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Thread: Discomfort when increasing time between pumping

  1. #1

    Default Discomfort when increasing time between pumping

    Hi there, I've been exclusively pumping since my baby was 2 weeks old due to latch issues, she's now 2 months and I plan to continue pumping until she's at least 6 months. Currently I'm pumping 15 minutes every 3 hours or sometimes sooner if my breasts get uncomfortably full. I'm getting about 6-8oz per session and it's enough for me to freeze 1-2 5oz bags a day. I've attempted to wait 4 hours between pumps but that seems to result in them becoming engorged and I end up having to massage them for the next few pumps to get them soft again. I'm really scared I'm going to cause myself a lot of pain and possibly reduce my supply if I try waiting very long between pumps, I've attempted cold compresses but it doesn't help much. I feel like 8-10 pumping sessions a day has me constantly hooked up to the pump and I would like to reduce frequency even if it means lengthening duration. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,912

    Default Re: Discomfort when increasing time between pumping

    Welcome to the forum!

    I can completely understand the desire to increase the time between pump sessions- pumping is definitely a chore that gets old! Unfortunately, I think you need to proceed with the knowledge that increasing time between pump sessions may come with some high costs, such as the possibility of decreased supply and increased risk for uncomfortable fullness, engorgement, plugged ducts, and mastitis. There's just no sure way to get the same amount of milk with fewer pump sessions- some moms can do it, but whether or not you as an individual can do it is an open question.

    The only thing you can do is to try to go 4 hours between pumps and see what happens. Maybe try going 3.5 hours between before making the jump to 4 hours. If you can get the same amount of milk with more widely spaced pump sessions, awesome. If not, you can always go back to what you were doing before- luckily, you must have a nice stash in your freezer to fall back on if you experience a dip in supply and need to take some time to build supply back up.

    This may be a long shot at this point, but have you tried latching the baby on recently? Maybe with the help of a nipple shield? A lot of moms turn to EP when they are facing latch problems in the early days. But babies often grow out of their latch issues- a bigger mouth and a stronger, more coordinated baby usually means a better latch. Things might be different now than they were when your baby was a newborn. If for no other reason, I would try because it might free you of all the pumping you are having to do!

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