3rd Trimester

Breastfeeding and pumping same??

This may seem like a silly question but if I were to only pump the breast milk and feed the baby with a bottle is that the same effect as breastfeeding? My main concern is will the breastmilk continue to develop and stay and how often would I have to pump?

Re: Breastfeeding and pumping same??

  • From what I've heard, you are supposed to BF for at least 2 weeks to establish a "natural" pattern for your milk, then you can pump at those times and feed LO the milk that way...
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  • Many people pump exclusively from day 1 (some people actually HAVE to).  You just need to pump often (every two hours) and with consistency.
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  • I'm just going to "ditto" what the previous posters said. You have to pump the same frequency that you would feed. So with a newborn, that's about every two - three hours.


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  • You can EP (exclusively pump), but sometimes people do have supply issues with EPing b/c the pump, any pump, will NEVER be as efficient as your baby at emptying your breast.  Your baby will always be able to get more milk total and get it faster.  That said, if you post asking for advice over on the BF'ing board, I'm sure you'll find some others that have done it and can speak from experience about EPing specifically.  The simple answer is, yes, it absolutely can be done.  Having said all that, when I was pumping while working FT, pumping was much less comfortable and a much bigger annoyance for me than just BF'ing, but that's my personal experience.

    As far as benefits for you and for the baby, you are correct.  You will still get the benefits of the BM by pumping.  The only thing that you won't have is the closeness and the bonding that comes with BF'ing, but not everyone feels that strongly about that part of BF'ing anyway.  You have to do what feels right for you and your baby, and EPing is certainly a huge advantage for your baby and for you healthwise.

    Good luck!

  • It depends on how well your body responds to the pump. Generally, a pump is considered somewhat less effective/efficient at stimulating milk production than a nursing baby. Some people are really successful at pumping (one of my co-workers pumped for more than a year with both of her kids); others don't have much luck, and some respond well for awhile but eventually their body responds less and less. I was one in the last category; I pumped a lot at first to help establish my supply, and that was helpful in helping me build up a freezer stash as well. But after about six months, I was able to get less and less from a pumping session. I was still able to BF with plenty to satisfy DD until well past a year, but pumping just wasn't effective after awhile. And to answer your question, you would need to pump as often as you'd be feeding the baby. At first, that's every few hours. Sometimes it would be even more often, b/c babies go through periods of cluster feedings where they nurse extra-frequently during a growth spurt, and that builds up your supply so you make even more as they get bigger. 

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  • Your child will get the same benifits, yes. You have to pump just as often as you would feed, though about every two hours. Sometim/es more if they're going through a growth spurt. If you're going to pump exclusively be sure to get a hospital grade pump so you have a better chance of maintaining a good supply.
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  • image arpslady:
    From what I've heard, you are supposed to BF for at least 2 weeks to establish a "natural" pattern for your milk, then you can pump at those times and feed LO the milk that way...

    The reason for this is to reduce the risk of nipple confusion if you are planning to breast and bottle feed. It sounds like she just wants to bottle feed, so there shouldn't be an issue.


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  • If you get a good pump that simulates natural breastfeeding with the two phases and all, it should be fine.  You just need to pump with the same regularity as you would breastfeed so that your body knows how much to prepare.  My cousin pumps and feeds exclusively because her LO was born early and in the NICU and couldn't breastfeed. GL
  • It's better than formula but no, it's not the same. I would suggest speaking with a LC and/or reading. I really liked "So That's What They're For". Easy, Funny Read.

    eta - Benefits are close but not exactly the same. Read the book. 

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  • From what I understand, one of the reasons pumping sometimes doesn't  work as well as BFing is because of oxytocin. From webmd: "Oxytocin causes the milk-producing glands and the milk ducts to contract and push milk toward the nipple." It is released when your LO latches on and has a lot to do with the emotional/bonding aspect of BFing. I have read that looking at pictures of your LO or just closing your eyes and thinking about them can get the oxytocin flowing. That said, you may have no problems at all with pumping exclusively. But if you do, this may be why.  I've also read that you can be prescribed oxytocin, perhaps if you do have some problems, it may help. Just a thought. GL!
  • Just as PP have said, your baby will be more efficient than a pump, however lots of women EP for lots of reasons.  You will definitely need a high-quality pump (I have a Medela PISA and love it!).

    I would check out kellymom.com (an AWESOME reference for breastfeeding, pumping, etc).  The ladies there can give you a ton of advice on EPing (there are articles galore as well as msg boards).

    Good luck! Any amount of BM you can give to your LO will be wonderful ;) 


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