Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk: A Guide to Providing Expressed Breast Milk for Your Baby

ABOUT Stephanie Casemore

Stephanie Casemore


There are alternatives to feeding formula!  When breastfeeding does not go as planned, often new mothers must turn to baby formula to feed their newborns, but there is another way.  It is possible to provide breast milk even if  it is not possible to breastfeed. The World Health Organization recognizes expressed breast milk as the next best alternative to direct breastfeeding, yet most new mothers have never been told that it is possible to express breast milk exclusively and long-term. 

Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk: A Guide to Providing Expressed Breast.  Milk for Your Baby has been written by a mother of a thirty-one week preemie who exclusively pumped breast milk for one year.  It details the crucial information necessary for a new mother to initiate and maintain her milk supply with the use of a breast pump including information on breast physiology, lactation, and breast milk composition; increasing your milk supply; collecting and storing breast milk; options in breast pumps and accessories; overcoming a variety of difficulties; a valuable collection of internet resources including support groups and discussion boards for women who are expressing breast milk; and straightforward information on the ins and out and ups and downs of exclusively expressing breast milk.


The joys of pregnancy were quickly ended when, at 30 weeks, I developed severe preeclampsia. My baby was born weighing only 3 pounds 2 ounces and instead of developing a close breastfeeding relationship with my son, I found myself having a very close relationship with a lovely aqua blue breast pump. Our hopes of breastfeeding didn't materialize and I began a year of exclusively pumping to provide breast milk for my son.

Initiating and maintaining lactation via milk expression is extremely challenging for mothers following preterm delivery. However, there are very few resources available to mothers which specifically address the problems of long term milk expression.

This book is written in a clear style and the information is easy to access. It contains expert knowledge about long term expression, which can only be learned from personal experience. The author, herself a mother of a preterm baby, exclusively pumped for a year and shares with us the highs and lows of her long journey. The book is filled with useful tips and anticipatory advice about how to initiate and maintain a milk supply. There is also a comprehensive trouble shooting section which skilfully deals with problems such as a declining milk supply, sore nipples and much more.  


Although this book is an extremely valuable resource for mothers of premature and sick babies, the information it contains will appeal to all breastfeeding mothers. The content will also be extremely useful to a larger audience including health care professionals and breastfeeding advisors. This book fills a void in breastfeeding literature that has been missing for a long time. It is a practical book, thoughtfully written which deals with difficult issues in a sensitive and practical way. I recommend this book whole heartedly as an extremely valuable resource.

Elizabeth Jones, Breastfeeding Specialist

From the Journal of Human Lactation, Vol. 21, Number 3, August 2005:

This short, easy-to-read book lists possible reasons for exclusively pumping, including prematurity, illness, latch problems, long-term separation, and maternal choice.  Throughout the book, Casemore recommends seeking help through the services of an LC.  She details the realistic time and energy needs of a pumping mother and discusses the emotions involved, including the sense of loss and grieving when one is no longer able to breastfeed, the response by others to the decision to exclusively pump, and guilt over the decision not to breastfeed.

This book addresses well the fundamentals of pumping, including properly fitting flange sizes, comfortable suction levels, and double pumping with a good-quality breast pump.  The research on cycles per minute and millimeters of mercury pressure is discussed fully.  Casemore lists the differences between types of pumps, giving examples by name of the better models in each category.

Excellent suggestions are made for initiating a milk supply by pumping, followed by directions for maintaining the well-established supply, increasing a diminishing supply, and “power pumping and cluster pumping” (p 64).   The chapter on milk storage guidelines, containers for storage and feeding, cue feeding rather than scheduling, feeding to infant satiety, and caution about infant overfeeding is excellent.

Exclusively Pumping is based on the personal experience of the author with input of more than 50 other women who exclusively pumped milk for their infants.  Casemore states, up front, that she is not a medical professional and has no background in lactation or breastfeeding support.  Despite this fact, she provides high-quality, up-to-date information and strongly promotes the physical act of breastfeeding at every opportunity.  She further states, “When breastfeeding does not work out, breast milk is still the best way of nourishing a baby and it must then be provided by pumping” (p 13).

A wide-ranging list of resources online is included in the appendix and includes LactNet archives, LLLI, Dr Newman, and Linda Smith; unfortunately, no resources for ILCA or IBCLE are given.

I would recommend this book, which will make a good addition to the libraries of lactation professionals who assist mothers with difficulties, providing yet another informed choice for mothers.
Kathy Parkes, RN, IBCLC, RLC
San Antonio, TexasUSA