I'm a first time Mom and I gave birth to a tiny, but healthy preemie girl at 33 weeks 4 days on 2/27/12. For the week that she was in the NICU before coming home I pumped to build supply and to ensure that she would only receive breast milk. Since coming home, she has been exclusively breastfed with the exception of a few bottles of expressed breast milk.
I have continued to pump after each feeding, because although I feed her on demand and she is gaining weight like a champ (at least an ounce a day since being home), she still only feeds from one breast at a time. Length between feeds ranges from 1-4 hours. We rented a Medela Baby Weigh Scale so we could get an accurate idea of her intake from each feed, and she ranges from 1-2.5 ounces whenever she eats. Since she's still so small, she only weighs 5 pounds 10 ounces, that seems sufficient to quell her hunger as well as ensure a steady weight gain. Her output is great too, 8 wet and 5-7 dirty diapers a day.
I was just wondering, when can I (or should I) stop pumping? No one told me what to do once we left the hospital. My supply seems good. I can usually pump at least 2 ounces from the breast she hasn't fed on, and usually about another ounce from the one she has. While this is great because I am building quite the freezer stash for when I go back to work in June, I feel like all I ever do is breastfeed, pump, and clean pump parts. It's getting exhausting - especially overnight. Not only that, it pretty much ensures we can never leave the house. When can I safely forgo the pumping without affecting my supply? Is it too early? Should I wait until she has reached her feeding maximum?