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Thread: Deciding on a schedule help...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Deciding on a schedule help...

    I'll be on a maternity leave for 3 months, then will return to work full-time. Most days will be 9-5 but some days I'll have night meetings and events.

    I just need some peace of mind now and some answers to the following questions:

    I'm assuming I'll be more at ease once I realize how often the baby feeds. Is this what determines your schedule or does your doctor recommend one?

    I will most likely plan to pump during my lunch hour? With an electric Medela pump how long does pumping take?

    Also, how much milk to you pump per day?

    Do you pump extra on the weekends?

    How long does breastmilk last?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Deciding on a schedule help...

    the answers to a lot of your questions will depend on you, sopecifically but I can tell you what my own experience has been.

    When I first came back I pumped 3x a day, to keep supply up and to ease my discomfort. two sorter sessions andone loooong one at lunch.

    I pummped in the evenign after Emily went to bed, too. Every night I pupmed a couple of hours after she went to sleep, just through one let down. That way if she woke up she could still get something out of me. I also pumped on the weekends if she napped a long time, or whatever, Just tried to squeeze in an extra session here and there.

    How long does it take?
    It took longer at first, like my body had to learn what I was oding, usually 15 - 20 minutes for two 4 oz bottles. After several months I got down to two sessions/day only about ten minutes each and yielding quite a bit more.

    Pumping is such a peculiar thing, very different for everyone. I understan dyour concerns but sometimes th emore you know baout how other folks handled it th emore confusign and upsetting it is when your body reacts differently.

    Are you planning on co-sleeping? I turned out to co-sleep and Emily ate ALL NIGHT LONG. She wasn't too wild about the bottle so I had far more milk in the freezer stash then I really needed. Made me feel better, though.

    You'll have lots mre questions when the time comes, just ask when they come up, you'll make it work!
    Mother to Emily June, b. Sept 18, 2005 and Lucy Quinn, b. 1/20/2012

    “Buy the ticket, take the ride."
    Hunter S. Thompson

    Excitement on the Side: Who doesn't love a confident woman with long boobs...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: Deciding on a schedule help...

    - your baby determines the feeding schedule (e.g., feed on demand).

    - i have the medela PIS advanced...i double pump and i normally finish in 10-12 minutes... though it is recommended to pump for 15 minutes. i pump 3 times a day at work...i can typically get 4oz per session (i'm currently taking fenugreek to help with my milk supply). i also pump at night about an hour before i head to bed (i get about 3oz during this session).

    - i do pump on the weekends if we end up giving dd a bottle of EBM, and i pump at night again before heading to bed.

    - the following LLL website has good information on storing breastmilk:


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Deciding on a schedule help...

    I think what was said about your body being different from everyone else's is the MOST relevant.
    You may find that you can get all the milk you need in one session, but more likely, you will be more comfortable with more frequent pumping. The more often you pump, the better you chances of keeping up supply.
    Asking your Dr. to give you a schedule is just a recepie for disaster, and if s/he is any good, s/he will just tell you to follow your baby's schedule for feeding. In any case, if your baby is anything like most, then her feeding schedule will change every time you start to get the hang of it

    Pumping extra at weekends or any time at all can't hurt, even if you never use the milk, having the stockplie can be a lifesaver if something happens to your supply, or if the baby suddenly has a growth spurt and eats it all seemingly overnight!

    I totally agree with co-sleeping, you will likely find that your baby nurses a lot in the night to make up for missed feedings in the day.

    Keep pumping, and its a good idea to start early, so you already have a good stash before you need it, so the transition is a little easier. Pumping is something that takes some practice and getting used to.

    Good Luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Deciding on a schedule help...

    don't be afraid to call your local lll leader. Many groups have working moms that are more then willing to share what works best for them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: Deciding on a schedule help...

    I've found that it's changed over the last 3 months both by DS's spacing out feedings and by necessity. When I first started back I pumped 3 times at work and once at home. Now I pump twice at work and once at home. It takes me 10-15 min a session with a PISA. Having a freezer stash before I started back really helped me get more relaxed about how much I was pumping and got my body used to letting down to a pump. I would highly reccomend starting pumping once a day at 6-8 wks. I started by pumping the side DS didn't feed off of at 3 am. Then I moved to pumping after I feed him in the morning, and that's what I do now. My breasts make what he eats plus 3-4 oz that I freeze. Have an extra set of pump parts (horns/valves) at work for the day when you forget yours (my Target carries them). Get a good water bottle and drink a bunch before you pump. Once you get used to pumping read around a little for tips on getting a second let down, I can often get an extra oz a breast from that.

    Good luck and enjoy your 3 months off! I really enjoyed mine.
    Margaret and
    DS 2/06 nursed x1yr
    and DD 3/08, so far so good!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: Deciding on a schedule help...

    A few weeks after I was comfortable with breastfeeding I started pumping during feedings, obviously on the side that my daughter was not nursing from (there are different preferences and opinions on single sided or double sided feedings. I felt that she got full enough from one side and I was sure she got the hindmilk). I did that for the first two feedings of the day everyday until she was about 3 or 4 months old. About a month before I went back to work full time (I too had 3 months maternity leave) I started to get her on a feeding schedule. I know that on demand breastfeeding is best but when you know you are going to be a working mother and still be 100% commited to breastfeeding you make it work however you can. I planned to nurse her when she woke for the day, sent a bottle of breastmilk for "breakfast" around 8a, pumped at 8:30a at work for about 15 mins, had the blessing of being able to go to daycare and nurse her at 11a and 2p, nursed her when we arrived home at 5p and then again before she went down for the night (6:30-7p), I then pumped around 9 or 10p (initially for 30 mins but now only 15). She has been on that schedule from then until now, and she is 10 months old today. On the weekends I nurse her on the schedule and only pump at night.
    I have never had an overabundent supply. I hardly ever leaked and have never pumped more than 4 oz at a time. However, I feel that my body produced just what my baby needed.
    One suggestion, get your baby used to a bottle way before they go to daycare. It is a hard thing to do when you are committed to breastfeeding but the fact of the matter for working mamas is that you can't always be there. I started a little late with my daughter and she had some trouble taking the bottle at daycare.
    As far as instructions on how to store and use breastmilk, use this site and the book that comes with your pump.
    Good luck to you!! All of the sacrifices and anxieties are totally worth it. My daughter has only been sick sick 2 times in her life of 10 months! That is quite a feat when they attend daycare I think.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Deciding on a schedule help...

    In the begining I pumped about every 3 hours with my Medela PIS, and would get about 4oz each time. As time went on and the baby got older, I got less milk, 10oz aroud 6 months, 9oz, 8oz around 1 year, and 4-6 oz from about 18 months until now, 21 months. It all depends on your baby and your body how much milk you will get. Just remember that your pump will never get out as much milk as your baby does, so try not to stress to much if you are not seeing the amount you think you need.

    Also pumping is a learned art. Practice, and try to stay as relaxed as possible. I average about 10 minutes of pumping with a few minutes to set up and take apart everything.

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