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Thread: When can I start pumping?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Default When can I start pumping?

    New mom, new to breastfeeding. I have been breastfeeding for two weeks and baby is now only nursing on one side at a time. When can i start pumping and storing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,006

    Default Re: When can I start pumping?

    What's your goal- are you returning to full-time work, and if so, when do you start? Or are you just looking to produce a small stash for an occasional sitter?
    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
    Jun 2014
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    Default Re: When can I start pumping?

    My goal is to have a small stash for nighttime feedings and for an occasional sitter. I am returning to work full time but not for another 8weeks. I haven't decided if I will continue to pump at work or not? I guess I need to see how easy it is and if it's feasible with a demanding work schedule.

  4. #4
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: When can I start pumping?

    Okay, 8 weeks until you return to work is great! You have plenty of time to pump for a stash. Just don't start quite yet. You want to spend the baby's first 4-6 weeks just focusing on nursing, making sure that's going really well. Once it is, then you can start adding in some pumping and some bottles.

    When you do start pumping, begin with a single pump session per day. Most moms do one right after the baby's first morning feeding, because that's when most moms find that they have some extra milk. Pump at the same time of day for several days in a row, and then take a look at how much milk you're getting. If a single pump session is yielding enough for your needs, stick with it. If not, start adding in additional post-feeding pump sessions until you are getting enough milk.

    I definitely encourage you to continue to pump once you're back at work. What sort of job do you do? Maybe we can suggest some ways to combine work and pumping.
    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
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Default Re: When can I start pumping?

    When you say do a single pump session, does that mean both breasts or just the side he hasn't nursed off of? Also if I don't get enough for one feeding during a pump session can you combine milk from a later session to make up the difference? Does that change how long it will last?
    I work as a Radiation Therapist at a cancer center. We are non-stop with a very demanding schedule. We do get two 15minute breaks but they are not guaranteed and a 30 minute lunch.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
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    585

    Default Re: When can I start pumping?

    Do you work in the US? Federal law mandates that employers provide their lactating moms with break time and a space to pump for the baby's first year. And in some states, this protection is even better--in my state, for example, the right to express milk is protected for three years after the birth of a child!

    I also work in health care. I understand how overwhelming it can feel to return to this line of work and find time to pump. (Especially if you happen to be a mom who needs more than the average number of pumping breaks, like I was!) I suggest that you express your intention to pump to your employer now to give them time to find you a space and figure out how to get you your needed breaks! Many of us also have other creative ways of sneaking in extra sessions that we can share if it comes to that, but I do think you should at least start by talking to your supervisors. You will likely be pleasantly surprised!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: When can I start pumping?

    When you say do a single pump session, does that mean both breasts or just the side he hasn't nursed off of?
    How about starting out by pumping just the breast the baby didn't use, and seeing what you get? If it's not enough for your liking, start pumping both breasts.

    Also if I don't get enough for one feeding during a pump session can you combine milk from a later session to make up the difference?
    Yes. Remember, you can always just offer a second bottle. No need to create huge bottles- in fact, it's usually better to keep the portions small, as it forces the person who is feeding the baby to pause the feeding in order to reach for another serving. Pausing the feeding gives baby a chance to burp and to assess his own hunger cues, and therefore can result in less overfeeding.

    Does that change how long it will last?
    Yes. The expiration date for combined milk is the same as for the oldest milk in the bag or bottle.

    I work as a Radiation Therapist at a cancer center. We are non-stop with a very demanding schedule. We do get two 15minute breaks but they are not guaranteed and a 30 minute lunch.
    As the PP said, your right to breaks and to a clean, private, non-bathroom place to pump may be protected under federal law.

    Reasons to stand up for your right for pump breaks:
    - You are not going to be pumping milk forever. You are asking for less than a year of increased flexibility. That's not much to ask from your employer or your colleagues.
    - If your baby is going to be at daycare, he's going to be exposed to all sorts of nasty germs. Breastfed babies get sick less often and recover faster than formula-fed ones, and that means their moms have to take less time off from work. Continuing to nurse could mean you get more time on the job.
    - Expressing milk is good for your health, and healthy employees cost their employers less money.
    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!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: When can I start pumping?

    Thanks for all the great info! I have so many questions and this breastfeeding thing isn't as easy as I thought.
    A little off topic for pumping, but my little guy has started becoming very aggressive while nursing. Not every time but a few times throughout the day. He squirms and kicks, and pulls his head back. Is he not getting enough to eat? Too much? Any ideas?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,006

    Default Re: When can I start pumping?

    If you're nursing on demand and the baby is having adequate wet/poopy diaper output, there's no reason to worry about milk supply. Young babies often have little nursing quirks- annoying, inexplicable, temporary quirks. The squirming, kicking, and pulling back could be the baby's reaction to a flow that is too fast or too slow for his liking. He could be tired. He could be trying to work out a burp, poop, or toot. He could be distracted. He could just be trying his hardest to nurse effectively, but demonstrating that he does not yet have complete mastery over the art of nursing.
    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!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: When can I start pumping?

    Okay thanks again for all the helpful info!!

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