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Thread: Advice on Pumping frequency

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    16

    Default Advice on Pumping frequency

    Hi All,

    I had my beautiful baby girl in January and we have been exclusively breastfeeding until this past Monday, when I had to go back to work.

    On Monday I had a pretty good yield, I pumped almost exactly what she ate (I sent frozen milk to daycare for Monday). She ate 10.5 oz, I got 10 oz. My day was as follows:

    5 AM - nurse
    7:40 AM - nurse at the daycare
    11:30 AM - Pump (got 6 oz)
    3:30 PM - Pump (got 4 oz)
    5:30 PM - Nurse (she was excited, she is not the keenest on bottles!)
    7:30 PM - Nurse
    10 PM - Nurse before putting her to bed

    So the day went well. Then Tuesday I thought, "maybe I'll pump 3 times" so I can get more. But I got less! I moved the afternoon pump to 2:30 and pumped again at 4:30. I got 4 oz in the morning, 3 at 2:30 and only 1 oz at 4:30, so I got less than Monday (only 8 oz)

    I am scared my supply is going down. . . any advice? I feel like pumping twice was actually better for me. We have had no supply issues, and I had a decent stash in the freezer. I would say I am normal to high supply, definitely not over supply.

    Trying to figure out my pumping schedule for today....

    Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,147

    Default Re: Advice on Pumping frequency

    If you're concerned about supply, you always want to choose more sessions even if you get less milk. I'm guessing that what happened is that on Monday you pumped rather infrequently (about every 4 hours) and as a consequence your supply dropped, leaving less to pump out on Tuesday, even though you pumped 3 times. I recommend sticking with the 3 pump sessions/day and give it a week or so. If after a week you're not getting better results or your supply continues to drop, then you want to look at your pump (maybe you need a better machine, maybe your machine needs rehab, maybe you need different shields, etc.) and also add in more sessions.
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Advice on Pumping frequency

    Thanks mommal for the advice. That is a good theory, I never thought of that! I just pumped now and got 5.5 oz, so .5 oz less than what I got on Monday. Pumping is not one of my favorite things, so doing it 3 times is a real drag. But if it means more milk for my daughter, I will do it!

    Maybe I should do 10:30, 1:30, and then 4:30? That way they are all spaced 3 hours?

    My pump is pretty much brand new. It was part of the Medela recall in 2010, so they sent me a new one a month ago.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Advice on Pumping frequency

    Empty breast makes more than a fuller one, so keep them empty

    Dont worry about 0.5 oz fluctuations. They happen.

    My DH's first name is Chatt. I've neve seen anyone else with that spelling.
    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!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Advice on Pumping frequency

    Thanks April. I was just indirectly asking if there was any way I could get by with pumping two times. But guess not! My last name begins with Chatt!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Advice on Pumping frequency

    He is named after someone with the last name of Chatt, actually, from the south

    Some mkms can do twice a day, but usually they are the ones who are drowning their babies when they nurse. Moms with normal to slightly high supply should probably pump a bit more often.
    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!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Advice on Pumping frequency

    Hi. My experience is similar to yours. I've tried pumping both three times and two times at work and find that I get as much or more from two sessions. It contradicts all the advice I've heard and read that more frequent pumping creates more milk, but I have found (after five months with baby) that my well just takes a while to refill and it doesn't pay to pump before I give my body a chance to produce more milk. Pumping twice doesn't seem to affect the amount of milk I have when I breastfeed baby directly. This goes against most of the advice I've seen out there, but it's my experience, so take it for what you will. Good luck.

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