Pumping to replace the occasional feed

Pumping to replace the occasional feed

Having someone else feed your baby for the odd feed can give you a much-needed break (especially if you can convince them to do that 4am feed!).

Whether you opt for a traditional or wearable pump depends on your personal preference. Some people like the wearable pump option because they are easy to use and clean, and you can do other things while you pump, but traditional pumps are just as easy to use when you have the right flange size.

To get started with pumping to replace one or two feeds a day, you need to get one or two feeds ahead. So, choose a time to pump a feed's worth and pop it in the fridge. Keep nursing as usual. Then when it comes time to give a bottle at the feed you want to replace, you will have the milk ready. 

A few points to be aware of: 

  • Skipping feeds entirely can lead to engorgement (milk left over in your breast when it's used to being removed by your baby or pump). So try to keep the same number of sessions each day, whether they're nursing or pumping. 
  • Try to avoid building a big "stash". If you're pumping more than you'd normally feed, you can end up creating more milk than you need (your body creates milk to meet demand). Instead of storing heaps of milk, aim for having just enough for the next day. 
  • Remember the guidelines around using breast milk from the freezer, the fridge or the counter. Here's a post on storing your milk
  • Most of the time, your baby will take the bottle just fine. However, sometimes they get fussy with a bottle because they prefer your breast. If you can, try to time the first bottle feed when you're around, so if they refuse the bottle, then you can nurse. If they keep fussing, try some different shaped teats, try different times of the day, try different feeders (e.g. dad or other carer). You can also try to limit distraction by taking them to a quiet, darker room. If they're old enough, you can also try feeding via a sippy cup. Here's a post on bottle refusal
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