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Thread: Can I reduce pumping sessions now?

  1. #1

    Default Can I reduce pumping sessions now?

    My 34 week preemie is 4 weeks old now and taking 3 bottles of breast milk a day and the rest of the feedings are from the breast. We came out of the NICU doing 6 bottles and 2 breast feeds (to prevent tiring him out) but since he's been gaining good weight, we've slowly ramped up the breast feeding sessions. Eventually I'd like to get to just 1 bottle a day (for vitamins and for dad to give me some relief) and all other times are by breast.

    So how often should I be pumping? While baby was in the NICU, I was pumping every 3 hours and now have a HUGE stash in the freezer. My supply is good, so how many times a day do I still need to pump if he's feeding 5-6 times a day? I'm thinking I just pump for each bottle session and that's it? Or will reducing the pumping sessions so soon affect my supply? I actually would prefer to reduce down my supply but don't want to go too far and regret it. Advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Can I reduce pumping sessions now?

    congrats, mama! it sounds like you're doing AMAZING.

    so baby is nursing 5-6 times a day plus 3 bottles? that's 8-9 sessions total? normally at this age breastfed babies are feeding a minimum of 10, often 12 or more, times per day. so my advice would be as you are making these adjustments and moving to just 1 bottle a day, also start to move to more feedings per day. the more you nurse the less long stretches you'll have where you might have wanted to pump otherwise. at that point, then yes, just pump for each bottle session. and then your supply will reduce to what you need on its own.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,923

    Default Re: Can I reduce pumping sessions now?

    The PP gave perfect advice.
    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!"

  4. #4

    Default Re: Can I reduce pumping sessions now?

    Great, thanks for the help! What do you count as a feeding? Usually LO will nurse for 20-30 minutes every 2-3 hours. But sometimes, especially in the afternoon which I guess is when he's cluster feeding, he'll nurse for 10 minutes every hour. I'm not sure how to count those feedings but figure that's how to do it "on demand" right? Or should I be trying harder to get him to relatch and continue after the first 10 minutes? He usually falls asleep or really resists, so I stop knowing that he'll ask for it again later when he's ready.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Can I reduce pumping sessions now?

    yes, that's exactly what demand feeding looks like! different lengths at different frequencies. that's why protocols like "nurse every 3 hours" just don't work for EBF babies. sometimes it's hard to count but i would could the 10 mins every hour as separate feedings. sounds like you're doing the right thing there.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

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