Breastfeeding: Just Pump and Dump?

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Those first weeks of breastfeeding can challenging…but then you “get it” and those weary days melt away. You and your baby are enjoying breastfeeding and it’s a wonderful feeling.
Just pump and dump?

What if you had been putting off a medical procedure, or you have an unexpected procedure come up?  When you are told you’ll need to “pump and dump” for x hours/days after the procedure, your first thought may be back to those first difficult days of breastfeeding.

The good news is that it is often not necessary to stop breastfeeding because you are taking a medication or having a surgical procedure done. The breast’s milk ducts are an effective filtration system. Exposure to medications while breastfeeding isn’t the same as when you were pregnant and there were more chances for exposure to your baby.

What if you do have to pump and you can’t use that milk? Our Lactation Consultants can provide strategies to handle that situation as well, and get you back to breastfeeding. Pumping adequately will maintain your supply and your baby will be delighted to return to breastfeeding. Often the hardest part is mom missing the relationship, and maybe even baby learning a bottle. Do not teach a bottle for this “just in case” circumstance; let’s instead brainstorm together.

If you have questions about when you should ‘pump and dump’ versus breastfeeding as usual, contact The Lactation Connection and our Lactation Liaison will share resources to make the best decision for you and your baby.

Robin Hollen, RN, IBCLC


Robin Hollen is a registered nurse and lactation consultant at Renown Health.

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