Pumping my breast milk for the first time

Carissa - posted on 01/23/2009 ( 31 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 2 months and a few days. We are doing really well nursing and at the moment we have no challenges in this area. I would however like to start pumping my breast milk, in case we would ever need it. Are there any reasons other then the one I have to pump? Should I pump and store as much as I can? Should I encourage her to start drinking from a bottle even if it is breast milk? Any tips for first time pumper (haha)? thanks ladies!

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Christine - posted on 01/23/2009

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Aside from the benefit of being able to pass the baby off to the dad or a relative once in a while, another benefit of pumping is that once the dr says it's ok to introduce cereal to his/her diet, you will need to combine it with breastmilk.  Having it stored just makes it easier than having to pump before making the cereal (and also risking the baby refusing the cereal and having depleted your supply on pumping leaving yourself with a hungry, cranky baby).  I have also been advised that when storing milk, you should typically try to store all different amounts ranging from 2 oz. to 5oz. This way you can only thaw what you need.  As for introducing the bottle, you might now want to be the one to do it because often when the mother makes the attempt it is refused because you are a natural food source.  So, try having dad give it a shot- and you might not want to be in the room either because at least in my experience, I had a hard time watching- I was the one crying haha!- and in turn, babygirl refused until the next attempt when I gave hubby the night shift so I could get a good night sleep.  Good luck!

Emily - posted on 01/23/2009

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I've only pumped with one of my children... just after my second was born I pumped to give my first the milk (she was 12 months old at the time). I had a small manual pump and was only able to get anything from it while my daughter was latched onto the other side. It was quite a pain and quite uncomfortable to be trying to keep a pump going with one hand and my daughter latched properly with the other. Even then, I was only able to get 2-4 ounces during any given day. I finally decided it wasn't worth it for me. I quit pumping when she was about 6 weeks old.

My second and my third have never had bottles or pacifiers and I just don't leave them at all until they're about 9 months. By that time they're eating some solids and drinking water from sippy cups and I leave them for 2-4 hours at a time. Taking the baby with us even for date nights has never been an issue... especially when we get to leave the others behind. :) We planned a date night a while ago and planned to leave all three girls with my sister. As we were getting ready to go, DH realized the baby was cutting another tooth and extremely upset... he insisted that we take her with us to the restaurant. She just sat in a high chair and chewed on a straw the whole time and we still had a great evening together.

Renee - posted on 01/23/2009

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Some of the best advice I received about pumping was to look away while you're pumping - don't watch!  Try to focus on something else because watching and waiting for the milk can actually keep it from coming out!  Just relax and think about your baby or look at a picture. 



As for when to pump, I always wanted to pump after I fed my baby just because I didn't want to interfere with what he was getting to eat. You will probably not get very much at all if you pump right after you nurse, but you never know. Another thing you could try is to pump about an hour after you nurse. 



Since you don't have to pump (it's just for "luxury" supply in the freezer) don't get too caught up with pumping all the time. Try doing it just once a day to have a little extra on hand. Good luck, and remember that everyone pumps different amounts, so don't compare yourself to others or obsess about the amount that you pump. 

Jessica - posted on 01/23/2009

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Definately pump before she eats, you will get more milk that way!! My son turned 7 weeks old today and I have been trying to pump for the last month~ dont get frustraitedbecause you wont get that much milk for a while, I still dont get as much as I would like and I pump about twice a day!! Good luck!!  Also, I wanted to tell you that I breast fed my other son, who is now 3 years old, and tried to pump and give him a bottle at the age of 3 months and he totally refused, I ended up off of work for his whole first year so I could contiue breast feeding him, so you definatly want to at least introduce the bottle as soon as you are able to.

Mindy - posted on 01/23/2009

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Are you working? If you are just at home, I would only pump once a day. The more you pump the more your breasts will make because it seems like you are feeding more. It is good to store some for emergencies. Also, its great to have dad or someone else feed the little one too! Great bonding time for them. This is a good age to introduce the bottle. When I started pumping I was told to pump for 15 mins on each side once a day. I was getting like 2 ozs in 5 mins. So I would only do it for that long. In the beginning they dont drink much more than 2 ozs in a feeding. Another thing that generally produces more milk is standing toward the warm water in the shower. So, if youre feeling like you only have enough to feed her you can try that and then pump. I usually get somewhat engorged at night because of the heat. Good luck :)

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Olivia - posted on 01/23/2009

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Before I went back to work I would pump and let daddy give a bottle so he could have a little extra bonding time.

Stephanie - posted on 01/23/2009

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Quoting Christine:



Aside from the benefit of being able to pass the baby off to the dad or a relative once in a while, another benefit of pumping is that once the dr says it's ok to introduce cereal to his/her diet, you will need to combine it with breastmilk.  Having it stored just makes it easier than having to pump before making the cereal (and also risking the baby refusing the cereal and having depleted your supply on pumping leaving yourself with a hungry, cranky baby).  I have also been advised that when storing milk, you should typically try to store all different amounts ranging from 2 oz. to 5oz. This way you can only thaw what you need.  As for introducing the bottle, you might now want to be the one to do it because often when the mother makes the attempt it is refused because you are a natural food source.  So, try having dad give it a shot- and you might not want to be in the room either because at least in my experience, I had a hard time watching- I was the one crying haha!- and in turn, babygirl refused until the next attempt when I gave hubby the night shift so I could get a good night sleep.  Good luck!






All of this is also very true.  The cereal thing especially.  And I also cried when my baby had a bottle!!  Sometimes, even if she can see me, she won't take a bottle.  If she knows the boobies are close by, she wants those. 

Stephanie - posted on 01/23/2009

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I have a dual pump and I pump for 15 minutes - ideally, 3 times a day, but that's because I'm working. I have to pump about 18 oz. for my little one for her to have at daycare. But it's very nice to have back up - so you don't have to rush home if you're out somewhere or like everyone said, to get a break. And I had a nice "stash" for when I went back to work to supplement on days I didn't get enough. What I've read is that milk stays good in the freezer for 3 months and in the "deep freeze" for 6 months. When it gets time for them to "expire", you can use them for feeding the baby and pump new milk to freeze, if necessary.

Stefanie - posted on 01/23/2009

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I primarily nurse, but go to school 3 days a week. I normally just pump the bottle the day of, like in the morning before my class that afternoon. This way, I know my body won't get too messed up from a missed feeding (since it has an extra feeding that morning), and it is easier and fresher milk. Plus, I'm just a procrastinator! I pump after he feeds first thing in the morning when I am fullest. If I fed after I would be worried that I had pumped too much and then he would be hungry and I would have nothing left! Sometimes, I have pumped in the evening, right after he goes to bed. I know he wouldn't eat until a few hours later, so I can pump until I am dry. I get like 5-6 ounces this way sometimes!

If I were you, since you just want some extra in your freezer, I would pump once a day AFTER she eats and just put it in the freezer.

Heather - posted on 01/23/2009

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Yes definitely to the question about encouraging her to start drinking from a bottle. It doesn't happen that often, but both of my girls refused to take a bottle after a few weeks of breastfeeding. My 4month still won't take a bottle, breast milk or formula. Other than to have a little stock pile, you shouldn't need to pump(except obviously when she takes a bottle). I would always pump for at least 10min even if the milk has stopped coming. Hope that helps!

Emily - posted on 01/23/2009

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You have to watch and figure out when they want to bite. Usually they start to play around when they are done with a feeding or if their gums are hurting too much for them to nurse properly. I've just taken my kids off as soon as they start to play at the end of a feeding, before they bite. If they try to gnaw on me before they eat, I take a break and give them something else to chew on... like a frozen washcloth, or when they're older, some frozen peas. We also use clove oil (2-3 drops clove oil diluted in 1 tsp olive oil) to rub on their gums before a feeding sometimes (especially at night). You can also use baby orajel or Hyland's Teething Tablets for the same thing.

One friend of mine expressed some breastmilk and put it in the freezer in an ice cube tray for water bottles (the kind with the long, thin ice "sticks"). When her daughter is teething she gives her a breastmilk popsicle to suck/chew on.

Elaina - posted on 01/23/2009

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My LO just started "biting" she does not have any teeth.  It is when she is done eating and just plays with my nipple.  She is starting to teeth too. 



I just say no and take her off.  I figure she will learn that if she bites she gets no more boobie play time.

Bree - posted on 01/23/2009

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I started pumping at about 4 weeks and it was great to have some breastmilk on hand just in case. It's a good idea to freeze some. I was put on antibiotics about a month ago and had to stop nursing for a week. I was so glad I had a decent stockpile in the frezer.

Christine - posted on 01/23/2009

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Well, this would be a good time to teach the word "no" for one, and then re-evaluate your latch...

Carissa - posted on 01/23/2009

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good point Emily. So how do you keep the girls from biting? Since the reality is that most moms that nurse have a story or two about their baby biting their nipple.

Emily - posted on 01/23/2009

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If a baby is biting... they are not nursing. It is impossible for a baby to bite when they are properly latched because their tongue should be completely covering their bottom gums... so if they try to bite, they'll bite their own tongue first. I'm still nursing my 2 1/2 year old, who has all 20 teeth, and my 13 month old who has 8 teeth, but 4 more on the way. I've only been bitten once and it wasn't from either of my current nursers.

Tami - posted on 01/23/2009

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I already pump for daycare. But I make a lot of milk and it will be nice to use to mix w/ cereal for when she starts it. Also I'm not sure how long I will BF since this is my first baby. I may wimp out once she cuts teeth, so I'll have plenty in the deep freeze to last so I won't have to use formula for a while. (Although I'm going to try not to quit!) 

Kibbie - posted on 01/23/2009

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I feed my son from one side at night and then pump the other in the morning... I do this  most mornings... and it works great :) 

Carissa - posted on 01/23/2009

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Wow..thanks ladies! I am going to start tomorrow. One of the benifits that I have right now is that I am home full time now. So I guess I can pump as often as i need. But i think i will start with 15 min in the morning, when i am full. SHOULD I PUMOP BEFORE OR AFTER SHE EATS....she normally eats from both breast.

Lydia - posted on 01/23/2009

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I started pumping when my son was only a few weeks old and I'm so glad I did! I had probably over 100 ounces frozen. He went through a growth spurt and I couldn't keep up with him so did have to used the frozen milk. He e went through all of it about week.

Elaina - posted on 01/23/2009

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I also agree with what everyone is saying.



If you are planning to go back to work, even just part time, it is great to have a good stock in the freezer. Also great for a date night with the hubby - a huge neccessity for all three of you.



The morning is the best time to pump, my lactation consultant said it is because that is when your hormones are the highest and you will produce the most milk. My Sophia is sleeping longer and longer hours so I pump in the morning before she wakes up and I can get 5 oz in 15 mins. 
It was also suggested to me to just keep the pump with you all day and pump right after the baby eats to build up your supply. This way you will probably only get 1/2 oz or so at a time- not so productive I think.



Good Luck!

Lisa - posted on 01/23/2009

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I agree with everthing the other ladies have said.  I had to start pumping in the hospital, and for a week my son could not latch on.  So all he had was a bottle for a week.  Once he clamped on, though, there was no stopping him!  NOw he can easily go back and forth between nipple and bottle with no confusion, and it is great when you want to get out for a while.  You can feel confident in what they are eating.  Not to mention if you get sick or for some other reason cannot physically nurse, you don't have to worry about your favorite little person's nutrition!

Stacy - posted on 01/23/2009

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I highly suggest to freeze some milk in the freezer.  You def. deserve a break every once in awhile and I'm sure Dad is a bit jealous of the bond you have formed with your daughter and would like the same.  I waited awhile to before giving Madison a bottle and she denied it for awhile so let me know if you need tips with that.  I do agree with Ashley.  My high numbers always came in the morning when I pumped right before feeding Madison.  Good Luck!

Ashley - posted on 01/23/2009

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the lactation consultant that I talked to told me the best time to pump is in the morning. she also said that if you can it's more productive (you can get more milk) if you pump on one side while you're feeding your little one on the other side. I usually pump about 10 or 15 minutes, but i think that all depends on the kind of breast pump you have...some are better than others.

Carissa - posted on 01/23/2009

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When is usually the best time to pump?? for how long? Should there be wuite a bit for the first time? 



Thanks ladies

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Having a few bottles of milk stored has been a blessing for me so my husband and I can get out.  I don't think you need more than a few bottles stored though since if you do use one you'll inevitably need to pump again and then you can store what you pumped that time.  Hope it goes well with the bottle!

Stef - posted on 01/23/2009

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Congrats...so wonderful that there are no problems. Its always a great thing to have milk in the freezer, daddy may want to help feed. You may want to get out. I usually pump once a day, while my little Shiala is napping and it goes straight to the freezer. This also helps with your milk supply

Madison - posted on 01/23/2009

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i have a 2 week old baby and im pumping milk already, i think that them having their milk in a bottle every now and again wont do them any harm it will get them used to it wen we do need a break

Nancy - posted on 01/23/2009

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it's nice to have someone else feed for a while.  go get your hair or your nails done.  leave her with daddy, some bottles (of breastmilk) and do something for yourself for the day.

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