Multiples

Thoughts on exclusively pumping? Advice?

So I am mostly a lurker :) BUT I have learned ALOT by reading all of your posts for the last 8 months! Thank you for that.Here I am with only 35 days left.Mackenzie Mae and Reagan Hope will be here before I know it...I have had a mostly uneventful pregnancy thank GOD! I found out today that my husband's insurance will cover 90% of a breast pump so I am getting a Medela Pump in Style. I am very excited because if you would have asked me 1 month ago I would have said I would not even try to breastfeed again but I really think I am going to pump most of the time. I do love that bonding :) I nursed for 6 weeks with our 1st.Thoughts on exclusively pumping? Advice?Good or bad, I will take it.Thank you Ladies! 

Re: Thoughts on exclusively pumping? Advice?

  • I did it for 6 months after learning very quickly that I couldn't keep up with the demand of BFing twins.  I honestly don't know how some MoMs do it.  I just couldn't.  So I EP and it went very well for us.  DH could be involved in feedings, which he loved, and I could be happy knowing they were still getting some breast milk.  It was demanding to try to pump, especially while I was at home on maternity leave alone, but it's totally doable.  I used the Medela Pump in Style as well and really liked it. 

    I had supply issues around 5 months after a nasty sinus infection and was only able to keep pumping until the boys were 6 months.  After that they went to formula and it was fine. 

    Just do what feels best for you.  I'm happy that I did it, but was fine with stopping when I had to.  Good luck!

  • I EP'd for DS1 for 2 months - i wasn't into nursing (even though he did great with it) and then had medical issues that i had to pump/dump for over a week... and liked bottle feeding a lot more - b/c i had more control - knew how much he had, and others could feed him... but i wanted him to get my milk so i pumped after each feeding and saved it for the next bottle... and also grew a bit of a freezer stash, too.

    I did the same with the twins - nursed in the hospital but after 2 days they started boycotting - so we went with EPing again...  but after 4 weeks I was done - taking care of a toddler + 2 babies + pumping/feeding = too much for me.  I gave them 4 weeks- I was fine with that - no guilt here - they did fine on formula.

    it's a lot of work - adds in a whole new thing you have to do all the time... makes it a pain if you are going places... but- for many it works great. 

     

  • I nursed for a whopping one feeding in the hospital before I realized I needed to EP for a while. My boys actually have to be on a special diet that includes formula and random other stuff so I can't pump exclusively but I was trying to pump what they ate and freeze the leftovers. That lasted for about a month. Now I just try to pump as often as I can and I get enough for 1 kid.

    It's hard. There's just so much other stuff to do. I hate giving up those 15min it takes to pump. Especially at night. Since you have a kid you know what it takes so I'm sure you'll do better at it than I did. I didn't know what I was getting myself into and I'm already burned out at 2 months. I skip a few feedings here and there out of necessity and my supply pretty much tanked. If you do EP be sure to get a pumping bra, that's my only advice. 

  • I have such a love/hate relationship with pumping.  I hate doing it, but I can't seem to quit.  My biggest challenge is finding time to do it with 2 needy babies.  Pumping at work is no problem, but there was many a time on maternity leave where I'd set them on the activity mat and shake it with my toes while pumping to keep them from crying.

    And just yesterday, one baby was totally off schedule, missed a nap and finally feel asleep in my arms during his bottle.  I wanted nothing more than to snuggle with him and enjoy the moment.  But noooooo, I was way past due to pump and had to hand him off. 

    There's major benefits to knowing exactly how much they eat and being able to share duties with others, but the previous poster is correct.  This 15 minutes are so hard to give up.

    I have it down now where I don't pump when they're awake during the week.  I pump at 10 and 3 at work, 8 after they go to bed, 11 before I go to bed, and around 5 when I have to set my alarm.  That 5am one is really tough.  My DH gets up to feed one of my boys, so as long as he's getting up, I feel like I can get up too.  Once he sttn too, I might finally quit.  Maybe.

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  • Personally, I would have a really hard time EPing. I hate pumping at all and only do it because I work part time. If I couldn't BF I'd try to EP though so that my babies could get the benefit of BM. Is there a reason you don't want to BF? I'll admit it is really hard at first but gets a lot easier after a couple months.
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  • Thank you for all your advice...

    I want to try EP or BF or both, SOMETHING....that's all I know :) 

    People think I am crazy trying with twins but I have this nagging feeling to try. 

    Small goals right?

    I am sure this won't be my last question.....

    Thanks again! 

  • I wouldn't recommend it.

    I planned to BF my twins, but between going to breast and pumping, there weren't enough hours in the day (so it seemed).  So I ended up exclusively pumping, which was ok in the beginning when the babies didn't need much milk.  But their milk requirement went up and my milk supply didn't, which I believe was because of the pumping only.  Putting a baby on the breast is so much better for increasing milk production than pumping.  Long story short, by 3 months I was pumping hardly anything compared to how much they needed, and I decided it didn't make sense to continue.  So I now formula feed and I'm pretty bummed about it.  If I could do it over again, I would continue putting them to breast and not rely mostly on pumping.

    That's my two cents!

    TTC Since 2007 M/C survivor twice in 2008 IVF twice at CCRM in 2009 TWIN BOYS born in July 2010 IVF again in 2011 BABY GIRL due August 2012
  • I pump and started doing it at about one month. Before that I EBF for the first two weeks (but it took forever) and then for the next two weeks I did a combo of nursing and pumping but it got so hard to because I had no schedule and I never knew how much anybody ate so I was going crazy, plus like you I had a nother LO.

    I will tell you it is HARD. I have to schedule my day around it and it offers all of the drawbacks of BFing and bottle feeding so you have to really beleive that BM is worth it. Since I do have a little one in MDO a few days a week I am doing it to try and keep them healthy and the germs at bay (although they still have gotten sick so I can't say it has worked completly). I rented a hospital grade pump, I pump every four hours (except at night) and I still only produce about 36-39 ozs per day. Not enough to feed both completly (they both get a few ounces of formula at night). Just take it one day at a time if you decide to go that route. My first goal was three months. Now I am trying to make it to Thanksgiving. Then Christmas. I hate pumping, but if I quit I would fee guilty so day after day I strap on the pump and assult my nipples while I try to entertain three kids under two. Like I said. It is hard, but that is what I am doing for now....

  • I breastfeed my babies, but that's only after a HELLISH period of learning how to do it/getting my body used to it. HELLISH. Seriously, breastfeeding was wicked hard for me, especially at the beginning, and a few times I thought maybe I'd switch to EP. But then, during those hard "I give up" days, there was always at least one feeding where it was clear to me that it would be easier to put [insert screaming baby's name] to the breast than it would be to move them both around enough to get and warm a bottle. So I'd do that. And then I'd decide, screw it, might as well just keep breastfeeding.

    What I mean to say is: As hard as breastfeeding was, I don't think EPing was any easier. It takes a ton of time and dedication. But breastfeeding 1) is better at maintaining your supply, as anna mentioned. And 2) After that HELLISH learning period is over, it's actually kind of easy. The babies get better and faster at it, your boobs get used to it, you get used to it, etc. Now I'm about to go back to work, and thus I'll have to pump during the days. I've been pumping during the weekdays for the past week, in order to get used to it, and I'm stunned to find myself wishing I could just breastfeed. (If you had told me two months ago that I'd write that, I wouldn't have believed it.)

    My suggestion is this: Start by trying to breastfeed. Get a good lactation consultant (I saw mine 7 times!), and give it your all. If it doesn't work, then give EPing a try. If neither work, switch to formula with zero guilt. Feeding twins is HARD, and all of the options that are available to us MoMs are completely, totally valid.      

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  • I've been EPing from just about day 1.  The girls were in the NICU so we had very few chances to breast feed and I just got used to pumping.  At first it was a huge pain...especially when they were still in the NICU and I was pumping every 3 hours even through the night to get my supply up.  But then it got easier.  I have it down to such a routine now it's the easiest thing.  If I'm home alone with them, I pump while feeding the girls.  I put them in their bouncy seats on the floor and sit between them and hook myself up to the pump.  Then pop the bottles in their mouths. By the time they're done eating I'm usually about finished pumping.  If there's someone around to help feed them I just pump for 15 minutes immediately afterward.  Every now and again supply dips a tad, but I just pump a little longer, or breast feed for a few minutes.  That usually does the trick. 

    The only drawback I can see to it is that it's obviously a bit inconvenient when you're out of the house.  Still, it's completely doable if you ask me.  The only advice I can offer is that if you really want to do it, stick it out through the tough time in the beginning when building your supply.  Be sure to pump 8-10 times a day in the first few weeks. Also, pumping while being near your baby or just after holding them seems to give the best results.  I hope that whichever way you decide to go works for you!  Good luck.

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  • First, do what is right for you. That said, I have breastfed two singletons and had to pump during the day while I worked. I breastfed ONLY while at home but it was still hard to keep up with their demands when they went through growth spurts. I did, but barely! I breastfed them both for a year. With the twins, I've been SAH and don't need to pump nor have the time to pump with 4 kids 4 and under nor have extra milk to pump since I'm busy feeding two! I have pumped just a few times. It really is better to ONLY nurse especially if you can stay with them and don't want to supplement because your body will not be able to keep up your supply unless your babies do it. With my two girls I had trouble around 4 mo. and if I didn't have a freezer stash I would've had to supplement with formula at that time. This go aroundI can tell when the twins go through a growth spurt but they have kept up my supply just fine. If they want to nurse, though, especially in those first few months, you have to nurse them often. I would recommend nursing only but do what you can and want to obviously. Pumping even some of the time would be too much for me with everything else going on anyway. It's so easy now to sit down and nurse them once every 4 hours for 10 min. so all the time in the beginning was worth it! I know it's worth it for their health too:) Good luck.

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  • I EPed for about 11 months and did not supplement until the end when I was weaning. I found it really hard and challenging. I was only able to do it because I had someone helping me with the babies. I know my boys benefited but it's really taxing.

    Good luck

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  • image AliciaMomof4:

    First, do what is right for you. ...

    This is the most important thing!

    I EBF my boys for the first two months and then after some issues with latches and an infection I switched to EPing.  Like many of the PP said, EPing is hard - being tied to the pump, finding time when you're alone with the LOs, etc. but the importance of giving my guys some breastmilk outweighed the negatives for me.  I am just starting to wean off EPing now at 4 months because my supply is very low and every effort to try to increase that for me has failed.  At this point it's not worth my time pumping for the amount of breastmilk that I get.  I am very happy I stuck with it this long though, but it all comes down to what works & is right for you and your family.

    Good luck!!

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