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May 7th, 2013, 09:30 AM
MerinSun MerinSun is offline
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 1,834
Ditto. No pump is ever going to draw as much milk out as a baby (or stimulate more production). If you are not going back to work for at least 6 weeks and are comfortable with your baby nursing on your breast you will have better future success with pumping if you nurse around the clock.

For the first 3 weeks I wouldn't worry about pumping at all. You'll be nursing almost constantly and will not find the time. After 3 weeks pick a few times during the day after a feeding to pump. Warning: you will not get much. Maybe 1/2 an ounce TOTAL. But keep doing it. Eventually over the course of a week you'll get a little bit more and a little bit more. Keep pouring the fresh stuff on top of the frozen stuff until you get a whole serving (about 2 ounces). If you want to build your stash faster pump after every feeding session for about 10 minutes (if you have a double pump it will literally be 10 minutes but if you have a single it will be 10 minutes per breast).

Eventually the baby will will space their feedings out so that you'll be pumping like this (for a 2 hour feeding schedule): 11am feed 1140 done feeding 1230 pump 1pm feed.

Remember that when you go back to work you won't be on that schedule and you WILL swell up a bunch and you'll be SHOCKED at how much you pump, lol. Try to pump 3 times during your work day. Once before lunch, once during lunch, and once about an hour before going home.

If you're not sure how much your baby is eating off of your breasts go to your pediatrician (or lactation store) just before a feeding. The nurse or store assistant will weigh your baby. Then you nurse and the nurse/helper will weigh the baby again. The difference in weight is how much your baby ate and you'll know how much to put in a storage bottle

Oh, personal story: I didn't get my pump until a week before I went back to work. I cried almost every day because I just wasn't pumping much. I barely had a thing stored. It took a few weeks of establishing a good pumping schedule (and then, of course, being absent from the baby and pumping at work - where you'll get more) for me to actually get anything close to an actual stash. I tried to be diligent about pumping on the weekend. Eventually I got tired of all the pumping and started slacking, lol. I eventually decided that I would shoot for pumping half of what my baby would need for the week and supplement the rest. A lot of breastfeeding advocates would be horrified to hear that but I never supplemented when I could nurse (on the weekends I never noticed a change in my supply, even during the times when I normally would have pumped or skipped) and when I was getting more sleep instead of pumping I didn't feel guilty, lol.
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Last edited by MerinSun; May 7th, 2013 at 09:34 AM.
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