I don't "have" to pump. Should I? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 03-20-2014, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have two month old twins who I am exclusively breastfeeding on demand (this seems to astonish everyone for some reason). What this means is what in the moments when no one is attached to my boob I am super eager to get a few things done, and the last thing I want to do is set up the pump, sit and pump for 15 minutes, and then clean all the parts. My supply seems fine -- the kids are both over 10 pounds at this point, and in the beginning the hospital had me pumping 15 minutes after each feeding and I had crazy, crazy oversupply so I stopped pumping entirely (gradually).

 

Now I'm wondering if I should get back on the pumping wagon. I am super concerned about my supply dwindling which makes no sense because I don't currently have any problems, but I'm wondering if I was looking the gift horse in the mouth when I stopped pumping before. We've tried giving bottles twice at 5/6 weeks because my husband was desperate to feed them. They kinda-sorta took the bottle, but I've been told that if we don't get them on bottles solidly before 3 months then they'll never take a bottle and I'll be screwed if I ever need to bottle feed (which I will need to do in the summer and fall when we go to some weddings).

 

If I should start pumping again how should I go about it? I won't be using a hospital grade pump this time, just a regular medela double pump. Should I pump for time or for volume?

 

Thanks ladies!


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#2 of 8 Old 03-20-2014, 11:01 AM
 
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Congratulations on the twins! My mom nursed my twin sisters so I have no doubt you can do it.
If you are going to pump, it would probably be best to do it in the morning when your supply is at its highest. 15 minutes sounds good. That's what I do at work. It's good you stopped pumping earlier. Oversupply is no joke!
As for whether you should pump, I'm not sure. It can be tricky to get a baby to take a bottle. We started at about a month and it took a couple weeks before DS took it. Sometimes babies need to practice something several times before they get it. They may also prefer a certain bottle or nipple. I was told that once we got him to take the bottle we should keep feeding him one every other day or every day to keep him in practice. That sounds like it might be too much for you. How old will the babies be when you go to the weddings? How long will you be separated from them? If it's only for several hours on a couple days, it may not be worth getting them used to a bottle. By that time they may be able to use a sippy cup or a regular cup, with help. I haven't heard that 3 month thing you mentioned, but I'm sure other moms here have more info for you.



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#3 of 8 Old 03-20-2014, 12:12 PM
 
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You can always pump occasionally, it doesn't have to be an every day thing. If you would like to have some milk in the freezer for special events or times when you just want to get out alone for several hours, you can pump like pokeyAC suggested in the morning for 15-20 minutes. Especially with twins, maybe you can time it for their first nap of the day? I find it stressful to pump while my kids are awake and I don't get as much of a let-down (not everyone is bothered by that though).

 

If you are concerned about them taking bottles, maybe you can aim for pumping twice a week, and freezing one pump's worth while feeding one pump's worth in a bottle. I don't put much stock into the 3 month's rule... my son had a bottle only 1 time during my 3 month maternity leave and then transitioned to having 3 bottles per day while I am at work with no issues. Some babies are picky about which bottles and some do need a lot of practice, but I think if you give them each a bottle once a week and see how they do as they get older, you'll have an idea of what to expect when you do have a reason to be apart and want to feed with a bottle.

 

Good luck and congratulations on your babies!

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#4 of 8 Old 03-22-2014, 07:46 AM
 
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Oh, hi! I remember you from our DDC. Glad it's going well. 

 

If you had oversupply I wouldn't worry about supply dropping, personally. I had oversupply with my daughter and it has happened again. I never, ever with her had a situation where I did not have enough milk for her. When I went back to work, I pumped the amount needed for her first day over the 3 days before I went back. When she was around 7 months old I started donating to the milk bank and was able to boost my production by a consistent 4-6 ounces a day just by pumping a little more each day for a few days. 

 

I don't necessarily buy that about babies not taking a bottle if you don't start before a certain time, although it may be that SOME babies have a problem while others are agreeable. And similarly for the idea that you should give a bottle occasionally so they retain the knack of taking one.

 

Bottom line, to me, if you don't want to pump and give bottles sometimes, then don't. You'll work the other stuff out down the line.

 

Also, if you don't always tandem nurse and you are leaking at all, you should look into the Milkies Milk-Saver, which catches milk on the non-nursing breast. I just got one recently and I have been saving so much milk that was previously just getting soaked into rags. It's nuts!

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#5 of 8 Old 03-22-2014, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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@erigeron That's good to hear about the milkies! I thought they looked silly honestly so I dismissed them (which really, is a habit I ought to break considering ...) but I wear breastpads all the time and I leak all the time (or so it feels) so I will definitely be looking into those.

 

@katyq82 and @pokeyAC Thanks! So occasional pumping is okay? For some reason I got the impression that you either had to pump regularly (same time of day, every day, at least once a day) or not at all. I'm happy to hear if that's not correct!


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#6 of 8 Old 03-22-2014, 07:25 PM
 
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The main problem I have with the Milkies is that if you forget and lean over when wearing them, they dump their contents down your front. So might or might not be something you actually want to wear around the house, and also you're supposed to only let the milk sit against your skin for so long before emptying it. But good for during a feed. 

 

For those in the world without oversupply, if they want to get any appreciable amount from pumping it is best to pump regularly (unless pumping in place of a feeding) so that their supply adapts to it--otherwise they're going to be pumping milk that their baby will probably need at the next feeding, and won't be able to store it. But you and I are lucky in that respect and can just siphon off a little of what's already there without shortchanging our babes. 

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#7 of 8 Old 03-22-2014, 08:45 PM
 
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I pump to donate and have some in the freezer for the occasional bottle if I want to leave baby with daddy. We haven't given her bottles with any regularity but she takes them just fine when she has one (she's 3 months now.) I usually pump first thing in the morning, then try to pump a few times during the day after she nurses, although some days I don't manage to pump at all with no ill effects on my supply. To save time between pumps you can just run hot water through the flange part of the pump then put them in a Ziploc bag in the fridge.

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#8 of 8 Old 03-30-2014, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the help everyone. We are in the midst of unpacking from our crazy cross country move with 6 wk old twins (now 9 wks) -- I think I'll start pumping a bit when we get more settled.

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