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Thread: Pumping question

  1. #1

    Default Pumping question

    I have a three month old in daycare eating four ounces every two hours, sometimes 3. My question is, I pump at 10 and 2 at work. I get around two ounces each breast at each pumping session. Does that amount sound normal to you? Also if I was combine the pumping sessions into one lets say only pump at 2 and skip the 10 do you think that would keep my supply the same or weaken it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,598

    Default Re: Pumping question

    Yes, 2 oz per pumping session is very normal output. It might be a little on the low side considering that you're going 4 hours between pumping sessions, but then pumps aren't as effective as babies are at getting milk from the breast, so most moms who pump tend to pump less milk than their breasts are actually making. Upgrading to a better pump, rehabbing your current pump, or shortening your pump intervals (try pumping every 2-3 hours instead of every 4) might enable you to get more milk while you're at work.

    Lengthening the intervals between pump sessions would probably reduce your milk supply. Remember, supply = demand. Skip one of those opportunities to demand, and your body is going to respond by making less milk. If you're tempted to try it anyway, let me tell you what is likely to happen: the first few times you do this, you'll get the same amount of milk from one session that you used to get from two sessions. But after a while, you'll find you're making less than you used to with two sessions.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    138

    Default Re: Pumping question

    I'd like to add, that you'll probably be really uncomfortable if you go that long without expressing milk.

    Is there a way that you could add a third session? Like maybe a 4 p.m. one? or shift your sessions to fit in a third like 9:30, 1:30 and 3:30?

    I've also found that it helps me to do breast compressions while pumping, basically massaging along the breast tissue while the pump is going, and I often do a second letdown per session (I have a Medela PISA, not sure how it works on other pumps). I can usually get at least another half ounce from each side by doing that.
    Last edited by @llli*tallmadre; October 18th, 2012 at 07:33 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: Pumping question

    agree with PP and will add that most moms find it gets more and more difficult to pump enough as their babies get older, so 3 months is way too early to drop a pump, if you want to continue providing mostly milk for baby until a year.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Pumping question

    At three months, if you feel like your output is low, you should increase the frequency of your pumping sessions, not decrease it. At first, you may not get a ton more, but the extra stimulation will signal your brain to make more milk, so after several days of pumping more, you'll make more milk. Personally, I think 4 hours is too long to go during the early months (later, when your milk supply is better established and baby is taking solids, you may be able to go longer). So I second (or third, or whatever ) the recommendation to pump more frequently if you want to increase your production, and definitely don't pump LESS frequently because that will surely decrease your production at this point. Not pumping signals your brain that the milk isn't needed, so it tends to decrease supply.


    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.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pumping question

    At three months you should NOT eliminate any pumping sessions as it will LIKELY damage your supply. The question is are you pumping enough for the the next day with those two pumping sessions? Are you getting 4oz from each boob? For a total of 12 on the day? Or are you only getting 8oz a day? Because if you are only getting 8 I think you probably are going to need to ADD a session. But if you are getting 12oz a day you should just continue to pump twice a day.

    Way too lazy for formula

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