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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My cousin, who is probably MORE mainstream than normal if that's even possible, is having her first baby in two months and she has already decided that she will be exclusively pumping milk and not breastfeeding.<br><br>
Now, her decision isn't based on knowledge or anything she's read up on, it's based on the idea that her breasts "belong to her husband" as she puts it. She says they are for him and she doesn't want a baby nursing on them because it's too sexual for her. No one can change her mind about the sexual thing. While I'm totally against this way of thinking, I'm being a good cousin and not telling her she's wrong or trying to give unwanted advice. On the other hand, I don't think she really knows what she's getting into.<br><br>
She will have to get up at all hours of the night and prepare a bottle for a screaming baby plus pump again before she can go back to bed. She'll be spending all of her time feeding then pumping, then feeding again. If she goes anywhere, she will have to pump first while in public and then give it to her baby. I've given her all the info I can on how difficult this is going to be, but she's determined not to let her boobs touch her baby.<br><br>
So, since I'm going the route of not telling her she's crazy or wrong and trying to accept her decision (hey, at LEAST she will be feeding breastmilk and not formula!) I was wondering if anyone here pumped exclusively who could offer any kind of helpful advice for her. I'm really worried she will give up on it altogether and go to formula.
 

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I can't imagine she'll stick with it long. In fact I'd be SHOCKED if she makes it to 2 months with that mindset.<br><br>
-Angela
 

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I EPed with all three of my children, but not for her reasons. If I could have, I would have chosen to breastfeed because I tried many times w/ help from LCs.<br><br>
If you could convince her to breastfeed, that would be great. However, I think her choice in EPing is better than forumula. It does take a lot more work in the beginning, but if you can get a good supply (a lot of work in the beginning) then EPing can last as long as she wants.<br><br>
I have EPed w/ all three for at least 12 mos for each. My first I EPed much longer and I intend to do so w/ #3 who is now 11mos.<br><br>
My only concern is that it does take dedication to EP and most moms fall into it because they devote weeks trying to get their newborns to latch. Some are successful, but those who end up being EPers for extended length in time decide to continue with it because it is the best thing they can provide to their baby even if they can not feed from the breast.<br><br>
Another thing to consider is that her POV will change after she has a baby. She may start to EP and eventually decide to BF as she bonds w/ her newborn.<br><br>
Good luck.
 

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I did not EP but I pumped while I was away from ds 4 days a week (12-13 hrs a day). It was really hard and frankly annoying. I definately agree that EP is preferable to formula but I think it's impractical for a lot of us. I constantly had to struggle to maintain supply and I never (not even 1 day) pumped enough milk to meet ds demand exclusively with breastmilk. I did everything suggested, pumped every 2 to 3 hours, took fenugreek ect ect. I got a lot of good advice from Kellymom.com and the LLL website.<br>
Anyways, I believe there is a EP thread (maybe in the find your tribe?) maybe post there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh, cool, thanks! I'll go searching for it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I highly doubt she will make it very far. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br>
Some woman <i>can</i> EP long term... But it doesn't work for everyone because pumping is not nearly as effective as the baby actually nursing.<br><br>
(I speak from experience...)
 

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I have been curious about this kind of EPing myself. I have met a few people who've EPed for two years because their babies just could not latch due to health issues, and they were heartbroken but became determined to EP for an extended amount of time. But to just choose to do it... it baffles me. I was at a LLL conference a few months back, and I spoke w/ one of the founders after she did a session. I can't remember how we got on the subject, but she said she was noticing a trend in EPing by choice and that it was disturbing to her. I just think of the moms I've met who would give anything to have a BFing relationship with a baby who cannot latch, and how they must feel knowing about others who just choose not to BF and to EP instead. How sad it must be to them to see mothers give up something that they would've given anything to have...<br><br>
It's a huge commitment to EP - just as it is to BF, of course.<br><br>
Unfortunately, with the mindset of the OP's cousin, she probably won't have her mind changed. If she has a sexual hangup about it, that would probably be really hard to overcome. And if she doesn't think that the "breasts are only sexual" mentality is abnormal, then she has no reason to change her viewpoint.<br><br>
I can understand EPing for health reasons and problems where the baby just cannot nurse at the breast. I can also understand doing it to maintain sanity if BFing is going so badly with no end in sight... but I don't understand doing it without a trial period of BFing first. Isn't the recommendation to stick with it for a six week period because it might take that long to get the hang of it? For me it was probably eight weeks w/ my first dd before it really got better. I know one person who tried to BF for a few weeks, stopped because it was painful, and has since made the comment that she supposes none of her future babies will nurse at the breast. But she's also said how she hates pumping and can't wait to get to one year so she can stop. I know I can't change people's minds about giving it a try for one or two months... I recognize that it is their choice. It's so hard not to feel sad at what they are missing out on - and that they have a bad taste in their mouths about BFing. That can cause more anti-breastfeeding sentiments to be spread, which goodness knows we don't need more of!<br><br>
Sorry to ramble, but to the OP: maybe your cousin could visit some online forums of EPers so she can hear firsthand what it is like? Maybe hearing about how difficult it can be would be the only way to make her reconsider. And maybe some stories of BFing moms going through really rocky beginnings, but then how easy it is for them once the baby is a few months old... maybe the LLL magazine would be a good source of those kinds of stories? It seems that the majority of women who go through a difficult start then end up working through the problems and can say that BFing is relatively a smooth process after a few months.
 

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I have a friend who pumped occasionally but fed her baby a combination of breast milk and formula. That may end up working for the OP's cousin. It certainly would be much easier than EP and the baby would still be getting breastmilk.<br><br>
Or she'll have the baby and change her mind. I wouldn't be surprised at that outcome at all. It's my story too. My friend advised me to do the pump/formula thing and it sounded OK to me, except I didn't want my baby to have any formula so I planned to EP. I barely remember why I thought that would be a good idea. I guess the idea of nursing just seemed too foreign to me at the time. But after I gave birth and was holding the baby, those thoughts all went out the window, and we have a wonderful nursing relationship. But for me it wasn't really comprehensible as until I was a mother.
 

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I am EPing for almost 3 years for my dd. (but not for those reasons!) I know someone IRL who had major hang-ups with breasts being sexual but wanted her kids to have the benefits. She pumped 1 year with her first, and 6 months with her second. (a surprise pregnancy then miscarriage killed her supply) I'ts not ideal, but its better than formula. It is a PITA to EP, trust me. But if you are determined, it is doable. After the first few months you only have to get up once at night to pump, normally.<br><br>
EPers tribe<br><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=462944" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=462944</a>
 

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Ewww... cannot imagine wishing my hellish schedule on anyone who CHOSE to EP. Mine is not my choice and I cringe at the thought of someone thinking the breasts are for hubby (sexual) vs. functional for the baby/momma.<br><br>
Makes me cringe b/c I would love to have that choice... but sadly I don't.<br><br>
I don't predict she'll make it very long just b/c it seems to me your EP for long periods of time would kill to BF their child... and honestly it's double and triple the work...
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>urchin_grey</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11627433"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I highly doubt she will make it very far. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br>
Some woman <i>can</i> EP long term... But it doesn't work for everyone because pumping is not nearly as effective as the baby actually nursing.<br><br>
(I speak from experience...)</div>
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Urchin grey -<br>
I just wanted to respond that you are right that not all moms can EP for extended lengths in time. I wanted just to share my experience. I tried to bf using the services of LCs w/ all 3 of my children little success. So I EPed purely because I had to. The interesting thing about my body is that because it never actually 'knew' how to make milk for a baby feeding for the breast, it would react to my pump as if it was a baby. For instance, as soon as I turned on the pump, I would let down in just a couple seconds. Even if I decided to pump 1 hr later (I might not produce as much milk, but I still would let down). I made ample amount of milk that I worked to increase so I could provide bm to my 2 children close in age.<br><br>
I just wanted to share my body's reaction to the pump. It is sort of interesting.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>buttercup</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11637100"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Urchin grey -<br>
I just wanted to respond that you are right that not all moms can EP for extended lengths in time. I wanted just to share my experience. I tried to bf using the services of LCs w/ all 3 of my children little success. So I EPed purely because I had to. The interesting thing about my body is that because it never actually 'knew' how to make milk for a baby feeding for the breast, it would react to my pump as if it was a baby. For instance, as soon as I turned on the pump, I would let down in just a couple seconds. Even if I decided to pump 1 hr later (I might not produce as much milk, but I still would let down). I made ample amount of milk that I worked to increase so I could provide bm to my 2 children close in age.<br><br>
I just wanted to share my body's reaction to the pump. It is sort of interesting.</div>
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Same here. If I look at my pump or even sometimes think of it I letdown. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> My body responds to the pump very well, since it is all my body knew when I had dd. When I had ds, my body seemed to remember how to respond to the pump, and I still pump about 32 oz a day for dd OVER what ds takes from the tap. Everyone is different, especially if her body never knows how to respond to a baby. It also depends on the type of pump, etc. I actually had a hard time letting down for my baby the first week or two, my body was so used to the pump!
 

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hope this isn't posted too much after the fact & I didn't really read the other posts...<br>
just wanted to let you know i ended up EPing for my first lo & the 'straw that broke the camel's back' so to speak was my husband's desire to have some access to my breasts in a sexual way without worry that he's hurting me -- and without my nipples looking like hamburger meat. yes - and that's exactly how they looked after pumping for 11 months.<br>
and as for the pumping itself - I hated for my DH to see me pump; quite a turn off for both parties if you ask me. it's actually one of those things that I regret letting my husband ever see (but I don't know how keeping it private from your DH would really be a practical expectation)<br><br>
perhaps if she's thinking pumping will be kinder on her breasts than a babe or that pumping is somehow less "involved," she (and her husband - and her baby!) might benefit from knowing that, in my experience, it was quite to the contrary?
 

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i dont get it... why cant her husband and baby share? and if thats whats shes weird about how is pumping any better? i had to pump way more then i had to nurse after i relactated when he started to nurse i actually nursed was less then i pumped if she pumps he may never see her boobs
 

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My dh will never see my boobs the same again after seeing the pump hooked to them for 2.5 years. It is much more painful than bfing from the tap, IMO. Those really are things to consider...
 

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WOW. I can't even imagine. So she'd rather "share" her breasts with a machine than her baby? Because somehow that's less sexual? Hmmm.... it's much harder to be discreet about nursing than it is pumping. Her DH is still going to be "sharing" them. Whatever.<br><br>
I ended up EPing for awhile with my first. It was awful. Worst of both worlds, IMO. So much work. So hard to maintain supply. Very difficult to maintain a rigorous pumping schedule if you're wanting to be out and about. Imagine pumping in the car, at a friend's house, at a restaurant. NIP is so much easier.<br><br>
Then again, my cousin EP'd for ten months. Only had to pump three times a day. She'd actually pour out her midday pump if she was away from home because it was too much hassle to carry around and she got all she needed in the other two pump sessions. Her easy EP experience is definitely not the norm.<br><br>
I think it's all going to depend on your cousin's body and how easy it is for her. EPing is only a casual decision if you're a mega producer like my cousin. For most of us, it's brutal hard work. Requires a single minded dedication to getting baby that milk. Your cousin's dedication to baby is already compromised refusing to share her baby feeding organs with anyone but DH (and her pump). That doesn't bode very well for her success....<br><br>
My best advice at this point would be encourage her to rent/buy a hospital grade pump like a Lactina or a Symphony. A PIS doesn't build and maintain supply nearly as well.<br><br>
And do share how it works out. Hopefully baby at least gets some mama milk. But still, how sad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks, Moonglow <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
I'll let you all know how it works out. Worst case scenario is that I'll be pumping for her as well. I pump milk to donate but so far, nobody wants my milk (a fact that I never thought I'd have to deal with when donating). I'll probably end up sending it to her.
 
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