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Thread: how soon after each feed should i pump?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Default how soon after each feed should i pump?

    I have to return to work the first week of August and must store enough milk in order to return to work. My baby is 3 weeks old and i have been pumping after each feeding (8 sessions per day). I have not been consistent with the exact time i pump with each session. Should I be pumping immediately after i feed my son or should i wait 20-30 minutes after i feed him so my milk can get a chance to come in? does it matter with timing as long as i pump in-between feedings?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Default Re: how soon after each feed should i pump?

    You might get different answers but I'd wait 20+ minutes so you can have a little more milk and then it's also soon enough that you'll have plenty for the next nursing session. You always have some milk in your breasts but in my experience it can be harder to get out right after nursing/harder for baby to nurse right after a pump session.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: how soon after each feed should i pump?

    Thank you this is helpful. I have tried immediately after nursing (suggested by a nurse) and find that I am sitting there waiting and waiting for milk to come out after bf my son.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: how soon after each feed should i pump?

    Gosh, that's a lot of pumping when you have a 3 week-old baby, considering that you're still a month away from returning to the job. Storing enough for a return to work often means just getting about 1-2 days ahead of baby's intake (about 1.5 oz of milk per hour of separation). Once you're back at work, and pumping instead of nursing rather than in addition to nursing, you should yield more milk per session, and you'll be able to give fresh milk rather than stored milk.
    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!"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: how soon after each feed should i pump?

    Yeah, when do you have to return to work, mama? I only pumped once a day for a period of weeks to get enough stashed for my return to work. (And I do not have an overabundant supply!) I would have been exhausted pumping that many times during my maternity leave!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: how soon after each feed should i pump?

    Also keep in mind that pumping that many times a day may send you into oversupply territory, which can be a big pain - setting you up for engorgement, plugged ducts, and mastitis down the road. A lot of mothers find they get very little out of the pump at first - maybe half an ounce or an ounce - but that gradually increases with time. And even if it doesn't, as long as you still have a couple weeks to go, you should get plenty for that first day back; then you pump each day for the next day. I did the same as sonogirl - pumping once a day in the morning - to build up what I needed for going back to work.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: how soon after each feed should i pump?

    hi everyone thank you for responding so quickly. The reason I am pumping so much is I only am getting 6 weeks maternity leave (my son was born 6/9) so that leaves me until 7/22 to return to work. I work 10 hour shifts five days a week. I have a demanding job (I work in the medical field) and I know I am entitled to breaks for pumping but honestly it is so stressful I am not sure if i'll do well pumping at work. So if i pump 1.5 oz of milk per hour of separation that puts me at the need to pump 15 oz per day. Right know I am pumping 3 oz per session x 8 sessions per day to store is 24 oz a day I am pumping in addition to bf. It may seem crazy pumping all this milk and storing now but I don't know of any other solution and I refuse to use supplement feeding unless medically necessary due to budgeting reasons

  8. #8
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: how soon after each feed should i pump?

    So let's say you pump 24 ounces a day for the next 20 days. That puts you at 480 ounces. And let's say baby drinks 15 ounces a day. That 480 ounces is going to last 32 days. ie, nowhere near long enough to exclusively feed your baby breastmilk until 1 year. I really don't see a way for you to do that if you're working 50 hours a week and not pumping at work. I appreciate that your job is stressful and busy but if you want to exclusively breastfeed, you need to find a way to add pumping in. Some ideas: do you have charting you need to do? Can you chart while pumping hands-free? Eat lunch while pumping hands-free? An RN mom on here posted a little while back about giving report behind a curtain while pumping! Sometimes it takes thinking outside the box, sometimes it takes talking to a supervisor.

    I also want to reiterate that if you are now pumping 24 ounces on TOP of nursing round the clock you are going to be in serious pain when you do go back to work, if you're not able to pump. And even if you do pump, it sounds like you will not be removing milk at nearly the rate you are now. 24 ounces is the amount a 1 month old drinks in 24 hours (and the amount a 6 month old drinks in 24 hours) - so you are essentially doing the equivalent of feeding twins right now! You might want to consider tapering down the pumping as you get closer to your work start date.

    I know this is really stressful mama - I went back to work at 6 weeks with my second and third babies. It's really hard to think about how you are going to fit pumping into a busy schedule, on top of the stress of going back to work with such a tiny baby. I made my head spin thinking about how it was all going to work out but somehow, once I actually got back in there and figured out how to make my schedule work around pumping, it worked out. It definitely takes planning and thinking about but it definitely can be done!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: how soon after each feed should i pump?

    isn't my supply suppose to build? won't that let me cut back on pumping sessions? I may be able to squeeze in at lunch time and pump on the way to work and on the way back from work. (i have the car adapter and hands free pumping bra). I just don't think I can pump every three hours at work religiously like I am now. I will definitely be speaking to a supervisor before I return but she herself just came back from maternity leave and said is finding it hard to find time at work to pump. She is helping me with when to start to taper down on pumping. I may need to just take the non paid FMLA to build my stash. My concern is I run patient's and have no one to cover my shift AND my office doesn't have a good space to pump and I would have to use an exam room which will cut into office hours or I will have to pump in my car.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Default Re: how soon after each feed should i pump?

    I really think you need to figure out pumping at work a little more before you return and create an extra-stressful first day back. You need to pump and working full time not pumping every 3 hrs is going to kill your supply. Slowly, maybe, but it will suffer. I work in the medical field too and highly stressful and it is hard to find time to pump but you have to do it for your baby. Also, maybe if you get the way paved for you to pump well you'll be helping other women in your workplace to be able to pump. If you company needs a new policy or a new room designated or just some signs to put on another door, they really ought to work with you. Pumping for your child will keep him healthier and require you to take less time off to be home with your sick child.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

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