Breastfeeding - nursing vs pumping/bottles — The Bump
Parenting after a Loss

Breastfeeding - nursing vs pumping/bottles

Hi ladies. I am newly PAL. Nora Beth was born 12/6 :x and I have yet to post a formal intro here but I will soon. I am having some trouble with BF and am considering transitioning to EP or, at least, a combo of pumping/bottles and nursing.

I have had to pump some already due to oversupply issues. I am making so much milk that Nora will sometimes choke from the flow. I can get 2 ounces in less than 5 minutes from pumping but it takes me about an hour to get her to nurse for a total of 20-25 minutes. And, really, most times she falls asleep after only finishing on one side at only 15-ish minutes. Then she ends up wanting to nurse almost hourly. Thankfully she is above her birthweight already but, selfishly, the stress of nursing - both the unpredictability of how often and how long she'll nurse as well as worrying that she is getting enough or too much - is really taking its toll on me.

I want to do the best possible for Nora but I fear that the exhaustion and frustration of nursing might be greater than the benefits given that I can still give her breast milk through pumping and bottles. DH is for this because it would allow him to be involved while still providing the benefits of breast milk. Too, I could still nurse from time to time if we wanted to. No?

I posed this question on the all AL update thread but thought I'd post it here too in the hopes of getting some more insight. @hungryhippo‌ and @Pink021‌ have already shared their perspective with me - thanks ladies! But any additional insight would be amazing.

What are your thoughts on pumping vs nursing? If you find EP challenging, What is it about EP (or pumping generally) that is so hard? The time it takes to pump and also feed your LO? The missed bonding from nursing? Does pumping allow YH to be more involved with feeding LO? Does it give you any relief at all from constant feedings?

TIA for your help ladies!


Pregnancy Ticker

BFP 5/19/2013. MC 7/2/2013 (9w6d) with est. loss at 8w. Miso 7/3/2013 and emergency D & C 7/6/2013.

BFP#2 11/6/2013.  CP 11/14/2013.  

BFP #3 12/13/2013.  Beta #1 @ 15dpo- 239. Progesterone 27.  Beta #2 @17dpo - 90.  CP 12/21/2013

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  -Philippians 4:6-7

All PgAL and PAL welcome.

Re: Breastfeeding - nursing vs pumping/bottles

  • I EBF Eli for several weeks when we first came home and only pumped to start having a stash for when I started back to work.  I did the same thing you did with causing him to choke cause my let down was so strong for awhile. I mostly happened with only one boob and it got better.  I know it can be uncomfortable but the more you pump after LO nurses the more your body is going to make. Your basically giving your body signals that you need more and more and that's what  your body is going to do.  Huge congrats that your making more than enough cause that's a concern for a lot and I know what you mean about it being frustrating to not know how much babe is getting but it does get better!! I would say the first 6 weeks were the toughest for me. 

     Also another piece of advice I can give you is that remember that all babies are different!! I had people telling me that since Eli would be finished nursing in about 10 minutes that he wasn't getting the hind milk (fattiest part of BM) and I needed to encourage him to latch longer. Well big boy was just a fast nurser and he was doing fine.  Also you may have mentioned this but I would check LO for a lip tie or tongue tie to see if that may be affecting his nursing if she is getting tired before she is full.

    As far as pumping goes......I hate it!! I only do it cause I have to at work. I tried pumping both breasts at the same time and I found it uncomfortable so I pump one at a time which takes longer. The other problem I had earlier on was I got a clogged duct once cause I didn't have a good seal with the pump.  Anyway I would much rather get up at night and BF than have to warm a bottle!! 

    I won't lie to you, BF is one of the hardest things I've done! I've had a ton of problems but it is also one of the most rewarding and now I'm so glad i stuck with it! Good luck and as PP have said you do what is best for you and your baby. Whether that be BF, pumping or formula, your a great mom no matter what! 

    image    image   image

    BFP#1 2/5/13 - EDD 10/11/13 - [email protected] - D&C 3/7/13
    BFP#2 7/10/13 - EDD 3/21/14- Eli's Here!!

    ~*~All AL Welcome~*~

    FOR A GOOD TIME: ****/post/150810/thread

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  • hungryhippohungryhippo member
    edited December 2014
    Everyone else has given great advice. As I mentioned in the other string, I actually regret EPing. For me, EPing meant producing about 1/3 of DS's needs. The rest came from formula. At the time, it was non-negotiable to me not to provide every drop of BM I could, but I worked damn hard for it, and it came at a cost that I now feel wasn't worth it. 

    A few of the things I hated: washing the parts constantly, storage (and crying over spills), warming it up, having any go to waste, trying to keep DS occupied/content, being stuck at home, being stuck when I had to pee, getting engorged when I got delayed (often), leaking when I got really delayed (also often), not getting anything done around the house (I finally figured out how to pump while washing dishes), 6 months of really sore nipples, dry and cracked hands from constant soapy water, DH getting resentful because he had to do everything while I was pumping and plan our lives around my pump schedule...

    But frankly, if it was only the above, I might do it all again. The part that I absolutely regret was how much precious time I lost with DS. I did less than half his daily feedings and I missed about 4 waking hours a day. After I went back to work, I missed almost all of his day. I can't prove that my pumping is related to this but DS definitely considers DH his primary parent and although I'm happy they have such a great bond, it breaks my heart that it is not the same for us. I really regret prioritizing BM over actual time spent with my son. I didn't realize at the time that was the choice I was making, but I can see it now.

    Also, as others said - you are a great mother no matter how you feed your child. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions no matter what you decide.  
    TTC #1 since January 2011
    BFP#1 April 12, 2011, EDD December 24, 2011, strong heart beat at 7w3d, d&c at 10w6d
    BFP#2 Oct 24, 2011, natural miscarriage, EDD unknown
    After RPL testing my losses and subsequent infertility are considered unexplained.
    Cycle #22: Femara, TI, and progesterone = BFP!! 
    BFP#3 Dec 21, 2012. Beta #1 @14dpo = 134, progesterone 67.8. Beta #2 @ 17dpo = 664! Team green, EDD 9/1/13, healthy baby boy born 9/12/13!
    imageimage  My chart.

    Congratulations to the fabulous KGS2003! Her sweet boys are here! Grow boys grow!!!
  • I forgot to mention cluster feeding and comfort nursing!! Look up cluster feeding cause I can't remember the definition well enough to explain it but Eli did this at times but he mostly comfort fed. Basically I became his pacifier! He never has taken to one and so used me for one. Due to this you will nurse way more frequently and it seems like baby is hungry when actually just wants comfort. I find us very attached and bonded due to this but my POOR nips! It took 6 weeks for mine to heal and be tough enough to handle his demand!! Hope this helps! 

    image    image   image

    BFP#1 2/5/13 - EDD 10/11/13 - [email protected] - D&C 3/7/13
    BFP#2 7/10/13 - EDD 3/21/14- Eli's Here!!

    ~*~All AL Welcome~*~

    FOR A GOOD TIME: ****/post/150810/thread

  • I EPed while M was in the NICU.  She came home with me mainly pumping and a little BFing.  We eventually transitioned to EBF, and I would pump to have freezer milk on hand.  Eventually I ended up BFing, pumping and supplementing.   We did it all.  

    It takes awhile for them to get the endurance to nurse efficiently.  In the beginning, I would offer each breast for 15 min, and then I would pump for 15.  She would generally crash about 10 minutes into the 2nd breast.  I would use a hands free pumping bra, and eat while I pumped.  

    In the beginning you may be feeding anywhere from 1-3 hours.  I fed on demand, and some days that is literally all I did, but it gets better.  They become more efficient.  I was able to know sessions would generally be 30 minutes, and she would want to eat every 3 hours or so.  

    Tips for making the pumping easier.  Have multiple sets of pump parts.  Put DH in charge of washing the pump parts when he's home.  This was a huge help for me, especially when it came to middle of the night pumping.  

    I didn't do a lot of middle of the night nursing early on.  She had latch issues, and I had to pump after, so I was never sleeping.  I ended up pumping at night, and DH would do a bottle feed.  When she got more efficient, to where I didn't have to pump after each session, I would nurse at night.  I was recovering from heart failure and pulmonary edema.  My doctors advised me to get as much rest as possible to help speed my recovery.  

    I preferred BFing to EPing.  I liked the portability factor, and that fact that I wasn't constantly washing bottles and parts.  I liked not being tied to my pump.  I also was so thankful for a child that would take both breast and bottle.  Since M was a preemie, we did not take her out of the house during flu/rsv season.  I was able to leave her with DH, so that I could get out for a bit.  I would have gone stir crazy. 

    TTC started Oct '10
    Me: AMA w/RSD, atypical PCOS w/IR, LPD and High Prolactin. Controlled HP post-loss.
    DH: Low-T and borderline morph
    18 cycles, 3 medicated w/RE to get to a BFP!
    EDD 9/7/12, Saw HB @7w3d,missed m/c 1/30 @8w3d, d&c 2/8
    11 AL cycles, 9 medicated/IUI cycles. All BFFN!
    Moving forward with IVF
    BFP#2 our little cycle break surprise on AL cycle 12! EDD 10/27/13
    Beta #1: 41 Beta #2: 398; perfect u/s 3/11 hb @133bpm
    u/s 3/25 one perfect hb @183 bpm, adjusted EDD 10/23/13
    MaterniT21 and carrier screens normal. It's a girl!!!
    Severe Pre-E, HFpEF, PE, AMA & IF= OAD

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  • mrsbtobe20122mrsbtobe20122 member
    edited December 2014
    I EBF and pump when at work. We struggled with oversupply etc at the beginning as well. I'm glad I didn't switch to EPing.

    At 3 and 6 weeks babies have growth spurts and eventually your supply and your bigger baby will match up. Pretty much any multiple of three, expect a growth spurt.

    I still have an over supply as LO only ever eats from one side at a time. When I work (12 hour shifts) I pump about 30-40oz. Which is nice so I have a huge stash to fall back on should I need to wean early.

    We always bottle (expressed milk) to bed in our house. It is good bonding time for DH and LO doesn't have to be nursed to sleep should I have to work late etc. I can't have him waiting up for me to go to bed :)

    Eta: LO is on a nursing strike currently (seems to happen whenever I get sick), and I cannot imagine having the patience or discipline to keep it up long term.

    Mrs. B's Ovulation Chart
    TTC Baby B since 10/2012
    BFP#1 12/27/12 II TWIN GIRLS II D&C 2/15/13 TRAP sequence

    Clomid + TI + Acupuncture x 2 cycles

    BFP#2 9/5/13 II EDD 5/16/14 II Beckett Ryan born May 10, 2014

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