10 Tips For Exclusive Pumping Success (A Mom’s Guide)
When youâre expecting, you get asked some pretty invasive questions.
One question that I was often asked (by friends, family, and complete strangers) is if I would be breastfeeding or formula feeding.
People were often surprised when I told them neither.
I wasnât comfortable putting my baby exclusively on my breast: I didnât want to expose myself in public and I was afraid it would hurt.
I was planning on returning back to work fairly early (eight weeks) so I didnât think starting to nurse would be fair to my son.
I also knew that nursing directly can be frustrating and frankly, tough.
On the flip side, I also wasnât comfortable putting my baby strictly on formula.
While there are some awesome blends on the market, loaded with essential vitamins and nutrients that my baby would need to grow, I just wasnât 100% on board when I had perfectly good breast milk to give.
My answer to everyone?
Pumping it was!
It wasnât always easy, glamorous, or effective, but for me, it worked and it made me and my baby happy in the long run.
If you believe you wish to exclusively pump, read on to learn a bit more about it, as well as gain 10 helpful tips to ensure your success!
What Is Exclusive Pumping?
Exclusive pumping means that you only provide your baby with your breastmilk, which you pump, rather than serve directly from your breasts.
The pumped milk is put in a bottle and delivered to your baby when theyâre hungry.
What Are The Benefits Of Exclusive Pumping?
Exclusive pumping has many benefits. Among them include:
10 Tips For Success
Here are 10 tips to ensure your success with pumping:
#1. Get Organized
Pumping requires lots equipment, which consists of many parts.
These parts need to get assembled, unassembled, cleaned, dried, packed, and stored.
Whew! What work!
Itâs best to establish a system for doing all of this, as well as a designated spot for storing everything so itâs all able to be accessed quickly.
#2. Purchase Accessories
Pumping hurts just as much as nursing sometimes.
Being hooked up to a machine isnât always a joyful task: you could experience nipple bleeding, cracking, and just overall irritation.
Youâll also need nursing pads because youâre sure to leak in between pumping.
#3. Set Up Pumping Stations
Some moms find itâs just easier to keep pumps and equipment at various places rather than packing up their pump each time they need to use it.
Some moms keep one in their car, one at work, at one at home, as it saves them time and it helps them always remain prepared.
#4. Stockpile Your Supply
Pump away and start saving up your supply: the more you pump, the more milk your body will make.
Freeze it, thaw it, pack it, and anyone can serve it!
#5. Have A Back Up Pump
Itâs always wise to have a back up pump on hand in case something goes awry with your main one.
If you donât want to spend the extra bucks on an extra electric pump, you can totally get by with a manual one until you get a new pump, or get it fixed.
#6. Get A Free Breast Pump
Many insurance companies give free pumps to policyholders.
Sometimes pumps are issued out brand new, while others are lent out and meant to be borrowed for a certain amount of time.
This is great to have on hand as a backup, or to use if you only plan on pumping for a short amount of time.
#7. Establish A Connection
Many moms who choose to pump and bottle feed fear that they wonât establish that bond and make a connection while feeding because the entire act will be less personal.
Quite the contrary: you can do something personal each time you offer a bottle.
Stroke your babyâs arm while you gaze at them as they are eating.
Rub your babyâs cheek, or wrap your pinky finger around theirs.
Itâs the little things that make a big impact.
#8. Get On A Schedule
Just like nursing, pumping is most successful when youâre on a schedule.
It may take some time to figure things out, but you can bet that your newborn will be ready to eat every two hours.
Over time, youâll be able to stock up a supply and will not have to necessarily pump on demand.
Be patient, because things will get easier and run systematically.
#9. Supplement If Needed
Women who pump donât have as high of a supply as women who directly nurse.
Itâs a hormonal thing!
When youâre first starting off, thereâs not shame in supplementing with formula if you cannot produce enough milk for your starving newborn.
While it may be your goal to pump exclusively, your babyâs needs and health take first priority and you can satisfy their hunger until you get the hang of things.
Donât put any added pressure on yourself.
#10. Don't Quit
Itâs easy to stop and make a bottle.
Keep your eye on the prize and think about why you wanted to exclusively pump when you start to get tired, frustrated, or experience pain.
All moms get frustrated with feedings, regardless of how they are feeding their baby in the beginning.
Know that itâs normal to feel overwhelmed. But, whatever you do, donât give up!
When Should You Stop Pumping?
Simply, you should stop pumping when youâre ready.
For some moms, pumping comes to an end after three months. For others, their babyâs first birthday signals itâs time to quit. Some other moms will pump well into their childâs first year.
You may notice that your supply starts to diminish at one point or another: this may be a signal to start supplementing.
Your doctor will help you through the process and may offer suggestions in regard to ways to try and increase your supply or make formula recommendations.
Exclusive pumping is a relatively new concept.
Itâs great for moms who want to nourish their little ones with their specially made formula, but who donât want the inconvenience of putting them on their breast.
Consider some of the 10 tips above to help you remain successful through the process, regardless of how long you do it!