Can I pump after every feeding to start my breastmilk storage?

Dru - posted on 04/29/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )




I go back to work in 4 weeks and I started pumping the past three days after my 1st morning feed. So far it takes over half an hour to get only 2 oz out of both breast and that is with me pumping both breast at the same time. Is it okay to pump after each feeding? should I start giving her some of the already stored milk and pump during a regular feeding to get more milk? I am afraid I will never pump enough before I go back to work.



Julie - posted on 04/29/2011




The reason you only get 2oz when you pump after a feeding is because your little one has already emptied your breast. If you stay consistent with the pumping though, you will send the signal to your breasts to increase your supply and you will start to get more.

You can pump after every feeding, but be careful because it could lead to over-production. I was pumping after every feeding when my daughter was first born (because she was a preemie) until I realized I had way too much milk, I was getting sore and my daughter was spluttering because all the milk was pouring out too fast.

When you pump, it should only take about 10-15 minutes (if you use a double pump, which is best if you are going back to work and plan to keep pumping). If you just keep going hoping to get more, you will just end up sore.

How is your baby sleeping at night? If she has a long stretch, that is a good time to pump. I went back to work fulltime when my daughter was 8 weeks old. I pumped three times a day at work. She went to bed by 8pm, then I would pump again at 10pm before I went to bed, because she didn't get up to eat again until midnight or 2am.

That extra pumping session at night served two purposes: 1) it kept my milk supply up; I started losing it when Joy started sleeping longer at night and the extra pumping got it back up; 2) it gave me extra milk to freeze. When I got home, I took the milk from my 3 pumping sessions at work and put it in bottles to take to daycare the next day. After I pumped at night, that just went straight into the freezer, so I ended up with a huge stock of frozen milk.

Another trick, after you nurse your baby, take a warm shower and then pump. It'll relax you and help your milk let down again.

Check out the website It has so much great advice, and really helped me a lot when I thought I was losing my milk and would have to give up breastfeeding just 1 month after returning to work. We ended up going 8 months; I'm weaning her now because I can't keep up with the pumping anymore. I've used the frozen milk supply mixed with formula to help her transition and it's going great.

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I wouldn't use up any of your stash while you are w/ her, but it IS ok to pump after every feed. The more you pump the more you will make, but it takes time and, of course, the pump isn't nearly as efficent at getting your milk as your baby is..

Lise - posted on 04/30/2011




Keep in mind, you don't NEED a huge supply when you go back to work. You only need to cover that first day. I started work with 24 oz in the freezer. I ended up donating a ton when my daughter was 5 months old.

Melanie - posted on 04/30/2011




It is totally OK & I completely agree w/ everything Julie said in her post so I won't recap that info... I breast fed 3 kids w/ completely different situations each time but my 2nd child was my most successful experience. I stressed about my supply during the first 6 weeks because he was always on the breast (atleast that is what memory serves) at 7 weeks I was admitted to the hospital for a week. I had to pump and dump during that week because of the meds which also had the lovely side effect of almost completely drying me out. When I got home, he had been having formula. W/ all this we started breast feeding again and supplementing w/ formula for about a week. I drank so much water I got sick of it but dehydration is major in causing breasts to quit producing. I made sure to either pump or feed every 2 hours to get my flow back. If he was hungry shortly after I pumped, he had milk in a bottle, but I kept the schedule religiously. We went back to breast only at 10 weeks but this time he ate for 10-15mins on each side and then I pumped. I had a supply that worked for us.
I guess the point that if this is what you want then don't quit trying. Period. Maybe what worked for me might work for you.


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Bonnie - posted on 04/30/2011




Certainly. You can pump after each feeding. Definitely do it afterwards though because you may not have enough to feed her if you pump before. The more you feed and pump the more that will increase your flow.

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