Exclusive Breast pumping is an option, mothers go for when they are not being able to nurse their baby anymore. You may choose to exclusively pump for various different reasons, including if:
- your baby can’t latch properly
- you have a premature baby
- breastfeeding is uncomfortable & somewhat painful to you
- you’re apart from your baby for elongated periods of time each day
- your baby has a cleft plate
For any of these reasons, you might assume that there is no other choice for you left but to use infant formula. To your surprise, there is another option that doesn’t really get the support or recognition it deserves – exclusive breast pumping.
1. What is Exclusive Breast Pumping?
Exclusive breast pumping is when a baby is only fed expressed breast milk via a bottle instead of nursing.
In most of the cases, a mother who has made her mind to exclusively pump hasn’t made the decision so “lightly”. Every mother properly knows about the valuable benefits of her breast milk, and she wants her baby to have what’s best for her, so the smartest solution here is to pump & provide her breastmilk to the baby using a bottle.
Still, most mothers give up the idea because of the lesser support and information about it. It’s sad that many (including professional health care providers) walk around telling mothers “this is a crazy idea”, “you’ll run out of milk”, and also that “it’ll never work”.
Here is the guide how to breastfeed as a new mother.
While every single person agrees that there are irreplaceable benefits to breastfeeding, everyone must know it’s “breastmilk” that itself is irreplaceable. So when an occasion occurs, where breastfeeding is not an option anymore, it’s still possible to use breastmilk regardless of the method of delivery.
Mothers who decide to go for exclusive breast pumping are gracious mothers – determined to do what’s best for their lovely babies, and they deserve all the respect and support.
Today, you’re going to learn about, exclusive breast pumping, exclusive pumping schedule, its benefits & cons, and how to do it! Let’s dive in.
2. What are the benefits of exclusive pumping?
Exclusive pumping allows a baby to enjoy the benefits of breast milk that might not be otherwise capable of nursing. Here are some of the benefits that Exclusive pumping offers to both mothers and babies.
A. For Babies:
― Nutritious & Easily Digestible: Since breast milk is natural, it automatically is easier to digest than infant formula. Additionally, it contains the complete nutrition a baby needs to grow & mature.
― Protection from diseases: Breast milk contains various antibodies in it that are super strong and essential to protecting the baby from any diseases and infections.
― Reduces risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS): Looking apart from exclusive pumping, breastfeeding has been found to decrease the risk of SIDS when nursed for 2 or more months.
B. For Mothers:
― Gives you space: Exclusive breast pumping can offer you space from your baby for periods of time. It also enables you to ask your family members and your significant other to feed your baby since the baby feeds don’t have to depend solely on you.
― Won’t have to deal with soreness: It seems consequential, but for some mothers, breastfeeding is really painful.
― Weight Loss: Exclusive pumping helps in losing some of the weight that you gain during pregnancy. This happens because exclusive pumping can burn up to 500 extra calories per day!
Although that is not the only thing that happens while exclusive breast pumping, you’ll have to eat often in order to restore the lost calories & keep up your energy levels.
3. How often should you pump?
You can keep your milk supply on point if pumped on a fixed schedule. It may take some trials before you figure out an exclusive pumping schedule that works best for you.
You may need to start pumping around eight to ten times with a newborn. That’s how often new babies need to be fed.
Although as your baby would grow, you may have to decrease the feeding times to 5-6 pumps per day. This would help you express more breast milk per session and start relying on your stored supply!
Take a look at some sample exclusive pumping schedules below:
― Newborn: Requires you to pump 8 to 9 times in a 24-hour period. Try pumping at 5 a.m., 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m., and 12 a.m.
― 3 Months: Exclusive pump around 5 to 6 times in a 24-hour period. Use the times 6 a.m., 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 8 p.m., and 11 p.m.
― 6 Months: Pump for 4 times in a day at 6 a.m., 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 10 p.m.
― Exclusive breast pumping for twins: Use a double-electric breast pump every 2 hours for the first three months. Later, reduce it to pumping three or four hours.
A. How long should you pump?
Most mothers that go for exclusive pumping should aim for a minimum of 120 minutes pumping every day unless they are weaning.
Now all you gotta do is divide 120 by the number of sessions you have in 24 hours, that’ll be your goal.
Note: A lot of mothers prefer exclusive breast pumping forover 120 minutes per day, and it’s alright. Some women find pumping less than 120 minutes a better way to maintain their breast milk supply.
Everyone is different, so just take this 120 minutes exclusive breast pumping into account as a general guideline.
B. How do I know when my breast is empty when pumping?
By empty I mean that you have pumped out the majority of the breast milk from your breasts. Your breasts will feel flat, soft & flaccid like pancakes.
It would have been over 10-15 minutes since your last letdown and your breast milk would have stopped flowing. Additionally, hand expressing would get nothing extra out.
If you may wonder, the lack of letdowns while exclusive pumping is generally an excellent indication that you have successfully pumped out the most amount of breast milk from your breasts during that individual pumping session.
C. Do breasts need time to refill?
Waiting for a long set amount of time to feed your baby (under the mistaken belief that breasts need time to “refill”) would constantly delay breast milk flow that will lead to decreased milk supply over time.
Remember, milk production slows down when milk accumulates in the breast. It takes only about 20-30 minutes for the breasts to “fill up” again, i.e. for the breast milk flow become quicker!
Trying to complete empty your breast would be like trying to empty a river — it is impossible, since more milk will keep flowing in while the milk is being removed.
It’s also found out in studies, that the emptier the breast, the faster the breast makes milk. So when you pump out the majority of breast milk, the milk production will speed up in response.
D. Exclusive breast pumping at a workplace.
To not end up ruining your schedule, add your pump times to your work calendar. Depending on the country you live in, your workplace may or may not provide you a private space & time for you to pump. Check your company’s policies to confirm.
Although in the United States, companies are required to provide a non-restroom, private location for women to pump during the first year of their newborn.
Employers are also requires to provide mothers with break time to pump.
4. What supplies do you need while Exclusive Breast Pumping?
- Medela Breast Pump Or Spectra Breast Pump- I guess so, you already have your favorite breast pump at hand, if not I highly recommended for MADELA or Spectra s1 Vs. S2 breast Pump.
- Lansinoh Nipple Pads-These pads are placed inside your bra while feeding and change the pads after each feeding to keep your skin healthy.
- Pumping Bra-This bra gives you amazing feeling of hand-free pumping experience
- Manual Pump-It is used where your electric pump cannot go like Date night, Theme park, Car riding, occasions, or anywhere.
- Nipple Cream- Nipple cream helps to moisturize dry and cracked nipples while breastfeeding and pumping .
- Haakaa Breast Pump-The amazing thing about this pump as it is not electric or manual pump. Instead it is a powerful suction tool that collect the milk from another breast that you cannot use while breastfeeding.
- Breast Milks Storage Bags- I know you don’t want to waste your valuable liquid gold, so these breast milk storage bags are used for storage purpose.
- Pumping Bag-This is very essential tool for your exclusive breast pumping journey to store all your pumping tools in and you can easily move where you want to go. Besides, it carry your baby’s luggage like-diaper bag, water bottle,. You can keep inside items like-pump, wipes, snakes, etc.
- Extra Pumping Parts- It is very necessary to keep extra pumping parts to avoid any problem occurs when a part is misplaced or broke down.
- Nursing Cover-Sometimes you will need to pump outside when you have to visited mall or in the car. Here you want this nursing cover to do your feeding or pumping job comfortably.
- Cleaning wipe-Again if you’re outside these cleaning wipe does a great job like cleaning your pumping items to avoid any kind of bacteria and germs.
FAQ About Exclusive Breast Pumping You Want To Know
How can I make my exclusive pumping easier and comfortable? or Does exclusive pumping get easier? Or how can I make my pump more enjoyable?
Below are the ways that make your exclusive pumping more comfortable:-
- Try to hand-free pumping
- Don’t be wash pump parts every time you pump
- Pump into the bottle that help your baby drinks directly
- Set up pumping station where you reach easily
- Make a routine
- Be comfortable while exclusive pumping
How many times should I If exclusive pumping?
Mostly lactation consultants recommend as per baby demands that is nearly 10 to 12 times a day, you can exclusive pumping 8 to 12 times each day for 15 minute each session. Usually you can change when your baby gets older, it is depends upon you only!
Can I mix different batches of breast milk? Or Can I mix breast milk from different pumping sessions?
If the pumped breast milk is of the same temperature, you can mix them together. But don’t mix the freshly pumped and storage milk in the same bottle.
If I Am An Exclusive Pumping Mom How much and how often I feed my baby?
Mostly newborn babies eat every 2-3 hours. And you also try to feed them accordingly. Baby drinks 20-30 oz of breastmilk in a day. That means 4 ounce per feeding. Number may be vary as per baby’s weight and capacity. Here is a great pumping schedule you can follow starting week of pumping.
I have included all the points what I experienced during my pumping journey! What are your favorite exclusive pumping part? Share with all pumping mothers in the comment box below. And if you like the article please share with your friends and family.