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Thread: How much should I pump at each session?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Louisville, KY

    Default How much should I pump at each session?

    Hi Mamas!

    I returned to work this week and will be pumping during the day while my son is at daycare.

    I have access to a quiet kitchenette at any time during the day, so I can pump on any schedule.

    During the first session (~11:00) I'm able to get 4 oz. from the right side and 3 oz. from the left, but he only takes 3 oz. in his bottle at each feeding (so far, three bottles each day). So, I'm pumping out more than needed. The next session (~2:00), I get 3 oz. right side and 2 oz. left side. Then I pump for the last time around 4:30 and again get about 1 oz. less than before each side. Then I pick him up and we nurse when we get home around 6:00 and again before bed at 9:00. Yesterday, my breasts felt rather "empty" by the evening and I worried that there was nothing left. He slept fine, but the lack of fullness terrified me.

    How should I schedule my pumping sessions and what should be my goal for each session?

    Should I match the times that I pump to the times that he gets a bottle during the day?

    Should I pump exactly what he takes from the bottle or try for more?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Re: How much should I pump at each session?

    From what I have read and what I do, pump a few minutes after the milk has stopped coming out. I would say take what you can get. You can always freeze what your LO doesn't need. I am sure there are other more experienced ladies with more advice.
    Wife to Levi 10/05/02
    Mommy to Kady 02/13/08

    Birth: 7 lbs 11 oz 21 inches
    2 week: 8.5 lbs 21.5 inches
    2 month: 11.8 lbs 23 inches
    4 month: 15 lbs 25 inches
    6 month: 17.7lbs 26.5 inches
    9 month: 20.1lbs 27.5 inches
    12 month: 23 lbs 29.5 inches

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: How much should I pump at each session?

    There are some great links out there as far as guidelines.. Hopefully someone will have then on hand and can post them here.

    Something to remember: Frequency of pumping is better than duration.
    As in, it's better to pump 4 times a day for 10 minutes each then to pump 2 times for 30 minutes each.
    The more you empty the breast, the more milk your body makes.

    I think the schedule you've got going is great! It's also great that you make more than baby consumes. Like pp said, just freeze it. There may be days that you'll need it. It's okay to make more than baby consumes during the day.

    As far as output, everyone produces different amounts. Honestly. There is no real standard or expectation for pumping. I know for me that was frustrating to wrap my brain around. I wanted to know if I was "doing as well as everyone else" and wanted a standard to measure by. Some women do really well pumping and others can't get out more than an ounce.

    As far as the fullness feeling being gone, that might just be your body regulating supply.
    Normally for me my breasts never feel full or hardened or anything UNLESS it's been way to long between feedings. The default state for me is, well, how do I say it - soft and saggy!

    HTH! (hope that helps)
    Last edited by @llli*incognito; October 8th, 2008 at 11:14 AM. Reason: Added further explanation about links - it was rather vague before

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Louisville, KY

    Default Re: How much should I pump at each session?

    Okay, I think I understand better now.

    I should be sure to...

    • Empty the breasts completely each time I pump (so my body continues to make as much)
    • Perhaps try pumping every two hours instead of every three to keep my body producing

    I'm definitely freezing milk. I have quite a cache which I guard with my life. We had a recent power outage and I was in a panic over my milk bank until it came back on!!
    Mommy to Jackson - 7/25/08

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Re: How much should I pump at each session?

    With as much as you are pumping every 3 hours I think you are ok and don't need to do every 2 hours. I say keep things as they are unless you see a decrease in supply and then increase the frequency....just my opinion..
    • First time mommy to Alyssa Nicole 7 lbs. 19 3/4 in. born 10/17/07 via c-section.

      finally off the since 10/24/08

      We made it, 12 months!!!!!!!!

    Donated 500 oz. so far, and counting...

    2 weeks - 7 lbs 6 oz.
    2 months - 10 lbs.
    4 months - 12 lbs. 3 oz.
    6 months - 14 lbs. 1 oz.
    9 months - 16 lbs. 7 oz.
    12 months - 18 lbs. 10 oz.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Re: How much should I pump at each session?

    Hi there,
    It sounds as though you're doing great.
    I only have time to pump twice during the day while at work - about 11.30am and then around 4pm. I usually manage about 5oz each time but I nurse her early morning and then when I pick her up. I just use a manual Lansinoh which is fine but I've thought about investing in a double manual one. I'm just worried that they may be noisy as I share an office with someone
    I'm Tracy. Wife to Jez. Mum to Abigail born 4th March 08 and Harriet 15th July 09
    and loving it. Trying out with new baby - so far so good!

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