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I recently had a friend who delivered her baby but felt funny about breastfeeding. She decided that she would give her baby the benefits of breast milk through pumping and bottle feeding. Have any of your felt that way or just pumped exclusively for another reason? How did it go? ~Bonnie, StrongMoms Facilitator
I do it, but it's a lot of work. You pretty much have to do it every time the baby eats or you will not produce enough. I do not do that. I produced enough for the first 3 weeks and then it went down hill. I feed my baby about half formula and have pumped breast milk at this point (he is 5 weeks). I think I am going to give up pretty soon. I felt weird about breast feeding too but they had me try it at the hospital and it wasn't as weird as I thought. I would have continued to do it that way but my son would not latch on correctly and it hurt BAD. Best of luck!
I am currently a pumping mom. I am starting to transition baby to formula though. I tried very hard to breastfeed her. We had a rough start from the beginning....weight gain issues, thrush, and finally mastitis and still thrush along with latch issues. Exclusively pumping is A LOT of work, but it can be done. My baby is 6 weeks old now and I am just too exhausted and my nipples are still in pain from the thrush so I give up. Also I easily get clogged ducts and the pump doesn't do a great job in emptying my breasts so I really don't want to end up with another round of mastitis. Good luck!
Also, you are going to need to pump 8-10 times a day most likely to keep your supply up if you are exclusively pumping. I suggest getting a very good electric double pump, AND a manual pump to take on the go ( in case you can't make it home or to an electric outlet in time ). I find that using the manual in public is a lot easier.
Jennee - Wow, KUDOS to you for ALL the hard work you put into pumping! Sounds like you have had a really challenging time with this but kept it up for a while. Your experience can help make life easier for other young mothers who are trying to avoid problems along the way. I just wanted to make sure you are noticed for all that you did - great job!
When I had my first son i pumped and gave him a bottle instead. Not because that's how I wanted to, but because I had no other choice. I started breastfeeding him in the hospital right after his birth. But he got Jaundice and nobody told me, they put him under a light and gave him formula without asking me first. Then they didn't bring me a pump to keep my milk flowing like it should. So when we got home he was use to the bottle nipple, which made it harder for me to breastfeed. I had to pump, I had no other choice, but it only lasted a few weeks until it just didn't really seem to work out anymore. I'm glad I got to give him breast milk for the first few weeks of his life, but I am also still not very happy with the staff at that hospital either. I just hope they don't pull the same stunt again when i have my second son in December.
Wow, sounds like you really didn't get a lot of support with your first child. I'm so sorry that happened! Sounds like you know exactly what to ask for your little guy has jaundice to deal with. Good job for trying to make it work as best you could.
I nursed for about the first week with my little guy, had latch issues that made me bleed, engorgement, etc. so I started pumping to keep my supply up. It takes a lot of work and dedication. This is my second one to do this with. With the first one I had enough frozen milk to feed him for 2 months after I had stopped pumping. With my second one I pump every time he eats. He is 5 months old and we are still at it. When he cut out his middle of the night feeding, I cut out that pumping. I think the key is staying on or as close as you can to the same schedule as your little one to keep your supply up. I produce a lot of milk and I think it is due to pumping until there is no milk left. It’s kind of like a supply and demand system. I am not sure how long I will keep it up so I like the idea of having all of the frozen milk to fall back on. ~KM
Engle - Wow - you are doing SUCH an amazing job and really keeping up with your little guy's feeding schedule!! Pumping really is all about supply and demand. The body is amazing in its ability to figure out when we need to provide food and when we don't - if you tell it to make it, it will. If you back off on pumping, it usually will back off on milk supply. I bet you have a ton of milk saved!! You'll be starting solid foods soon - that's a whole new adventure!
I had a preemie and had to exclusively pump for 33 days while he was in the NICU. Once he was home I tried to breast feed and he has never latched! My milk supply has decreased a lot. I started supplementing with formula and I think the two of us are much happier :)
Kellie - That's a long NICU stay. So glad your little guy is home! It can be pretty tough to successfully breast feed a baby that is born prematurely. Sounds like you got him off to a really great start with all your pumping. Glad you guys are transitioning well. :-) How old is he now?
His due date is Friday 11/22. He'll be 8 weeks old (actual age), but his adjusted age will be newborn. He is doing great though!
Kellie-I am SO glad to hear that things are going well. I'm sure you know just how lucky you are to have him home with you! :) -Jess
Yes Kellie... when he comes home I'm sure it will be a magical day for you and your family. I have seen friends ride the roller coaster of a preemie and I so admire all that parents and the baby must go through just to get home. I'm sure it gives you great perspective and an incredible appreciation for what you have.
Ah, what a milestone! Glad you are on the other side of this whole ordeal now. :-) Is it wonderful being home now?? I know some people who have a hard time getting used to life without monitors to let them know how the baby is doing!