View Full Version : When to pump?

06-25-2002, 11:21 AM
Hi. I have a five-week-old baby and want to begin pumping a little so that someone can feed her if I need to be away from her at all. I can't figure out when to do it, though. She nurses often, and I'm nervous that I will pump and then have little to offer her if she wakes up hungry. How have others of you figured out when to pump? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.



06-25-2002, 01:01 PM
I always had the best luck in the morning. But it was hard even then until she started sleeping about 4-5 hours at one stretch at night. Once she started doing that, after she nursed, I usually still had a fair bit that I could pump. For many women, first thing in the am is usually when they the biggest supply.

Also, at night, to give me a break, DH would give her a bottle around 10 pm. I would pump and then try to get some sleep.


06-27-2002, 09:09 AM
My lactation consultant recommended pumping one side while feeding him on the other. This has worked out quite well for me. I also pump in the morning just because I have more time, usually feel pretty full, and morning milk is higher in fat, so would be more filling later int he day. Once the baby starts eating, you are producing more milk, so you should never "run out of milk." You could continue to feed, switching sides for hours.

THis is also nice because you feel like you are spending so much time feeding that adding time to pump seems somewhat overwhelming!!

Good luck!

Leah and Sam (9 weeks)

06-27-2002, 09:12 AM
Mornings tend to be the time when we have the highest milk supply, so that is a good suggestion.

Here are some GREAT resources for nursing support...both have excellent FAQs with tons of info and the people are great.

Both are message boards at Parentsplace.com...


Working & Pumping


Both links are for the CURRENT boards (as of 6/27)



07-03-2002, 10:04 AM
What I really don't understand about pumping (other than if you are a working mom--which then I get it)-is what is the benefit? I want to pump sometimes so that DH and I can go out on a date, and Grandparents can feed baby a bottle, or I can take a leisurely bubble bath while DH connects with baby and feeds him a bottle. BUT I read in a breastfeeding book that you should not skip your regular feeding time (to avoid engorgemnt and leaking). That if you are out somewhere, whenever a regular feeding time comes up (and baby is getting his bottle of expressed milk at home), that you need to pump. Is this true? I can't imagine being out for a nice dinner and having to get up to go pump in the restraunt bathroom because it's feeding time! (but I guess you would be in pain and leaking if you didn't?) Can you tell I've never experienced any of this before?! I'm scared to figure it out the hard way through trial and error!

07-03-2002, 10:44 AM
engorgement and leaking are things that tend to even out after a few months. La Leche and others tell you to pump during a feeding time early on b/c you do not want to diminish your supply. After about 6-8 weeks your supply is much more stable and you don't need to pump *exactly* during feeding time. The only time I had a problem with skipping feedings and leaking etc was when my DD started sleeping for longer than 3-4 hours which stinks b/c you *so* want to take advantage of not getting up before her but you are miserably uncomfy and sleeping in a puddle...lol. I never leaked at night b/c I think my supply was lower in the evenings.

Don't fret too much you will figure this all out as you go, if not, we're here!!

07-11-2002, 05:07 PM
This was a big issue for me because I had a baby who also/still (at 7 months) eats every two hours and didn't sleep for long stretches at night. Initially, I found I would pump right after he ate if he didn't eat on both sides...that reduced my stress that there wouldn't be enough for him. Sometimes, it was just a few ounces in the beginning, but that's all he was eating, anyway. With time, as he became more predicatble, it has gotten MUCH easier, but it was definitely a challenge to begin with. One thing that helped early on was having my husband give him a bottle every day and I would pump while he was giving the bottle.

To the question of whether you have to pump when away/someone else is giving the bottle, I think you get to know your own body. My son eats so often, that I can skip a feeding, even 2, without a problem once a week because he has built up my supply so much that it doesn't diminish that quickly. Maybe if you're in the early months and your baby only eats every 4 hours, you may have to be more careful about it.

Good luck!