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Thread: pumping frequency

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    103

    Default pumping frequency

    my child is 4.5 months old and i am working part time 3 days a week 8 hour shifts (since he was 7 weeks old), while home, i nurse on demand. i have been pumping prior to my start of work and then taking 2 additonal 15 minute breaks every 3.5 hours. i express around 4 oz per session and this has been matching what he is taking in when i am not home. my question is, can i skip the 2nd pumping session and just bf/pump when i get home. this would have me going 6-6.5 hours in between two pumping sessions. i want to make sure i am replacing what he drinks and i do not want to decrease my milk supply. do you think this would be a problem or should i just continue with what i am doing? thanks for your feedback!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,984

    Default Re: pumping frequency

    Well ... maybe ...

    If your baby was six months old or older, I'd probably say, no problem, I think you go with once a day, especially if you take a longer session (20-30 minutes). But at 4.5 months, when your baby is EBF with no solids, and your supply is still not 100% regulated yet, it's a greater risk. Still, you could try it - worst case, you go back to your old routine. Everyone is different as far as their "storage capacity" (no, it's not related to breast size at all! ). I was able to cut back on pumping sessions (but pump for a longer time) early on. However, for some women, frequency is more important than session length. It really seems to vary. So I can't give you any definite answers, sorry! Feel free to experiment a little, especially if you have a little stash built up at home. If your supply goes down, a few days of pumping will probably fix it.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: pumping frequency

    The short answer...maybe, and maybe not.

    Most moms find that when they have a "random" change, like working every other day, if they skip a nursing or pumping session, they become really uncomfortable because they get too full. Some also find that their supply drops, while others do just fine skipping one session every other day.

    In your shoes, I would consider nursing prior to work, pumping at lunch and then racing home to nurse if the two sessions are problematic. Or continuing to pump as you are doing, which is probably the best way for a mom of a 3 to 4 month old.

    Honestly, the BEST way to protect your supply and ensure you have adequate milk for a young baby is what you are doing, which is mimicking what he does at home. It's later for sure where you can drop sessions and nurse while together.
    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!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern NM
    Posts
    712

    Default Re: pumping frequency

    If I understand your schedule correctly, that would put the time between your last pump session and getting home to bf/pump at over 4 hours. That seems a bit long to me. Since you are pumping the amount that your LO is using, I would stick to the schedule that is working. Pumping is a bit of a pain, I know.
    I am Erin--happily married to the nerd of my dreams for 15 years
    High School Science Teacher
    Mother to: Thing 1 9/23/01, bf 15 mo, diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma 1/29/02, officially cancer free for ten years in August 2012
    Thing 2 6/6/05, bf 12 mo, obsessed with dynamite
    Glowworm 2/18/11, bf 15 months and counting

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    1,805

    Default Re: pumping frequency

    like the others said, it's individual. But there's no way I could have kept up my supply going that long between feedings at that age. The best thing for your supply is to empty more regularly. I tried pumping less frequently and noticed a dip in supply very quickly.
    Julia and Maxwell (and Dan and Haddie)
    Maxwell, born January 3, 2010
    A year on Mama's milk and still loving it

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    miles from nowhere
    Posts
    11,086

    Default Re: pumping frequency

    I agree, if you've found a routine that is working right now, keep it up. I'd maybe re-evaluate in a few months or after he starts eating solids and see if you could get away with pumping less then. For now, you're still in that zone where your supply could really be impacted by a change.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    103

    Default Re: pumping frequency

    thanks all, its unanimous. i will keep pumping every 3.5 hours... thanks again for the wisdom!

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