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Thread: How often should I be pumping?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default How often should I be pumping?

    Hi there. I have a 3 week old DD and I was having some issues with the amount of milk I was producing so the pediatrician asked that we supplement as well b/c DD wasn't gaining weight and hadn't gained her birth weight back.

    We're supplementing and I'm pumping and nursing. I got a scrip for Reglan this past Monday but it doesn't seem to be helping. I pumped my one breast this morning, the one I've been having the most trouble pumping with, and I didn't even get enough milk to cover the bottom of the bottle. I had pumped for 20 minutes...

    How often should I be pumping? I pump 4 or 5 times a day right now. Our baby sleeps through most of the night, so I don't pump in the middle of the night.

    I don't know what to do. I really don't want to have to supplement forever, and I know the fact that I'm supplementing isn't helping my supply, but DD is a different baby now that she's getting enough sustenance. Prior to the supplement she was hungry all the time so she was literally attached to me all day trying to get enough milk from me. And she gets really frustrated on my breasts when she's not getting enough milk and starts jerking her head back while my nipple is still in her mouth.

    I know folks are pretty anti-formula here but I'm hoping not to be judged too much, as I'm really trying to bf exclusively, but I don't want my DD to suffer as a result.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: How often should I be pumping?

    You should be pumping as often as your baby eats... BUT if she's getting formula, you may miss a pumping session because formula takes longer to digest.

    You want to pump every 2-3 hours during the day and at least once at night.

    Domperidone works better than Reglan, btw. I am relactating for my 6 month old and I went from 1/8 oz to 1 1//4 oz in 6 days.

    Rule number one is feed that baby! Don't feel bad because you're giving formula. But do try to pump as often as possible and offer the breast before bottle and often for comfort. Also, talk to you IBCLC about getting a supplemental nursing system. That would allow you to feed DD the formula while she's suckling at the breast, therefore building your supply.

    Good luck! DS is screaming so I must run.

    <Hugs>, you're doing a great job mama!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: How often should I be pumping?


    Please don't feel as though we would look down on you for feeding your baby formula. You need to feed your baby!

    One thing I noticed from your post is that your baby is 3 weeks old and already sleeping through the night. This is pretty unusual for breastfed babies, as breastmilk is digested very quickly and their stomachs are quite tiny (about the size of their little fists). Encouraging baby to nurse at least once in the middle of the night will definitely help your supply. One reason for this is that prolactin (the milk-making hormone) levels are highest at night.

    Have you thought about co-sleeping? Many moms find that bringing baby to bed with them to nurse both increases their supply and helps insure that baby gets enough to eat.

    Another thing to remember is that babies are much better at removing milk from the breast then pumps are. Some moms with ample milk supplies are unable to get much when pumping. So, don't feel too bad about not getting much with the pump...and keep putting your baby to your breast as often she wants.

    Oh, and if the Reglan isn't helping, there are other options, both OTC and prescription, for increasing milk supply. Talk to your local IBCLC.

    Hang in there...you're doing a great job



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Re: How often should I be pumping?

    Thank you for responding!!

    We're seeing the lactation consultant tomorrow... DD is waking alot more at night than before, so I'm nursing her more often during the wee early morning hours...

    My husband isn't fond of co-sleeping b/c he's afraid something bad might happen. Our bed is very soft and it says not to sleep with your baby if your bed is soft... She is right next to our bed in a pack & play.

    I don't want ot have to supplement forever but it's not looking likely that I'll be able to avoid that.


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