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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long story short, my DD won't nurse. She hasn't since she was 2 months old (and even then she would only nurse with a shield). She is now 5 months old. My milk supply is good, I don't have a lot of problems that way, she just...hates my boobs.

So I pump. She has never had formula, I don't plan on ever giving her any. I pump every 3-4 hours and she eats just fine from glass bottles. I would like to continue pumping until she is 2 years old, but I really, really, hate pumping. I am looking for a little encouragement, and a lot of answers. Has anyone else done this?

What do I do about foremilk/hindmilk? In the morning when I pump, I pump about three bottles (4 oz each). Two bottles are very thin, almost translucent. The last bottle is very creamy. Should I just give her these bottles as is? Should I combine then in a bigger container, mix them up and then give a bottle to her?

How do I label them. It's hard keeping track of when I pumped which bottle to make sure she's not getting old milk. Any ideas?

I've heard the contents of breastmilk change over the day. How does this work with pumping? If I give her milk I pumped in the morning at 7pm, will it be harder for her to go to sleep?
 

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I exclusively pump as well, 6 mo now. Honestly, I hate every minute of it, my little girl is lucky she's so cute! You definitely want to combine your milk, I don't worry about mixing the right with the left, but I make sure I combine each bottle from each breast. That way your hind milk gets mixed in. The milk doesn't change throughout the day, it just separates, you are supposed to gently swirl it to mix it up. The fat rises to the surface and can really stick to the sides so I find warming it up first helps mix it. Fresh milk is good for up to 7 days, I would freeze my milk every 2-4 days. When you thaw your frozen milk it needs to be used within 24 hrs. My girl doesn't like frozen so I mix in fresh. Also, I bought the really cheap bottles for fridge use, that way you don't have to buy so many good ones, and I line them up in the fridge with the oldest in front so that's where you start if you have to freeze. I feel like my whole life revolves around the collection and storage of milk! My sister did it with her first, her 2nd was a c-section and he came out and basically crawled up to that boob and they never had any nursing issues. So there is hope if you have a 2nd!
 

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I just have to add, pumping just sucks. I don't think the average person realizes how much of our day we devote to it. There are times I feel so angry when I am doing it, I have so many things to do, and here I sit, pumping yet again. Ugh.
 

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I EP. I combine milk from each pumping session into larger bottles. For the sitter, I combine into one big container. She switches to separate the fat and then makes the bottles.

My system for keeping up with milk is to keep 3 medela bottles in the fridge max. Anything over that and I start freezing. I also line the bottles up in order to be used.

EPing sucks but I am committed to it for similar reasons as you.
 

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My middle baby refused to nurse as well. She was a preemie and started nursing some around 3-4 months old then when daycare encouraged me to switch to faster flow bottle nipples, she started refusing the breast and would pitch a fit if I tried to nurse her. Sigh. Maybe I'm weird but I don't mind EP'ing (this my 3rd time doing it). I feel really good about giving my babies breastmilk and seeing how healthy they are is rewarding. If my baby starts to get a cold, I can up my vitamin D intake and the cold goes away alot faster. I LOVE that!!! I have a car adapter for the pump so I can pump when we go out shopping on the weekends and there's no rush for me to get back home. I didn't have that little luxury with my first baby so it was really quite liberating when I got the car adapter with my second. While I would rather have a "normal" BF'ing relationship with my babies, I'll take what I can get. I spent alot of time lamenting everything that went wrong after my first was born that led me to EP for him. But after my second child was born and nothing went the way it was *supposed* to even though I had planned for months, I learned to accept things the way they were. I had alot of guilt and sadness but letting go of that has made it easier for me to continue pumping. Its as if my internal monologue switched from "I have to pump because I failed at BF'ing" to "I want to pump because that's the best I can do". As far as combining the milk, I don't usually do that. My baby doesn't have any trouble sleeping. He gets the feeding as is unless I need to top it off with a little more. I store in Lansinoh bags for convenience - they warm up quicker and I can label them with date and amount so there's no confusion. They also take up less room in the fridge. HTH and keep up the good work!!!
 

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I don't EP, but I've started using a china marker to keep track of which bottle of milk is from when in the fridge. I used to just line them up, but with so many people using the fridge, they get knocked around sometimes.

I've also heard of painters tape and a sharpie.

In the freezer, I keep the bottles in a zip lock baggie, and then write on the out side of the back with a sharpie (not the best method, so I'll be keeping an ear out for better freezer storage tips).

Finally, are you saying you pump 12 ounces from each breast at a sitting? If so, you might want to consider getting 8 ounce bottles-- the ones made by even flo or gerber that say 'standard' are cheap and will fit the medela pump.
 

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I also want to agree, pumping sucks! Days like to day I keep trying to tell myself, thank god for the pump, it allows me to work outside the home. But it doesnt work.
 

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First, cheers and
to all the EPers (and non-exclusive but sometimes pumpers).

Quote:

Originally Posted by bannanachild View Post
I would like to continue pumping until she is 2 years old, but I really, really, hate pumping. I am looking for a little encouragement, and a lot of answers. Has anyone else done this?
You are doing great Mama. EPing is hard! And before I found other EPers here on MDC, I felt like it was also really lonely. I send you applause on every pump you've done until now and every pump to come. And lots of sympathy and support. You are awesome!

I've been EPing for more than 22 months (and posting while I pump) and plan to continue until my daughter is at least 2 years old and probably beyond.

There's an EP tribe on the Breastfeeding Challenges subforum that I've found helpful and encouraging: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=462944

And a few months back, I posted some of my EP tips and tricks on another thread. Here's the link in case it would be helpful: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...895&highlight=

Please feel free to PM if you'd like to talk or just need more encouragement.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bannanachild View Post
What do I do about foremilk/hindmilk? In the morning when I pump, I pump about three bottles (4 oz each). Two bottles are very thin, almost translucent. The last bottle is very creamy. Should I just give her these bottles as is? Should I combine then in a bigger container, mix them up and then give a bottle to her?
I often pump more than one storage bottle's worth in one pump. I don't bother mixing more than one storage bottle's worth together, but I do keep the milk in order in my fridge, so that in any given day (over the course of all the milk she drinks), my daughter gets a mix of both fore milk and hind milk.

My feeling is that it's ok if she gets a little fore milk at the beginning (without being mixed with hind milk) or a little hind milk (without being mixed with fore milk) because if she was directly feeding, she would get the same thing. And because, in total, she is getting both.

When I heat up the milk, I do mix whatever is in that storage bottle gently.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bannanachild View Post
How do I label them. It's hard keeping track of when I pumped which bottle to make sure she's not getting old milk. Any ideas?
In the fridge, although I know I can keep it for 8 days, I usually keep only enough to use it within about 4 days. Because I know I'll use it well before 8 days, I don't label the milk in the fridge, but I do keep it in order (we call it "the milk queue" :)) so she does eat the oldest first.

I freeze the rest in a deep-chest freezer; if I notice the milk queue is getting long, then I freeze all of the milk from the next pump so that what's frozen is a mix of fore and hind milk. I label the bag with the date. Then I store a bunch of bags (over several days/weeks) in a large ziplock and number the large ziplock (chronologically) and with the date range (e.g. January-February 2010). That way, if I go to the freezer to get some milk, I don't have to go through hundreds of bags of frozen milk (yep, I've got hundreds, but the amount in them varies from 1 oz to several ounces), but rather I can look at the large ziplocks. We also keep a note (just on a post-it) on the freezer about what number bag we are on.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bannanachild View Post
I've heard the contents of breastmilk change over the day. How does this work with pumping? If I give her milk I pumped in the morning at 7pm, will it be harder for her to go to sleep?
I've heard this too and initially I thought about tracking the time and only given her milk pumped in the morning in the morning, etc. and I did this for a week or so but--for me--I did some thinking about what was really important to me. Ultimately I decided that what was most important to me was giving my daughter breastmilk, but also coming up with with a pumping/storage/etc. system that was as simple as possible. I decided that was just too much administratively to track the time and stress about matching the time of pumping the milk to feeding the milk and that I could let that particular detail go. (And by doing so have a few extra minutes playing with my daughter or hanging out with my partner and a lot less time stressing.) For us, my daughter hasn't had any issues with having milk pumped at one time fed at another.

Once again, Mama, you are awesome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you SO SO much! It's great to know there are others out there. Really, I'm not sure how much longer I could have pumped without knowing there are others out there doing the same thing! Thanks a million!

groovyem; Amen! My DD is also lucky she is so cute.
I usually read while I pump (or, like now, post on MDC) but the worst is when DD is awake, and screaming, and I can't do anything about it because I pumping. I HATE that. I also feel guilty because she hates being held when she eats, so I feel like she's getting less cuddle time then other babies. And, also, I still feel liked I've failed at BF.

HappyHappyMommy; 22 months? Wow. You are my hero. Thank you for all the links they have been VERY helpful.

texmati, I pump a total of 12 oz in the morning; 5oz from one side and 7 oz from the other side (I was never lopsided until my milk came in). I use Evenflo 4 oz glass bottles because she usually eats 2-4 oz at a time. I'm afraid if I use 8 oz and she leaves some in the bottle, the rest will go bad. Is that true?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bannanachild View Post
texmati, I pump a total of 12 oz in the morning; 5oz from one side and 7 oz from the other side (I was never lopsided until my milk came in). I use Evenflo 4 oz glass bottles because she usually eats 2-4 oz at a time. I'm afraid if I use 8 oz and she leaves some in the bottle, the rest will go bad. Is that true?
Wow! that is a lot to pump at one time. Go mama!

What I have seen from llli, is that a bottle that is already drunk from can be offered one more time at the next feeding, but after that it has to be discarded.

However-- if I were in your shoes, I'd pump into the larger bottles, and then shake to combine the fat and foremilk if it has separated, and then dispense into 4 ounce bottles.

(In fact, I'd leave 4 ounces of milk in the 8 ounce bottles, and pour the rest into another bottle, because I hate, hate HATE!!! washing bottles).

It's, of course, totally up to you and what works-- I just wanted to mention that you can find 8 ounce bottles to fit the pump, and then you wouldn't have to worry so much about foremilk/hindmilk ect.
 

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And I just wanted to add--- please don't feel guilty! Having DS has taught me that some babies are really vocal about what they want and need. You are listening to your daughters cues about feeding and cuddling, all while providing the best possible nutrition! She really lucked out when she got such caring, dedicated mom.

s.
 

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Woo hoo all the EPers, you rock!!!! I have been EPing for dd for almost 7 months now, here is what I do.

I pump into 8 oz bottles, and try to feed her fresh when I can. I have her bottles lines up in the fridge with the oldest closest (I have the bottles in a little storage bin I bought at the dollar store to keep them from getting knocked over.

I freeze my leftovers in 1 serving increments in lansinoh bags. I use a sharpie to write the date I pumped the milk on the bag. I can then warm up the bag for one entire feed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
texmati, That is GENUIS!! I feel like I spend half my day washing and sanitizing bottles. Speaking of which, what do other EP'ers do to wash their pump? I have a little device that goes in the mircowave for 8 minutes that all the pump stuff and bottles fit inside. I use it about once every other day. Should I do it more than that? Should I avoid the microwave? Should I use the dishwasher instead?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bannanachild View Post
texmati, That is GENUIS!! I feel like I spend half my day washing and sanitizing bottles. Speaking of which, what do other EP'ers do to wash their pump? I have a little device that goes in the mircowave for 8 minutes that all the pump stuff and bottles fit inside. I use it about once every other day. Should I do it more than that? Should I avoid the microwave? Should I use the dishwasher instead?

Your baby seems to be the same age as mine-- Born in september!!! (Were you part of our ddc, my fried brain is drawing a blank).

I rarely sanitize my bottles any more (maybe weekly?), after watching my DS drop toys on the floor and then put them in his mouth, try and eat the couch where my husband has been sitting, ect.

If it was a smaller or sick baby, I would sanatize more often.
 

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I wash them with dish soap after each pumping session, I sterilize the bottles/pump stuff once every 1-2 weeks
 

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I sterilize once in awhile as well, just hot soapy water to keep em' clean. It is nice to know there are more of us out there, isn't it? I am just plagued by allergies and my mom feels if I wasn't formula fed I wouldn't have so many, so that's the goal I keep in my mind. I am assuming as my little one gets older and can keep herself busy it will make it easier to pump, oh do I pray! I have heard that once a bottle touches their lips it has to be used within an hour. Mine will drink cold milk so I just add milk to her bottle if she wants more.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by groovyem View Post
I sterilize once in awhile as well, just hot soapy water to keep em' clean. It is nice to know there are more of us out there, isn't it? I am just plagued by allergies and my mom feels if I wasn't formula fed I wouldn't have so many, so that's the goal I keep in my mind. I am assuming as my little one gets older and can keep herself busy it will make it easier to pump, oh do I pray! I have heard that once a bottle touches their lips it has to be used within an hour. Mine will drink cold milk so I just add milk to her bottle if she wants more.
That's good to keep in mind! Mine will drink cold as well. I've heard the one hour rule only applies to formula-- I'll see if I can dig up some links.
 

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From kellymom:

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/r...essedmilk.html

Quote:
Q: Should breastmilk left over from a feeding be dumped immediately (like formula), or can you save it and give it to baby later?
A: It should be safe to save the left-over milk and use it at the next feeding.
She sites a few sources in the study. I agree with you though, best add a little to the bottle if possible.
 

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Hey bananachild - I know what you mean about cuddle time. But every child is different. My sister's first was always content as long as she was holding him. She could be doing anything, if she was holding him, he was happy. I feel like I spend all day trying to keep mine content. She's not too keen on just being held. She does like being held for feedings, but, she hates sleeping and I hold her kicking and screaming when it's bedtime till she falls asleep. Literally, kicking and screaming. As long as we are there for them with lots of love, they'll be okay!

Hey texmati - thanks for the info, I have tossed out milk before and it makes me feel like I am committing some kind of terrible crime!
 
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