The breastfeeding world has been seeing a new trend, mothers who exclusively breast pump and provide the expressed milk to their babies via bottle. The Wood County Breastfeeding Coalition has been seeing an increase in this trend as well. Here are a few common questions and answers for you!
Are moms who exclusively breast pump and bottle feed missing out?
There are definitely benefits to breastfeeding exclusively at the breast. If the mother and infant are not together, breastfeeding, the baby is not receiving wonderful immunities to anything they are both being exposed to. Instead the baby is being exposed to germs from staff, bottles, etc. Mom's miss out on bonding with baby during breastfeeding sessions. The breastmilk may lose some of its wonderful benefits in the storage process. And finally, moms have to spend a lot more time feeding the baby. They have to pump, feed the baby and then clean the bottle and the pump parts instead of just, feeding the baby.
What if they have problems making enough milk?
This is a common problem that we see. The reason, a breast pump is not like a baby! Breasts were designed for a baby to feed from, a pump attempts to mimic this, but no matter how much the pump costs, it is not the same as a feeding session with the baby. This results in milk being left in the breast and the possibility of insufficient milk production.
How can they increase the amount that they can pump?
The answer to this question is simple, encourage them to manually express breast milk. There are a number of ways to do this, and it can easily be done in addition to mechanical pumping. Hand expression, combined with mechanical pumping can drastically increase the amount of milk expressed. Encourage any moms who are pumping to hand express before or after the pumping session. Or, they will even see benefits from simply massaging the breasts while mechanically pumping.
How do we best support moms who are pumping?
Even if they choose to pump and bottle feed expressed breastmilk, they are still providing their baby with breastfeeding. So we need to support them! Answer their questions, help them get a good pump that suits their use, make sure that they are familiar with breastmilk storage guidelines. And definitely, suggest hand expression!