Ever heard of exclusively pumping or, as some call it, EP’ing? Here’s a simple guide to help you understand and navigate this journey.
Exclusively pumping refers to breastfeeding your child by first pumping out the milk and then feeding it using a bottle. This could be just the breastmilk or a mix of breastmilk and formula.
When your baby is a newborn, they usually feed at least 8-12 times in a day. To ensure you establish a good breastmilk supply, aim to pump every 3 hours (that’s about 8 times in a day) and each session should last between 15-20 minutes. Use a reliable double-electric pump. As your milk supply stabilizes, discuss your pumping schedule with a lactation expert.
Milk output can vary based on many factors, such as the baby's age, when you're pumping, the kind of pump you're using, and how long you pump. On average, after a 15-minute session, you might get around 1.5 – 2 oz from both breasts combined. This can change based on your baby's needs.
Absolutely! Many moms successfully meet their baby's needs with EP’ing. For the initial weeks, the quantity of milk your baby needs depends on their age. For instance, from 1 to 6 months, they might require 19-30oz every day, averaging about 25oz. If you ensure good breast stimulation and regular milk removal, you'll likely produce enough for your baby.
Certainly! While some feel breastfeeding directly strengthens the mother-baby bond, there are many ways to connect deeply with your child even when exclusively pumping. Skin-to-skin contact or kangaroo care is fantastic. While bottle feeding, maintain eye contact, play, sing, talk, or read to your baby.
Yes, even if you’re mostly pumping, you can occasionally nurse your baby directly. They might nurse for comfort or nutrition. But remember, a correct latch is essential to avoid discomfort.
If you ever have concerns about your milk quantity or any aspect of pumping, it's a good idea to contact a breastfeeding consultant or lactation consultant. They can offer crucial advice and support to help you meet your breastfeeding goals. Remember, seeking guidance early on can pave the way for a smoother experience down the road.