Exclusively breastfeeding to Exclusively breast pumping

Jailene - posted on 10/12/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My baby is 1 month old and ive been breast feeding him exclusively since 3 weeks old because he was in the nicu since birth . If I decide to pump only will my milk supply diminish ??

3 Comments

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Katherine - posted on 10/23/2013

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Just from my own experience, I do believe that supply suffers from too much pumping. I work full time and even though I always nursed my son on weekends and days off, after about the 6 month mark, I had a lot of difficulty pumping enough for him. As Celeste said, pump output is not the same as milk supply. My son never fussed when he nursed and always seemed to be full but I had a lot of trouble pumping enough milk when we were separated. I was pumping 4 times a day to make enough for his 3 bottles and still came up short sometimes. Pumps just aren't as efficient as a baby and my body never responded as well to the pump.

Celeste - posted on 10/13/2013

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Is there a reason why you want to EP? EP'ing is the harder road. Babies are much more efficient than a pump. You will have to pump every 2-3 hours, including during the night in the beginning. As time goes on, supply will regulate and pump response will decrease. Also, average output is 1/2 to 2 oz *total*. So, yes, it's normal and common for pump output to decrease over time (Note: This does *NOT* mean supply is diminished, just that your PUMP OUTPUT is diminished)

My twins were born early, and were in the special care nursery. They were too little to nurse, so I pumped. Then one developed nipple confusion. So, I had to EP for about 2 months. It was SO much easier to directly nurse.

Maybe tell us what's going on and see if we can help you troubleshoot.

Lori - posted on 10/12/2013

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Most women do not respond near as well to the pump as they do to a baby nursing directly. I'm not sure that I understand how pumping will be less stressful than just nursing the baby. The way I see it, it's one more step that doesn't need to be there. You're adding in the time to pump, then dealing with storage of the milk, cleaning of the pump and parts, and for what?
Many women do find that their supplies decrease with only pumping. I think if you want to pump once a day, so that someone else can feed a bottle once a day (or night) then it wouldn't be a problem supply wise. But going to exclusive pumping is a very difficult way to go...

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