{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "33 weeks and want to understand the pros and cons of exclusive pumping. My hubby wants me to pumping he can be part of the feeding and make it easier for me at night time. I don't mind! Was never down for EBP.\n\nAlso what if I do half and half? How do I decide or know what to do is the right choice?", "post_id": "6125e8ccd91723002ac6034f", "reply_count": 31, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "5a0c9a1f61b01a001937c406", "bowl_name": "Working Moms" }

33 weeks and want to understand the pros and cons of exclusive pumping. My hubby wants me to pumping he can be part of the feeding and make it easier for me at night time. I don't mind! Was never down for EBP. Also what if I do half and half? How do I decide or know what to do is the right choice?

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Exclusive pumping is really hard. My first was in the NICU and never learned to latch so I ended up exclusively pumping for 6 months with her. Here are my pros: 1- more relief when you completely empty your breasts versus breastfeeding 2- it’s easier to track how much they are eating for planning purposes 3- other people are able to help 4- it does make the transition back to work a little easier. My cons: 1- it’s incredibly time consuming. Between washing the parts, the actual time pumping, and warming up the milk later; you lose a lot of time you could be spending with the baby. 2- it takes more time to comfort baby when they are upset. Warming bottles takes time. 3- the breastfeeding bonding is such a sweet special time. 4- when you leave the house you have to have milk on hand and generally it would need to be the freshly expressed if you don’t have access to a warmer… it means your “leaving the house process” has added a pretty time consuming task. I would say half and half would be a much better option… but most women do find breast to be an easiest option. With my second baby I have primarly done the breast, but will occasionally pump. It’s been so much easier and less stressful. And I love the bonding I’m doing!

likesmarthelpful

Dont warm the milk lol.

I have an 11 day old (that I’m nursing at this moment). She was almost 2wks past her due date and it took my supply a while to catch up with her stomach size. I started out nursing but she was getting nothing, so we had to supplement with formula even in the hospital. I spent the next week pumping like crazy to get supply up and giving her that + formula. Now I’m producing enough that she’ll tolerate my breast with a nipple shield (she was frustrated before because no supply and would reject) + we still top off with formula, and i pump between to have a little supply of “overnight milk”. It’s a lot to do all 3, but it’s a LIFESAVER that my husband can take a night shift. We basically alternate every other night who gets up for the super late feed (e.g. 3AM). If you can, do half and half! It’ll help your milk come in and you’ll need the break. It’s so nice to be able to tag your partner in. If you have to supplement with formula on top of it, know that it’s not the end of the world. What matters is that they get the nutrition they need - whether that’s from a boob or a bottle. Just focus on staying sane, cuddling your sweet baby and sleeping as much as you can! 💗

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If hubs want in go half and half, I exclusively breastfeed and honestly think it’s way easier than having to pump , you just throw the baby on the boob and your good and hands free . No worrying about parts or bottles or freezing things or left over milk. Now that my little is 5 months old sometimes when she’s hungry early in the morning I bring her in bed next to me and she eats while I sleep. It’s so much easier. Also when babe is crying and you aren’t sure why, throwing her on a boob is a lot less of a hassle than pumping or warming up milk and babe stops crying a lot sooner

likesmart

I second this. We did start introducing bottles occasionally at 3 months so she was use to them so I could get out of the house.

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I've done a combo of pumping, feeding and formula since the beginning. The first month until my supply got established, I fed directly and then pumped after, every single time no matter the hour or the exhaustion. Now at 2 months I pump a few times a day, feed directly a few times and we do formula for 2 of the night feeds where hubby feeds him because the kitchen is too far at 2am. Don't feel the need to make any decisions now. Keep your options open and stay flexible. Read up and have a plan, but ultimately the cookie will crumble the way it works best for your family situation.

likesmarthelpful

Totally agree - I’m glad that schedule works for you/hubby and you’re both sleeping especially you having to return to work 2 mo PP... but that’s a whole other convo on how the maternity leave and PP support for women in this country generally just flat out sucks. I would highly recommend sleep training in a few mo when baby has doubled birth weight, usually 3.5-4 mo old. I did and he started sleeping 10-12 hours thru the night, best $350 that I’ve ever spent was on a sleep coach!

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I would just pump once or twice a day so your husband can give a bottle. Would not recommend exclusively pumping as its wildly inconvenient. I can’t imagine pumping in the middle of the night. So much easier to keep your eyes closed and put baby on boob and less disruptive to your sleep. Most exclusive pumpers I know do it because baby won’t latch not as a choice.

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I wish I’d done half and half from the beginning. I love the time cuddling and nursing my son, but now he is 3.5 mon, and refuses to take bottles and will only go to sleep for me. It’d be nice if my husband could have done even one of the overnight feedings so that (1) I could sleep (2) the baby was used to bottles before I made it the nanny’s problem, and (3) the baby was used to the idea that someone other than mom can put him to bed.

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Any choice you make is the right choice. There is no wrong. You do what works for you and your family. And your decision may change based on any number of factors in the moment. Do not put pressure on yourself to make a decision now, just be prepared for any options you want to have and make a decision in the moment. A fed baby is a happy baby however you decide to get there.

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We did EBF while my milk was coming in for the first 2 weeks, and then we switched to 1 bottle a day, and then increased our bottles to 2 or 3, depending on the day. We slowly did this increase because this was recommended by our lactation consultant since my son's latch was so-so. We're now (20 weeks) still doing half and half! I think if your husband wants to help, you should let him! It really eliminated a lot of the burden at the beginning when it's like 9000 feeds a day. Basically, there is no right answer. Do what feels best for you! You won't know until after the baby comes.

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I pumped and breastfed. Breastfeeding was easier (put baby on boob. The end. Vs. pumping, storing, freezing, thawing, warming bottle, cleaning bottle). I hated pumping, but I did it so I had extra milk. I pumped a lot. I nursed a lot. I got a lot of extra milk! I got to sleep at night while husband gave a bottle. But during the day I nursed. For the first few months, I pumped after every nursing session. Then I dropped to 1 morning pump. I pumped so much I donated 1,000 oz and still have 1,500 in the freezer. Still nursing at 11 months but have stopped pumping. Would recommend the combination of nursing and pumping - best of both worlds!

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Um, pumping exclusively out of choice is a massive time commitment. You have now added the pumping time to the time of feeding the baby plus all the extra washing you will have to do. And if he gives the baby a bottle at night, at least for the first few months, you’ll have to get up and pump anyway. Make him a deal that you will pump 1-2x a day (after the first two-three weeks once supply is established) and he can give the bottle then.

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We did exactly this - half and half. Lots of talk on the interwebs about “nipple” confusion had me nervous, but we didn’t experience it. I went back to work after 12 weeks, so I pumped and my husband fed him BM from bottles while I was at work. Then when I got home, I would BF and BF at bedtime/morning. I did have some dip in supply here and there at times, so we supplemented a little with formula. It felt stressful at the time, but looking back, it was all fine. We did this for a year or so and then I started dropping daytime pump sessions and eventually just stopped altogether and transitioned to milk/sippy cups. Just go with your instincts. You’ll know what to do and what works for your family. There’s no “right” way…just the way that works for you. Good luck, mama!!

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Is this your first baby? If so, you may find that you don’t enjoy nursing, or worse, like me, your nipples can’t handle it, so pumping is the only tolerable option. Good luck!!

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Alllllll of this awesome advice will have a lot more meaning once you actually experience - I would *decide to not decide* for now and wait until you know how it feels for you. Once you’re there, you’ll have all the data to make the decision that’s best for your family. I breastfed exclusively for 6ish weeks, but my husband was up at every feeding and did all the diapering and eeeeeverything else (including getting baby to sleep) except milk into baby and that worked well (we joked that I did the top and he handled the bottom). I felt like the labor was split, and also felt supported. In retrospect, I wish I’d introduced a bottle earlier FWIW - I think my son had a lip tie and breastfeeding was awful for the first few weeks but I only had “breast is best” in my head and thought misery was normal. All of this to say - you’ll know when you get there, but I totally understand wanting to plan!

Get a breastpump (aeroflow.com) before you go to give birth (in the event that you need to pump because your baby is not latching well etc.) If you want to provide breastmilk for your baby, I would prioritize breastfeeding, so you can have that as an option. It will make life easier (vs exclusive pumping) as your child gets older. You don't need to worry about travelling with bottles, pumping outdoors or at people's houses, warming milk, etc. As your child gets older, they also are much quicker at feeding, faster than a pump. However, some babies just cannot get the hang of breastfeeding or lose interest etc., and that is the reason why most people exclusive pump (I did the same, EP was less stressful than directly breastfeeding my baby). You will eventually choose to pump as you get closer to the end of your maternity leave to get your baby used to bottles if you want to give your child breastmilk after you go back to work. Try to stay flexible; I was very rigid about what I wanted to do and ended up having a lot of guilt about exclusive pumping. You will have a better idea of what you want to do once you have your baby. There is no one right way. Congratulations and good luck!!!

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Lol I’ve pumped while driving, on airplanes, in people’s houses, while taking calls and everything in between. It’s a lot of work!

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My little one was a huge baby and my supply couldn’t keep up so we did half BF, half formula. I’d pump before bed so if my husband did the middle of the night feeding, he could use formula or my milk in the fridge. And if I was on my shift, I’d just BF directly. We put the pump parts in the dishwasher every day. Lots to clean between the bottles, parts etc.

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I did breastfeeding during the day when possible, then at night I'd empty couple of hours after putting baby to sleep. Husband would then use this to feed when he was on duty. Some days I pumped if being away from baby extended time, but it's a pain. I thought this worked lovely. Something I'd keep in mind is that just pumping does not stimulate supply as baby does. So in this regard pro of baby: more supply, while pro of pumping if that boobs get completely emptied. Best thing was knowing that if I was not available for whichever reason, baby would get fed. I enjoyed that freedom from pumping.

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Breastfed baby for first month to establish supply and latch, pump 1/day starting in month 2 to build supply, after 6 weeks introduced bottle. While I prefer to exclusively breastfeed (because I still have to pump every time he is fed a bottle), this allowed me to be able to go back to work pretty seamlessly. Now at 7 months and he does great on both, and we also add formula to bottles so he gets extra calories. Possible to be successful multiple ways! You've got this, momma!

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I breastfed the nighttime and early morning feeds, and did formula the daytime feeds. I really liked the balance and plan to do the same with baby #2 (currently 29 weeks pregnant). It meant that I had to do all the overnight feeds myself but I enjoyed the bonding and preferred sticking the baby on my boob over having to actually get up and prepare a bottle with formula or pumped milk. I didn’t have the time or mental capacity to deal with constantly pumping and I’m happy that I didn’t. Half breastfeeding and half formula worked out well for me!

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Pumping is the worst! But necessity sometimes. Do what works for you, honestly. It’s your body and time.

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I came here to advocate for EBF for at least the first month to six weeks to establish your supply and let baby’s stomach grow. Milk production works on supply and demand. EBF will help your body make the right amount of milk for your baby. If you’re pumping too much/too long your body will ramp up production and your baby will be eating from a fire hose. I think the recommendation to pump once/day is a good one for the first 1-3 months so baby can grow and you can get the hang of it. Also, discuss your with the lactation consultants at the hospital for tips that are specific to you and your baby. Most pediatrician offices have lactation consultants on staff. Recommend you make an appointment with yours during the first week or two so you can talk through any challenges you run into. The first few weeks are critical to establish your supply. Do nothing but feed baby/take care of, drink water, nap/rest on the couch. Eventually, having extra milk in the freezer will give you some freedom for a date night or trip to the store alone and will empower your husband to feel like he can meet baby’s needs.

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