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Thread: How long to pump?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,616

    Default How long to pump?

    I had been told to pump 15 minutes but now sometimes it's up to 6 minutes until I have a let down or have any milk come out. I've been going as long as 20 minutes. Is that going to be harmful or counter productive? Anything I can do to encourage a faster let-down? I have a PISA.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

  2. #2

    Default Re: How long to pump?

    I exclusively pump and sometimes pump for 45 min.! At the hospital the nurses told me 15 as well. That is definitely not enough for me. Like you, sometimes it's 5 min. or more before anything starts coming out. I'm ok once it does as I usually get anywhere from 4-12 oz. per session. On average I would say that I pump for 20-25 min. and I can't imagine it being counterproductive. I feel like the more we pump the more we will keep our supply up. It's always said that the pump cannot do nearly what our baby can for our supply, so I always feel like I have to make up for it by pumping often and a lot.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: How long to pump?

    I agree with Sophiesmom-pumping can't do what baby can! Supply is important, though, and I don't think long session are necessarily harmful. I definitely had 30min sessions when I was pumping.

    One thing to be careful with is that everything is the right size. The flanges I started with were too small, and it made for really sore nipples... *ouch* After you've pumped for a few minutes, your nipples will naturally start to swell a bit, but they shouldn't rub on the neck of the flange. If they do, you need a bigger one! That's the only thing I had experience with that could be harmful for extra long or frequent sessions. It led to some pretty no fun pain

    To help with let-down, you could pump on one side while nursing on the other at home. If you're at work, you could have a picture of your baby, a blanket that smells like them, and I even had a friend that had a recording of their baby crying to help out!! Relaxing and having a routine for pumping helps too-it tells your body to get ready to start the flow

    Oh, and for your original question of how long to pump-I would go until I noticed only a little bit coming out every so often. The time varied, but it was usually about 15-20 min. But, I would go longer if I felt the start of another let down (tingling, etc.). It really depends, and I know it changed for me over time.

    I'm sure there are some great resources on the LLL site or kellymom.com that could give more tips. I haven't pumped in a while, so hopefully a more experienced pumping momma will chime in. Good luck!
    Last edited by @llli*sarahekd; November 7th, 2009 at 08:30 PM.
    I'm Sarah,
    still a , dairy free due to baby's allergy, , cloth , Momma to...
    6/17/2008 (10lbs 3oz!!)
    ! EDD (9/10/2010)
    while *still* trying to finish my dissertation!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: How long to pump?

    My LC told me 15 minutes OR 2-3 minutes after the milk slows to one or two drops or stops.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,616

    Default Re: How long to pump?

    Thank you. My flanges do fit, a LC made sure of that. I get about 2-3 oz/session. Fortunately my supply has gone up with buying a brand new pump, doing a power pump session in the morning and another 10 pumpings through out the day and night. It's a ton of work and although I know it's worth it, I am looking forward to pumping less when my supply gets much better established and she's older.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

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