Pumping

Resources, questions and advice on pumping, storing and feeding expressed breastmilk to your child.

Breastfeeding Mommas...what do you do about engorgement once your baby starts sleeping thru the night (12hrs straight)? Do you wake up to pump? Or do you let your body adjust eventually? How long does that take? My 5mo. daughter feeds at 7pm then goes to bed, then I pump at 9ish and she usually wakes at 1-2am. Last night I woke at 3am and she was still sleeping but I was so engorged I fed her. I felt silly since most mothers pray they can sleep thru the whole night!

  • Jaime
    Feb 15

    I would say to pump enough to relieve the pressure but not enough to empty your breast (will just signal your body to make more). So maybe 5-10 minutes. Assuming baby is truly transitioning to sleeping through the night your milk will adjust but it could take a week or so.

  • Jess
    Feb 15

    I think everyone is different. I used to pump when my daughter slept through the night because I had to go to work and needed to leave her enough milk to last til I came home. With my son I stayed home and did not pump. If you are super engorged and don’t care if your production dips over night I would just hand express a little until you feel more comfortable and go to sleep.

Anonymous

Is pumping necessary to maintain supply, if EBFing? No idea how much I’m producing, but 11 week old weight is OK. Should I still pump to maintain supply? Everyone seems to pump so I’m worried I should be too.

  • Anne
    Feb 14

    Generally you'll want to be emptying your breasts every 4-6 hours to maintain your supply (some say that after breastfeeding is established you can just nurse on demand and be fine, but I liked to stay on a schedule just be to safe). You're probably doing this now so no, you don't need to pump to maintain supply. Sometimes though, if your baby sleeps a long stretch at night (8 hours... More

  • Anonymous
    Feb 14

    Thanks Anne. Baby feeds every 2-3 hours day and night, so my breasts rarely feel full, but at least there’s a silver lining to that in terms of supply! Will try to stock up though as you’re right: may need for emergency!

Any pumping mamas out there have a favorite “on the go” pump they can recommend? I have a Spectra 2 at home and a Medela PISA for work, but I am going to be traveling by air quite a bit in the near future and am looking for something a little more portable. Battery powered would be even better! Thanks!

Does anyone else get sleepy every time they pump or breastfeed?

  • Sharday
    Feb 12

    Ah thanks Katie, that was my next question

  • Samantha
    Monday

    I’ve started wondering about this. Been falling asleep when nursing sometimes.

What do you do with a breast pump once you’re done with it? Sell? Donate? Trade? I’ve pumped for a year with each kid and would like to set them on fire now but that doesn’t seem very responsible. Suggestions?

  • Feiya
    Feb 12

    Take a look on your local Craigslist to see if there's a market for your pump. I bought my second pump off of there and just got new flanges and tubes. I didn't like the one I got from insurance and I've also heard that depending on your insurance, you might be limited to certain pumps, so I'd think people might be interested in a super discounted used one.

  • B
    Feb 12

    Thank you, all! I have a Medela and a Spectra so I’m glad to hear I can donate these days!

Anyone know the best way to use a big stash of frozen breast milk? It's soon to expire after 6 months and I'm running out of freezer space. Should I start thawing the oldest supply for daycare? Or is that 1 month breast milk no longer good for a 6 month old?

  • Lynn
    Feb 08

    I don't trust what the pediatrician is saying either

  • Priscilla
    Feb 08

    I just recently donated hundreds of ounces of frozen breast milk that was also nearing the six month mark to the Mothers' Milk Bank. I checked with them beforehand, and they had no problems with it. I will say that the process though relatively easy, was a bit tedious. Tedious enough that I almost "gave up" halfway into it because in between a toddler and an infant, I barely have ... More

I exclusively breastfeed my baby but have been back to work full time for two weeks now. I pump at work but I’m worried that I’m not going to be able to keep up like I had hoped. Anyone else have to transition to adding formula ? How did you do it? Advice & tips please!

  • Jasmine
    Feb 08

    When I switched to formula, I would add 2 oz of formula and mix it with 2oz of breast milk. It took about 3 weeks to get him to just formula. I’m back to breastfeeding only again but only bc I decided not to go back to work and just finish grad school. But he couldn’t really tell the difference btwn the two when I mixed it then transitioned him. We used Gerber soothe formula.

  • Kelly
    Feb 09

    I've never been able to keep up with my baby's demands while pumping at work. I try not to stress and know that he's getting mostly breast milk and one or two bottles of formula while I'm away. But if I'm around he just gets the boob, only need to supplement when I'm away. Just gotta take one day at a time and every day is different with what you pump😊

I feel like a total ignoramus, but please advise: I’m feeding my 12-week old breastmilk exclusively. Only pumped 3-4 times as he consistently refused the bottle and I’m a WAHM. I pumped yesterday to find that my milk has gone down from 8oz per pumping session to 6oz! My baby is big but he eats every two hours, and has never taken both breasts in one feeding. What happens as he starts needing more milk? Will I have to supplement? Should I start pumping more now to increase my supply or is it too late (because I read that by 10-12 weeks the supply is ‘established’).

  • Mariah
    Feb 06

    I'm running on 5 months straight, even when I think I don't have enough I do. A soft breast isn't an empty breast. The pump is also less efficient than the baby sucking. Established just means that it's there and won't go away easily. You still can produce more. As long as you can hear him swallowing or see you don't have to worry.

  • Mariah
    Feb 06

    Cluster feeds are how they make you produce more, the stimulation tells your body to make more milk, so again, try not to worry ☺

Any tips/experience pumping in a work environment that doesn't really offer a private spot (besides the bathroom)? I know it's supposed to be a requirement...but I work per diem and not always in the same area. I don't feel like I can leave to pump every few hours-nevermind even knowing where to do it!

  • Anonymous
    Feb 06

    Kelly I didn't know they made those, thanks for the tip!

  • Rebecca
    Feb 06

    I used to be afraid to use formula and wanted to just give breastmilk. But now looking back I would not be afraid to use formula and just pump when I could at work. I had the same type of work situation and stressed about pumping. But looking back I would take it as a opportunity to start slowly weening when away. Of course you can always breastfeed when your with baby.

HELP! I been breast feeding my baby for 4 months. The first 3 months I was over producing milk. I began to work a month ago, And I been pumping but my milk supply decreased:( I have tried oatmeal, drink 3 lt of water, increasing my calories, mother’s tea. Any advice? I don’t want my milk to dry what can I do please any advice .

  • Anonymous
    Feb 01

    Try pumping every 2 hours for 30-45 mins for a few days and see if it increases. My let down was at minute 45! 😬

  • Kerry
    Feb 03

    My first son was still eating every two hours when I went back to work. Videos of him giving cues that he needed to breastfeed (he had this cute tongue thrust) really helped me, and closing my eyes and thinking of him (mindfulness light) as I was starting. It's hard work mama - if it makes you feel better, I ended up breastfeeding him for twenty-two months, and I'm at eleven months with... More

Pumping at work...who does it? How do you clean your pump parts there? I’m thinking of using the Medea pump wipes & then putting the parts in a bag in the fridge until I pump again. Hoping to get 2-3 pump sessions while at work.

  • Kirsten
    Jan 28

    I pumped 3 times a day at the beginning, now down to 2 because my 7mo started solids. I have always just used soap and water in the bathroom sink. It’s quick and easy for me because the bathroom is so close to me.

  • Susan
    Jan 29

    I did this for a year.. such a challenge but I’m glad I did it. I used baby wipes to clean everything after each use and then threw the parts in a cute insulated lunch sack and kept it in the work fridge. I sanitized everything when I got home.

My baby will be a year old in March and we're still breastfeeding. My goal is to BF until 18 months. I am considering starting to pump once or twice per day when she hits a year old and building a stash for six months. Then after she weans at 18 months, I can continue to give her breastmilk until the stash runs out. It will be 6 month old milk that she's getting, but everything I've read says you can store milk for up to 6 months in a stand alone freezer. Has anyone done something similar to this?

  • Teddy
    Jan 23

    Have you tried to give your baby previously frozen milk? My daughter wouldn't drink it! I threw out gallllloooons of pumped milk: luckily pumping was super easy for me the first time around. We ended up just EBF until she was 2.5 yo (she ate regular food too obviously, but no bottles.)

  • Anonymous
    Jan 23

    Yes, I am a SAHM. I actually pumped a lot when she was first born as I thought I was going back to work, but ended up not going back. I still have that milk in the freezer (about 150-200 oz), but it's quite old now so I try to use it creatively, like in her bath water to help with eczema. I would keep breastfeeding until two years old, but I have PCOS and it's quite difficult for us to ... More

Help! I'm back at work and pumping, but each time I get a bit less than last time. I work from home 1-2 days a week. When I'm home baby nurses sporadically with no schedule and sometimes barely eats till lunchtime. I usually just feed him on demand and if he doesn't eat early he'd be hungry after nap and at dinner and then again eats 2 times at night. Other times, he nurses in the mornings, but never too much. At work I pump at 10am, 1pm and 4pm. I also feed him and pump the rest begore leaving for work. Is there anything I need to do when home to make sure I pump decent a... More

  • Ashley
    Jan 20

    Try feeding him on your pumping schedule. Might also help to keep him more consistent and not waking up at night. Or yes, pump when you normally would at work.

  • Sheila
    Jan 22

    Start taking Mother’s Milk tea and brewers yeast to help your output. Oatmeal in the morning ;)

I think I may be overproducing milk. Lynx was born at night on Jan 11th. I pumped earlier in the day in addition to the normal feedings and got about 2.5 oz between both breasts. Then my husband fed Lynx around midnight. My breasts felt engorged so I pumped. I got just over 5 oz. Am I right that this is a lot of milk?

  • Maria
    Jan 16

    I had this and now I'm glad I just kept pumping it out and freezing it, cuz after my baby hit 5 months I just stopped pumping (my breasts weren't responding to the pump, only to him nursing) and I still have a freezer stash 2 and a half months later! We're getting closer to the end but he's also on solids and still gets plenty from nursing so I feel set till we wean...embrace th... More

  • Sommer
    Jan 16

    Dont pump if you dont need to. And if you need to dont over pump just enough to get rid of the pressure. If you pump too much or too long your body will think you have a really hungry baby and it needs to produce that much. It will take several weeks for your body to adjust.

I pump and bottle feed. My baby has been getting about an ounce in and his belly starts making noises. He starts crying and squirming. I try every thing I can to help him burp or pass gas. Nothing. He tries to take the bottle as if he is hungry but then keeps crying after bottle is in his mouth. This cycle has been going on for almost a week now. Feedings are taking SO long and stress us both out. Doc can't see us for almost a week 😒 any advice?

  • Katie
    Jan 12

    Ranitidine was a lifesaver for my family I hope it helps you!

  • Joy
    Jan 13

    Same here we were on ranitidine for six months and my baby is now outgrown this issue

I need some much needed advice/ideas! I have been EBF my 5mo since day 1. I never really had any issues with supply. I did start taking fenugreek capsules around month 2. (Mother’s milk tea just wasn’t for me😣) I am a mostly SAHM, but I do nanny a couple hours each afternoon. I just take my LO with me, which is awesome. So I never really had the need to pump. (I had so many issues with BF my first one that the pump gave me nightmares!!!!) now my 5mo is starting cereal. I had a little supply in the freezer for emergencies, but that is gone now. I have tried the last 4 nights to pump and NOT... More

  • Athena Phaedok
    Jan 10

    I mean, technically you don't even need to give cereal.... That said, you could try hand expressing your milk directly into it.

  • Laura
    Jan 10

    I had been exclusively pumping for a couple months and suddenly had a session where very little milk came out- put new membranes in the pump and that fixed it. Also, with some pumps you can adjust the strength and speed settings so maybe play around with those.

I’m looking for advice and tips from parents that work in the healthcare industry and work 12 hr shifts with schedule changes week-to-week. What did you do for childcare? Any moms out there that were able to pump regularly throughout their shift? I’m heading back to work next month and just so anxious about how everything will work out!

  • Lindsey
    Jan 09

    Currently a nurse working 12 hour shifts. I feed and pump just before work and aim to pump 3 times at work (not always possible). Always nurse during lunch. The others I’ll just run off if it looks like I’ll have 10-15 minutes of downtime and have someone cover me. My supply dips after several 12s in a row. When that happens I pump after feeds on my days off. I also take fenugreek.

  • Lindsey
    Jan 09

    I was anxious about coworkers resenting me for pump breaks at first..when my supply dipped my attitude changes. I’m taking a pump break- deal with it!!

I'm back at work and pumping there. I'm very afraid that my supply will go down evoke away from my baby (he's 2 months old). I currently pump after feeding him in the morning, then 3 times at work. Before I went back to work I pumped in the middle of the night too because my baby didn't eat much then and I felt too full. My lactation consultant said I should sleep at night and not pump (as she said me pumping just makes my breasts full at night and creates oversupply). I barely get 5-6 hours of sleep before workday so I stopped pumping at night and just feed him as he needs.... More

  • Katie
    Jan 08

    If you start to lose supply, add a pump session during the day/evening. Try to be consistant in what times you pump. Your supply is going to fluctuate for a lot of reasons, you will learn to trouble shoot it with time (my production killer was always being sick or not getting enough sleep). Your body will adjust with time -I'm in the process of weaning my 15 mo, I only nurse once or twi... More

  • Addie
    Jan 08

    Your milk adjusts too. So you may think you have less milk as he gets older but the make-up of the milk changes to give him more vitamins in the smaller quantity. Keep up the good work!

When pumping, how many letdowns do you typically go through before your stop?

  • Anne
    Jan 02

    I would have a second letdown after about 15 minutes. If I pumped for 30 minutes I would have 3 letdowns in total.

Has anyone had any success going from EBF to mostly or all pumping? My 6 month old just grazes all day long and I think it sets the tone for the night time as she continues to graze through the night. Up 2-5 times a night 😴 I let her because I never know how much she’s actually getting as she never eats that long.

  • Victoria
    Jan 06

    I’ve been EBP for 4.5mnths now and find it very manageable. Four pumps a day (every 6hrs). Baby takes bottle well and moved up weight percentages so I’m feeling good about the change. Good luck to you whatever you decide!

  • Maria
    Jan 07

    Victoria, how did you go about only pumping four times a day?? How old was you little one when you started? Did your supply change? Do you produce enough to meet needs???

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