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If you are considering the means of providing baby with breastmilk without nursing – you are most likely going to be exclusively pumping.
This read is going to introduce you to the must-know exclusively pumping tips and the basics of exclusive pumping. After you have finished reading, you will officially have your exclusive pumping 101 degree.
Free Sign for Pumping at Work Mamas!
Why do Moms Exclusively Pump?
Let me answer this question based upon my own experience as an exclusive pumping mom. The reason I started exclusively pumping was out of necessity.
The hope to nurse my baby at the breast did not work out and I was not ready to stop providing her with breastmilk. I believe many new moms find themselves in this situation.
However, there are moms who choose to exclusive pump.
They may have decided to do so for some of these reasons:
- Control over exactly how much breastmilk baby gets at each feeding.
- Some moms have an emotionally difficult time with traditional nursing.
- They want the freedom of allowing other people to feed their baby.
Exclusively Pumping vs. Breastfeeding
Exclusive pumping is also called EP-ing and it differs from traditional breastfeeding by the way baby receives the breastmilk.
The Oxford Dictionary describes breastfeeding as this – “The action of feeding a baby with milk from the breast.”
As you can gather from that, breastfeeding has the exact same definition as exclusive pumping.
The only difference between exclusively pumping and breastfeeding is that an EP mom does not put baby to breast, baby is bottle nursed instead.
Is Exclusively Pumping Harder than Breastfeeding?
If you are asking someone who has done both, you may unanimously get the answer – that yes, exclusive pumping is harder than breastfeeding.
Exclusive pumping may have the reputation of being an extreme and hard road to take. Why would it get this bad rep?
First, exclusive pumping requires a demanding schedule that you MUST adhere to in order to be successful.
Often times an exclusive pumping schedule takes a lot of time out of your day and adds added stress on top of also caring for your new baby.
Second, there is an emotional toll that exclusive pumping takes on a new mom that breastfeeding might not. While a new mom nurses her baby, she is also experiencing the boding hormones that go along with that.
As you know, a cold machine doesn’t offer that warmth.
How to Prepare for Exclusive Pumping
Being more prepared ahead of time to pump exclusively would help to eliminate many trials EP moms face.
Sadly, most exclusively pumping moms (like me) were tossed into this method without having a clue what they were doing. Being forced to learn as they went and experiencing many frustrations and set-backs.
Let me recommend that you prepare for pumping with the following resource I trust and know well.
The Ultimate Exclusive Pumping Class by Milkology is the best place to look for comprehensive and truly helpful exclusive pumping preparation.
This online video course covers all of the important points you need to know about EP-ing in order to give you the best chance at success with much greater ease and confidence.
Not only is The Ultimate Exclusive Pumping Class extremely affordable, but it’s also fun to watch and easy to refer back to.
If you also like to consume content by reading, I’d like to offer you a complimentary seat in my pumping and milk supply course as an added gift toward your EP journey once you enroll in Milkology’s EP course.
Simply contact me here once you have enrolled and I’ll quickly get you enrolled in the second course.
Exclusive Pumping Tips and Tricks
Lets begin with some helpful exclusive pumping 101 tips I wish I had known before I started this journey.
- Finding the right breast pump for you is crucial.
- Flange size matters and so does lube!
- How often you pump while exclusively pumping is key to sustaining your efforts.
- How to make exclusive pumping easier.
Now allow me to elaborate a little on these points.
1. How to find the right breast pump for exclusive pumping.
It really all boils down to the breast pump, doesn’t it?
After all, the pump is the ONLY piece of equipment that is truly doing the extracting of your breast milk and let me just say, not all pumps are created equal!
I have tried and own several breast pumps, and it is amazing the difference in performance between them all. Not only do they all perform differently, but every woman’s body may react uniquely to each pump.For exclusive pumping,
I would recommend a hospital grade breast pump.
Yes, these kind of breast pumps tend to me more pricey, but for as much use as yours is going get – it’s a worth-while investment.
Start by entering some information to Aeroflow to see if you could qualify for a free premium breast pump.
Here are a couple more affordable hospital grade breast pumps that do a really good job at keeping up with the demand of exclusive pumping.
2. How to get the proper flange sizing and use them correctly to avoid pain and pumping problems.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to find the correct size flange and fit. Doing so will ensure that you are maintaining sufficient suction strength and in turn, fully emptying your breasts when you pump.
See this diagram to help you determine how your flange should fit while the breast pumping.
Adding to flange size and fit, lubing up the flange is also critical to avoiding pain and problems from exclusively pumping. I recommend using an organic coconut oil.
You can apply the oil to your nipples or on the inside of the flange itself.
Friction + pumping = bad!
3. Pumping frequency is key to your success as an exclusive pumper.
Because pumping exclusively is the absence of a baby’s natural nursing habits, you must learn to create that experience for your body artificially.
Your body will rely on breast and nipple stimulation to determine how much breast milk needs to be produced.
How often you should be pumping as an exclusive pumper also depends on how old your baby is. For instance, a newborn likely would nurse 8-12 times or more per day!
On the other hand, a 8-12 month old much less and by then your milk supply has already been regulated for quite some time.
A handy pumping tip to help you determine how often to pump as an exclusive pumper is to match your pumping routine with your baby’s feeding habits.
More than likely, for the first few months postpartum, you will need to be pumping at least every 2-3 hours around the clock until baby begins to regularly sleep through the night.
4. How to make exclusive pumping easier.
I’ll say it again, preparation is the BEST way to make exclusive pumping easier.
If you have a good understanding of what you are taking on and the right tools to do so, you’ll be in a much better physical and mental space for the task.
Second, get a good support system.
This could be a Facebook group, friend or family member you can talk to when things get hard.
Third, be open and honest with your partner and ask them to refrain from negative comments.
I have heard way too many stories of husbands and boyfriends who diminish how challenging exclusive pumping is. THIS is the biggest reason many EP moms begin to feel depressed and angry.
With that being said, prepare your partner ahead of time and let them know as well what to expect.
5. Invest in your exclusive pumping journey
Again, I cannot express strongly enough how much of a positive difference The Ultimate Exclusive Pumping Class can make for exclusive pumping moms just starting out.
And don’t forget my offer! When you enroll in this course, I will send you a pumping and milk supply course for free. Contact me after you enroll and that’s yours too!
My hope is that you feel like all of these exclusive pumping 101 tips will help carry you through to a successful beginning of as an EP mom.
I truly am driven by compassion and empathy for other new moms who are trying to figure out the many paths that breastfeeding can take them down.
I also hope you found this post on how to exclusively pump concise and resourceful.
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