does only pumping lower your milk supply?

Britney - posted on 11/03/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )




my baby girl is only a week old and my nipples were so bad they were cracked apart all the way around the nipple and would bleed when she fed. so i got a hand pump yesterday at wic to give my nipples a chance to heal. ive been pumping about an ounce a boob every 3 hours. and im afraid that if i cant get her to go back to boob then my supply will keep getting lower or she will start eating more and i cant produce enough. on my son i only got to breastfeed for the first two months bc of my milk supply just went away and i was pumping the last 5 to 6 weeks with him so im scared that will happen again.


Evita - posted on 01/09/2012




I am pumping for one twin and feeding the other - 13 months now all the above great advice but remember if your nipples very sore it will effect your supply - give it a week or two they will harden up - my twins in icu for 4 weeks i just pumped but when i got my small man home i was able to latch him on take your time relax pump whenever you can!! Enjoy your baby - try put baby up after you have pumped - no pump will fully empty your breast you have way more than 1 oz in there its just hard to get it out sometimes!! Sometimes your hand is better and more gentle than a pump !!

Carrie - posted on 09/15/2011




my Baby is now 8 weeks old she was tongue tied and it was not noticed till she was 3 weeks old then had a surgery at 7 weeks. I was cracking and bleeding from her not being able to get a latch. I pumped only for a few weeks but my supply was already low from not catching it right away. When I stated pumping I used an Ameda pump in style pump which is a very highly recommended pump. I pumped every two hours and ever three hours at night this still was not enough and did not increase my supply. I meet with a lactation consultant. Whom said to feed her using a nipple shield. I was able to use it with out pain even when I already had sores and it prevented more sores from happening until the surgery on her tongue was complete. It helped so much you can buy them at Target for less the 15 dollars. This also help my supply go back up. I hope this helps and you give it a try.

Merry - posted on 11/06/2010




Your best bet is to get baby to breast, honestly I know it hurts, I was in so much pain I thought I would die but it got better after a few weeks, it shoullndt be that long for you as it seems the bigger mouths arelesspainful then the newborn ones! So ditch the bottles, use a syringe to feed, and do tons of skin o skin. Baths together, sling without shirts on, lay in bed until you see the rooting and latch on immediately.
You can do this, its really possible and if you are determined to make it you WILL!

Donna - posted on 09/16/2011




mine were too atfirst and that pump is a godsend. she may not be latching on properly bc for the first 2 weeks that was my prob. yes your supply will probably go down if u only pump over a period of time. swap between baby and pump.

This conversation has been closed to further comments


View replies by

[deleted account]

Just make sure she's latching correctly - Catherine's video is great. Notice that the baby's ears are wiggling? That's a sign that's she's latched correctly and sucking well. You can see her whole jaw moving.

She'' probably get nipple confusion if she's offered a botle at this young age, so wait for later.

Pumping won't lower your supply, but it's not as efficient as baby's sucking.

Good luck!

Melissa - posted on 11/09/2010




Rather than spending $$ on lactation consultant, you can contact
La Lache League is volunteer organization which supports breastfeeding and brestfeeding moms. contact your local lactation consultant and she will give you tips on how to increase the supply!

Jordan - posted on 11/06/2010




Call a Lactation Consulatant. It will be the best $75 dollars you have spent. You will not pump as much as the baby can drink from your breast. Drink lots of water and get rest. You can try pumping more. Also you can get finugreek at a healthfood store. You should take at least two per meal up to nine per day. Most women can take this, its a herb, without is bothering them. But if you cannot you will need a lactation consulatant to perscribe you another compound to help increase your milk supply such as domeridone or another herb. Hope this helps!

Jessica - posted on 11/06/2010




I have 10 month old twins and have exclusively pumped with them. Since they were in the NICU for about 3 weeks and were so small at birth and when they came home were only 5 lbs, they weren't quite strong enough to latch on. I did try for about 3 months to get them to latch but it never worked. I am now noticing a decrease in my milk, but have tons in my freezer that I have stocked up. I take fenugreek 3 times a day and that really helps. I was told from my lactacian consultant in the beginning to pump every 2-3 hours even in the night and it would help my milk supply. I also used lansinoh cream. Hope this helps.

Alisson - posted on 11/06/2010




I recommend you look into the Jack Newman Nipple cream, that stuff was a miracle worker for my cracked nipples. It can only be prescribed and compounded by the pharmacy but YOU WILL LOVE IT. It was my saviour! That other nipple cream did absolutely nothing to manage my pain while breast feeding.

If you're having trouble with milk supply,you may want to look into Fenugreek herbs, it worked for my friend who is solely pumping and it drastically increased her milk supply.

Drink lots of liquids, eat healthy and pump pump pump until your nipples heal (jeepers my milk is coming in just thinking about tricks to make milk come in ~_~)

Quing - posted on 11/05/2010




Pumping will not decrease your breastmilk... it rather helped boost your milk... as long as your baby's demand for food get's higher, the milk you are producing will also increase little by little. What I can advised is, DON'T STOP PUTTING YOUR BABY TO YOUR BOOB and your milk tissue will produce more milk than you are expecting.. Try also eating nutritious and veggie foods rich in minerals and will enhance your milk tissues to produce more milk for your baby...

Catherine - posted on 11/03/2010




You need to get your baby back to your breast ASAP. A pump is not nearly as effective at removing the milk from your breast as your baby is and at this early stage your baby's nursing is what builds your supply. If you must pump you need to use a hospital grade pump or at the very least a good electric pump. A hand pump will not cut it.

Are you giving her bottles? If so stop now. When you pump feed her with a syringe or a medicine cup. The way a baby drinks from a bottle is completely different from how a baby drinks from the breast and it sounds like she needs to practice drinking from your breast.

To get your nipples to heal give them as much air as possible. When you finish nursing squeeze out a little bit of your milk and rub it onto your nipples and then let them dry completely. If you want you can use a fan or a hair dryer set to cool to speed up the process. You can also try some sort of nipple cream. I really liked the Medela Tender care Lanolin. They sell it at Target.

Also, check your baby's latch. Is she taking the areola into her mouth and not just the nipple? Look on youtube for videos of good latches. Dr Jack Newman has some good ones. is one.

Finally, get some help. Contact your local Leche League ( ), find an IBCLC, or even call an experienced breastfeeding mom to come and help you.

Hang in there, you can make this work!

Amanda - posted on 11/03/2010




I ended up having to exclussively pump for my son and barely kept up with what he was taking in. I had really hard time keeping my supply up.
Even with pumping I suffered from horribly cracke, painful nipples. I had one inverted and one flat(they are now "normal" after 16 months of pumping). I was pumping every 2 hours around the clock. What finally worked for my nipples was Dr. Jack Newman's APNO(All Purpose Nipple Ointment) cream. My gyno called it into a compounding pharmacy for me. It was $50, but totally worth it! Within 24 hours my nipples had improved. And I still have almost a full tube of it. It lasts forever.

Ania - posted on 11/03/2010




buy lansinoh cream and put it on after every feed babies can eat it, don't wash your breasts with soap and feed feed feed in about a week it will go away, everyone more or less goes through it. I was crying like a baby. And yes only pumping will lower your milk supply

Briana - posted on 11/03/2010




I don't know real hard facts, but I exclusively pumped for the first 3 weeks and my supply dropped drastically. By the end of 3 weeks, it was either suffer through getting him to latch or switch to formula. It took nearly an entire day, but at the end he finally latched and has been exclusively breastfed ever since and is 7 1/2 months

Carolyn - posted on 11/03/2010




try to remember that at a week , your milk supply is far from estalished, and most likely only been "in" for a few days, at such a young age, your baby isnt guzzling 8 oz a feed, so your only going to get a little bit when you pump. Nurse when ever possible, and pump as often as you possibly can. the more you stimulate the nipples AND breast tissue, the more milk you will make. its supply on demand. the more you empty your breasts of milk the more they will fill.

remember babies go through growth spurts during which they cluster feed to increase your supply as the baby's needs for milk grow as they do.

have a lactation consultant check your latch , a bad latch can traumatize your nipples. rub expressed milk on your nipples after each feed and pump and then let it air dry then smother with lansinoh ointment.

on a side note. im really surprised to keep reading that the average pump out put for an established milk supply is on 1-2 oz. I can pump 8 at any given time. and consider anything below 6 to be a drop in my supply. crazy how different things can be !

Sarah - posted on 11/03/2010




Same thing happened to me with my first two babies. Try to only pump every other feeding. Believe me, I know how painful it is. I cried like a baby when I did it, but your nips will heal up even while nursing if you smear them with lansinoh as much as possible. And don't stress! I know that sounds impossible when you're worried, but try. Stress will decrease your supply too.

Celeste - posted on 11/03/2010




Definitely try to get her back to the breast. Though, exclusive pumping CAN be done, it can be very difficult to maintain good output. Normal output is about 1/2 oz to 2 oz total.

Keep trying, she's only a week old. Lots of skin to skin (you with no bra and no shirt, baby in just a diaper, put her on your chest), make sure you latch at the *FIRST* signs of hunger.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms