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Thread: How often to double pump for a one-sider?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    11

    Default How often to double pump for a one-sider?

    Hello,
    I go back to work tomorrow! my son is 10 weeks old. This is my third time going back to work and pumping, but this time it is a different job. I used to work two 10 hour days a week and would pump 3 times. But I now work three 6.5 hour days a week.

    My little guy only takes one breast per feeding session. I had issues with oversupply and I also have over active let down so he gulps it down in 5 minutes and he is so done, never interested in the other side. He eats every 2 hours during the day and wakes 2-3 times to eat during the night.

    So my thinking is that since each breast is resting for 4 hours, will it be ok for me to pump at 8am, then 4 hrs later at 12pm then I'd be home at 4 to nurse him....but he'd only take one side and that would leave the other side resting for 6 hours. I feel like it is going to be difficult to dedicate two half hour pumping sessions (including walk to lactation room, setup and clean up) into such a short work day, I'm not sure if it will be frowned upon if I don't then stay later or come in earlier to comp the pumping time.

    If it were no issue, I'd rather pump at 8am, 11am and 2pm, but then I worry that that would be too much with the oversupply issues that I've had. I know I could pump the other side at home if I only pump once at work, but with a 3 and 6 year old and no one else being there, things get pretty crazy sometimes. I wish things were working out easier in my head, I tend to over analyze things and get myself into a tizzy. Any advice on how to simplify this would be so appreciated!
    ~Sarah, momma to
    Gracie 7/2006
    Keira 12/2009
    Parker 2/2013

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    399

    Default Re: How often to double pump for a one-sider?

    I have similar issues as you -- relatively oversupply, single side nurser, relatively short work days (at least when I went back initially...now things are busier). Anyways, I think there are a couple of options, all of which will probably work.

    -One option would be to double pump at 12, then single pump the breast you won't be using at 4. Could you pump in the car on the way home? Then you'd be back in rhythm.

    -Another would be to just go with the flow, offer the first when you get home and make sure you switch sides each day, so everything is fairly even. If you have one side that is the real overproducer, you could even not offer that one first; it might make you at risk for plugged ducts in the short term but may even out your supply in the long term.

    - If you are struggling with oversupply I'm not sure I would pump at 11 and 2. My pump makes my oversupply worse, which thankfully we have enough freezer room, but still it screwed me up for when I was off and feeding on demand. You could start by pumping once a day and then as your supply regulates you could add a second session if you needed, especially as you get back into the rhythm of work.
    Ellen

    Mama-surgeon;
    DS Ethan 12/16/2008
    Breast fed/pumped 11 months as a surgical resident, 80 hours a week at work
    DS Abram Daniel 12/20/2012
    Feel like we've gotten a strong start

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,207

    Default Re: How often to double pump for a one-sider?

    I'm an oversupply working mama with a one-sided nurser, now pump-weaned (which has taken care of my oversupply, by the way!). Here's how I did it: nurse off one breast in the early am hours (like 4 or 5 am) - let's say the right side, nurse off the other breast before going to work - let's say the left side, pump both breasts two times in a ten hour day, nurse off the right side on arriving home, and then continue to alternate breasts through the evening and night. Personally I feel pumping just one breast is a waste of time. More time-efficient to pump both breasts and decrease frequency (or time pumping) if there's too much supply. I agree with Ellen that if you have oversupply, pumping every three hours could easily make things worse. I kept things even by just alternating breasts when nursing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: How often to double pump for a one-sider?

    Thank you both for your replies and advice! I ended up nursing him at 6:30 then pumping at 8 before leaving, then just once at work, at 12. I was prepared to pump one side when I got home (I would so wreck if I tried pumping while driving!) but he ended up taking both sides when I got home! The milk i pumped at 8 lasted him until i got home. I think he is going to be a reverse cycler like my 3 yo was. It felt good to just pump at 12 and not at 11 and 2...I think you're both right, it would be too much considering the oversupply issues. It really helped to hear from those who double pump for a one sided nurser! All the literature I ever read about pumping frequency says, "pump as often as your baby nurses". No way am I going to just pump one side every 2 hours! Hopefully things will continue to work out...I can't wait til he starts getting on any sort of schedule so I can plan things like this easier. He's so unpredictable still.
    ~Sarah, momma to
    Gracie 7/2006
    Keira 12/2009
    Parker 2/2013

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,207

    Default Re: How often to double pump for a one-sider?

    Glad you had a good day! He's still so little - I think things will get into more of a predictable routine, if not a schedule per se, as he gets a little older.

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