when to start pumping? — The Bump
Breastfeeding

when to start pumping?

My milk came in on Friday, and I have to go back to work the end of January. Which I know seems a long way out, but I want to get ahead on BM storage. I have a deep freezer I will be putting it in, plus we will be feeding a bottle probably once a day from DH to avoid "confusion". I want to make sure my milk supply is established but I dont want to wait too long to start pumping. When is it ok to start pumping? especially since my son is not on a schedule yet.

Re: when to start pumping?

  • I'd wait until closer to 4 weeks - right now you should focus on nursing and resting.  Pumping is just an added headache and I wouldn't feel comfortable doing a bottle until closer to 4 weeks.
  • I definitely don't plan on doing the bottle thing until at least 4 weeks. or a pacifier for that matter... I figured that pumping right now would be a bad idea because I don't want to take his supply from him. How would you go about starting pumping. Just add to the end of a feeding or start a specific schedule for the times I would be able to pump at work?
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  • I had to start pumping in the hospital because LO was not gaining enough weight.  I pump after every feeding and give her the expressed breast milk after each feeding. Hopefully this will not have to continue much longer.  I would start pumping as soon as you feel up to it.  You may be surprised at how little milk you produce in the beginning from pumping. 
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  • image klande3:
    I definitely don't plan on doing the bottle thing until at least 4 weeks. or a pacifier for that matter... I figured that pumping right now would be a bad idea because I don't want to take his supply from him. How would you go about starting pumping. Just add to the end of a feeding or start a specific schedule for the times I would be able to pump at work?

    It's not so much that you'd take supply from him as that it's just time consuming and with a new newborn, you spend enough time nursing not to have to pile pumping on top of that.  And it is true that you won't get much from the pump the first few weeks so it's not really worth your time unless your baby is unable to nurse for some reason.

    As for when to pump - that depends on your purpose for pumping.  I mostly just pumped after he ate first thing in the morning as that's when you will have the most milk.  Your body will start to respond to the increased demand.  I built a pretty decent freezer stash doing that for the first few months.  You also will want to pump anytime baby gets a bottle to make up that demand.

  • I second all of ncbelle's suggestions.  I really wouldn't start pumping until 4 weeks.  I started pumping once a day around 4 weeks -- I'd do it right after her first nursing session of the morning. 

    Also, I really wouldn't stress about building up a huge freezer stash.  Here's a good article on the proper use of a freezer stash.  It really should be for true emergencies only.  Your child should only be eating what you've pumped the day before.

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  • image klande3:
    My milk came in on Friday, and I have to go back to work the end of January. Which I know seems a long way out, but I want to get ahead on BM storage. I have a deep freezer I will be putting it in, plus we will be feeding a bottle probably once a day from DH to avoid "confusion". I want to make sure my milk supply is established but I dont want to wait too long to start pumping. When is it ok to start pumping? especially since my son is not on a schedule yet.

    i would wait couple of weeks and then start pumping after she feeds (so you dont take away anything from her at this crucial time).  At first you might not pump anything out but once your body realizes you it, you will make more. 

    You should call a LC to give you more advise.

    I want to cry at the thought of going back to work!

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