HOW OFTEN SHOULD I PUMP?
This is a question I get A LOT and it’s a tough one because there isn’t just one answer. Every mom’s body is different and is going to respond to the pump differently. But, here are some great tips to get you started on the right foot for both exclusive and occasional. If you need help figuring out your personalized schedule and strategy, definitely reach out to a trained LC for help!
1. When pumping for a newborn, you want to try to mimic your baby’s feeding pattern to establish your milk supply. A newborn will eat between 10-12 times a day and while this is ideal for pumping, it’s not always realistic. Aim for at lest 8 pumps a day at first. You can adjust accordingly depending on your supply, but remember, it’s not abnormal to have an oversupply at the beginning as your body gets used to breastfeeding. You want to be careful not to downgrade your milk too much too early
2. After your baby is about 12 weeks and your supply has stabilized (meaning you can pretty much anticipate how much milk you’ll make in a 24 hour period) you can experiment with dropping pumps. Do it slowly to avoid clogs and mastitis and remember that there is a chance your output will drop when you drop a pump session. But you may find the extra time or sleep to be worth it.
1. If you’re pumping at work or just going out for the afternoon, try to pump for every missed feed to keep your supply up. It doesn’t have to be at the exact same time that your baby eats, but should be in the within the same day. .
2. If you’re pumping to build a stash, you only need to pump 1 or 2 additional times a day. A lot of moms see the most output when they pump about 30-60 minutes after the first feeding in the morning. Remember that if you’re pumping after a feed, you will get less milk than if you pump instead of a feed...and that’s ok!!
Good luck and leave your questions in the comments!! .