Why Should I Wait So Long To Start Regular Pumping
Your milk supply increases from birth until around six weeks- and then stays at that level from six weeks to six months. As I like to say, we want your baby driving the milk supply bus!
Breast milk production is all about supply and demand, and using a pump regularly before 4-6 weeks can cause your body to go into oversupply mode. This sounds like a good problem to have but it is NOT a good problem to have. Oversupply can be painful for both you & baby.
Trying To Build A Stash
If you’re trying to build up a stash of breast milk, try adding a pumping session after your first feeding session of the morning. “You may not express much at first, but your body will quickly respond, and you’ll be able to start storing milk.” It’s important to be consistent, though, because if you start pumping a few times a day to boost your milk supply, you can end up with plugged ducts.
Low Breast Milk Production
One of the main reasons why many moms choose to supplement breast milk is a low breast milk supply. Certain medical conditions or those who’ve had breast surgery can affect the production of breast milk. This can mean that the mom experiences a low milk supply, affecting the babys feeding demands.
When this happens, the doctor will likely recommend that the mother feeds the baby with formula. If your baby is not getting enough milk from you, supplementing with high-quality formula is essential. The idea is to ensure that your baby is getting enough nutrition. How often you pump and when to use formula will depend on how much milk you produce.
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Keep Your Stress In Check
Stress isnt just unpleasant it can make pumping less successful.
Stress can definitely reduce your supply, in general, says Donna Kimick, a board-certified lactation consultant at Lakeshore Lactation in Massapequa Park, New York. It can also increase your cortisol levels and therefore decrease important milk-making hormones. Its important to stay calm and only pump when it will not cause stress.
Use The Haakaa Before 4 Weeks
If you really want to start saving up some milk before your baby turns four weeks old, you need the Haakaa.
The Haakaa is a silicone breast pump that you attach to your other breast when your baby is nursing. It collects the milk from your letdowns and even pulls some additional milk from your breast while your baby is eating.
I threw away so many milk soaked nursing pads I threw away during my first few weeks of nursing. The Haakaa allows you to catch all the milk that would otherwise be wasted. It can also help you relieve engorgement and manage oversupply in these first few weeks.
The Haakaa makes it possible to start your freezer stash from birth because your not actually pumping.
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Remember To Take Care Of Your Body
As important as it is to make sure your little one is well-fed, its equally important to make sure youre taking care of your own body, too.
For starters, practice basic self-care that means plenty of hydration, a well-balanced diet, and getting enough sleep. Creating milk for your little one is a big job that requires a lot of energy!
Since looking after your new bundle of joy usually takes priority, mental health is another aspect of self-care that often gets overlooked by new moms. However, its crucial to make time for yourself and the activities that you enjoy to keep your mental health in check.
One way to do this is to set aside a few minutes per day to care for your postpartum skin. Because we know how important skin care is, our maternity products have been specially formulated for new moms to help you feel your best.
From our Nursing Comfort Balm to soothe and restore sore nipples to our Bust Firming Serum that hydrates and tones, were here to support your postpartum journey every step of the way.
Our powerful Stretch Marks Cream and Stretch Marks Oil help reduce the appearance of stretch marks, leaving your skin restored, refreshed, and noticeably smoother.
With naturally derived ingredients and gentle formulas, you can take comfort in knowing our products are safe to use whether youre pumping, breastfeeding, or doing a combination of the two.
Sample Pumping Schedule For A 2 Month Old
With this pumping schedule, you will pump every 2 hours during the morning, 3 hours in the afternoon/evening, and every 4 hours at night.
You will get 2 stretches of sleep where you have 4 hours between pumping sessions, from 10pm to 2am, and then from 2am to 6am.
My lactation consultant told me that it was important to not go more than 4 hours between pumping sessions until I was over 12 weeks postpartum.
That is because before that time, you are still building up your milk supply.
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What Type Of Pumping Schedule Should You Have
There are a few different ways you can structure your exclusive pumping schedule:
- A set schedule where you pump at the same time every day
- An every x hours schedule, where you mark your next time pumping from your last pump time
- A schedule where you pump whenever baby eats
Different set-ups might work for you at different times in your pumping career.
I found that a schedule of pumping when baby ate was easiest for me in the newborn phase, when life was so unpredictable, but a set schedule was better once Id gone back to work.
This article contains examples of set pumping schedules, but any of these ways of doing it are fine as long your get the sessions and pumping time in! Do whatever works best for you.
How Long Do I Need To Pump At Each Session
This answer could be drastically different for everyone. The recommendation for time on the pump is based on how long it takes to fully empty your breasts.
For me, this could take up to an hour, but for others, it could only be twenty minutes. It is critical to empty all sitting breast milk from a let-down sufficiently at every pumping session to avoid clogs and a decrease in milk supply.
With that said, never force yourself to pump if it is painful.
Yes, there is sure to be some discomfort in the beginning until your body gets used to this new process of milk removal. However, it is not normal to experience pain during pumping that is excruciating. You will know the difference.
With that in mind, it is usually just fine to pump for 5-10 minutes after the milk has stopped spraying.
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How Long Should You Break Between Pumping Sessions
Keep in mind that the longer you wait between pumping sessions, the less milk you may produce. During the early stages of exclusively pumping, avoid going more than 5-6 hours between sessions. While it can get exhausting, pumping 1-2 times per night will ensure that you have a sufficient milk supply for your baby.
If youre a working mom, aim to pump every 3-4 hours per 8 hour work period. Staying on your routine pumping schedule will help ensure that your body will keep up with your babys nutritional needs. Before you start pumping at work, be sure to have a conversation with your boss about a comfortable and private location for you to pump during the day. For moms who are able to stay at home, especially during the first 12 weeks, aim to create a solidified and regular schedule throughout the day where you do not go too long without pumping.
Pumping For Low Milk Supply
If you dont feel like youre producing enough, dont fret. Your milk supply may be different in the morning than at night. Or you may make more milk one week and less the next. Your diet, stress level, and other factors may affect how much milk you make.
Some women can fill a whole bottle in a single pumping session while others may need to pump two or three times to fill the same bottle. Its not a competition, and theres a wide range of normal. Speak with your doctor or a lactation consultant if your supply continues to be low or you notice it dipping more.
You can also try eating certain foods to help with your milk supply.
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How Often Can You Pump
You want to do all you can for your baby, but pumping too long, too often, can cause problems. Some moms pump so much that if they skip a pumping session, their breasts become over full, which is never fun.
Plus, pumping too much can also be isolating for mothers. Trust your body and your instincts and have confidence that your body is capable of making just the right amount of milk for your baby. Its not a competition, and you dont have to make the most milk to have the happiest baby on the block!
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Set Alarms For Pumping At Night Ahead Of Time
If your schedule looks the same each day, consider setting alarms on your phone or calendar ahead of time. You can even set daytime alarms to remind you to pump and keep you on schedule. We dont recommend watching the clock over zealously, but having reminders chiming on your phone can help you keep track of time without actually having to watch the clock. Anything you can automate like this is one less thing to worry about when youre pumping at night.
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Sample Breastfeeding And Pumping Schedule
Lets first look at potential breastfeeding and pumping routines if youre trying to build a freezer stash. Im going to give options that include one pump a day, as that should give you a nice little freezer stash.
- Option #1- Pump during one middle of the night feeding while your baby feeds on the other side.
- Option #2- Pump on one side while your baby nurses on the other side for the first morning feed.
- Option #3- Pump on both sides immediately after nursing your baby for the same feeding each day.
- Option #4- Pump 30-60 minutes on the same side after a certain feeding of the day.
Example Pumping Schedule For A 7 To 8 Month Old
Here is a sample schedule once your baby has reached the 7-month or 8-month mark.
Congrats, you have made it past 6 months of breastfeeding. As your baby gets older, hopefully, your pumping journey has gotten easier.
Many moms will be able to drop another pumping session at this time. You can try dropping your middle of the night pump.
Again, just test it out and see how your milk supply is impacted. You can always add it back in.
This schedule will give you that glorious 8 hour stretch of sleep at night, from 10pm to 6am. Youll also get more time back during your day with only 5 pumping sessions.
You may need to work up to this schedule slowly depending on if you are engorged or leaking during the middle of the night.
Dropping a pumping session during the night may need to be done slowly so you are comfortable.
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How Often Should You Wake Your Newborn To Nurse
Some newborns are excessively sleepy at firstwake baby to nurse if 2 hours or 4 hours have passed without nursing. . Is baby getting enough milk? Weight gain: Normal newborns may lose up to 7% of birth weight in the first few days. After moms milk comes in, the average breastfed baby gains 6 oz/week .
How To Exclusively Pump With A Newborn
Dont wash your pump parts between each use.During the first few weeks, you will pump every 2.Estimate the number of times that baby nurses per day .Exclusive pumping for a newborn.
Exclusively pumping for a newborn!Flange size matters and so does lube!For a newborn that is under 2 months of age, you should pump 8 to 12 times per day if you are exclusively pumping.For the first 2 to 3 days of your babys birth, your body mainly produces only colostrum.
Foster encourages mothers to pump every two or three hours.Great resources to start with are glenns exclusive pumping guide, and her blogs on exclusively pumping for a newborn, and handling and storing breast milk.Hand express for a few minutes after pumping How often you pump while exclusively pumping is key to sustaining your efforts.
However, if your baby is a newborn, youll want to pump more often and for shorter periods of time than if you have an older baby.However, new moms should ideally use the babys sleeping time for their own sleep and recuperation.If you are doing a combination of nursing and pumping, then you do not need to pump.If you are exclusively pumping, you should be pumping for two hours or 120 minutes per day as a minimum guideline.
If you have a newborn baby.In my experience, once my milk came in, i made a lot more than what my baby needed at the time.It will be full of nutrients and antibodies essential for the newborn.Its a good idea to pump as often as your newborn baby would be nursing.
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When To Start Pumping
Have a chat with your doctor or lactation consultant before you start pumping. You can discuss your goals for breastfeeding/pumping to find the method that might work best for your family.
You can begin pumping as soon as your baby is born if youd like. You may choose to pump exclusively from the beginning. Or you may choose to breastfeed often and only pump once or a few times each day.
There may also be certain reasons you need to pump from birth, like:
- your babys medical condition
- your own medical condition
- latch issues
- a desire to share feeding responsibilities with a non-breastfeeding partner
The list goes on. Whatever you decide, dont let anyone make you feel shame for your decision. You know whats best for you and your baby.