Exclusively Pumping for Your Newborn

Learn how to exclusively pump for your newborn from this step-by-step guide.

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What is Exclusive Pumping?

Exclusive pumping is a way to feed your baby with breast milk by only pumping from a breast pump and not nursing directly. The term “exclusive” doesn’t refer only to the baby getting breast milk like it does in the phrase “exclusively breastfeeding”. It’s used here because exclusive pumpers don’t nurse their babies but instead will feed them expressed breast milk.

Exclusive pumping means that as long as you have an ample supply of pumped milk, your baby can be fed from bottles every two to three hours around-the-clock while you sleep or are away from home.

Some mothers who exclusively pump do so because they work outside the home and cannot continue nursing during the day (or choose not to). Other moms may want or need more freedom, including the ability to go out with friends or family members without bringing along someone else for help, especially if they’re returning back to work after maternity leave.

Why Do Some Choose to Exclusively Pump?

Exclusive pumping is the practice of breastfeeding without nursing at all. Exclusively pumping may be necessary for a number of reasons, including:

Baby refuses to nurse (sometimes due to latch issues or baby’s hunger cues, sometimes just because they refuse)

The baby doesn’t transfer milk well while nursing (again, this can happen even if the baby appears to want and try)

A physical reason that prevents you from being able to physically breastfeed your child. Some examples include: a cleft palate physical disability that stops you from holding your baby long enough for them to get a full feeding

You have chosen not to breastfeed for any number of personal reasons such as an aversion towards the process, extreme difficulty with weight gain/baby does not gain weight when exclusively breastfeeding, or perhaps simply a preference for bottle-feeding over nursing.

If you have decided against exclusive breastfeeding but still wish to provide your child with her own mother’s milk, then it becomes very important that she take expressed breast milk in her own bottle.

Exclusively Pumping vs Breastfeeding

Exclusively pumping refers to a mother who exclusively pumps breast milk for her baby. This is not the same as breastfeeding, because babies nurse from their mothers’ breasts. However, when you pump and feed your baby the milk you pumped, you are feeding from your breasts – just not directly.

pumping for a newborn can be challenging at first. But it may become easier once the correct technique has been learned; with practice and patience, many women do find success nursing their own preemies.

How Does Exclusive Pumping Work?

If you’ve decided that exclusive pumping is the route for you, congratulations! This can be a very rewarding experience. With proper planning and support, it’s entirely possible to exclusively pump your baby’s breastmilk while maintaining your supply. Here are some tips on how to get started:

– If at all possible, take time off from work or school so that you have plenty of time with your little one during this special time.

– Make sure that you have enough frozen milk in case there are times when it won’t be convenient for someone else to care for your baby while he/she eats – for example, if no family members or friends are available or if they live far away.

– Try not to handle too many distractions — talk on the phone less often and turn off any TVs or radios in the room where you’ll be pumping (this will also help prevent interruptions) while you get the hang of it.

Benefits of Exclusively Pumping

When a mother exclusively pumps breast milk for her baby, she is able to increase her milk supply and provide her child with all the benefits that come with breastfeeding. Pumping sessions allow mothers to have more control over how much milk they produce and when they produce it.

This is especially beneficial for working mothers who need to pump during their work day. Pumping also allows mothers to provide their babies with breast milk even if they are not able to breastfeed directly. Bottle feeding with breast milk from a bottle is just as beneficial as breastfeeding a baby.

Challenges of Exclusively Pumping

When you exclusively pump, you are constantly worried about whether your baby is getting enough milk. You have to make sure to pump often to make sure you are producing enough milk. If you don’t pump often enough, your body will think it’s not needed and will produce less milk. You also have to make sure to keep track of how much milk your baby is drinking, so you know how much you need to produce. It can be hard to keep up with everything, especially if you have a full-time job.

As more mothers that exclusively pump, are discovering that it can be time-consuming and frustrating to pump like this. It can take a while for some mothers to pump a single bottle full of milk, plus the time it takes to clean the pump parts and the bottles.

A recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown that only 49 percent of mothers who breastfeed continue to do so after returning to work. This has led some mothers to look into alternative pumping methods, such as electric pumps or manual.

However, many employers do not provide adequate break time or space for pumping, which can make it difficult for working mothers to continue breastfeeding. Some states have begun to pass laws that require employers to provide break time and space for pumping, but more needs to be done in order to ensure that all mothers have the opportunity to breastfeed their children.

How Often Should I be Pumping for my Newborn?

Pumping 8 to 10 times in a 24-hour period is important to establish a good breast milk supply.

When you’re breastfeeding, establishing and maintaining a good milk supply is crucial. One way to do that is by pumping frequently – eight to 10 times in a 24-hour period. That may seem like a lot, but it’s important to get in that many pumping sessions to keep your supply up. Here are four tips for making sure you can pump as often as needed:

1 Pump whenever you can – even if it’s just for five or 10 minutes. You may not be able to pump for long periods of time, but every little bit helps.

2 Use a breast pump that feels comfortable for you. If the pump hurts your breasts or makes them sore, check the size or decrease the suction or time.

3 Try different types of breast pumps. Using a hands-free pump or pumping bra is great when you are pumping on the go.

4. Make a schedule and stick to it. Soon it will be a part of your routine.

Exclusively Pumping Schedule for a Newborn

Having a pumping schedule can make it easier to stick to pumping enough to establish a good breast milk supply. Here is a sample schedule to go off of:

6 am – Pump

8 am – Pump

10 am -Pump

12 pm -Pump

2 pm -Pump

4 pm -Pump

6 pm -Pump

11 pm- Pump

2 am -Pump

4 am -Pump

How Long Should I Pump for?

The amount of time you should pump each session depends on how often you’re pumping. To figure out how long to pump, divide 120 by the number of times that you’re pumping each day and set that as your goal. For example, if you’re breastfeeding a newborn 8 times per day for 20 minutes at a time, you should be pumping for 15 minutes at a time (120 ÷ 8 = 15).

It’s okay to go longer than this—you might just want to make sure that it’s not getting too tiring or stressful on any one part of your body so that everything can heal well. You also need to keep in mind what else is going on in your life; perhaps there are other things besides nursing or pumping sessions taking place around naptime or bedtime. Pumping shouldn’t become an all-or-nothing activity where either someone else has to feed the baby his last bottle before bedtime or none of the family gets to sleep!

Do I Need to Pump at Night?

Many mothers are told that they need to pump milk after each feeding. The reasoning behind this recommendation is twofold: first, frequent milk removal helps the mother’s body make more milk; second, many women tend to produce most of their milk at night, so it can be helpful for them to express a little extra during that time.

How Much Breast Milk Does My Newborn Need?

Breast milk is the perfect food for newly born infants. It is nutrient-dense and contains antibodies to help prevent infections. The amount of breast milk a newborn needs, however, can vary from 478 mL to 1,356 mL per day. This variation is due to several factors, including infant size and weight. To determine how much breast milk a newborn needs, it is important to consider these factors.

As long as your baby is soiling the proper amount of diapers for their age and are gaining weight, they are consuming as much as they need.

What Pump Setting Should I be Using?

There are usually three different things to pay attention to: Most breast pumps have two modes – letdown/massage mode (light and fast) and expression mode (higher suction and slower). Some pumps, such as the Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breastpump, also feature a massage setting for use with newborns who cannot yet coordinate sucking. These modes control the speed at which your pump operates.

Most breast pumps have a letdown setting and it’s best to start with that. Once your letdown has started, switch to a higher suction and slower speed. If after several minutes of expressing on this lower setting your breasts are still full, then switch over to an expression or high-speed setting for another minute or so before stopping again. This way you can get another letdown.

What if I’m Not Pumping Enough Milk?

Though many women are able to increase their milk supply through pumping, it can be a challenge for some. Here are a few things to keep in mind when trying to increase your milk supply through pumping:

– Make sure you are taking enough time for each pumping session. Ideally, you should aim for at least 10-15 minutes on each side or until you are no longer pumping breast milk.

– Make sure you are using the right breast pump settings. The highest suction setting is not always necessary, and it can actually be counterproductive if it’s too strong.

– Pump frequently. The more often you pump, the more milk you will produce.

– Drink plenty of fluids and eat healthy foods. A balanced diet is essential for producing good quality milk.

How to Store Breast Milk

Milk can also be stored in the fridge for 4 days and in the freezer for 6 months (up to 12 months is acceptable in a deep freezer). If storing for later, make sure to label the bag or container with the date you expressed the milk. If using a bag, leave some space for expansion as the milk freezes (2 to 4 ounces is plenty in one storage bag).

How Can I Make Pumping Easier?

If you’re planning to exclusively breastfeed your newborn, it’s important to pump regularly. Here are six tips for making pumping easier:

1. Plan ahead – Pumping should be a part of your daily routine from the beginning, so you’re familiar with the process and can get the most out of each session. Start by figuring out how often you want to pump and setting a schedule.

2. Get organized – Having all of your supplies ready and within reach will help you get through each pumping session quickly and efficiently.

3. Use a pumping inventory list so you can track how much milk you are pumping and where it is stored so none of it will get lost or wasted.

4. Set up your pumping area where it is comfortable for you. You can use your bedroom, living room, or any other space that is free from distractions.

5. Use a portable breast pump so you can continue with your day while you are pumping breast milk.

Is Pumping Considered Breastfeeding?

There is much debate surrounding the topic of pumping and whether or not it is considered breastfeeding. Some women feel that because they are not providing their baby with breast milk directly from their breasts, they are not truly breastfeeding. Others believe that any amount of breast milk that a baby receives is beneficial and counts as breastfeeding.

Pumping is still breastfeeding and can be a great way for mothers to provide their babies with breast milk if they are unable to nurse them directly. It also allows mothers to continue to produce milk even if they are not able to breastfeed their baby for some reason. Pumping can be time-consuming and frustrating, but it is worth it if it means that your baby can benefit from your breast milk.

Final Thoughts

Following these simple steps will help you to successfully pump breast milk for your newborn. By taking the time to learn how to do this, you will be providing your child with the best possible nutrition. Remember to take care of yourself as well, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed.

About the author

Lacy Reason is a highly experienced and compassionate lactation counselor, who has dedicated her career to educating and supporting new mothers on their breastfeeding journey.