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Thread: Is this pumping schedule okay?!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    17

    Default Is this pumping schedule okay?!

    I had a premie at 34 weeks. When he was in the NICU, I was told to pump 8 times a day for 10-15 minutes each time. Now that the baby is home, I am so exhausted I only get around to pumping when I get engorged, which is about 2-3 times a day. However, at each time, I pump for 30-40 minutes because the milk just keeps coming. I get about 180mL or more from each breast during each pumping session, which is more than what I need for the baby. Is it okay that I'm pumping so infrequently and for so long each time? Will this affect my milk supply when I transition from the bottle to the breast? I do try to breastfeed directly with a breast shield a couple of times per day but the baby just seems to suck and not swallow.

    Sarah

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    751

    Default Re: Is this pumping schedule okay?!

    I really dont know and I think a leader could help with this question. My fear would be your body slowly adjusts to only pumping a few times a day and your supply slowly decreases.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: Is this pumping schedule okay?!

    They probably told you to pump 8 to 10 times per day because that's about how often a new baby eats. I don't know the reasoning behind setting a time limit because just as you can make milk while the baby nurses you will make milk while you pump. I pump on days that I work and it takes me about 8 minutes to get empty and to go from gushes of milk to just drops- but as long as I'm pumping I still get little drips. The prior post is correct- your body will make milk based on how often your nurse or pump, so even though you are getting a good amount when you pump if you cut back on pumping you may risk decreasing your supply. Maybe you could try pumping every 2 hours during daylight hours and then give yourself a 4 to 5 hour break at night to get some solid sleep.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    185

    Default Re: Is this pumping schedule okay?!

    I don't know about the premie problems since fortunatly I didn't have them. I am an exclusive pumper however since we had so much trouble with getting her to the breast. My schedule to start with was pumping every 3 hours, so pretty much every time she ate I would pump, recently I've cut it back to every 4 hours and I'm still getting just as much, plus I cut out the 3am pumping session since it was getting to be too draining and I was already sleep deprived. If you continue to pump only 2 or 3 times a day your supply might decrease and if you're goal is to get him nursind exclusively then you really should pump every time he eats so that your body knows to keep a supply of milk all day and not just around the times you pump. It takes about 24 to 48 hours for your body to readjust to a new schedule so before you go solo breastfeeding make sure you've pumped along while he eats for a few days to readjust your body. I'm sure a Leader would have better advice I'm just speaking from my experience. Also any extra milk you get that he's not eating you can keep in the fridge for about a week or freeze and it keeps for about a month or two and then you have it in case there is a dip in your supply or some cause for you to be away. Good luck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Is this pumping schedule okay?!

    Congrats on making it out of the NICU! How old is your LO now? Here is my experience with a preemie... I had a 28 wk DS and I pumped every 2-3 hours for 15 min while he was in the NICU. You have to get your 8-10 pumps in per day to keep your supply. (There was a time when I went 45 minutes too because milk was still coming, and the lactation consultant said not to torture myself. phew.) So we started to breastfeed DS at 35 weeks and then give him a supplementle bottle (previously pumped frozen) of about 20mL just to help him gain some weight. He was wetting and messing enough diapers so I knew that he was doing ok. (DS was also using a shield and seeming not to swallow, BUT he was wetting and dirtying enough dipaers so we knew he was getting enough. So then I decided to get rid of the supplemental bottles...rememeber how I said that bottle was frozen milk??? Well, every time I gave him a bottle, I did not pump. I wasnt thinking. Because I was not keeping up my supply and giving him frozen milk, we then spent one month cluster feeding. NOT kidding, we spent an entire month nursing. He would eat every hour, but it took him 45-50 minutes to eat. I got 5 minutes to eat and relieve myself and he was hollerin for food again. He had to build my supply back up because I neglected to pump. Not really nice to do to a preemie who needs his strength. So I tell you, learn from my mistakes....keep up that supply! You really should only need to pump for 15 minutes every 2-3 hours. Take a longer break while you sleep. And watch for output to gage how much your LO is eating, not necessarily if you think he is swallowing or not. I never could. Pretty soon your LO will be strong enough to get a full feeding and you wont have to use the shield or the pump.. Keep in mind that sometimes the sheild can reduce the nipple stimulation which helps milk supply. If your babe has hit 40 weeks, I would ditch the shield, IMO. Best of luck to you!! Hang in there, because your preemie definately needs and appreciates mamma's milk.

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