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Thread: Which is more important: # of pumping sessions or # of ounces pumped per session?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    51

    Default Which is more important: # of pumping sessions or # of ounces pumped per session?

    As hard as it's been, I have successfully breastfed my baby now for 10 weeks. At 7 weeks I had to go back to work because I did not qualify for FMLA and had all kinds of problems with blocked ducts from not nursing so frequently anymore - but I have overcome that hurdle too, by allowing my LO to nurse while we sleep and learning to hand express before and after each pumping session. So my question has to do with something I noticed this last week when I kept forgetting pieces of my pump and missed pumping sessions until I could get the missing pieces during breaks. When I first returned to work I was pumping 5x a day: before work, 3x during work, and right before I went home, but this last week when I missed the first pumping session, I pumped the same amount (actually more) I would have gotten if I had not missed that session, and then yesterday I was unable to pump until lunch, only pumped 2x (not 5x) and still went home with almost the same amount of milk that I would get if I pumped more frequently.

    So, what I am wondering is if I can cut down on my number of pumping sessions if I am still expressing the same amount of milk overall and not have it effect my milk supply? Is my body more responsive to nursing frequency or actual number of ounces extracted when determining how much milk to produce?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    2,313

    Default Re: Which is more important: # of pumping sessions or # of ounces pumped per session?

    Thing is that the extra was because you missed sessions.

    If you decrease your pumping sessions your body will adjust to the new schedule and your output may very well decrease.
    Amanda
    Formerly: baby-blue-eyes

    Canadian Mum to Naomi Born 03/17/08 and has a dairy allergy we are hoping she will outgrow. Nursed for 1 year
    And Gavin Born 01/13/10. 22 months, still nursing and already determined to find every possible way of giving me a heart attack with his dare devilishness

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,949

    Default Re: Which is more important: # of pumping sessions or # of ounces pumped per session?

    Agree with PP, your supply will most likely adjust to the lack of sessions in a few days, and you will be producing less.

    Remember, BF is all about supply and demand. If the demand goes down, the supply will soon follow!!!
    Mommy of 4,
    3 who I watch over, 1 who watches over all of us

    J- 8/20/05 pumped breastmilk for 11 months due to his cleft lip and palate!

    M- 10/17/07 my precious baby lives forever in her mommys heart

    M- 3/31/09 my special gift, she helps heal her mommy and daddys heart. Nursed for 4 years and 10 days, self weaned the day her baby brother was born!

    E-, new little miracle born 4/11/13, my BIG baby! Born 8.6 at 38 weeks. At 9 weeks nearly 17lbs, at 12 weeks nearly 20lbs, at 6 months nearly 23lbs, at 8 months nearly 25lbs and all from BREASTMILK


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,361

    Default Re: Which is more important: # of pumping sessions or # of ounces pumped per session?

    However, some moms with larger storage capacities can space out their pumping sessions more than others. If you decide you want to try spacing out your sessions, be cautious! If you see a decrease in output, you are not one of those lucky moms who can space your sessions out, and you need to increase your frequency again. I'd definitely recommend erring on the side of frequency, though!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Which is more important: # of pumping sessions or # of ounces pumped per session?

    about frequency. It's also about minutes spent pumping too. So if you pump for just 10 minutes a couple times a day, versus 30 minutes that same amount of time, you'll see, over time, a difference in milk production.

    Some moms are able to go longer between sessions and get the same amount of milk (storage capacity), but 99% of them are not this early in a nursing relationship. Most moms with babies under 6 months need to, should pump every 2-3 hours to maintain supply.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

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