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 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 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 cases, a mother who has made up her mind to exclusively pump hasn’t made the decision so “lightly”. Every mother 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 on 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 exclusively pumping breast milk?
Exclusively pumping breast milk 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 that are super strong and essential to protecting the baby from any diseases and infections.
― Reduces risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS): 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 doesn’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. Exclusive Breast Pumping Schedule
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.
However as your baby grows, 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., 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 for three or four hours.
A. How long should you pump?
Most mothers who go for exclusive pumping should aim for a minimum of 120 minutes of 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 for over 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-minute 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 which 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 to become quicker!
Trying to completely 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. Exclusively 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 with a private space & time for you to pump. Check your company’s policies to confirm.
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 required 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, Do you already have your favorite breast pump at hand, if not I highly recommend it for MADELA or Spectra s1 Vs. S2 Breast Pump.
- Lansinoh Nipple Pads pads are placed inside your bra while feeding and the pads after each feeding to keep your skin healthy.
- Pumping Bra-This bra gives you an amazing feeling of a 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 moisturize dry and cracked nipples while breastfeeding and pumping.
- Haakaa Breast The amazing thing about this pump as it is not an electric or manual pump. Instead, it is a powerful suction tool that collects the milk from another breast that you cannot use while breastfeeding.
- Breast Milk Storage Bags- I know you don’t want to waste your valuable liquid gold, so these breast milk storage bags are used for storage purposes.
- Pumping Bag 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 carries your baby’s luggage like a diaper bag or water bottle, You can keep inside items like pumps, wipes, snakes, etc.
- Extra Pumping Parts- It is very necessary to keep extra pumping parts to avoid any problem that occurs when a part is misplaced or broken down.
- Nursing Sometimes you will need to pump outside when you have to visit a 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.
Oversupply of breast milk exclusively pumping
How can I make my exclusive pumping easier and more comfortable? Below are the ways that make your exclusive pumping more comfortable:-
- Try to hand-free pumping
- Don’t wash pump parts every time you pump
- Pump into the bottle that helps your baby drink directly
- Set up a pumping station where you can easily
- Make a routine
- Be comfortable while exclusively pumping
How many times should I If exclusive pumping?
Most lactation consultants recommend as per baby demands that nearly 10 to 12 times a day, you can exclusively pump 8 to 12 times each day for 15 minutes each session. Usually, you can change when your baby gets older, it depends upon you only!
Can I mix different batches of breast milk?
If the pumped breast milk is of the same temperature, you can mix them together. But don’t mix the freshly pumped and stored milk in the same bottle.
If I Am An Exclusive Pumping Mom, How much and how often do 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 breast milk in a day. That means 4 ounces per feeding. A number may vary as per the baby’s weight and capacity. Here is a great pumping schedule you can follow starting the week of pumping.
How to increase the milk supply in one breast exclusively by pumping?
Begin by pumping frequently, aiming for 8-12 sessions daily, including at night, focusing more on the side you want to boost.
Implement techniques such as power pumping, breast massage, and compression during sessions, and consider using a hospital-grade double electric breast pump.
Adjust pump settings and ensure complete breast emptying, switching sides during each session to maintain supply in the non-targeted breast.
Stay hydrated, eat well, and try galactagogues cautiously. Incorporate skin-to-skin contact with your baby and monitor progress while maintaining consistency throughout the process.
Does Breast milk change when exclusively pumping?
When you’re exclusively pumping breast milk, milk typically doesn’t change much. The milk your breast makes remains pretty consistent because your breasts keep producing it, even if you’re using a pump instead of a baby.
I have included all the points that I experienced during my pumping journey! What are your favorite exclusive pumping parts? Share with all pumping mothers in the comment box below. And if you like the article please share with your friends and family.