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Thread: When can I start to pump?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    29

    Default When can I start to pump?

    I actually haven't given birth to my second baby yet. I'm due in a few days I am curious on when I can start to pump. With my first son I was able to stay home for a year so I really didn't need to pump. Unfortunately this time around I will have to return to work when the baby is about 8 weeks. I am worried I won't have enough milk for bottles and want to start storing as soon as possible. Please help. How early can I start pumping and how often should I pump? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    926

    Default Re: When can I start to pump?

    That will largely depend on what your supply is like with this baby and how nursing is going early on.
    Make sure you nurse very frequently in the early weeks to get your supply off to a really good start. Early on hand expression is better at extracting colostrum if it is necessary for any reason. Learn about hands on pumping, breast massage and compressions in case they are needed if for any reason you can't get baby to latch on early you will want to start pumping right away to get your milk to come in.
    I recommend the book Balancing Breast and Bottle. Order it now so you have time to read it before hand.

    If your supply is normal, you might want to start practicing with the pump after a few weeks (when you recover enough to even consider it.) Most moms will pump once a day say right after the first morning feeding when they are nursing full time to store up a freezer stash.

    If you have over supply you will probably want to limit pumping as it can exasperate the problem but if over supply and overactive let down are the case you may be able to collect the "extra" milk that leaks while you are nursing and store up a starter stash that way.

    If your supply is low, you will probably want to get your hands on a hospital grade rental pump and pump right after as many feedings as you can per day and this can help bring up supply as well as provide any supplements needed and hopefully as supply improves you would then be able to start storing up milk.

    Provided you have a good pump and will be able to pump at work, you don't actually need to store up all that much milk for bottles. Really only need to store up enough for the first day back and then maybe a little buffer stash. Each day at work you will be pumping for the next day.

    It will probably be important to get a good pump and practice with it, make sure the flanges fit properly and pumping is comfortable. Pumping does take practice since letting down for a machine is not the same as with the baby.

    There is a whole forum section about pumping and milk storage so have a look in there for links to articles about maximizing milk when pumping.
    Last edited by @llli*tclynx; August 3rd, 2014 at 01:10 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,952

    Default Re: When can I start to pump?

    It is generally advised that moms spend the first 4-6 weeks just nursing, making sure the baby has a great latch and is adept at the breast, and getting supply more or less equivalent with demand. Introducing pumping very early on can result in oversupply, or tempt mom to offer bottles of milk long before a bottle should be introduced.

    Since you have just 2 months before you need to go back to work, I would aim to spend the first 4 weeks just nursing. At 4 weeks, if nursing is going well, add in a single pump session per day, after your first morning nursing session. Most moms have the most extra milk at that time. If you find you're socking away several oz per day, then that may be all you need to get a great freezer stash going for your return to work, where hopefully you will be able to pump and thus bring home fresh milk every day. The freezer stash should function more as a cushion, in that scenario.
    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
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    926

    Default Re: When can I start to pump?

    what mammal said!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: When can I start to pump?

    Thanks ladies this helps

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