Sometimes instead of feeding from the breast you decide to pump exclusively. It could be because of latch problems or supply problems or perhaps you just want to do it that way because that’s what suits you best.
Or maybe your baby was premature and cannot breastfeed, or you have to back to work right away.
Whatever the reason, exclusive pumping can be really tricky and a whole lot of work. With that being said, plenty of moms do it and are successful at it. It’s so worth the effort to give your babe that pure liquid goodness.
***If you want to be a pro at Exclusive Pumping then you should take this quick video course from the creators of Milkology. The course is only $19 and it will teach you how to pump like a pro in 90 minutes, with a money back guarantee. You can check it out here.
Below are tips that will help you on your exclusive pumping journey and make life much easier for you and your babe.
By The Way, this post contains affiliate links at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Tips For Exclusive Pumping
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Create an Exclusive Pumping Schedule
First and foremost you must have a schedule for pumping. This will ensure that you keep up your milk supply.
Many times it’s recommended you pump every two hours for 20 minutes and at least 8 times a day. But you could stretch that out a bit after the first month or so when your milk has really come in.
You could pump every three to four hours and get more milk in each session instead of doing it every two hours and only getting a few ounces. This will help save your sanity because pumping takes a lot out of you and you’ll already be super busy with your new babe.
But again, you need to wait to stretch out your schedule like this until your milk is really established.
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As time goes on you will be able to pump less and less because your child will begin eating solids. But make sure you build up a freezer stash for times when you cannot pump.
All of this and more is covered in the Exclusive Pumping course I mentioned above. You should take a look.
How Much Milk Will You Need?
While your baby is small he will drink small amounts often. As he grows he will take larger amounts in each sitting.
Here’s what you can expect from the beginning:
- During the first few days after the birth of your baby, you will only be able to pump and collect a small amount of colostrum. Colostrum is the first breast milk. It is concentrated and very nutritious, so a tiny amount is all your baby needs.
- After the first week, you should be able to pump two or three ounces every couple of hours or so.
- After the first month, you’ll need 24 to 34 ounces a day. To get this amount you’ll need to pump about every three hours but everyone is different so you may need to adjust your schedule accordingly.
- When your babe reaches the six-month mark he’ll need 36 to 50 ounces a day, so continue to pump often. You will have a very established milk supply by this time so it shouldn’t be difficult to pump that much.
Now let me give you some good tips to make this thing a whole lot easier.
In The Beginning Months, Power Pump
Power pumping can really boost your milk supply. This is important because it’s not as easy to keep your milk up when pumping as it is when breastfeeding alone. It has to do with hormones, specifically Oxytocin.
It ( power pumping ) will mimic cluster feeding to really get things flowing. You can follow this schedule to help boost supply:
Pump for 20 minutes then rests for 10 minutes. Pump for 10 more minutes then rests for another 10. After that pump for 20 minutes straight again.
If you want you can do it more then once a day at first. It takes a lot of commitment but it will ensure you have a steady flow of milk for your babe at all times.
Download a Pump App
Downloading a pumping app can help you keep up with your schedule and show you how well you’re progressing with increasing your milk supply. Here’s a great one called Pump Log. You can get it on iTunes.
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Ignore The Judgy Advice
A lot of people won’t get why you exclusively pump. They’ll have all kinds of questions, judgments, and things to say.
But just ignore them, they don’t know what they’re talking about. No one understands the decisions you’ve made but you and that’s all that matters.
If your Supply Starts Dropping add-In Sessions
If your supply begins dwindling at any point just add in more sessions. You can also Power pump more often and use the app mentioned above to log everything.
Don’t panic if you do get a sudden drop. You’ll be able to get it back up with persistence and patience.
Lubricate Your Breast Shields For Comfort
Lubricating your breast shields will make your non-stop pumping a lot more comfortable.
All that squeezing just gets really uncomfortable after a while. You get used to it and your nipples toughen up but creating some slide will make the process much easier.
You can use coconut oil to lubricate them. It’s safe, moisturizing and it just feels nice.
Get A Hands Free Pumping Bra
You will definitely want a hands free pumping bra if you’re going to be exclusively pumping. This device will make your life so much better.
You can pump doing anything and everything hands-free. Here’s a great one On Amazon you may like.
Get A Battery Operated Pump That Will Work With Your Car Charger
This is important if you EVER want to leave your house. And obviously, you do. Medela makes the best pumps around and they have a car charger for most of their pumps.
Have A Manual Pump For Emergencies
You should also have a manual pump for emergencies. Sometimes life happens. Your pump breaks or the power goes out.
You won’t have a way to pump that liquid gold without a nice manual pump. It’s a super important tool in your pumping arsenal.
Medela also makes a great manual one and you can find it right here.
Invest In Good Breastfeeding Covers
A lot of moms who exclusively pump don’t think to buy Breastfeeding covers but you’ll really need them.
When you go out in public you’ll still need to follow a pumping schedule and the best way to cover up is to use one of these babies right here.
Use A Good Nipple Cream
Your nipples take a lot of abuse from the pump and a good nipple cream is essential. There are so many good ones but I really love this one right here and it’s what I used with all three of my little ones. I highly recommend it!
Boost Your Milk Supply With Herbs
There are some good herbs out there that will help keep your supply high and steady. You may have heard of a few of them before.
One in particular Fenugreek has been used safely for centuries.
You can find Fenugreek in Pink Stork supplements along with other milk boosting nutrients. I am a big fan of Pink Stork products, they offer the best lactation supplements you can buy. Here’s one with everything you need to boost your supply.
Use Other Lactation Boosting Products Too
There are great lactation recipes all over the internet, especially on Pinterest ( Follow Me!), but if you want to make things easy on yourself you can buy special protein powders and products specially formulated for lactating moms.
There are these Milkmaker Lactation cookies and this Milkflow Tea.
The choices are endless and all of them support your Pumping Journey.
Other Exclusive Pumping Resources:
The biggest takeaway from all this is to just create a really good schedule, Power pump in the first few months, and have really good pumping supplies on hand.
Also, keep up a record of your progress, use lactation boosting products, and make sure you stay comfortable and keep your nipples healthy.
It’s all a lot of work but it’s so worth it and it does get easier over time.
Breastmilk is such a blessing for your babe and if you’re able to give it to him one way or another, you’ll be glad you did.
I wish you all the luck in the world.
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