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Thread: when working 4-5 hours per day how much milk should i pump?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    Default when working 4-5 hours per day how much milk should i pump?

    Hello ladies,

    i am about to start working part time 4-5 hours, 4 days per week and need to start pumping milk for my 9 month fully breastfed baby-girl. So far i am with her the whole time and she is breastfeeding whenever she wants. How much milk should i pump daily? My husband is going to feed her while i am away...
    What pumping method or device is more appropriate?
    And one more thing will this affect our breastfeeding relationship at all?

    Thank you all in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: when working 4-5 hours per day how much milk should i pu

    Hi doria,
    The idea with pumping is to try to give your breasts a similar amount of stimulation/milk removal as they would get if you were together with baby and nursing. So over 4-5 hours, typically baby would probably nurse a couple of times, right? So it would be reasonable to shoot for two pumping sessions during your separation and see how things go. But, if you nurse immediately before and immediately after working, even one session might be enough. For example, nurse at 8 am, pump at 11 am, nurse at 2 pm.

    While you are away, during a 4 or 5 hour separation, baby will need on average between 4 and 7 ounces of milk, in 2-4 ounce portions. (How much your baby actually drinks of course will also guide how much you need to pump - if you find that baby is drinking 4 oz while you are away, and you are able to pump 4 oz in one session, then one session will be enough.) Since your baby is 9 months you might consider doing cup feeding rather than bottle feeding. Here are some resources for feeding expressed milk to a breastfed baby:

    Alternatives to bottle-feeding:

    Most mothers have limited time at work to pump. The most time-efficient way to pump is using a double-electric pump, so that is what most mothers will use when working.

    I doubt working will affect your breastfeeding relationship. You have a very well-established breastfeeding relationship at this point! Of course, it is completely normal to worry about the separation from your baby. But in that way breastfeeding is a wonderful thing - being able to nurse baby as soon as you walk in the door is such a lovely way to reunite with baby after the separation. As long as you continue nursing on demand and offering often when you are together, and maintaining the same kind of close, responsive relationship you already have, there is no reason not to continue nursing as long as you and baby like. I will tell you from my own personal experience, I have worked full-time with all my babies and never had a problem. With my current LO, I went back to work at 6 weeks and I work a lot of hours and she is still nursing happily at 18 months!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    miles from nowhere

    Default Re: when working 4-5 hours per day how much milk should i pu

    I think if you nurse baby right before you leave and as soon as you get back you should be able to just pump once while you're gone. But it's okay to try different ways of doing it to see what works best for you. I'd probably leave a 3 ounce bottle and maybe a 1-2 ounce top-off bottle just in case. I wouldn't expect baby to take any more than 4 maybe 5 ounces in that time and at that age, it's okay to try to put baby off a bit until mom gets home if she gets hungry. It may be a good time for dad to experiment with some fun solids.
    “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.”

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Default Re: when working 4-5 hours per day how much milk should i pu

    Have you gone back to work yet? How is it going? I was going to respond but then realized this was an older post.
    Proud mama to 2 boys

    DS # 1- 4 years old, EBF for 6 months

    Currently EBFing DS #2 age 4 months

    BF goal: 1 year

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