Are you a new mom or new to exclusive pumping, wondering what it is and if it’s for you?
(You have come to the right place!)
Exclusive pumping is when you choose breast pump as your only form of expressing breast milk for your baby.
There are many reasons why a mom would choose to pump exclusively, and some reasons are medical, physical, emotional, or the baby’s inability to breastfeed.
Overall, the main reason for becoming an exclusive pumper is that you understand the importance of breast milk. I believe many new moms stop breastfeeding soon after starting because they realize that breastfeeding doesn’t come as naturally to them as they thought it would.
According to UHealth, breastfeeding “It’s a natural process; it’s why we have breasts. But it can take more commitment and effort than you’d expect.”
In this post, I will go into details on the reasons why a first-time mom or new to breastfeeding mom would consider becoming an “EPing Mom.”
But before I do, I want you to understand whatever reasons you have for not wanting to continue breastfeeding; it’s okay! However, if you genuinely wish to breastfeed without latching your baby, then exclusive pumping may be for you!
And yes, exclusive pumping is still breastfeeding! (don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.)
Reasons For Exclusive Pumping?
(Who is it for?)
1. Have A Premature Baby Who Can’t Latch?
Many premature babies are not strong enough to latch at the breast so having mom exclusively pump breast milk is an excellent alternative to establishing and maintaining milk supply. Pumping also allows a premature baby to benefit from breast milk without latching at the breast.
2. Breastfeeding Is Too Painful
In the first few weeks, breastfeeding whether latching or pumping is painful!
A study done by the FDA and CDC found that 75% of moms experienced breastfeeding pains within the first 2 weeks postpartum but only 54% reported to ask for help!
Postpartum recovery (vaginal or c-section) plus breastfeeding pains is no wonder new moms stop breastfeeding without the right support!
The good thing about exclusive pumping is that you have more control in how strong the suction of the pump should be which we can’t do with our newborn. You can also see how much milk you are currently producing and then have someone else help you feed your baby
(When you are in too much pain or too tired to do it yourself).
3. Worried About Milk Supply
Many factors go into your milk supply not coming in 2-3 days after birth, for example, being a first-time mom, having a c-section, pain medications during birth, mom’s health, and many more. As a result, a first-time mom may lean towards pumping breast milk to track how much milk they are producing and if the amount is enough for each feeding.
4. To Control / Track How Much Milk Baby Is Consuming
After the birth of your baby (or babies), your doctor or nurse will tell you the best indicator for knowing if your baby is getting enough breastmilk while breastfeeding is by the number of wet/poopy diapers.
Newborns should have a total of 8 to 10 wet/poopy diapers daily.
Unfortunately, some moms often have their baby on the breast, but the baby doesn’t have enough wet or poop diapers and little to no weight gain. These moms may benefit from exclusive pumping to track how many ounces their baby consumes at each feed and how much breast milk they are producing.
Or in my case, I was told my baby would know when they were full when breastfeeding, but my baby would stay on for 45 mins during each feed and then experience projectile vomiting! I believe from overfeeding. I tried breastfeeding for half the time, but my daughter still looked like she wanted more!
So finally, I leaned towards exclusive pumping to control the amount of breast milk she was consuming to avoid the intense spit-ups.
5. Have A Baby Who Has Trouble Latching
I honestly didn’t think I would have trouble latching my daughter. I thought I had the perfect nipples until I tried breastfeeding my newborn, and I could see her struggling!
I had “flat nipples” whenever she was trying to latch, and it was so frustrating! On top of that, I felt like her mouth was so small as a newborn that even if I “sandwiched” my breast, she still couldn’t get a good latch most times.
So, I decided to become an exclusive pumper because I wanted her to drink breastmilk, but I didn’t want to go through the constant struggle of her latching and not latching, and then when she did, she would vomit like something out of a horror movie!
Other common reasons for latching problems are labor & delivery medications, tongue-tie, Cleft lip or palate, Down syndrome, and prematurity.
6. Going Back To Work or School
If you are someone who believes breast milk is best then when going back to work or school having breast milk available at home for baby is essential!
Exclusive pumping allows you to maintain your milk supply and feed your baby breast milk while at work or school by continue to pump while away from baby.
7. Have Multiple Babies (Twins, Triplets, etc.)
I’m a mom of one and it was hard breastfeeding her so I could imagine the challenge in having multiple babies!
Breast pumping can allow you to still give your babies breast milk but with pumping you can have someone help you feed the babies and you don’t have to do it all yourself!
8. Need Someone to Help You Feed The Baby
Newborn life is hard and so is breastfeeding! Being your baby’s food source is beautiful, but it could also get overwhelming when you are the only one doing the feeding and not sleeping!
Exclusive pumping allows someone else to support you in feeding your baby so you can take a mini break to do nothing or nap or do whatever you want to do.
If breastfeeding is something you still wish to master, ask a lactation consultant for help. Many breastfeeding issues can be fixed with the proper education and support.
Now, if you don’t wish to latch your baby to breastfeed or simply can’t for reasons listed in this post, then you should consider giving exclusive pumping a try before giving up breastfeeding for good!
I should mention that exclusive pumping is time-consuming and requires commitment, but if you wish to breastfeed without latching, this may be your best alternative!
I hope this was helpful!