Pumping to exclusively bottle-feed?

Amelia - posted on 12/20/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I am debating on if I should start pumping and strictly bottlefeed only for my month old son. It's not medical problems, we have been doing great with latching and everything but my husband and I recently separated.

I pumped once so I could go to a focus group for a few hours one night and that's what got me thinking about this, especially with Christmas coming up; he wants to take our sons for a couple hours for dinner with his family and I really don't want to go but don't want to keep our youngest from the family either.
Also when he does start taking the boys for visits(currently doesn't have his own place yet) he can keep both of them overnight but will still get the benefits of breastmilk vs. supplementing with formula.

Part of me feels guilty for thinking this though and makes me think I am selfish for not wanting to nurse everyday, all day.
Is there a happy medium? Is this a good decision? How would I even start to pump to bottle-feed all the time?

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[deleted account]

It's totally up to you as others have said, but I agree with pumping extra to build a stash now and then pumping when he is with daddy. Nurse when you're together. Exclusively pumping is very hard. Pumps don't maintain supply as well as baby. Not every mom will respond well to the pump. You also have to wash/sterilize bottles and pumps all the time. You have double duty as well. You have to pump plus you have to feed the baby. Just some things to think about. Nursing would be a good way for you and baby to quickly reconnect and bond after he's spent some time with daddy.

Janice - posted on 12/22/2011

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If I were you I would only pump for the times he is going to be away from you. As others have said pumping is hard work and takes more time than breastfeeding. If your son Is one month he is at a good age to adapt to bottle feeding with out stopping breastfeeding too. My son is 3 weeks today and got his first pumped bottle last night while I was out. He drank from the bottle no problem and then breastfed when I got home no problem. Personally, I wouldn't want my infant away at night until he was down to 1 feed a night, but that is just me. Good luck on finding a happy balance.

[deleted account]

I definitely don't think you're selfish for considering this. It sounds much more selfLESS. Exclusive pumping (so I've heard) is extremely difficult though. I would think a happy medium would be to pump whenever possible so that his father can have him for visits (and, of course, pump WHILE he is w/ his father), but to just nurse while the 2 of you are together.

It's entirely up to you though. I was never a pumper, so couldn't imagine doing it but know at least a couple of people that exclusively pumped for 12ish months.

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Maggie - posted on 12/22/2011

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I pumped for 9 months with each of my 3 kids! The 1st 2 kids had way more than enough for a year and the 3rd we gave formula when she was 9 months old. I don't regret anything about it! My husband and I both were able to feed and spend quality time with each baby, something that is not always possible when someone exclusive breast feeds. I wish you good luck in your situation. BTW after the first couple of weeks I would get 12 oz each time I pumped which was every 3-4 hrs. It did not dry up at all!!!

Mia - posted on 12/22/2011

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Hi Amelia, you're not selfish at all you've got to do what's right for you & your baby. My son refused to take the boob so I pumped for about a month for every feed when he was 4months old & it was hard work as he was not the only child. I had the time it took to pump, then had to then feed him, then had bottles & pump to clean. So it really was hard work. Are you able to pump for the feeds when he is away & still nurse when you have him?

So for you a big decision, pumping doesn't always get you the same amount as what a baby can feed so can take longer for you to get the required amount. To pump for every feed you'd have to pump every time he is just about due for a feed, I used to be one pump ahead so that I didn't keep a hungry baby waiting! You'll also need to make sure you've got a pump that can handle being used so much, I burnt a pump out pumping 7 times a day for a 4month old! Good luck!

Michelle - posted on 12/21/2011

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I did it for 12 full months with my first & for the last 10 months for my 2nd. It's A LOT of work to exclusively pump. If you have the time to do it & you want to put in the effort, go for it. You pump for as many times as your child would nurse. If you need extra, you can add extra sessions. The only warning I have is that bottles are easier to drink from than the breast so if you decide after a month that this is too much, you may have a problem getting him to latch again & will have to re-train him. If he was a little older, I'd say try to do some pumped & some breast feedings throughout the day. They usually don't suggest you try that until like 8 weeks though. It might work for you now. You'll never know until you try.

Lise - posted on 12/20/2011

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You can do it, but I will say that it is NOT EASY. Babies remove milk better than the pump, so you may end up needing to pump more frequently than your lo would nurse (one friend still pumps 8-9 times per day, INCLUDING overnight, even though her baby only drinks 5 times per day). There's also the added work of washing the pump parts, bottles, nipples, etc. and then length of time it takes to do it. I pumped for almost 18 months with my dd (4 days a week for work, 12 hours per day) and then for donation. While I don't regret it, I *never* would have pumped that often if I didn't need to work. Pumping at home would/could take up to 40 minutes away from my dd while nursing would often take 5-10 minutes. You can always pump while apart and bf when together.



ETA: when i started pumping, i got 15-20 oz in 3-4 pumps. towards the end, i got 3-5 oz in SIX pumps... it's important to me to bf so i'd be worried, personally.

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