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Differences in Nursing Verses Pumping

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Friday, October 27, 2006

This certainly isn't going to cover ALL of the differences, but there are three very noticable ones that I've found in the past few weeks.

1.) Leakage. I RARELY had any type of leakage from my breasts the last go round, at least not once I got past those few days of engorgement. I would often wake up feeling very "full" since I didn't pump at night, but I never had a problem with leaking. In fact, once I was about three weeks in, I didn't even have to wear nursing pads any more.

This time around...leakage is a HUGE issue. I'd imagine because a nursing tot is so muc more effective at stimulating milk supply. During the day, I find that I have to change out my nursing pads 3-5 times, especially on my "heavy milk" side. At night, when I'm not wearing a bra, I have to put a folded hand towel on the side that I'm not nursing with because I leak a good 2-3 OUNCES out of the side that isn't being nursed from.

I hope that stops eventually...it's kind of annoying...

2.) Let Down. When I was pumping, I could SEE the let down and could sort of feel it. After a minute or so of pumping, milk would start flowing full force. That said, I never quite got what people meant when they said they felt the let down.

This go round, I get it, I REALLY get it. Within about 30-60 seconds of Emmitt latching on, I feel a slight soreness in both breasts. Almost like they're bruised...it only lasts for about a minute, but I KNOW that this is when milk starts flowing like mad. If Emmitt happens to pull off during this time, I get an arc of milk that shoots about 8 feet. No joke, I could hit someone standing across the room. For this reason, I've discovered that it's essential to have a burp cloth nearby for covering up the nipple if he unlatches. Otherwise we'd both be soaked. As it is, he's been shot in the eye about a dozen times now.

3.) Hand Expression. I was NEVER able to get more than a few drops from hand expression the last go round. Didn't much matter because I simply used the pump. In fact, I could never understand why someone would want to hand express when pumps were so handy.

This go round, I tried it once just to see if it would work. I was able to hand express 4 ounces from one side in about 10 minutes. Holy smokes! Of course I also found that hand expression makes me feel far more like saying "moo" than the pump ever did... ;)

So strange to have given my first breast milk for 14 months but still feel like all of this is so new on the second go round...


  1. Anonymous Mary | 10:06 AM |  

    8 feet? Wow!

    I know what you mean about how different it is the second time around... so different, and still so wonderful.

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