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Thread: Frequency of pumping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    75

    Default Frequency of pumping

    I'm trying to get into the swing of pumping at work. My goal is every 2.5 hours. My question is this - if I have a conflict an hour after pumping that's going to keep me from pumping for 3.5 hours, should I pump quickly again after an hour or wait it out? I guess basically I need to know if frequency or duration is preferred?
    mom to four energetic kids ages 6,7,8 and our newest arrival born 8/14/2012

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

    Default Re: Frequency of pumping

    Like all things with breastfeeding, the answer is going to be different for every mom. Most moms find that frequency is more important than duration when it comes to maintaining supply, but there are always going to be moms out the who can get by with fewer, longer sessions. I think the general answer to this question is that if you respond really well to the pump and have absolutely no problem getting the milk you need, you can wait an additional hour or maybe even 2 before pumping again. If you're struggling to get the milk you need, then you want to err on the side of increased frequency and pump again before going in to that long meeting or whatever.
    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
    Nov 2006
    Location
    miles from nowhere
    Posts
    11,108

    Default Re: Frequency of pumping

    I agree with the above. Though I'd add that if I missed a pumping session I'd probably go ahead and pump as soon as possible both for comfort and to avoid messing with supply. The longer you stay full the more likely your breasts get that message to pull back on production. Depends on how sensitive you are to supply changes though.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    296

    Default Re: Frequency of pumping

    I agree with mommal. I find frequency is the most important thing. If I have a situation at work where I can't pump at my normal time, I will definitely pump early if I possibly can. Even if it's immediately after I've already nursed, or an hour or so after I just pumped, it's worth it for me. But sometimes, I think most moms who are routinely making enough milk can occasionally get away with a longer stretch than they are used to.

    I find that my first goal needs to be to pump once for each bottle my baby takes. The timing of the pumping is important but secondary. It's ideal to keep your pumping sessions spaced out so that they are roughly at the same time the baby is taking the bottle, but what is most important i just getting that pumping session in. That is to say, the primary problem with waiting 3.5 hours is not that you aren't pumping for 3.5 hours per se, it has more to do with the possibility that you won't end up removing milk from your breasts as many times that day. So if you do wait 3.5 hours, I would try to make your next pumping session earlier so that you don't end up pumping one less time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: Frequency of pumping

    I can't thank you enough for the responses. I have a feeling I'm going to be posting lots of questions in the coming days as I get in the swing of working and pumping. I'm so terrified that I'm going to do something to mess up my supply and not be able to get it back. The good (and bad) news is that LO still won't take a bottle so I don't have to pump much to keep up with demand right now! LOL!!!
    mom to four energetic kids ages 6,7,8 and our newest arrival born 8/14/2012

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