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Exclusive Pumpers Tribe - Page 84

post #1661 of 1785
thank you ladies and i'm glad i didn't offend any of you.
post #1662 of 1785
Yeah, I just want to chime in and add my voice to the chorus of "Don't do this unless you have to." EPing really sucks. And, it's harder to maintain a full supply on a pump than it is on a baby. While some people are lucky enough to pump a full supply, many find that their supply drops the longer they're on the pump.

I've been EPing for 8 months now. Nothing compared to some people on this thread, but a long time for me. Now I'm in the process of weaning from the pump, and quitting. I only pump 5 or 6 ounces a day. My baby screams whenever I'm on the pump. Not only do we not have the bonding of nursing, but we have the enforced separation of the hour and a half each day that I spend on the pump, instead of with her.

I'm not offended by your question, and I remember when we were in the middle of our breastfeeding nightmare, EPing seemed so much better. But as others have said, IT REALLY ISN'T. So, gently and compassionately, I urge you to stick it out and work through whatever issues you're having with breastfeeding.
post #1663 of 1785
Joining your ranks..

I tried BFing DS1 for 8 weeks.. by the end of 8 weeks, my nipples were horribly cracked and bleeding and the pain was unbearable, so I took what I intended to be a weeklong break from breastfeeding to let my nipples heal, since his latch was still terrible. After the week was up I tried to put him to the breast but he refused. I continued to try to offer up until he was about 6 months old but he never accepted the breast again. Screamed every time he went near it. So I EPed from 2 weeks until he was around 9 months old, when my pump motor started going out and I was unable to pump more than a few drops in an entire day.

Now I'm EPing for DS2.. I hated doing it with DS1 and I'm really upset that I'm back to doing it again. With DS2, though, I've been EPing since the day he was born. He was 8 weeks early and is now 9 weeks, or 1 week adjusted age. We have been working on BFing since he was about 3 weeks old but his latch is awful and not getting better at all. I've also been suffering from thrush since he was born and still haven't been able to fully kick it, which makes attempting to latch even more painful. My goal is to eventually be able to breastfeed and only have to pump at work but so far that's not going well at all..
post #1664 of 1785
Thanks ladies I appreciate the encouragement to stick it out, and also the lack of judgement is really nice.
post #1665 of 1785
Bump
post #1666 of 1785
Still EPing... Anyone else?
post #1667 of 1785
EPing here. Today is week 5 for me (full term baby in the NICU). I pump about 10 to 12 oz a day. Its half of what dd2 eats so this week (when my stash runs out) they will be supplementing with formula.

My nipples HURT but I am doing everything "right". Id like to give her BM until she is at least completely recovered from the hospital stay, which will be about 2 more months, but Im having a hard time feeling confident with such low supply.

I had low supply with dd1 and ended up using formula, Im not sure I could have been an EPer last time, its hard work!
post #1668 of 1785

Ep by Choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by GooeyRN View Post
I was not offended either. EPing is more of a "last resort" kind of thing. I don't think many really choose this path. If you are having troubles with bfing, yes, pump, or EP for the time being, but do try to work through those issues you are having. I EP for DD, but also bf ds. I will say that bfing is harder in the early weeks, but after it is established, it is 1,000 times easier than EPing. There is no juggling a crying baby on your lap while you are hooked up to the pump, pumping while out of the house, getting up to pump at night, etc. EPing is a long hard road, and I really see it as a last resort when bfing issues can not be fixed.
Hi girls! I am new to this site... it was referred to me by a LLILC... I am so glad to have found you! I have been lurking for about a week and half now, and I have a confession to make. I am in the minority here. While I am exclusively pumping, I am doing so by choice. We are fortunate that DS2 has no medical issues, and I don't even know if he could/would latch on if we tried. He is 3 weeks old, and has been getting pumped milk since we were home from the hospital. I have read all your stories, and am amazed that anyone has made careers of EP'ing!! Making it to a year or more is outstanding!!
With DS1, (now 3.5 yo) I pumped exclusively as well. That situation was a little different in that we tried for 3 weeks to BF, and it was not good for either of us. I was in so much pain I was in tears all the time, and he wasn't getting enough to eat, so we were both miserable. Hubby had no idea how difficult it was for us until he came in while we were nursing and he saw how we were both in tears! Then he was all for exclusive pumping. Like many people, he thought BF would be so easy and natural (and I did at first as well). DS1 got only pumped milk for three months, then I had to return to work. While I still pumped, we had to start supplementing with formula. Unlike a lot of the stories I had read here, I was OK with that. I figured he was still getting some milk, so some was better than none! I continued to pump until my supply dried up at 6 months, at which time we switched to formula. I had a supply built up in the freezer, however a power outage took about 8 weeks worth from us. I didn't mind pumping at all, and although I was not against formula, makign the decision to supplement and then make the full switch was harder for me than I anticipated. Lots of tears were shed over that!
Now with DS2, I have been pumping every 3 hours since he was born. (He did try to nurse immediately after delivery, but we haven't tried again since then). I am currently beginning to try to go 3.5 hours between sessions, and gradually drop sessions, as many of you know, it is too hard to keep track of my older son, tend to the baby and pump, not to mention going out anywhere!
I have finally decided to post because I think you all will not be judgemental and be able to understand the frustrations I am having. My hubby, mom and sisters try to listen, but really have no idea what I am talking about and look at me like I am from mars. I am feeling like all I do is pump and wash bottles. I am so tired all the time, and feel like I am failing as a mother. I still am not opposed to formula... we have even given DS2 formula if we have been out (once in his short three weeks!), but I still can't make the break from pumping. I am lucky that I don't seem to have a supply issue (I get between 5-8 ozs per pump session at every three hours), but I am getting so frustrated this time around that I am questioning whether this is worth it. I know all the health benefits and all that, I just wonder as I have read some of you have as well... is missing out on life for a few months worth the heartache? I feel like i am neglecting DS1, and sometimes when DS2 has to cry while I finish pumping, I feel like I am neglecting him as well.
I have tried hands free (rubber band method) and it doesn't work for me. I end up losing all my pumped milk down the front of me! I have yet to try the sports bra method, but plan to in the next week. I couldn't imagine pumping while driving or doing anything else. As it stands now, I just play a silly computer game while sitting at the desk.
Sorry for this to be such a long rambling novel, but I am sure you ladies understand!! Thanks for letting me vent.. although we have never met!
post #1669 of 1785
Hello, I have been lurking about for a year (and really wish I had found this thread earlier for my first child.) Here's my story ...

DS, now 3 1/2, was born three weeks early. He tried to nurse, but large flat/inverted nipples made things pretty difficult. I started pumping at the hospital when a bit of jaundice landed him under the lights. He never really latched after that, even though I kept trying while avoiding bottles like the plague - drove the staff in the NICU crazy with my constant "no bottles, no formula" instructions.

I pumped for 12 months for DS. For 10 1/2 months he had EBF, the last 1 1/2 months I started adding formula. I had decided that it was better to be a sane mother with some formula than the insane one I was turning into with all the pumping and the lack of sleep. My supply rapidly tanked once I began to cut out pumps. I began with 10-11 times a day, decreasing to 7-8 times. I had been pumping just enough thankfully that I didn't need to supplement. My son had an enormous appetite (still does) and would drink 50-60 oz/day! He was a huge baby!

The pump is back in action with the birth of my DD 6 months ago. I tried even harder with her, but same result of feeding via the pump. Occasionally, she will latch but usually she will scream whenever I offer a breast. Boy, that can make a mom feel good, watching her child recoil at the sight of mama's breast! I pump 3-4 times per day and get about 40-50 oz/day, enough to build a freezer stash and even donate some through Milkshare. I'm planning to exclusively pump till she is one, and then will keep pumping as long as it feels convenient and the milk lasts - once or twice per day.

Congrats to all my fellow EPers out ... it is certainly not easy. Here are some things I wish I'd known when I started pumping ...

1. Pump until the breasts are empty! I think this is how I get away with pumping so infrequently. With DS, I pumped a standard amount of time, usually 20-30 minutes, and then would then stop once that let down was over. I know now that my breasts weren't really empty. Now, I pump 45-75 minutes each time I pump now. With DD I started off pumping 7 times/day about 45 minutes each time and then increased the pumping time each time I dropped a pump. I really make sure that the breasts are empty before stopping.

2. Hands free! Really makes pumping bearable. I have a "Made by Moms Pumping Band." I just use it in the car now, but with DS I used it at work so I could do my computer work while pumping.

3. Breast compression. This was less important when I was pumping more frequently, but now I have to constantly massage and press while pumping to get all of the milk out.

4. Get the baby to play with the breasts right before pumping. Even when DD didn't latch, just her playing around would stimulate much more milk production.

5. Try to do something interesting while pumping. If you are bored or miserable the time really crawls along. Books, movies. on-line activites all make it easier. I'm partial to NYTimes.com and watching subtitled Japanese dramas. Now that I have two kids, pumping time has become "quiet time" for my 3yo, so I cherish the momentary calm it brings.

6. Make the cleaning easy - I keep a cooler bag and ice packs with me at night, so that I can just rinse the horns/flanges out after pumping, leave them in the cooler bag and reuse them in the morning. (Why not just stick them directly into the fridge? DD has some sort of radar where she has to start shrieking if I'm out of the bedroom for more than a few minutes and my fridge is just too far a walk.) I also put the pumped milk into the cooler bag to keep it cool.

Wow, I wrote a whole bunch! Enough.
post #1670 of 1785

Re: EP By Choice

Oh Mizanoa, hang in there! Right now, you are in the worst time of all (at least in my experience.) My first 4-5 weeks with my second child was horrible and then it gradually got better and easier.

What is the age difference between your children? My DS was almost 3 when DD was born. Even though he was always sweet and gentle with the baby, he cried every day for a month almost every time he saw me. I felt like a terrible mom since I was so busy with the baby that I couldn't do much to help him. He adjusted and now tries to be so helpful. In your case, do you have someone who can kind of "take over" for your son - keeping him busy.

For that matter do you have someone who can help with other basics, like washing bottles? Maybe have enough bottles and pumping parts to last you for a day and then have DH do all the washing at the end of the day?

Get rid of that rubber band contraption! I did that too and lost a whole lot of milk that way! Buy a hands free bra or adapt a sports bra - it is really worth the money. And if your hands are free (truly free) then you can do more for/with your two kids. You can go somewhere about 30 minutes from your house, pump there and back in the car, and have a fun time out of the house. (You are probably feeling really trapped right now. Even a quick walk around the block can help with this feeling.)

I cried so many times trying to balance an AP style of parenting with the need to pump. A crying baby is not my way to parent. After trying to pump while DD slept in the same room (repeatedly woken up by the normal sounds of a 3 year old), and a swing (she wanted nothing to do with it), I finally settled on swaddling the baby and keeping her in my lap while I pump. I lay her on a pillow and sit in front my computer at a desk. She sleeps really well like this and at 6 months I'm still doing it, though I'm wondering about what happens when she crawls. And when she is awake, she is usually entertained by watching me or DS.

For sleep - maybe try to spread out your pumping times or even skip one during the night. Even if this affects your supply, it may be necessary to keep you going. In the beginning at night, I would just pump when the baby woke me to feed. Otherwise I would end up in a bad cycle of pumping, going back to sleep,, and then 10 minutes later the baby would wake up. Sleep is so important. I'm a raging maniac without enough sleep.

With two (or more) kids, pumping is so much more challenging than with the first. Just know, after that first month, each week it gets easier and easier. For me I realized that I just might survive when I finally managed to get both kids out of the house on my own - though it took several hours to get ready and we were only gone for about 30 minutes! Still.

Sending good wishes your way. It really does get easier.
post #1671 of 1785
Hi! I EP'ed for 10 months with my 2nd DD (started when she was 6 months old, had suck/transfer/supply issues & weight gain problems until we pumped), but she weaned about 6 months ago, & I'm clearing out some things I have left over to anyone interested - please PM me if you want/need any of the following (free):

Set of unopened long clear flexible plastic tubes with yellow plug in ends (2) compatible with Medela Lactina (no label on baggie, from some supply place)
Unopened box of 6 Medela replacement membranes
Unopened box of Motillium (Domperidone) - (100 tablets)
Easy Expression Products hands-free pumping bustier (X Large) - used, but washed http://www.easyexpressionproducts.com/ for info on sizing
post #1672 of 1785
I just wanted to stick my head in and say I'm almost done. I've been cutting time from my pumps since the week my DD was 1 (she's now 13 months) and hope to be HUTH in the next two weeks. Knowing this thread was here has been a great source of safety. I am exhausted and my DD needs me more than she needs me to pump now. (I also suspect I now have RSI in my right wrist - or that pumping has exacerbated an existing joint problem).

I EP'd for about 7 months, and pumped and supplemented after that. I'm admiring of anyone who has EP'd for more than that, you are the awesome.

I don't know about anyone else, but I sure know a lot more about breastfeeding from doing this than I ever did before.

Thankyou ladies.
post #1673 of 1785
Quote:
Originally Posted by beewhisperer View Post
I just wanted to stick my head in and say I'm almost done. I've been cutting time from my pumps since the week my DD was 1 (she's now 13 months) and hope to be HUTH in the next two weeks. Knowing this thread was here has been a great source of safety. I am exhausted and my DD needs me more than she needs me to pump now. (I also suspect I now have RSI in my right wrist - or that pumping has exacerbated an existing joint problem).

I EP'd for about 7 months, and pumped and supplemented after that. I'm admiring of anyone who has EP'd for more than that, you are the awesome.

I don't know about anyone else, but I sure know a lot more about breastfeeding from doing this than I ever did before.

Thankyou ladies.
Fellow EP'er wanting to send cheers your way as you complete this journey! : :
post #1674 of 1785
Joining you all.
post #1675 of 1785
Bump! This thread has slipped back a few too many pages
post #1676 of 1785
Still here, still pumping... I think I am near insane for keeping it up this long. I am trying to phase out more now. Still pumping about 8-10 oz a day. DD will be 4 next month, so I think I put my time in. Still bfing ds on demand, he is 21 months now.
post #1677 of 1785
Quote:
Originally Posted by GooeyRN View Post
Still here, still pumping... I think I am near insane for keeping it up this long. I am trying to phase out more now. Still pumping about 8-10 oz a day. DD will be 4 next month, so I think I put my time in. Still bfing ds on demand, he is 21 months now.
WOW 4yrs! Congrats! Your DD is lucky to have you as a mom!!!!!!!! :
post #1678 of 1785
Thanks, but I don't know about that. There must be something wrong with me for pumping this long.
post #1679 of 1785
Quote:
Originally Posted by GooeyRN View Post
Thanks, but I don't know about that. There must be something wrong with me for pumping this long.
Not true! You know your child and you know what she needs, I have been here from the beginning with you reading your story and your little one did not make it easy! She LOVES your milk like not many babies do and with that you followed her lead and provided it for her. You are doing a great job listening to your daughter no matter how hard it is for you on a daily basis. So I say Congrats again, she is really lucky to have you as a mom!:
post #1680 of 1785
awwww. THanks.
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