While most mothers wish to nurse their children, some prefer exclusive pumping. Before we learn more about exclusive pumping, it is important we look at some of the feeding recommendations by the Australian Infant Feeding Guideline
- Mothers to initiate breastfeeding within the first 1 hour after having their baby
- Children be exclusively breastfed for the first six months.
- Mothers should breastfeed their babies on demand day and night.
- After six months, mothers should continue introducing complementary feeds while breastfeeding until the baby is two years.
What is exclusive pumping?
Exclusive pumping is one option for feeding your baby whereby you decide to express or pump your breast milk and feed your baby using either a bottle, nasogastric tube, or cup and spoon.
Exclusive pumping is also known as EPing. In exclusive pumping, the baby is fed only on breast milk, just like in exclusive breastfeeding.
Unlike exclusive breastfeeding, the baby is not allowed to suckle your breast with exclusive pumping directly.
Why you might choose to pump exclusively
There are many reasons why some women may choose exclusive pumping. Some do exclusive pumping because personal reasons, while others find it an option because of medical reasons involving themselves or their baby.
Regardless of the reason, you should not feel ashamed when you choose exclusive pumping. Remember, exclusive pumping gives your baby all the nutrients requirements similar to those babies who are directly breastfed receives.
Here are some reasons why you may find exclusive pumping an option.
- If you give birth to a low birth weight baby or preterm who requires hospitalisation.
- When you are separated from your baby.
- If you have difficulties during latching, like feeling pain, the baby has a cleft palate, or you have an inverted nipple.
- If you feel shy when you directly breastfeed.
- If you wish to return to your job thus can’t breast your baby on demand.
- When you have multiple births, such as twins or triplets.
How frequent should you pump?
It is recommended that you feed the baby on demand. This means that you should frequently pump to keep your baby’s demand.
If your baby is a neonate, you should pump at least every two to three hours. Yes, every two to three hours, even if you have a means to store your breast milk.
This is because the more you pump, the more you stimulate your body to produce more milk. You may need to pump more often as your baby gets old.
Each session of pumping should last for about 30 minutes, pumping each breast for about 15 minutes.
How much milk should you be producing when exclusively pumping?
There is no exact volume of breast milk that you should pump. So, pump as much as you can to make your baby satisfied.
If you are producing more milk than your baby can consume at a go, you should store the rest in a clean and safe container and give it to your baby later.
Remember, newborn eats less but more often. So pump frequently (8 to 12) times daily. But as babies grow, they tend to eat more but less regularly; thus, you may reduce your pumping.
Can I exclusively pump as soon as my baby is born?
Exclusive pumping can be started as soon as you give birth. Yes, you can begin exclusive pumping as soon as you choose.
We recommend that you start exclusive pumping within 1 hour after having your baby if you already decided that you will feed your baby exclusively.
Starting exclusive early makes your baby receive the rich nutrients contained in the colostrum.
Now that you are aware of exclusive pumping, we provided you with tips to give the best exclusive pumping experience.
#1. Be free to enjoy your exclusive pumping. You're not doing something wrong when you exclusively pump. All you are concerned about is to make your baby happy. That alone should be enough reason to make your exclusive pumping session enjoyable. Tip: our portable breast pump allows you to pump whenever, wherever hands-free. Making it possible to pump at home, at work or on-the-go.
#2. Take care of yourself. You are as important as your baby. Try taking care of yourself when deciding on an exclusive pump. Ensure you take a good diet that enhances milk production; exercise regularly at least five times a week. Also, stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water or take fruits regularly.
#3. Get good and safe storage. Sometimes you will express more than your baby needs, or you may not find time frequently pump, especially when working. So, having a good storage facility for breast milk will ensure your baby consumes breast milk that is safe and healthy.