Expectant mothers are always told that, “the girls is best”. This is because breastmilk is most nutritious and natural for our babies, but some mothers do not like the idea having a baby latch on to their bosom so they instead pump their milk into bottles for their babies. Does this really add up to the equivalent of actually breastfeeding though?
The act of pumping breast milk used to only be used by women whose babies were in the NICU and unable to breastfeed. Exclusively pumping breast milk has recently grown to be very popular among new moms today for the conveniency of it. Since they go to work, pump in the bathroom, and then go right back to working, women everywhere are deciding to pump. Insurance companies are even beginning to offer to pay for the breast pumps for women. Research has begun to show that there are some dangers that come along with pumping your breast milk instead of feeding our babies directly.
Pumping can lead to less bonding time, contamination of the milk, excessively sore breasts, and could even make the baby sick at times. In the following list we will go over 15 dangers that could arise from exclusively pumping breastmilk for our babies.
15 Can Dry Up Mom's Milk Supply
When a woman breastfeeds her baby the nipple stimulation that the baby creates, tells the brain to produce more milk. The brain then sends signals back in the form of hormones which then produce more milk for the baby to drink. When a woman pumps her milk those hormones are not released and the body thinks the baby is full and then produces less milk.
Something else that lowers a woman’s milk supply when pumping is, that it is not as relaxing as having a baby suckle and if women are not relaxed then they do not produce as much milk. The same can be said for women who do not pump enough, not pumping enough causes the body to think that mom is done breastfeeding and no longer produces the milk that the baby needs.
14 Did You Know Pumps Can Mold?
Most women who use a breast pump believe that if they clean and sterilize their pumps that they are in the clear and do not have to worry about things like mold, this however is not true. Mold in breast pumps is most common to happen in an open system pump, and despite some women's best efforts at cleaning them, mold still tends to form in the valves. If a pump does end up having mold in it then mom should throw the pump away and immediately get a new one as her milk is being contaminated and her baby could end up getting sick from it. Mold grows from milk relatively fast so, It is a good idea to, if a new mom is using an open system pump, replace the pump periodically with a new one just to avoid this issue all together as it seems to be inevitable.
13 It's Less Healthy For The Baby
Women who breastfeed allow their babies to take their milk in fresh and straight from the source, allowing them to get the most protein and vitamins out of it. When a woman pumps her milk she needs to freeze it, unthaw it, and then heat it for baby. Doing all of this depletes the milk of the necessary proteins and vitamins that the baby needs, and would have gotten if they had breastfed. If a woman is pumping her breast milk then doctors do suggest adding a vitamin D supplement into the milk to make sure that baby gets everything that he or she needs when feeding. Babies needs in regards to vitamins are changing every day, so when a mom stores the breast milk that she pumped and then feeds it to the baby at a later date, the baby isn't getting as many vitamins as he or she needed before because their needs have changed since the milk was pumped.
12 Ever Heard Of Bottle Rot?
Bottle rot is a serious condition that occurs when a baby is put to sleep with a bottle of milk, it is said to be more likely to happen when a baby is being bottle fed breast milk. Babies can begin to get teeth anywhere from as early as 4 months to 6 months old. Bottle rot is when a baby's teeth begin to decay as a result from drinking from a bottle at night time and it often leads to the young child to need those teeth, even though they are baby teeth, to either be capped or removed. When a mom exclusively breastfeeds this is not an issue because the milk doesn't exactly reach the baby's teeth, as mom's nipple sits behind the teeth. Of course brushing baby's new teeth is always important, but it does not stop the effects that a bottle has on teeth.
11 The Wrong Settings Can Damage The Girls
Breast pumps can be difficult to figure out at times, there are different settings for suction strength it can be tough to find just the right setting. If a woman has her breast pump set to, too high of a suction setting this can lead to nipple and breast damages. It can also create a lot of pain and numbness for the woman as well. However, if the pump is set at too low of a setting then the woman will not produce enough milk and she will have a lower supply and possibly not even enough to feed her baby. Professionals say that women who pump should make sure that their pumps are fitting comfortably, so that they are not painful, but also not so loose that barely any milk is coming out.
10 Pumping Too Much Is Dangerous
Most women do not even realize that is possible to pump too much breastmilk, as they want to make sure that they have a good supply stored away, but pumping too much can have some potentially dangerous effects. When a woman pumps too much milk it leads to an overload of hormones being released and her breasts to swell with an excessive amount of milk causing her to experience some painful engorgement. Pumping too often can also lead to something known as, overactive letdown, which is when the breasts begin to spray milk too fast, which can be bad if mom ever decides to feed baby directly. Women who pump too much will also experience increased leaking, as they produce so much milk that it will not stay in and they could also end up with clogged milk ducts.
9 Can Hurt The Baby's Ability To Eat
If a mother is switching between breastfeeding and pumping she may notice that her baby is not sucking the way that he or she used to. This is because switching from breast to bottle causes the baby to be confused and may not get as much milk as they need because they are not sure how they should be sucking anymore. Not only can this affect the amount of milk that the baby gets, but it can also lead to bad eating habits. It can also harm the mom as baby may start to suckle on her breasts much harder, leading to sore or damaged nips. Mothers should pick one way of feeding and stick to it in order to prevent things like this from happening.
8 Ruins Bonding Time
Babies do not just breastfeed for the milk, they also breastfeed for closeness and comfort. When we pump we do not get to experience that skin to skin contact that makes us so close to our babies. While pumping does not mean that we are not close to our babies, it does mean that we lose out on some of those precious moments that we would have gotten if we were breastfeeding.
When a baby latches on to its mom’s breasts, mom gets the chance to hold her precious newborn and take in that sweet newborn smell, while moms who do not breastfeed also get plenty of chances to hold their babies, they do not do it as often as moms who do breastfeed. Feeding baby a bottle of our milk just isn't the same as having baby close to our chests while they feed.
7 Can Delay Mom's Recovery
It is said that women who breastfeed their babies recover from giving birth faster than those who do not. This is because when a baby nurses oxytocin is released and causes the uterus to contract, this leads to less bleeding, and can cause the uterus to return back to its normal size sooner than it does for a mom who pumps. When a woman pumps the hormone, oxytocin, is not released and it can then take her up to four weeks longer to recover. Doctors say that the average recovery time for a woman who breastfeeds is about four weeks whereas a woman who pumps her breast milk could take anywhere from six to ten weeks. If recovery is an issue for a woman and she wants to get back to normal as soon as possible, then she should probably try to breastfeed her baby, as it could help her in the long run.
6 The Hidden Dangers Of Pumping At Night
A lot of women seem to think that pumping will make their lives a lot easier because they can pump during the day and store it away and not have to worry about doing it at night. This however is wrong. When a women is pumping she still needs to wake about every four hours to pump her milk, if she doesn't do that she will probably wake up in the morning in a lot of pain and leaking milk from her breasts. This can also lead to her body assuming that in those hours the baby did not need any milk and it could slow down her milk production. Women who pump, just like women who breastfeed, should always have a set schedule of when they will be pumping to avoid any confusion with her body and keep her milk supply where it should be.
5 Higher Risk Of Infections
There are all sorts of infections and complications that can occur when breastfeeding. Pumping, however, can raise the likeliness of these infections occurring. Signs that mom has developed an infection from pumping are, yellow discharge, bleeding, pain, soreness, and redness. If a woman experiences any of those things she should put a call in to her doctor immediately. If a woman continues to feed her baby while she has an infection her milk then becomes contaminated and she risks her baby getting very ill from it. One of the infections that women can get from pumping are, mastitis. Mastitis occurs when milk ducts become clogged, it is usually easy to diagnose because it leaves a large painful lump in the woman’s breast. Mastitis, although painful, usually is not too serious and resolves within a few days to a week.
4 Used Pumps Can Carry Deadly Bacteria
Pumps can be expensive sometimes, and apparently it is a growing trend for women to just pass theirs along to someone else when they are done using it, this is not safe. One reason being that the pump could be moldy inside of the valves, the other reason being that there could be small particles not seen to the human eye left behind from the previous owner, which could contain viruses and bacteria. This can be very harmful to the baby because the baby has only ever been introduced to his or her moms bacteria and could become very sick if his or her milk becomes contaminated with the particles of another moms milk. Some major things that raise concern with this are exposure to HIV and CMV. It is always best to just spend that little extra money to get a brand new pump that we know will be clean and safe for our babies.
3 The Girls Might Never Be The Same
Breast pumping for long periods of time and pumping at a high suction setting can lead to irreversible tissue damage to our breasts. Although not very many women are aware of this, it does happen. Doctors say that to avoid this, women should try not to pump for too long at a time and to always make sure that their pumps are set at a comfortable setting. If a woman starts to experience pain when pumping then this is a sign that she could be beginning to experience some tissue damage and should adjust the settings on her pump to a comfortable setting. If a woman begins to experience tissue damage as a result of using a pump then it is likely that she will begin to experience a letdown, which is when she begins to produce little to almost no milk at all.
2 Increases Stress
Sure, pumping seems super convenient, but always having to carry a pump around and worrying about if there will be a bathroom nearby for when we need to pump can be stressful for us. Then we also have to worry about storing the milk that we pump and whether or not we will have enough room for it. Stress can take a serious toll on a woman's health as well as decrease her milk supply. Research has shown that women who experience stress on a day to day basis have a much lower milk supply, this means less food for baby. While pumping can cause unnecessary added stress to our lives, breast feeding can cause us to be much more relaxed and increase our milk supply, so why take the risk of pumping when it could lead to so many issues?
1 Pumps Do Go Bad
Breast pumps can be expensive, so it is no surprise that women may think that if they buy one that they are done buying them for the remainder of their breastfeeding experience. This is not true. Breast pumps, like most things do go bad, they are said to last about a year if properly cleaned and cared for. However if a woman continues to use her breast pump past a year and it starts to become moldy inside then the baby could end up sick, as talked about previously. The pump could also begin to not pump effectively enough anymore and that could leave mom with an inadequate amount of milk to feed to her baby. This being said, women should be replacing their pumps about every 8 to 11 months just to be on the safe side, to assure that baby gets the most and best quality milk possible.