(Closed) Exclusively Pumping — Show me the Ropes Please!!

posted 4 years ago in Babies
Post # 2
3697 posts
Sugar bee

I cannot speak to exclusively pumping, but I can offer a tip to help deal with a forceful letdown: keep a burp cloth handy, and when you feel your milk rising, take a brief break from nursing and let the excess milk spray into the burp cloth for a minute or two until the flow slows back down. (Incidentally, that will also result in your baby getting more of the richer, fattier milk that comes later in the feeding because you will absorb some of the watery early milk in the burp cloth; that should help boost her weight gain.)

It takes a few weeks, but eventually your supply will settle into something more in tune with your baby’s needs. Until then, I hope you give it another chance – it really sounds like you have all the ingredients for a really great breastfeeding experience, but just need some help figuring out how to make things work. Best of luck to you!

Post # 3
1471 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I know a number of bees have exclusively pumped, and if you want to go that route, then by all means do so! 

But, if you think you may want to continue feeding, in addition to what KCKnd2:  suggested, you can also try to feed only one one side for 2 hours, then only on the other for 2 hours, etc. So no matter how many times you feed in that time period, you only feed on the one side. I had a crazy oversupply issue, and this helped within just a couple of days. This, too, will help the baby get more of the fatty milk. 

I HATED pumping, and am still BFing my 18 month-old (once a day). Other people prefer pumping. Just something to think about 🙂

Post # 4
379 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I exclusively pumped, but it was so long ago I can’t give you specifics on feeding amount.  I went off of whatever the guidelines for formula are.  I would recommend continuing to try breastfeed.  I had similar issues and eventually gave in to just pumping but regretted it.  Having to pump every 2-3 hours for a year sucks. 

Post # 5
322 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

I’m an RN in a NICU. The guide of volumes to feed a baby is 150mls per kilogram per day. So if your baby weighs 3kg, times 150 by 3 = 450mls. Then if you divide that by 24 hours = about 19mls each hour. So if the baby feeds every 3 hours, feed it about 57mls. If the baby feeds every 2 hours, feed it 38mls. Obviously each baby is different and some babies drink more, some less. As the baby gets older they will also require less volume. I.E. The calculation goes down to 120ml per kilo per day when they are about 4 months old. 


Hope that helps! Good luck. 

Post # 6
3126 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

I exclusively pump (for the most part, she still nurses for comfort occasionally). I would start by feeding your LO every 2-3 hours. We store our milk in 2-3 oz bottles since sometimes she eats 1oz and sometimes she eats 6oz! Once she was back up to birthweight I started feeding on demand. Usually she eats every 2-4 hours and she is a month old.

Post # 7
1301 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

Have you checked out the KellyMom website for tips on feeding and pumping? A good rule of thumb for babies is to allow for between one and two ounces per hour from roughly one to six months of age and you would probably want to be pumping 6-8 times within 24 hours to ensure you estalish good milk supply. Another idea would be to get in contact with an IBCLC who can give you some more specific advice that is tailored to your particular situation.

Post # 8
169 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

The Moms I know who exclusively pump have issues with Mastitis, because a pump can never fully empty the breast! Also, pumping is a pain!! I work 12hr shifts(graves) and I pump 4 times a shift… It’s annoying. But I have some tips!

i cut slits in a couple sports bras to fit the cones in so I can go hands free.. I just lift up on overshirt scoot down my under shirt, but the cones in and attach them to the other part and pump! Then when I’m done I bag it up and put my parts in a freezer bag or tupperware container and put them back in the fridge so I don’t have to wash the parts, then when I get home a rinse everything and run it through the dishwasher.

I wonder if you started taking birth control if you may be able to get rid of some of the over supply issue? Just  a thought! 

hugs and good luck!!


Post # 9
838 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

My breasts were gigantic for the first week and a bit until my supply regulated. And my nipples were cracked and sore for a couple of weeks, too. I understand wanting her to keep her food down (DD still projectile spits up at 7.5 weeks sometimes), but I would encourage you to keep going, while bottle feeding expressed milk if it makes you feel better for your little one. One week is super early and she’ll probably start gaining her weight back real soon! When I was reading about oversupply thry said that expressing some before hand can increase your supply. I personally only offer one breast per feeding which seems to work better. Good ouck with whatever you choose!

Post # 10
5475 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I want to say I remember hearing that newborn/very young infants eat approximately an ounce per hour.  So if they eat every other hour, they probably take in roughly 2oz.  If they eat every 4 hours, it should be roughly 4oz.  That depends completely on the baby, growth spurts, long naps, etc.


There is an extremely helpful facebook group called WTE Exclusive Pumpers and a blog on wordpress for EPers (here) that I found to be incredibly helpful when learning about pumping habits, when and how often to change pump parts, troubleshooting supply issues, freezing/storage/thawing/using pumped milk, etc.


Feel free to PM me any specific questions, I did pump for about 7 1/2 months with Dirty Delete and she’s only just over a year old so some of the information is still pretty fresh in my brain.

Post # 11
575 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I exclusively pumped…. we didn’t get the latch right and I had low supply so I had to supplement with formula. Honestly I may exclusively pump with the next child. It is a hassle especially pumping in the middle of the night. I never was able to pump and feed at the same time. 

I did pump every 3 hour, after three months I stopped the middle of the night pump. Bottles were easier since my daughter was losing weight too. I think in the begining 24 ounces is ideal… so we did 3 ounce feedings every three hours, and two four ounce feedings at night. She stayed at 24 ounces till 6 months, but we were able to increase the size of the bottle to 5 ounces, and then reduced the amount of feedings. 


You are right there isn’t a lot of information about exclusively pumping… It tends to be more rigid to a schedule to ensure a decent supply. But for us it worked… we made sure she was getting enough food, and was able to reduce the stress and guilt I felt because I couldn’t breast feed. 

I pumped till a little after 6 months.

Post # 12
99 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2011


TheNewlyMrsD:  I cannot offer advice on pumping, but in the meantime until you figure it out, you could try breastfeeding in your bed, lying down face to face with baby. It takes some practice to be comfortable, what pillows and such, but I also had a strong let down and it was the best way for me to breastfed until it passed.

Also as a PP wrote, I breastfed from the same breast twice in a row and then the next 2 feedings from the other breast, in about a week I had improvement, and in about 2-3 my issue was resolve.

You could perhaps go to a LLL meeting, surely there are mother who exclusively pump there?

Post # 13
2718 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I EP, and have since about 1 month old. Definitely do what you are most comfortable with and what workds for your family, even if the doctors are giving you some grief. I know my PCP would rather me Boyfriend or Best Friend, but he really doesn’t care as long as the baby is healthy and eating. You could always offer 2oz at a time, and if the baby is still hungry, offer another ounce or so until it’s full. You’ll eventually be feeding it more per day. They’ll eat every 2 hours or so for a while, then gradually space out.

Check out HelloBee, too. There are people over there who EP as well and may have some tips. 

Exclusive Pumping (Resources)



LLL may also have resources too.

Post # 14
7527 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

My second daughter was in the NICU for the first 5 days and so I began pumping and she never did latch right- so we just ended up pumping exclusively.  I actually preferred it over regular breastfeeding, which I did with my first daughter.  It is really no one’s business how you feed your child- so do what feels best for you.

Post # 15
1153 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I EP’d for 7 weeks for a couple of reasons. 1)my milk came in late and Dirty Delete had super bad jaundice (was hospitalized for it) and 2) she had a tongue tie and it made Boyfriend or Best Friend a pain. After a few weeks of EP’ing I was exhausted, was feeling super isolated and like I had to be home every 2-3 hours to be on the pump. (I was pumping 8x/day) and Darling Husband was doing most of DD’s bottles. We ended up getting her tongue clipped and after my first bout with mastitis I decided it was time to Boyfriend or Best Friend more and pump less. So I did and now Dirty Delete is EBF and won’t take a bottle (I’m SO sad about the bottle situation because Darling Husband was giving her 2 PM bottles while I got a good stretch of sleep.) – My BFF had a baby 2 weeks before me and is EP’ing. She’s down to 5 sessions a day, her baby takes 7 bottles/day of 4oz each. She’s able to pump enough for each days feedings plus she has enough extra to freeze. For me it’s been super liberating to return my hospital grade pump and only pump 1/day at home to get enough milk for the daddy bottle (the one she won’t take). 

We are still dealing with some fast letdown issues, Dirty Delete gags and pulls off the breast. I keep a burp rag tucked under her head/on the boppy so when she pulls off I put the rag up to my breast to collect the extra flow. Her face usually looks something like this when we are feeding:

Plus what you can’t see on her face and on my shirt. Ahh the joys. She’s 11w old now and its getting better but we just started NIP w/in the last 1-2 weeks. Like really NIP, not in the back seat of my car but at the table during lunch with our cover. It’s really amazing for us, we’ve come a long way… but I do miss the days of being able to give her a bottle at a restaurant instead of popping out my boob. 

Whatever you decide it’ll work. There are pro’s and con’s for each. My friend that EP’s has multiple pump parts and does refridgerate the parts between feedings. It cuts down on the number of times you have to wash and saves you a ton of time in the evenings. If you don’t already have a hands free pumping bra I highly reccomend you get one, that way you can keep busy while pumping. I watched a LOT of netflix while pumping it helped pass the time.

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