Should you pump before you breast feed?

Someone I know has an 13 wk old baby and she is pumping all her milk before she feeds the baby and then feeds her the leftover.Is this right or am I crazy. I have been breast feeding for 13 months and the milk I pump is always extra and it is after I have fed the baby. The baby has gained 2 1/2 lbs since birth. The mother ,I think is doing this to have milk so she can return to work but think the baby should come first?

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  • tanner
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If she pumps right before the baby eats, theirs not much left for the baby. She needs to breast feed first, then pump. This will increase her milk supply, plus, give the baby plenty to eat. If she is having troubles getting her milk to let down then she can pump for around 5 mins to get the milk flowing before she feeds the baby.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Sounds like a reasonable weight gain. If the baby is still tracking well on the charts, remembering to use the updated breastfed charts (as some show for bottle fed babies that put on more uneccessary weight as formula is not so efficiently processed), then can't see too many dramas. Yes, the hindmilk is supposed to be the best, so as long as growth is tracking swell, then baby is getting enough.

    It is a good idea to get up a store of milk if you need to go back to work. We had heaps, but we ended up chucking most of it out anyway because my wife was able to keep breastfeeding,so we were really lucky. Stocking up is good too in case mum gets sick or something, so at least you have another month's supply or so. Those flexible bottle bags are great.

    Yes she pumped after, as that was what we were advised after a dodgy community nurse scared us unecessarily with those garbage formula baby charts.

    We did the Baby on one, then pump the other for the fore/hindmilk ratio in the expressed milk.

  • 5 years ago

    If you're not feeding, you should be pumping, so it's not as easy as it sounds... that whole sleep through the night, and have dad give a bottle, it's more like dad gives the bottle while you pump. Or in my case, I gave the bottle and then pumped. If you still want to though, I would highly recommend the Medela Pump In Style. It cost me $250, and I've been using it for 9 months now (used it to pump exclusively for 3 months during a medical issue). That's really as cheap as you can get a GOOD double electric breast pump for. Anything else and you're really wasting your money, from my experience. The little $40 from Wal Mart or whatever is just crap. FOR ME, it may work for other moms, especially for short-term use. Just had to add that in there.

  • 1 decade ago

    It is my understanding that even if pumping before the baby nurses the baby will kick-start another let down when nursing and will get enough to satisfy him. If the baby is fussing all the time (showing signs of hunger), then this might not be happening.

    I'd encourage your friend to talk to her doctor about the weight gain issue.

    As far as the milk supply for her returning to work. As long as she's pumping at work, she doesn't really need to have a whole stockpile at home - 10 bottles is plenty.

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  • Pippin
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    While there are valid reasons to pump a bit first (overactive letdown that floods baby, extreme engorgement that keeps baby from latching), if she is pumping herself 'dry' before every feeding, there won't be much there for baby. (Yes, you make milk continuously so there will always be something, but not enough.)

    And a 2 1/2 pound weight gain is pretty low for a 3 month old, (just about the minimum expected gain of 1 pound/month) so it does sound like baby isn't getting enough milk.

  • 1 decade ago

    I was actually told to do this myself because I have an oversupply of milk and my let down is quite powerful. It didn't work for me so I jsut pumped exclusivley. The only problem with that is that she may be robbing her body of important nurtients from expressing too much milk. Her body should only make as much as the baby will eat.

    I found out the hard way with a trip to the ER and now I have to stop breastfeeding because estrogen is the only way to help my body and it drys up milk. Good luck and dont worry.

    My baby girl is 12 weeks old

  • Cassie
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I agree with you. They say that if you have cracked nipples you should pump just a few times before feeding, so the baby isn't sucking really hard to bring the milk down and doing more damage, but i've never heard of anybody pumping to store milk before hand.

    Maybe she should talk to a lactation consultant, who can advise her on what she should be doing

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The only reason I can think of to pump first would be to relieve engorgement if baby is having latching issues....or if she has a forceful let down that is causing baby to choke on her milk.

    Either that or she is working with a crap lactation consultant.

    Edit: Good point Amber...just seems like kind of a hassle unless she really has an over supply. It would be easier just to have baby drain the first breast and then pump the second.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Your breasts make milk as the baby sucks - they're not a reservoir to empty. If she's doing this regularly then her breasts will be used to it and making enough for baby too.

    I think the only issue would be that what she is pumping will all or mostly be foremilk, and what baby is getting will all be hindmilk - so when she goes back to work and baby starts having the pumped milk he/she will be getting far fewer calories than he/she is used to.

  • echo
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    As a mother of 5, whatever works works. I've done it every which way from Sunday each and every time and each and every day. When you pump you increase your supply. Women can feed as many babies as they have, it just takes time to kick in. With my son I am using a lot of the milk that I originally pumped when he has growth spurts. Maybe you could kindly suggest that to your friend...

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