Exclusive pumping means feeding your baby breast milk only by pumping and bottle feeding breast milk. Generally, women who exclusively pump do not nurse their babies for true feedings (they may comfort nurse), and they may supplement with formula. Having said that, much of the information here will apply to women who pump for any reason – all are welcome!
There are many reasons for exclusively pumping breast milk:
- You have a baby that refuses to nurse or doesn’t transfer milk well while nursing
- You have a baby that can’t nurse for physical reasons (such as cleft palate), or your baby was in the hospital/NICU after birth and had difficulty establishing nursing
- Your older baby has gotten teeth and biting has become an issue
- You do not want to nurse but want to provide your baby with breast milk
Exclusive pumping is not easy. It is a lot of work and requires dedication and a sense of humor. (The sense of humor comes in handy when you realize you’ve left your pump charger in the airport bathroom, your pump battery is dead, and your breasts are about to explode!) However, if you have the desire to do it, it is a wonderful thing to do for as long as you are willing and able.