Clueless first time mom to be. Do I need to pump if I’m taking significant time off (12mos)?

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Get a Milkies milk saver. It collects the milk released passively from the other breast as you nurse. I saved a great stash of a couple ounces a day this way and didn’t start pumping til around month 7. I personally don’t think it’s something you have to worry about if you have a decent supply. You don’t necessarily want to add to your production, and it’s one more effing thing to do. Also, not sure how old your babe is, but it takes awhile for your milk production to level out. I’d do that before beginning to pump. Final thought- milk doesn’t last forever and can quickly take up a ton of space in the freezer.

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No, but if you plan on BF exclusively for 6 months that means you can’t leave the baby for more than 2 hours. Wasn’t for me, but some women do it. Your other options is formula to supplement, which is easier.

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Not necessarily. But you still might want to so your partner can help with feedings and you can try to get some decent stretches of sleep. This is what I did - started pumping in the hospital and I pumped 1-2x a day for the first few weeks, then less frequently through the remainder of my leave as we got into a groove with feeding/sleeping. Also, you can store any extra milk for if you’ll be away from the baby for a few hours or overnight.

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I found a few benefits to pumping: 1. Someone else can feed the baby and you can take a break, especially if you create a stash of it - stored correctly in the freezer, it can last up to six months! 2. It also helps if you ever want to figure out how much the baby is actually getting. 3. It actually helped me track my supply and increase it when I needed to. It’s totally up to you! I’ve never felt less sexy than when I was pumping (lol), but when my little one was still exclusively on breast milk, it was worth it and great that someone else could help feed him at times.

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I pumped to get my milk flowing after my little one was born a week early and my milk hadn't come in yet. This also made it so I could sleep longer in the beginning and gave dad a chance to feed the baby. One pump bought me an hour or two of more sleep, so fitting in two was like the best bonus ever after those first few days of waking up every hour or two to feed. We would split the night feedings, and I would do the first half, then wake up so dad could sleep. My friend's daughter was born two weeks later, tongue tied and couldn't latch, so I helped her supplement with my pumped supply. So, you can also help a friend in need by pumping if you are able to.

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You don’t need to, but it never hurts to have some pumped milk on hand just in case.

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I’d say yes! You will need a break at some point and this will allow you that freedom. Also good for you and the baby to have someone other than you do a feeding from time to time to make the transition back to work, or date night, etc. a little easier.

It never hurts... (1) boosting your supply (just in case that’s a thing you need to do). (2) getting help with feedings, as mentioned above. (3) great for car rides, road trips, (4) good to have back up if you ever get sick or want to do a baby-less getaway (though you might not want to be away from the cuddles for a while!). Congrats!!!

You don’t need to pump or breast feed at all.

If you choose to BF I would take some time the first few weeks and see what your supply is. Then, move into extra pumping after week 6 or 8. Then you might need a break for a walk or to get your hair done and having milk is great! It also takes some practice to be out in public and nursing, so fine to pump before you leave and take that bottle with you. So many things to consider! If a low supply, power pumping is a great tool to up supply! But if you are an over producer that has its pros and cons too. One regret I had with my first child is pumping and freezing so much so early on. In hindsight, that needed to go to my baby. I had supply issues, though. So there are a lot of considerations until you get there. Good luck to you and your sweet baby!

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