Breastfeeding

Exclusive pumpers x-post 0-3 board

What is your pumping schedule like? How did you get started? I've been ebf so far, but I'm really thinking that pumping might work out better for us. Walk me through a typical day of pumping. TIA! 
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Re: Exclusive pumpers x-post 0-3 board

  • The first few weeks of breastfeeding are definitely harder than just pumping.

    But then breastfeeding gets much easier... and pumping stays exactly the same. I'd urge you to get help to make breastfeeding better before just turning to exclusively pumping. Have you talked to a lactation consultant or La Leche leader?

  • I met with the LC before being discharged from the hospital. I just find myself crying through each nursing session. I don't enjoy it what-so-ever. I know everyone says it gets easier, but I don't know if I can make it til then. I don't feel like breast feeding is a bonding time with DD. I find myself dreading feeding time.  

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  • For the first 6-8 weeks, I pumped every 2.5-3 hours around the clock for about 10-15 minutes each session total (at least 8 sessions per 24 hour period). Since my DD was getting up about that much at night, DH would feed her the bottle and I would pump. Once she started sleeping longer stretches, I would set the alarm on my cell phone to get me up for the next session.

    Around 7-8 weeks, I started pumping every 3-4 hours (at least 7 sessions per 24 hour period). Sessions are about 10-15 minutes long.

    Around 8-9 weeks, I cut back to pumping every 4-5 hours (at least 6 sessions per 24 hour period). Sessions are about 15-20 minutes long.

    Around 9-10 weeks, I started pumping 5 times per day. Usually every 4 hours during the day, then once in the middle of the night. Sessions are about 20 minutes long.

    I found out around 1 month that if I pump longer than 10 minutes, I get a second and sometimes a 3rd letdown.

    EPing is a lot of work, but I have found it works better for our family. It is important to remember that you can't skip a session just because your DH can feed your LO, especially in the beginning. You want to pump every time that LO eats, so that your body knows it needs to produce the milk for that session.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do. It is not an easy decision, but remember you need to do what is best for you and your family!! You can always try to transition back to BF from EP at a later time, too.

  • I just realized how long my post was- Sorry!!

    I went through the tears and upset of BFing in the beginning, too. It is not an easy path and the decision to pump brought me a lot of guilt. I had to tell myself constantly that I was still giving DD my BM, which was the important part to me. Once I switched to pumping, I began to enjoy my time feeding DD- it was like she & I were new people and we were happy.
  • I am interested in more pumpers posting their schedules on here! I am just like you when it comes to breast feeding. I seriously hate it. It's so hard and it hurts so much. I started pumping after a few days of coming home from the hospital just because I was in tears and was hating life everytime I tried to feed my daughter. Sometimes she would latch on and sometimes she would just cry and fuss at my nipple even though she was hungry! It would take a good 15 minutes to get her to latch and start feeding. I pumped every time she ate for 15-20 minutes.

    Then I decided it was annoying and took too long to feed her, then pump, clean the bottles, the horns for the pump etc. so I tried to start nursing again and pumping just when needed. It was a little better since my nipples had healed up a little from pumping and her not knawing at them. Now, I am back to the pump due to mastitis in both breasts. This is the most sick I have been in a very long time, it feels like I have been beat with a bat and my fever constantly stays at 103. I am waiting on the antibiotics to kick in. Apparently I have a very large supply of milk (I usually have 2 ounces by 3 minutes when pumping!) so I get clogged ducts easily which has led to the mastitis. I don't know if my pumping so early on led to the large supply or what? I am totally clueless and all I know is I am almost ready to give it all up!!

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  • To the PP with mastitis, you should look into taking Lecithin.  I take it 3x per day.  I used to get a clogged duct every week if not more often, and I haven't gotten one in forever!  (Knock on wood!)
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  • image ejagk:

    For the first 6-8 weeks, I pumped every 2.5-3 hours around the clock for about 10-15 minutes each session total (at least 8 sessions per 24 hour period). Since my DD was getting up about that much at night, DH would feed her the bottle and I would pump. Once she started sleeping longer stretches, I would set the alarm on my cell phone to get me up for the next session.

    Around 7-8 weeks, I started pumping every 3-4 hours (at least 7 sessions per 24 hour period). Sessions are about 10-15 minutes long.

    Around 8-9 weeks, I cut back to pumping every 4-5 hours (at least 6 sessions per 24 hour period). Sessions are about 15-20 minutes long.

    Around 9-10 weeks, I started pumping 5 times per day. Usually every 4 hours during the day, then once in the middle of the night. Sessions are about 20 minutes long.

    I found out around 1 month that if I pump longer than 10 minutes, I get a second and sometimes a 3rd letdown.

    EPing is a lot of work, but I have found it works better for our family. It is important to remember that you can't skip a session just because your DH can feed your LO, especially in the beginning. You want to pump every time that LO eats, so that your body knows it needs to produce the milk for that session.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do. It is not an easy decision, but remember you need to do what is best for you and your family!! You can always try to transition back to BF from EP at a later time, too.

    Thank you so much for posting this.  I am toying with the idea of EPing because BFing just isnt;t working and it usually ends in both LO and me crying.

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  • I nursed DS but have to EP DD because of her special needs issues.  It makes me really sad that I'm unable to nurse her.  She's only been here for a week, so I'm new to the EP but I did pump when I returned to work so I have experience with both. 

    There are definite advantages to pumping at the beginning vs nursing - I cried at nearly every feeding session while nursing DS for about 6 weeks.  I was battling thrush and severe nipple damage so the latch was so painful.  I haven't had that now with pumping.  And I can have DH help with feeding and it's definitely faster at the beginning to pump that to nurse (DS would nurse for an hour at a time but I can pump and bottle feed in half that time.)  But like PP said, BFing gets easier and pumping stays the same.  It's so convenient to nurse - you don't have to carry a pump or bottles with you and can just nurse when baby is hungry. Supply isn't so much of an issue because your baby will eat as much as she needs.  You don't have the millions of parts to constantly wash.  Washing the parts gets SO old. 

    I really wish I didn't have to resort to EPing, because I know it's going to be so hard, but I don't have a choice.


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  • image ejagk:

    For the first 6-8 weeks, I pumped every 2.5-3 hours around the clock for about 10-15 minutes each session total (at least 8 sessions per 24 hour period). Since my DD was getting up about that much at night, DH would feed her the bottle and I would pump. Once she started sleeping longer stretches, I would set the alarm on my cell phone to get me up for the next session.

    Around 7-8 weeks, I started pumping every 3-4 hours (at least 7 sessions per 24 hour period). Sessions are about 10-15 minutes long.

    Around 8-9 weeks, I cut back to pumping every 4-5 hours (at least 6 sessions per 24 hour period). Sessions are about 15-20 minutes long.

    Around 9-10 weeks, I started pumping 5 times per day. Usually every 4 hours during the day, then once in the middle of the night. Sessions are about 20 minutes long.

    That's pretty similar to my progression at that stage. I stopped pumping at night when she was about 2 months old (I think, it's hard to remember exactly). At about 5 months, I cut back to 4 pumps/day - 5am, 10am, 2:30pm, and whenever I went to bed. I kept that schedule up until two weeks ago when I started dropping pumping sessions in order to start to wean--Two weeks left until she's one. We made it a year!

     A couple helpful resources:

    Beginner's Guide to EPing  (iVillage has EP forums that come in handy every so often, but they don't have nearly the traffic that TB has)

    Maximizing Production (Video)

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  • I EP'd for my son who is now 2.  I just want to give you a realistic expectation of what to expect because I can not tell you how much I regret the decision.  Nursing is really hard in the beginning but I have heard that is gets so much easier.  When it comes to pumping here is what you can expect.  I pumped every 6 hours for 20 minutes.   I was fairly lucky because a lot of people need to pump more often to get enough milk.  After each pumping session I would have to wash my pump parts which took about 10 minutes.  I also had to deal with storing/freezing/defrosting breast milk.  I would make my son a bottle and feed him and then have to deal with cleaning the bottles every night.  I would also sterilize my pump every night which would take about 10 minutes.  The worst part of the whole thing for me was that my son would scream while I was pumping and I would be trying to console him while pumping which was tough.  I am not trying to be negative.  If the choice was between pumping or not giving my son breast milk, I would obviously pump again.  I just know that I wish that I would have had someone telling me that it would get better and that I could do it.

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  • image ejagk:

    For the first 6-8 weeks, I pumped every 2.5-3 hours around the clock for about 10-15 minutes each session total (at least 8 sessions per 24 hour period). Since my DD was getting up about that much at night, DH would feed her the bottle and I would pump. Once she started sleeping longer stretches, I would set the alarm on my cell phone to get me up for the next session.

    Around 7-8 weeks, I started pumping every 3-4 hours (at least 7 sessions per 24 hour period). Sessions are about 10-15 minutes long.

    Around 8-9 weeks, I cut back to pumping every 4-5 hours (at least 6 sessions per 24 hour period). Sessions are about 15-20 minutes long.

    Around 9-10 weeks, I started pumping 5 times per day. Usually every 4 hours during the day, then once in the middle of the night. Sessions are about 20 minutes long.

    I found out around 1 month that if I pump longer than 10 minutes, I get a second and sometimes a 3rd letdown.

    EPing is a lot of work, but I have found it works better for our family. It is important to remember that you can't skip a session just because your DH can feed your LO, especially in the beginning. You want to pump every time that LO eats, so that your body knows it needs to produce the milk for that session.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do. It is not an easy decision, but remember you need to do what is best for you and your family!! You can always try to transition back to BF from EP at a later time, too.

    This is very close to what my schedule has been. At 4 months we are down to 5 pumps a day, I have always pumped until no more milk, which is about 23 min. I have found that a hands-free pumping bra is a must-have. There are alot of times where I am bottle feeding and pumping at the same time, so no crying baby that has to wait for mommy to be done holding the flages. We use drop-ins bottles, so bottle cleanup is not as bad as washing any others. I went and bought enough nipples to last me through a day and then sterilize the actual bottle part daily. I have been known to pump while washing bottle parts thanks to the hands free bra.

    Also, in the beginning when I was pumping like every 2 hours and when I am at work, I pour the milk into a drop-ins bottle and then put the pump flanges and bottles in the fridge until it was time to pump again. Only had to sterilize parts once a day. Also, BM can sit out at room temp for approx. 6 hours, so up until the time I went back to work, we never really had to warm up a bottle because she just drank her bottles at room temp.

    Do what works for you and will make you a happier mommy. And, if you do choose EP, invest in some stuff that will help you out like the bra and extra bottles/nipples.

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  • I bf during the day and I have to pump during my 12 hour shift.I try to pump every 3 to 4 hours.I find that If i pump more time it only takes like 10 min.If i cant pump with 5 hours it will take around 30 min to empty.I mostly just ask my hubby every day how much she ate while I was gone so I know about how many 0z I ned to pump in 12 hours.It make it less stressful knowing at the end of the work day I have what she will need for the next night.
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