Pumping Exclusively

Exclusively pumping, also known as "Eping" is a way for a mother to continue to give her baby breast milk, when breastfeeding has failed or is delayed.

Most mothers resort to formula feeding when breastfeeding problems arise, not knowing that it is possible to feed their baby, their precious breast milk via bottle or alternative feeding methods.

Most mothers who exclusively express breast milk, are capable of making enough milk for their baby's full nutritional needs.

To all those mothers out there, who have faced the odds and persisted in pumping exclusively, congratulations! You are a dedicated mother and should feel very proud of yourself.

premature baby, premature breastfed baby

Why some Moms Resort to Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk

Exclusive Breast Pumping Tips

  • Massage in-between and during pumping sessions.  
  • Get yourself (or rent) an electric, hospital grade, double action breast pump. This is needed for the best results (hospital grade pumps are built to establish milk supply) Electric breast pumps cannot be compared to hand pumps but can be replaced by a manual breast pump once your milk supply is established.
  • Make certain that your breasts are lubricated before pumping. Lansinoh, olive oil, and even your own breast milk will work well for this; this will also help for sore nipples. (Do not use your own milk, if you suspect a thrush infection – it could make it worse!)
  • Pump at least eight times a day. 
  • Have a comfortable place to pump with a pumping station already set up for you.
  • Make sure that you have good back support while pumping.
  • Extra flanges and bottles can help, this will reduce the need to wash them immediately after pumping.
  • Don’t start any hormonal contraception pills until your milk supply is established, and then ask for the progestin-only pill (also called the mini-pill). 
  • Make things more comfortable and easy for yourself, by using a hands-free pumping system. 
baby with bottle, cute baby
  • Follow safe breastmilk storage guidelines.
  • Try pumping at least once during the night.
  • Pump for 20 minutes with each pumping session.
  • The speed on the pump should be set for comfort.
  • If you do not produce enough milk, the best thing to do, is to find a donor milk bank near you, so that you can supplement with breastmilk, but it is okay if you need to supplement with formula; just keep to your pumping schedule and your milk supply will increase. Any amount of breastmilk will benefit your baby
  • Instead of cleaning your pump after every use, put the parts in a ziplock bag and store it in the refrigerator as soon as you finish pumping. This will save you a considerable amount of cleaning time each day, which you can use to relax or spend with your baby. Just remember to wash it once a day to be on the safe side. (source)

Benefits of Exclusive Pumping

paced bottle feeding

The Benefits of Pumping and Feeding Expressed Milk

The Challenges

What are the Challenges of Exclusively Pumping?

  • Exclusive pumping takes a lot of time and effort. takes a lot of time and effort.
  • Mothers sometimes struggle to maintain sufficient milk supplies when pumping breast milk exclusively.

What about Bonding between Mom and Baby?

  • Sometimes bonding can improve between a mother and a baby that has been struggling to breastfeed when they start bottle feeding instead of breastfeeding.
  • Make sure that your baby is held for feedings, as this will also ensure better bonding between you and your baby. Any other family members get to benefit from this as well.
  • Skin to skin benefits can still be taken advantage of. 

Increasing your Breast Milk Supply

Does it Get Easier?

Does exclusively pumping get easier?

After about three months of exclusive breast pumping, your milk supply should be fully established, which means that you can pump fewer times per day.

Exclusive pumping is the second best option after breastfeeding, but can sometimes be more challenging. It is possible to exclusively pump for as long as most mothers breastfeed, and longer.

Day in The Life of an Exclusively Pumping Mom

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