I'm a little confused about when to pump sometimes. I work outside the home ~8 hours a day and I pump every 2-3 hours while away from baby. I've been pumping almost exactly what my baby takes from a bottle so I also want to try to fit in a pumping session here or there while I'm home for the freezer.
There are times when the baby has had a bottle an hour before I get home and doesn't want to nurse, or is napping when I get home, but I arrive home 3 hours after I last pumped so I really need to nurse. In those cases, I will usually pump at home. But then I worry that she'll be awake/hungry again in another 1/2 hour and my breasts will be pretty empty.
Or, like tonight, she went to sleep at 7 pm (she usually goes to bed with us around 9 and falls asleep anywhere between 10 and 11) and now it is after 9 and my breasts are starting to ache and I'd love to pump a few ounces for the freezer but I have no idea if she's going to sleep another 3 hours or wake up in the next 5 minutes.
I have read that it's best to pump after baby eats, and there have definitely been times when I have pumped and then she has unexpectedly wanted to nurse and I feel like she doesn't get ANYTHING. But I've also read that it's OK, that there will still be milk there for her.
Can anyone offer some guidance about what to do in these situations? What works for you? In general, should my LO be on a more consistent nap/bedtime schedule by now? It seems to be all over the place, which I'm fine with, but I am never sure when to pump and when to wait for her to nurse. My baby is just shy of 4 months old. Thanks!