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Thread: Miss 1-3 feedings: How often do I need to pump?

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Miss 1-3 feedings: How often do I need to pump?

    Hello all! I need some pumping guidance. I have a one month old daughter and a 4 year old daughter. I started pumping when I returned to work with my First daughter (she was 4 months) so I am familiar with pumping at work. This time I want to start pumping now (at one month) so I can have more flexibility but need a guide to pumping if I'm only away for a couple hours versus an entire work day.
    My questions are:
    1. When and how often should I pump if I'm going to away from my baby for 3-4 hours and miss 2-3 feedings? Can I just pump before I leave and nurse when I get back?
    2. When do I pump if I'm going to be away and miss just 1 feeding?
    3. If I want to try and sleep a little longer stretch at night and have my partner do a feeding, when do I pump?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Miss 1-3 feedings: How often do I need to pump?

    3-4 hours is such a short interval that you might well be able to get away with pumping right before you leave for work. But there is no hard and fast rule about how much you'd need to pump for a given interval or number of feedings. Go by feel- if you feel like your supply isn't enough for your baby and/or you are having trouble filling your baby's bottles, you will want to add in some pump sessions. These do not necessarily have to be during the workday, given how short it is.

    If you're going to miss just one feed, you can either pump during your absence or skip the pump session and make it up at a later time.

    If you want to sleep more and have your partner do a feeding, I think it's important to be judicious about how long you sleep and how much is in the bottle your partner gives to the baby. One of our smart moms here said that "night nursing is a working mom's best friend, when it comes to maintaining supply". So you don't want to use the bottle in such a way that it eliminates night nursing. When you pump that nighttime bottle is up to you. Do it before bed, do it right after the first morning nursing session, do it in the middle of the day while your baby naps- there's no one right answer.

    Ideally, you strive to pump whenever your baby would otherwise nurse. That helps keep supply and demand matched. In reality, you try different things and see how your body responds.

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