Exclusive Pumping – Breastfeeding Without Nursing

6 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.

Exclusive Pumping

It’s now more popular than ever to pump on a semi-exclusive basis. The reasons may be many, ranging from health issues to having to go back to work. In some cases, new mother may also have to resort to exclusive pumping. Given our mother’s instincts, we may feel a little guilty of to pump exclusively. But done in the right way, exclusive pumping also gives the same amount of nutrition to a baby as breastfeeding.

This article will explain in detail about exclusive breast pumping, the pros and cons, and how to do it the right way.

In This Article

What is Exclusive Pumping?

Exclusive Pumping is when a mother pumps breastmilk for her baby but does not breastfeed. This means the milk is only given to the baby via a bottle. Some mothers do this because they have to return to work soon after their baby is born or have difficulty breastfeeding.

It is important to talk to a lactation consultant or other medical professional to get advice on whether or not exclusive pumping is suitable for you and your baby.

Why Does a Mother Choose to Exclusively Pump?

Some mothers pump because they must return to work and want to continue providing their babies with breast milk. Others may not be able to produce enough breast milk and need to supplement with formula or use a supplemental nursing system. Exclusive Pumping also allows fathers and other caregivers to participate in feeding the baby, which can be a bonding experience.

How Frequently Should You Pump?

mom pumping breastmilk

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the pumping frequency will vary depending on individual circumstances. However, as a general rule of thumb, it is recommended that mothers who are exclusively pumping should aim to pump at least every 2-3 hours during the day to maintain their milk supply. This means pumping around 8 times in 24 hours.

The most important thing is to try to pump as often as possible and not go for longer than 4 hours without pumping during the day. If you are going longer than 4 hours without being able to pump, you can try expressing your milk by hand to relieve some pressure and prevent engorgement.

[Read : Expressing Breast Milk By Hand]

How Long Should You Pump if Not Breastfeeding?

The length of time you pump will depend on your personal pumping goals. If you are pumping to relieve engorgement, you will only need to pump for a few minutes. If you are trying to increase your milk supply, you will need to pump for at least 15 minutes.

And if you are pumping to maintain your milk supply while away from your baby, you will need to pump for at least 20 minutes. It is entirely up to you and what your personal goals are.

Advantages of Exclusive Pumping

Advantages of Exclusive Pumping

There are many advantages to exclusive pumping, including having more control over your milk supply, providing your baby with breastmilk even if you are away from them, and not having to worry about engorgement or blocked ducts. Let’s have a look.

  • Pumping also allows you to store extra milk for when you are away from your baby or if your baby is going through a growth spurt and needs more milk than usual.
  • Another advantage of exclusive pumping is that it allows you to provide your baby with breastmilk even if you are away from them.
  • Finally, exclusive Pumping can help prevent engorgement and blocked ducts. When you only nurse your baby on one side, the other side can become engorged or blocked. Pumping will help relieve this pressure and keep both sides working well.

[Read : Storing Your Breast Milk]

Disadvantages of Exclusive Pumping

Disadvantages of Exclusive Pumping

Some of main disadvantages moms might face when exclusively pumping the breast milk:

  • Exclusive pumping can be very time-consuming. It can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes to pump both breasts, and if you’re working or going to school, it can be challenging to find the time to fit Pumping into your schedule. Additionally, you’ll need to pump every 2-3 hours to maintain your milk supply, so you’ll spend a lot of time with your Pump!
  • Exclusive Pumping is that it can be emotionally draining. Since you cannot breastfeed your baby directly, you may miss out on that unique bonding experience.
  • Another disadvantage of exclusive Pumping is that it’s physically demanding. You may feel tired and run down, and you may even experience soreness in your breasts. If you’re not used to using a breast pump, it can also be painful at first.

Top 5 Tips For Exclusive Pumping

women drinking water

Here are some tips you can follow to ensure proper exclusive pumping.

1. Invest in a Good Quality Pump

A good quality pump will make all the difference in exclusive Pumping. Not only will it make the process easier, but it will also help you to pump more milk in less time. There are a lot of different pumps on the market, so do your research and find one that will work well for you.

2. Get Into a Good Pumping Routine

Once you have your Pump, it’s time to get into a good pumping routine. Try to pump every 3-4 hours during the day, and don’t skip any pumps. The more consistent you are with your Pumping, the better results you’ll see.

3. Be Prepared to Pump at Night

If you want to be successful at exclusive pumping, you must also be prepared to pump at night. Many women find that they produce more milk at night, so taking advantage of this time is essential. Set up your Pump next to your bed so you can quickly pump in the middle of the night if needed.

4. Drink Plenty of Fluids

It’s essential to stay hydrated when you’re exclusively pumping, so make sure you drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Water is always the best choice, but you can also drink herbal teas and other non-caffeinated beverages.

[Read : How Much Water To Drink When Breastfeeding?]

5. Take Care of Yourself.

Pumping can be stressful, so ensure you care for yourself physically and mentally. Eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, and give yourself some breaks from time to time. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to reach out for support from family and friends.

Exclusive pumping can be a boon for mothers who cannot breastfeed for many reasons. Pumping will ensure that the babies enjoy all the nutrition of mother’s milk despite not being able to breastfeed directly. It is important to follow the safe storage methods and proper sanitization of bottles and other accessories to ensure full safety for the baby.


1. What is Better – Breastfeeding or Exclusive Pumping?

There are benefits to both breastfeeding and exclusive Pumping. Breastfeeding provides your baby with antibodies that can help protect them from illness. It also helps to promote bonding between you and your baby. Exclusive Pumping has the advantage of giving you more control over how much milk your baby is getting. It can also be easier to schedule around work and other commitments. Ultimately, whether to breastfeed or pump exclusively is a personal decision.

2. Does Your Milk Change If You Exclusively Pump?

If you exclusively pump, your milk will change. This is because when you pump, you remove more milk from your breasts than a baby would. This means that the milk left behind is richer and higher in fat. Exclusive Pumping can also lead to an oversupply of milk, which can cause the milk to become spoiled more quickly.

3. Can You Go Back to Nursing After Exclusively Pumping?

It’s a personal decision you’ll need to make based on your unique circumstances. If you think it’s something you want to try, talk to your doctor or lactation consultant first so they can help you make a plan and answer any questions you may have.

4. Can You Get Mastitis if You Are Exclusively Pumping?

If you are exclusively pumping, you may be at risk of developing mastitis. If you do develop mastitis, it is essential to seek medical treatment right away.

5. How Long After Pumping Can I Put Milk In The Fridge?

It is generally recommended that you wait until the milk has cooled down to room temperature before storing it in the fridge. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how hot the milk is. If you are in a hurry, you can put the milk in the fridge after about 15 minutes, but it will be more susceptible to spoilage.

Read Also: How to Choose the Right Breast Pump For Your Baby?

Aparna Hari,MBA in Marketing,P.G. Diploma in Human Resource Management from IGNOU Bachelor of Sciences (Home Science) from Nagarjuna University

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.

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