EBF question

I'm currently expecting my first, and the plan is to EBF. Since I'll be a SAHM for the foreseeable future I don't really want to use a pump. When I mentioned this to my mother and a few of friends I have been berated up one side and down the other about it. I'm not really concerned with them being naysayers, because who doesn't enjoy a good "I told you so" at the end of the day, but I am starting to question whether I will actually HAVE to pump.

Some of the pros from my fiancé's perspective are being able to also feed LO, and I would be able to travel out of town for a trip my girlfriends desperately want me to go on (that I really don't want to but am kinda stuck in because I'm part of the bridal party...) But outside of that, I don't really want to pump, and don't see the necessity of it. Am I wrong for just wanting to be all natural with this? Is pumping really the be all end all for making EBF work?

Re: EBF question

  • If I could stay home I would totally EBF and not pump. Honestly for me pumping (I've done it with both kids to build stash) while on maternity leave just caused supply issues. If you can EBF it should be easier to regulate supply to baby's needs.

    All that said, I'd probably still invest in a manual pump. Would allow you to pump in case there is a time you have to be away from baby or in instances where baby starts to sleep longer stretches and you are engorged.

    The only other reason I could see for having to pump is in the beginning of baby is sleepy and you need extra stimulation to help mill come in.
    Married DH 08.28.10
    Pregnancy #1: BFP 04.10.11 EDD 12.23.11 DD1 Born 12.4.11
     Pregnancy #2: BFP 5.12.14 MC 5.20.14 @ 5wk4d
    Pregnancy #3: BFP 11.1.14 EDD 7.5.15 MC 11.13.14 @ 6wk4d
    Pregnancy #4: BFP 1.31.15 EDD 10.5.15 DD2 Born 9.23.15
  • I think it's a good idea to introduce a bottle because you never know what might come up.
    With DD1 I introduced a bottle so that I had felxibility even though I was a SAHM and EBF.
    Then with DD2 I just never got around to it. Then when she was a few months old I needed minor surgery,and wouldn't be able to feed her for a day. We tried offering her a bottle and she wouldn't take it. It was a real stress in the lead up to the surgery to get her to accept a bottle. We were fortunate we had time to work on it.

    So my opinion is that you never know what might come up and babies can resist taking a bottle if they aren't introduced to it. So it's worth offering it earlier on, so that you have it as an option.
    Elizabeth 5yrs old Jane 3yrs old

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  • I would still get one, hopefully your insurance will cover it for you. You never know how things will turn out. I had an emergency c section and my milk was slow to come in so I actually ended up using the pump in the hospital to help.

    I've been home for 5 months and I've primarily breastfed but I've definitely used the pump for various reasons. Giving a bottle when needed, help with clogged ducts, daytime nursing strike, and filling in a few times at my per diem job. You just never know what baby's agenda will be!
  • I agree with the others. I think it's a good idea to have it available. If you're in the US and have a non-grandfathered plan, you can get a pump for free through your insurance. Now that I'm in a BFing routine I never pump unless I'm away from my daughter. It's way easier to nurse. However there have been times when I've gone to run errands (mainly to get out of the house) and left DD with my husband. I always try to time it so that I'll be back for the next feeding but we always have a bottle in the fridge just in case too. For me it would just be a piece of mind thing. If something happens and your unable to nurse for a period of time, you want to be able to pump or else you'll become engorged and could lose your supply. Good luck! I definitely think you can do without for your day to day. I would just recommend it for emergency needs and to build a small freezer stash.
  • Even just being able to get out of the house for a few hours or take a long nap and have dad watch baby is difficult without having pumped milk for baby. Insurance in the US is required to cover a pump or pump rental, so you might as well take advantage. I used my pump to help clear a clogged duct, and when I was engorged after baby started sleeping long periods at night pretty early on (I have a large supply and baby only nurses one side at a time). Might as well pump and save the milk than have to hand express. You could also have a baby with an issue latching on, or mastitis, or some other issue, and need to pump and bottle feed for a period of time until baby's latch improves. I also used my pump with a battery pack in the car on a long car trip so I could feed baby a pumped bottle in the backseat without having to stop and nurse her. Even if you don't use it much, it's worth it to take advantage and get the free pump through insurance.
  • I don't disagree with other posters at all, but if you are looking for evidence that ebf/no bottles is possible, then 'll testify that I did it, and it wasn't that big a deal. It's true you can't be away from your child for more than a few hours, but I was okay with that. I didn't work that first year and didn't go on any overnight trips or do any drinking. It was a year. You have to decide how mych freedom you want. At a certain point, I borrowed my friend's pump in thinking it might be nice to have my husband do some night feedings, but I never got into the swing of it and my son wasn't willing to take the one bottle I pumped anyways, so I didn't press it. Do what works for you. I don't think there's anything wrong with feeding breastmilk out of a bottle, I just personally didn't bother. (My son slowly weaned directly to a cup between age 1-2 as I continued to occasionally breastfeed.)
  • Sometimes pumping is a necessity. My baby was tongue tied and I had to EP for 8 weeks. I never expected that and was so glad I got my pump before birth. Other times it's a choice to go out for a few hours. Since my son will latch now, I rarely pump when I don't have to. I do work so I have to pump when I'm working, but just breastfeeding is so much easier and the hassle is rarely worth it for me to do it by choice.
  • Don't not get a pump to be "natural"; unless financial constraints prevent you from being able to afford one, a pump is a great tool to help bfing moms out. There will be a time when you want to go out or sleep in, and unless you decide to introduce formula at that point, you will need to leave some food for your baby. Similarly, breastfeeding can be painful at the start, and your body just might need a break! I rarely use mine now, but at the beginning, I couldn't have continued bfing without it.
  • My daughter nursed til a couple weeks after she turned two. She has a milk allergy so we gave my milk to mix her cereal or to mix with cheerios in the beginning til we figured out she could drink coconut milk.

    Nursing can be time consuming and at times, exhausting since the baby depends soooo much on you. Don't get me wrong, I'm expecting my son next month and excited about having that nursing relationship again. She was up every 2 hrs at night til maybe 8 months. It was nice to have someone feed her a bottle to get 5 hrs of sleep in a row once in a while. If you don't feel comfortable introducing bottles, its at least worth it to pump to use your milk instead of water for mixing with their food later on.
  • barrelocarolbarrelocarol member
    edited January 2016
    I have a slightly different perspective...

    La Leche League suggests that your milk supply steadies at 4 weeks and sets the standard of your milk volume...within reason. They suggest pumping in those weeks to give you a leg up. 

    A pump can be beneficial for these reasons:
    1. Increasing your milk matter what, there will be a time in your BF relationship when you need a slight boost.

    2. A safeguard in case you end up in an emergency situation in which you can't nurse (hospitalization, rare infections, rare but extreme allergies in baby, etc...)

    3. Extra safeguard to protect you from clogged ducts and mastitis.

    All this being said, if you can afford one/will get one from insurance...go for it. If not, of course you can live without it. 

    Added bonus: You could pump and donate your milk.  

  • My son had a tongue and lip tie so pumping was the only way for me to build supply while he dined on donor milk and waited for surgery. The lactation consultants at the hospital didn't diagnose this, so he was five weeks by the time he got the surgery. I ended up almost exclusively pumping for two months and then spent a great deal of time and effort to teach him how to nurse. It worked but I couldn't have done it without a hospital grade pump. You just don't know what your situation will be. It's definitely possible not to pump if everything is fine, but if it's not, it's great to already have the pump (although I rented my hospital grade the second week after birth).  And if everything is fine and you don't need a pump to help you build up your supply, then a manual pump might suffice to allow you to give the occasional bottle.
  • I EBF, DD is 15 weeks also a FTM. I agree with everyone on getting one anyway. I would breast feed and maybe pump once or twice a day just so you have a supply. I know that it was really nice when I was super tired for my mom or husband to be able to feed her in the first few weeks. I am now back to work part time and introducing her to a bottle even though it was only once a week if that at first really helped.
  • Get one! It will come in handy when you desperately need a break during the first few weeks when your boobs get used to nursing 
  • I've been bf for 18 months and I hated it. I tired I for a month when lol was about 2 weeks old. I desperately needed sleep so I'd pump a bottle in the morning and dh would use it to feed lo at night. Newborns need to bf every 2-3 hours so that meant I got to sleep for about 5 hours for the first time. As lo got older she was sleeping better anyway so I stopped pumping. Then I tried again a while later but lo wouldn't take the bottle anymore. I built up a little stash but we just used it to make her oatmeal. I will probably follow that plan again next time. Skipping pumpkin was so much easier. 
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