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Thread: 2 pump sessions or 3?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    81

    Default 2 pump sessions or 3?

    I am away from my baby from 7am-330pm, working as a teacher. Right now, I nurse her at 630am, and pump 3 times between 730 and 3pm, working around my class schedule. A couple times I've had meetings or something and only been able to pump twice, but I still manage to get the same amount in those two sessions as I would in three. My question is, if I go down to two pump sessions, can I expect to continue to get the same amount, or will it decrease over time if I don't do the three? I will absolutely do three if necessary, but if I can get away with two that would be awesome!
    7/28/11, weaned gently and gradually at 21 months

    1/9/14, enjoying having a little nursling again

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,175

    Default Re: 2 pump sessions or 3?

    Your baby is still really young, so I would strongly recommend sticking with 3 sessions. Periodically skipping the 3rd session probably isn't a big problem, but do it routinely and your supply will likely go down. It's possible that you could get away with it if you have a really high storage capacity, but that would be unusual.
    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
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: 2 pump sessions or 3?

    That's what I figured. I typically get about 3oz a session, sometimes 4, so on some days I pump a fourth time in the car to get an extra oz or 2 to meet her usual intake of about 11-12oz while we are apart. I've never made more milk than needed with either of my babies so I don't want to mess with it! Thanks!
    7/28/11, weaned gently and gradually at 21 months

    1/9/14, enjoying having a little nursling again

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lake Dallas, TX
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: 2 pump sessions or 3?

    Hmm, I wonder if I should add an extra pump to my work day....I have a 9 week old at home. I always nurse him as the last thing I do before I walk out the door. Then I pump two times when I'm at work, three hours after I feed him and then again three hours after that by the time I get to the next three hours I am back home. I almost always pump 6 oz a session. I've only been back to work for 5 days now. Should I add an extra session? My employer is VERY supportive and cool with me pumping as much as I need, so this wouldn't be a problem.

    Another concern (sorry to invade this feed) I am having is that I only get half of the volume out of my right breast - so in a session I will get about 4 oz out of my left breast and 2 oz out of my right - is this normal? We had some issues with my son's tongue tie before it was revised and my left nipple was the last to suffer, I wasn't nursing on it as much during that time (but I did pump it) and now I'm scared I have forever ruined the supply in my left side...if its not normal to produce less in one side, what would you suggest I do to increase production in my left breast?

    Thank you in advance!
    Mama to Sebastian Born 2/13/14

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: 2 pump sessions or 3?

    You mentioned in another thread that your LO is reverse cycling. So you're pumping 12 oz and how much is he drinking? It's common for moms to have a harder time pumping as the first year goes on. So you could either be proactive and add another pumping session now, or you could continue pumping twice but if you notice any drop in pump output, then add a third session. If your employer is supportive it probably doesn't hurt to add in a third session, you can always drop it if you think you are starting to develop an oversupply or consistently producing a lot more milk than baby is drinking.

    It's not uncommon for there to be asymmetry in milk production between the two breasts. It's also not uncommon for baby to prefer one side or the other which will tend to increase supply on that side. For example, sometimes baby likes the dominant side because it's easier to get milk (although in other cases baby likes the nondominant side because the letdown is not as fast) - but if baby prefers the dominant side that will increase supply on that side. If you like you could try favoring the nondominant side by offering that side first to baby. But one question is whether both your flanges are well-fitted - sometimes you need a different-sized flange on one side of the other to get optimal pumping output.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lake Dallas, TX
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: 2 pump sessions or 3?

    Yeah, he is definitely reverse cycling, he takes a very small amount while I am gone! I am definitely pumping more than he is drinking during the day. He will take anywhere from 1.5-3 oz each feeding while I am gone, usually closer to the 2 oz mark and my husband feeds him on demand and thats usually only twice, sometimes he requests a third feeding. I was really starting to worry he wasn't getting enough so I take him to BuyBuyBaby and use their sample baby scale to weigh him and he is still gaining, so I am pretty sure he is making up for that small amount during the day when I get home and during the night. I'm going to keep watching him closely because I haven't been back to work long enough to tell if the weekend feeding is what made him gain or if he is actually getting enough. I didn't think that was a bad thing to pump more than he was eating, I am definitely open to being wrong, I store in 4 oz bags (though I'm starting to wonder why) and I put two or three (depending) of them in the fridge for the next day and add 1 to the freezer for a back supply. Usually when I get home there is a bag left in the fridge and if that happens I just put two bags in the fridge and freeze the other two. My plan is to freeze whatever is left in the fridge on Friday and on Monday morning drop three of the frozen back supplied bags in the fridge and start again.

    I will stop stressing so much about my left breast! He definitely prefers the right side, I must have decent instincts because I have started nursing him on the left first, hoping this would help my dilemma...which isn't actually a dilemma-LOL.

    Thank you for your help!
    Mama to Sebastian Born 2/13/14

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: 2 pump sessions or 3?

    Okay, so it sounds like you have 6-8 oz extra per day? Am I getting that right? In that case I think I might continue with the current schedule and add in a third pumping session if he starts eating significantly more or if you notice a big drop in how much you are pumping. It is possible to do too much pumping and get yourself into an oversupply situation. With oversupply you deal with fullness/engorgement/leaking, risk of plugged ducts and mastitis. Not to mention that you will quickly run out of space in the freezer! But the way you are cycling through your freezer stash is perfect.

    It is definitely possible for baby to eat less during the day and make up for it at night. Of course you are right to keep an eye on things but in my mind it makes it a lot easier on a working mom when baby behaves as yours does. First, it's easier for you to meet his expressed milk needs, and second all the nighttime nursing makes it so much easier to keep up your supply, because baby nursing usually is a better supply stimulator than the pump.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lake Dallas, TX
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: 2 pump sessions or 3?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bfwmomof3 View Post
    Okay, so it sounds like you have 6-8 oz extra per day? Am I getting that right? In that case I think I might continue with the current schedule and add in a third pumping session if he starts eating significantly more or if you notice a big drop in how much you are pumping. It is possible to do too much pumping and get yourself into an oversupply situation. With oversupply you deal with fullness/engorgement/leaking, risk of plugged ducts and mastitis. Not to mention that you will quickly run out of space in the freezer! But the way you are cycling through your freezer stash is perfect.

    It is definitely possible for baby to eat less during the day and make up for it at night. Of course you are right to keep an eye on things but in my mind it makes it a lot easier on a working mom when baby behaves as yours does. First, it's easier for you to meet his expressed milk needs, and second all the nighttime nursing makes it so much easier to keep up your supply, because baby nursing usually is a better supply stimulator than the pump.
    That's right! I have about 8 oz extra a day! Ok I will stick to 2 sessions. I haven't been having any issues so far, definitely don't want to create any! I love that he is basicslly attached to me from the second I get home! I miss him so much! Thanks for your help and advice!
    Mama to Sebastian Born 2/13/14

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: 2 pump sessions or 3?

    Sounds like you are doing great.

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