and freedom from a job that i love to bits but is still 24/7 and breaks are appreciated.


 i have used pumped milk times i never saw coming....


i got stuck in a freak snow storm and was delayed getting home from a routine errand by 7 hours!


and i plan on using it in the coming weeks to treat myself to a massage, the first one in a year

post #18 of 21

When I said that giving bottles is associated with premature weaning, that isn't my opinion. There have been multiple studies that have concluded that giving breastfed babies bottles is associated with premature weaning. Of course that doesn't mean that giving a specific baby is going to wean prematurely because you bottle feed on occasion. People may say that they gave bottles and their baby did just fine. Then you ask them how long they breastfed and they will say something like 3 months. 





post #19 of 21

i think that the premature weening thing is a correlation not a cause,

i bet that a lot of moms that are quick to give bottles are also probably not really dedicated to long term nursing, it's the moms behavior not the bottle that cause the weening.


my babies practically lived on breastmilk bottles for the first 5-6 months of their lives and at 6 months switched over to 95% boob. they are now 9 months and going strong. they go back and forth without batting an eye. and im sure that their long nursing relationship that they still have ahead of them will stay intact because of my supporting it, the bottles in their lives have little to nothing to do with it.


this info that gets told over and over about bottles ruining breastfeeding regardless of age stinks of fear and assumptions.  there is simple too many variables to really test it.

post #20 of 21

And even if on a broader level families that use bottles are more likely to wean "prematurely" (whatever that means), that doesn't mean you can't still nurse for the length of time that is right for you and your baby and your situation. You are in control of your own decisions. Nobody is at the mercy of a bottle. Not everybody even wants to nurse for the same length of time. If one mom nurses for 3 1/2 years she may think another mom weaned "prematurely" at 1 year, but everybody's situation is different. All other things being equal, might avoiding bottles and pacifiers be better for a nursing relationship? Perhaps so. But all other things are rarely equal.


I am a working mother, I pump, and my daughter gets pacifiers and bottles. Our nursing relationship is not at the mercy of bottles. If we have an issue (precipitated by a bottle or precipitated otherwise), we will deal with it. If we decide to wean "prematurely" I am pretty sure it will not have anything to do with my daughter's reaction to a bottle--it's much more likely that if something goes wrong it will be that my impulse to scream and throw my pump out the window will take over. I am not handling the pumping at work transition well, though I hope to do better in future. It is what it is, you know? Whatever I end up doing, it will be my decision for my family, not a result of me being victimized by a Dr. Brown's. I am sure somebody somewhere is judging me and my situation, but I really don't care.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Breastfeeding
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Breastfeeding › When and Why PUMPING