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Thread: How long to pump?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Question How long to pump?

    How long do I need to pump? I just started using my pump today (within the last 30 minutes) and I don't know how long to pump. I suppose all women are different but if I'm pumping after each feeding what is an average time to do so and/or how do I know I did enough? My little one is just 8 days old and is currently being supplemented via an assistive device.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Default Re: How long to pump?

    My LC told me for 15 minutes, is that what you're asking, the actual time for each session? Then you want to pump probably 10-12 x/day. Why is your baby using assistive device, is it like an SNS?
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How long to pump?

    You're right, all women are different. But traditionally 15 minutes is a good starting point. I only last about 8-10 personally. I have a strong letdown and get most of my milk out in the first 5 minutes. Play around a little and see what works best for you. Also, I need to do breast compressions while I pump. Try that as well. You might get some more towards the end. I've never had any luck getting a second letdown either but some women do.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How long to pump?

    Ugh, pumping after every nursing session is exhausting. I would suggest, go as long as you can but no more than about 15 minutes per side.

    I assume you are pumping in order to 1) increase milk supply and 2) to have something to supplement baby with. But if you have enough milk for baby, why can't baby just get that by nursing? IS baby unable to nurse effectively?

    The best way to increase milk supply is to get milk out frequently and effectively, and a baby who can latch well is better at this than any pump. So pumping, while helpful as an extra push when dealing with low supply, should not take place of nursing, imo, UNLESS the issue is baby cannot extract the milk well or for some reason cannot nurse frequently.

    Why are you supplementing and who gave the lactation aid to you? Didn't they have a suggestion for you about how much to pump?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How long to pump?

    Meg, thisnisnthe mama who has had her milk take a long time to come in.

    Pump for about 15 minutes. But...breastfeeding is best for your supply nurse, then pump. Don't be frustrated if you don't get anythng. You are simply increasing demand to make milk
    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!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How long to pump?

    I'm pumping for about 5 minutes each side. That seems to be all the milk I have. I watch and watch and nothing more comes out.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How long to pump?

    It's still stimulation and will still help your body to get the message to make more if you keep pumping, try to increase the time. Is it painful to pump?
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How long to pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    Meg, thisnisnthe mama who has had her milk take a long time to come in.

    Pump for about 15 minutes. But...breastfeeding is best for your supply nurse, then pump. Don't be frustrated if you don't get anythng. You are simply increasing demand to make milk
    Oh, duh. Sorry. Yes I agree. Don't let what you can or cannot pump play with your mind. If you are pumping right after nursing, and baby nursed well, you would not expect all that much anyway, kwim? Pumping like this, It's for the extra stimulation which is likely needed/hopefully helpful while you are supplementing and also while you ramp supply back up.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Default Re: How long to pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jynae View Post
    I'm pumping for about 5 minutes each side. That seems to be all the milk I have. I watch and watch and nothing more comes out.
    I pump for about 10 min unless I am after a 2nd letdown then I pump for as long as twenty, that is when away from baby at work though. In your situation I would try for 10-15 each side.

    I know that it is hard but try not to watch your bottles and relax, every time I start watching and worrying about what I am pumping I seem to pump less and less.

    Are you doing compression's? Using a double electric pump (hospital grade is the best!!). What type of supplementing are you using a SNS is best because you still get the stimulation at the breast and will help with supply.

    Good Luck!!
    I am Klisti, I married my best friend Kris two years ago.

    The love of my life, Wyatt 8-28-11 AKA the little dude

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How long to pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jynae View Post
    I'm pumping for about 5 minutes each side. That seems to be all the milk I have. I watch and watch and nothing more comes out.
    That is OK. Just pump. It's the extra stimulation you are going for. And don't be frustrated if a week or more goes by where you still don't see anything. Pumping isn't as good as a baby, but better than nothing, for stimulating your supply. Just watch your baby and see how it's going there by watching stools; as baby gets more mama milk, they will change in color and consistency.
    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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