Hi! I’m Amanda. My son was born in February 2011, and I ended up exclusively pumping for him after he struggled gaining weight nursing. After this experience, I made it my mission to become an exclusive pumping expert.
When I started exclusively pumping, there wasn’t much information about how to do it. Most women that I met online who were also exclusively pumping each kind of invented it for themselves. I spent a ton of time researching and reading everything I could find in order to find out everything there was to know and to learn tricks to make it easier.
After I weaned from the pump, I decided to try to help other new mothers in my situation, and over the past five years, I’ve learned so much, both from my research and from other exclusive pumpers. In addition to keeping this website up to date with the latest information about exclusive pumping, I wrote a book, Exclusive Pumping and Milk Supply, started a Facebook group that now has 24,000 members, and created the Exclusive Pumping newsletter.
What is exclusive pumping?
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.
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
My personal breastfeeding experience
When my son was born, I really, really wanted to breastfeed him.
Alas, we had all sort of troubles with us never really figuring out the nursing thing and him not gaining enough weight (the full story is here), so I ended up exclusively pumping for him. Once I made the switch, things went great. I was able to build up my supply from 24oz per day when I started to almost 50oz per day at the peak, and I really didn’t have many issues once I got the hang of it (other than people thinking I was crazy).
I pumped for my son for 14 months, until I got pregnant with my daughter and my supply immediately went downhill. When my daughter was born and I tried to nurse her for the first time – by random coincidence, in the exact same delivery room I’d been in with my son – it was immediately obvious to me that things were completely different. This baby latched on! She didn’t fall asleep as soon as I tried to nurse her! In any case, we were able to have a great breastfeeding relationship for 18 months, with a combination of nursing and pumping.
My third child – another girl – was born in September 2015, and I was lucky enough to be able to nurse her, too, though I still pumped four times a day (three times at work and once before bed).
Thanks for reading! Please reach out if you have any questions.