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Thread: Should I pump in the middle of the night?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    83

    Default Should I pump in the middle of the night?

    My LO is now 6 weeks and has started sleeping 4-5 hour stretches...this was a dramatic change from last 2 week when she was sleeping 2-3 hours, which I great from the weeks before when it was 1 hour. Anyhow, now that the stretches are longer my breast get engorged at night and wondering if I should pump while she is sleeping. I would love to sleep also, but don't want my milk supply to decrease if I don't pump.

    Can I go without pumping without hurting my milk supply?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    789

    Default Re: Should I pump in the middle of the night?

    I'm not sure if I can offer good advice, I'll be looking to see what more experienced mom's say. However, based on much reading I've done, I would say it's a tough call. Your baby is still very young (you're so lucky she's sleeping longer stretches) so it definitely wouldn't hurt to keep pumping just in case your supply is still being established. On the other hand, our bodies are amazing and usually adjust and still produce just the amount your baby needs. Eventually you won't be so engorged at night but will still produce enough. However, I think if it was me I'd pump once a night for a week or so and see if this sleeping pattern continues, unfortunately it may not . If you get all your pumping supplies ready the night before it shouldn't cut in to your sleeping time too much! Plus you'll have a little extra for the freezer!

    Anne- Mom to two active boys: Henry 10/06 and Jamie 4/09


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Should I pump in the middle of the night?

    My thought is, your body will produce as much as you need. I BF on demand and only pump when I'm away from my baby. If he wakes up every 2-3 hours again, your baby won't starve. She might just BF more frequently for awhile. Your milk supply is based on your baby's demand. I thought for sure that when my baby was BFing every hour that he wasn't getting anything, but he was. If you get engorged, it's ok to pump to be more comfortable. If you don't wake up when your baby is sleeping, I don't think your milk supply will decrease. Your body will adjust to your baby's new schedule. Our bodies are absolutely amazing and adapt very well to our babies' needs. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    751

    Default Re: Should I pump in the middle of the night?

    I echo a lot of what the pp said. I wouldn't wake up to pump. You need your rest enough as is. Your body will amazingly adjust to how much your LO needs and when your LO wants milk.

    If the baby is sleeping - I suggest sleeping as well.

    HEre is a story for you. I decided to pump in the middle of the night when DD was like 3 months because I wanted to keep my supply up. So without fail, like 30 minutes after I pumped DD woke up hungry and of course then I didn't have much. So I was up twice as long between pumping, feeding, and then getting a bottle ready because she was still hungry. That was the first and last time I tried that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Should I pump in the middle of the night?

    I still pump in the middle of the night and my LO is 9 months old. She goes to daycare 4 hours a day and the middle of the night is when I get the most milk. I feel reassured that she gets enough while I am away. However, I have recently noticed a drop in my milk supply and I think it is due to the frequency of my feedings/pumping. I have only been feeding or pumping 5-6 times a day. I do think that frequency has everything to do with it. Another note, once my milk was established, pumping at night only takes me 10 minutes - tops. I get everything ready and put it on my bedside table. I got to bed around 11pm, and wake at 7 with the baby, so I pump in the middle of that time frame. Since milk is okay at room temp for about 8 hours, I don't go downstairs to put it in the fridge. One more thing, I recently was in a car accident and had to go to the ER where they gave me extensive drugs for pain relief. I could not breastfeed for a couple of days. All that I had in the freezer was used, and I wished I had more (she won't even think about taking formula). My emergency supply was gone. Something can happen at any time to make us unavailable. If it were me I would pump in the night and store it. It also can't hurt for your milk duct health, preventing a very painful breast infection.

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