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Thread: Should I pump both breasts?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    26

    Default Should I pump both breasts?

    Hello - I'm returning to work next week and I'm confused about how I should be pumping. DS only nurses from one breast per feeding, so I just alternate which one I use at each feeding. When I pump, should I be pumping from both breasts? During my practice pumps, I have only been pumping one. I have practiced with pumping both, but he seems to be unsatisfied at the next feeding.

    I will be able to nurse him during my lunch break, so I am planning:
    Nurse at wake-up around 5:30 to 6 AM
    Nurse at day care drop-off at 8
    Pump 10:30
    Nurse at day care at 1
    Pump 3:30
    Pick up and nurse at 5:30

    Should I pump both breasts during my two pump times? I am concerned with how I feed him now, there won't be enough milk left in them for him lunch time and pick up nursings.

    I was also thinking instead of that schedule, pump one breast while feeding him at 8 AM and 1 PM instead of doing the two in between pumps at 10:30 and 3:30. My breasts are already used to going about 5 hours in between feedings since I only use one. Could that work instead? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,983

    Default Re: Should I pump both breasts?

    Joe nursed from only one side at a time pretty much from birth. But I always pumped both sides. Since I had oversupply, I was able to pump both sides about HALF as frequently as I was nursing - that is, every 3-4 hours through the day. That made plenty of milk for me, and if I had pumped more, that would have aggravated the OS. But a lot of women find that they need to pump every 2-3 hours to make enough.

    Pumping one side while you're building a stash makes sense. But you're not going to want to take that extra time at work. You can get a lot more, more quickly, pumping both sides. If you pump at 10:30, I think you'll have plenty at lunchtime. That's an hour and a half to recover.

    Another quick thought from your other thread - since you're only giving one side at a time, which is classic for moms with great (or even too high) milk supply, I wanted to mention that overactive letdown can cause STRONG and uncomfortable letdown sensations. OALD is common for moms with oversupply, and it usually gets better after the first four or five months.


    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: Should I pump both breasts?

    I would pump both sides, for the reasons JoMo said. If it turns into a problem, you back off.
    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
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Should I pump both breasts?

    Thanks guys, I'll give that a try.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,983

    Default Re: Should I pump both breasts?

    You kind of have to play it by ear (play it by boob? ) for the first week. But you'll figure out your rhythm.


    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.

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