Dump the pump new moms

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I’m a work out of the home mom and therefore I pump breast milk while I’m at work so that my baby has something to drink while I’m away. I use my pump ten times a week, (two times a day, five days a week). I do not pump at home. Why you ask? Because I do not want to impact my milk supply.

My midwife gave me some pretty good advice right after I had just had Liam. She said, stay in bed as much as you can for the first week, let everyone take care of you, sleep when the baby sleeps and keep him next to you, lots of skin to skin contact and do not pump for at least six weeks, try to hold out for longer.

I listened to her and I did not pump.  I actually never pumped until Liam was almost five and a half months old.  If I wanted to run an errand, then I either brought the baby with me, or was only gone for a short time. I did not want to give Liam a bottle because I was afraid that He wouldn’t want to nurse from me once he did so. We had a very well established breastfeeding relationship by that point and when I went back to work he began Reverse cycling, which means that he would nurse more when I got home and throughout the night to maintain his weight and my milk supply.

With nick, I ended up pumping earlier because I had to go back into the office part time earlier.  Once again, though I did not pump until the weekend before I went to work. I started back at half days so he did not need a whole lot of milk while i was away.  He also would wait until I was home to nurse. Now it was ideal for my milk supply, but I did worry some that He would get a little dehydrated.  He would nurse immediately though and then pee.

Now, why did I title this post dump the pump? Well, I have had too many friends depend on a pump to tell their milk output. Stop judging your pump milk supply. All it is going to do is stress you out.  First off, a pump should not be used by a new mother unless it is medically indicated. If you are just pumping because you need or want to be away from the baby, then understand that it should not be done often or your supply will affected. I have never fed my boys a bottle of expressed milk.  Why? Because if I am there, then the baby will nurse from me. A pump is never as efficient as a baby.  I could pump for thirty minutes and think that I’ve gotten all the milk possible from it and then I will nurse the baby just a short time later and he will have milk dribbling from his mouth.  I do have a pretty good milk supply, but I think it is because I nurse on demand as much as possible.  If I looked at only my pumping output right now, I could get stressed because it fluctuates day to day.  Thats normal though.  

I wish new moms would also realize that babies have growth spurts every few weeks when they are really little.  That means that they are going to be nursing more frequently.  That is normal.  To check that They are getting enough, check their diaper.  I have no clue how much my baby drinks on any given day.  People tend think they need to know the exact number of ounces a baby is consuming, you don’t. If they have eight to Twelve wet diapers a day and are pooping then you are good.

We have to remember to that a lot of us have parents or grandparents that did not breastfeed. I was fortunate that my mom nursed me.  She was very supportive.  Damon’s mom nursed him until he was around six months old.  However, neither of my grandmothers nursed.  Damon’s family had a few in the older generation that did not nurse.  Some of these older folks would ask me how long I was going to nurse? Sometimes they would say that I just needed to give him a bottle because then he could stay with them, ummm, no that wasn’t going to happen.  They would have fed my six month old candy if I had left them alone. Sometimes they would make snide comments that they baby wasn’t eating “regular” food because he was still on the “titty.” yea, I loved having women in their seventies talking about my breasts. These ladies did not understand how a breastfeeding relationship operates, by supply and demand.  However, I think that moms today need to understand that a pump is not a substitute to a baby suckling. Your body knows when it is being nursed and when it is being pumped.  Watch a video on how far back in the throat a breast will do when a baby is nursing from it and then watch yourself as the pump tries to do the job, the pump is far inferior to nursing.

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5 thoughts on “Dump the pump new moms

    Leah Spencer said:
    April 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I think I quit worrying about how much milk Caleb was getting after the first week where he gained 12 ounces. Thereafter, I used the pump to create a little supply in the freezer (it seems to be 20-40 ounces) and on trips. I don’t worry about how much he drinks from the bottle, I just want it to be there so we don’t have to stop the car for 1 ounce that he wants to snack on. πŸ™‚

    There’s no way in the world the pump suck or “latches” on as well as my baby does. I keep wishing my pump could suck harder… but I guess that’s just the way I can leave a little reserve for Caleb.

    The pump definitely has it’s time and place, but I don’t use it to measure or compare against formula. Caleb’s weight and clothing size tells the real story of breastfeeding. Underfed babies don’t wear size 24 months at 9 months old. πŸ˜‰

    Lessons in Life and Light said:
    April 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    So what would your advice be for someone like me? I’m due towards the end of June and will have 8 weeks off. Then I go back to work. I’ll probably be working 4 full days a week. I don’t want our baby to have anything but breastmilk so pumping seems like my only option to get her through the main part of those 4 days. (Ironically, I’m taking a breastfeeding class tonight at one of our birth centers πŸ™‚

      lahancock responded:
      April 21, 2011 at 7:05 pm

      Well first congrats. Then I would say that it is great that you are going to take a breastfeeding class. Attend a le leche league meeting either before you have the baby or right after. My message wasn’t supposed to be taken as a don’t pump ever, and I am not a breastfeeding expert, just a nursing mom of 3.5 years. If you are financially able, try and take off more time or ask if you can work from home part time.

      I would recommend waiting to pump until you are about six weeks postpartum and no bottles until around this point either and try and stay away from pacifiers too. Your goal in those first eight weeks is to well establish breastfeeding. Your supply at this point will be almost at it’s peak. When you get home allow the baby to nurse as much as possible, even if it seems like that is all they are doing. Get a bottle with a nipple that is shallower and with the lowest flow. Avoid nipple shields of you can. Know that a few weeks after birth, somewhere around 8-12weeks your breasts will no longer feel as full. That is okay, your milk is still there, your body just knows how to regulate better.

      Visit http://www.kellymom.com often and check out dr. Jack new mans breastfeeding videos. Make friends with your lll leaders and call them at any time of day. Read as many breastfeeding books as possible. Know that there are teas with fennegreek in them that can help increase milk supply and learn about galactagoges.

      The most important thing to remember is trust yourself, and your ability to nourish your baby. If your baby is having 8-12 wet diapers a day and having a few bowel movements, they are getting enough. Check out happiest baby on the block and learn about food sensitivities and colic links.

      A baby has a stomach the size of it’s fist, so it will not take in that at one time. When you pump at around six weeks, pump the side that the baby didn’t nurse on and then on the next feeding start the baby on the pumped breast. You only need enough milk for a few feedings when you are gone, so it really isn’t thAt much milk. If the daycare calls and says, hey were out of milk, then go to the daycare and go feed your baby. I know that probably doesn’t help. I was fortunate that I didn’t go back until my oldest was six months and then just part time for a few weeks when my second was three months old. My husband could always bring the baby to me if there was an issue, but I had enough milk by waiting until the week before to pump. I wrote way too much but let me know if I can give you any more info. Ohh, one other thing, let your baby decide it’s birthday. When a baby decides, then you have a better chance of staying out of the nicu and having nursing issues due to wrong estimated due dates.

        lahancock responded:
        April 21, 2011 at 7:08 pm

        I didn’t realize that you were a hypnomom. You are at an advantage and I saw on your blog that you are using a midwife and doula, so I know that you will understand to let your baby decide on it’s birthday. πŸ™‚

        Leah Spencer said:
        April 21, 2011 at 7:12 pm

        You said… “Ohh, one other thing, let your baby decide it’s birthday. When a baby decides, then you have a better chance of staying out of the nicu and having nursing issues due to wrong estimated due dates.”

        I wholeheartedly agree!! I went 10 days overdue (or rather, just right!) and my baby was just 7.5 pounds. If he had been born on his due date, then I would likely have a 6 pounder with some complications. I honestly don’t feel like there’s a problem until you’re talking 44+ weeks.

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