It’s no doubt that breast milk is the most nutritious food choice for your baby. But some situations might make you opt for exclusive pumping. For instance, you might not be in a position to breastfeed due to cracked nipples, or the baby cannot latch properly. Exclusive pumping is still an excellent way to give your baby breast milk when the milk supply is not up to the mark.
What is Exclusive Pumping?
Exclusive pumping is the process of extracting milk from breasts when direct breastfeeding is not possible. Exclusive breastfeeding, also known as EPing, expresses breast milk either by a breast pump or by hand. The sessions occur at systematic times throughout the day. The baby can take milk by a bottle or through tube feeding.
However, exclusive pumping is not an easy task. It requires skills. It also exhausts and takes lots of time.
Reasons for Pumping Exclusively:
Several reasons may lead a mother to choose exclusively pumping.
- While going outside for hours or need to return to work
- The baby has been facing difficulty in latching.
- You have triplets, twins, or more.
- The child is premature and is in NICU.
- You are suffering from cracked nipples.
- You might decide not to breastfeed the baby directly.
How Many Times Do You Need to Pump in a Day?
It depends on your infant’s age and how much he/she is consuming. On average, a baby can drink a bottle of milk in about two to three hours. So, for the first few weeks, you should pump after every two to three hours. It translates that you need to pump breast milk 8 to 12 times per day.
As the toddler gets older, the milk demand will increase, tasking you to stimulate more milk supply. The baby will tend to take more milk per feeding but fewer times in a day. You will increase the time for pumping.
For the first few months, you will pump about 8 to 12 times a day, with each session taking about 15 minutes. Do not go longer than 20 minutes per pumping session.
The Amount of Milk You Should Pump:
For a newborn, you will need 24 ounces per day. Double the amount if you have twins. After a month, you will need about 24 to 32 ounces in 24 hours. By the time your child hits six months, you’ll need approximately 36 to 48 ounces per day. You should also note that, when using a bottle, it’s possible to overfeed the baby. You should, therefore, check what the baby needs in a day.
Benefits of Exclusive Pumping:
- Sharing Feeding Responsibilities – When pumping, it becomes a lot easier to split caregiving duties. When a mother is breastfeeding, she becomes the only person responsible for feeding the baby. But pumping gives the other spouse a chance to feed the child.
- When pumping, you will be able to address the supply issue. If the breast milk supply decreases, you will work on it to boost the milk supply, like taking lots of fluids.
- Control over timing
- More breaks
How to Boost Your Milk Supply?
When you’re exclusively pumping, maintaining a healthy milk supply requires a good deal of dedication. Pumping regularly, especially at night, may facilitate production.
Invest in Your Breast Pump
Pumping requires a lot of time attached to a breast pump. So invest in a high-quality pump that will ensure long-term, daily use. A double pump is a great choice. While collecting milk from both breasts at the same time, double pumps save your time and energy.
Choose a comfortable pump and ensure that the shields fit you well and you are not suffering from itching. Pain and damage to your breast tissue due to pumps may worsen the situation. Ensuring the maximum time and comfort while exclusively pumping will help maintain a healthy milk supply.
Routine pumping stimulates breast milk production. Pumping every two to three hours is essential for feeding a newborn. If you are struggling with a low milk supply, pumping frequently boosts the milk supply.
There are some breastfeeding superfoods, herbs, and teas that support and promote lactation. Adding them to your daily diet may boost the milk supply.
Exclusive pumping can be demanding and exhausting. While the child is their priority, moms forget to take care of themselves. But you need to understand that a stressed and tired body cannot produce a sufficient amount of milk. So, eat and drink better, have a proper sleep. Always try to get help from your spouse, friends, and family.