When should I pump if I am breastfeeding?

Daisy - posted on 08/13/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My son is a week and a half old, I have been breastfeeding and pumping. Majority of the time, my son is nursing and I am pumping for storage. How often should I pump while breastfeeding? And how much supply do I really need? I am not sure if I am wasting my time pumping since I prefer nursing directly. I am home from work for four months so I really won't need to feed him via bottle until close to that time and occcasionally if I need to step out for my husband to be able to feed. Any suggestions on when I should pump while breastfeeding would be greatly appreciated. I also want to make sure I keep up my milk with my son.



Thank you in advance.

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Hannah - posted on 08/14/2009

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hi..the general advice on when you should pump if you are breastfeeding is not really to start pumping until breastfeeding is established which can take between 6-8 weeks. at the early stage you are at all you need to be doing is concentrating on demand feeding (ie feeding whenever he wants milk) and as long as you finish a breast until he latches off and then offer the other in case he is still hungry then you should make enough milk..every time he feeds it makes more milk. Also he will get more milk from you than you will get by pumping so don't be disheartend if it doesn't look like you are making enough milk..he will be getting plenty if he is gaining enough weight and has plenty of wet nappies.

well done for getting this far..breastfeeding can be hard ..joining a local breastfeeding support group can be helpful if just to know that you are not alone :)

Alicia - posted on 08/14/2009

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Life is hectic enough with a newborn so if you don't need to pump if you are breastfeeding, I'd say save your energy and give your breasts a rest!! You want your body to naturally figure out what your baby needs at the beginning, too.

In can understand wanting to have some stored milk on hand, though. I did not pump much, but when my baby was a couple of months, I built up a tiny little store of frozen milk and while I almost never used it, it was nice to know it was there if I just needed it! So my "unprofessional opinion" is to wait a bit, if you can, and build up frozen stocks later. For now, just sit and hold him and enjoy every moment of the first weeks!

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I personally found a lot of my nipple soreness was a result of pumping and am now only expressing via hand. Once your milk is fully established (around 2ish months) if you just express to relieve engorgement and store the milk, it can be enough to build up a small stock, though every body is different. If I could go back and do it all over, I wouldn't pump at all, just drink more water and stress less.
Just trust yourself and do what works for you.

Melinda - posted on 08/14/2009

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I would not pump at all until the need presents itself. If you know you will be stepping out, pump prior. Mayhap keep enough on hand in case something unexpected come up and you have to leave your son for a short time.

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