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Thread: Pumping less frequently?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    59

    Default Pumping less frequently?

    I had a meeting this morning and wasn't able to pump for about a 6-hour stretch. Afterward I pumped 9 oz, which is as much as I did for THREE pumps yesterday! They say frequently is always better, but I feel like pumping every 2 hours ultimately yields LESS total for me! Has anyone ever had the experience of yielding more total per day by pumping less frequently? Or does it just slowly decrease your supply?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: Pumping less frequently?

    It slowly decreases your supply. The first time, yeah, you might get more, because of the milk accumulating over a longer stretch. But then your body interprets that long stretch of the milk just sitting there to mean that it doesn't need to make as much milk, so your supply will go down.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,355

    Default Re: Pumping less frequently?

    Far better to pump every 2 hours, even if you yield less milk. Your body will interpret long stretches without milk removal as a cue to reduce supply.
    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
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Pumping less frequently?

    yeah, that's what I thought - it's just kind of frustrating to pump every 2 hours and get an ounce or two max each time so I was hoping there might be some sort of secret way that this works for some people! Thanks!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,355

    Default Re: Pumping less frequently?

    Wouldn't that be awesome?!? There are some moms who can go really long stretches without removing milk and still maintain good supply. But they are really rare, and they are generally moms with really persistent oversupply issues.
    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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    624

    Default Re: Pumping less frequently?

    I completely agree with PPs about the pumping frequency. Over time, yes, infrequent removal will make your milk supply go down.

    I do want to ask you one question, though--did you happen to pump for a longer duration of time when you pumped out those 9 oz? Do you usually pump just until your initial letdown finishes? I'm just wondering if the reason you got a higher total output on this day you went the long stretch is because you actually pumped for a longer total amount of time. Some moms need their session length to be a little bit longer to yield the best results with pumping. I'm just wondering if that might be the case for you, if you are routinely pumping 1-2 oz per session. (It was absolutely the case for me, that's why I'm asking!)
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Pumping less frequently?

    Thanks for your reply! At first I was only pumping through the initial letdown but then through a tip from another forum I started changing back to stimulation phase after I run out and I can usually get 1-2 more letdowns from that. But on those subsequent letdowns I'm usually getting only about an ounce total max - they seem like mini-letdowns I still try to get them anyway, of course! And either way I try to pump at least 20 minutes even though usually I'm out of milk by about 5-10 minutes even with multiple letdowns (is this normal?)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    624

    Default Re: Pumping less frequently?

    Yeah, that's normal. And often what my pumping sessions looked like later on in my first year! I would keep on "pumping dry" though, every bit of stimulation helps.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

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