About Exclusively Pumping
If your nurse or feed on demand that is truly fantastic. Your baby gets more this way than what a pump can get out. When your baby is on your breast they may get 4-5oz but if you pumped you may only be getting 1-2oz. This is what an exclusive pumper can expect in most cases. I feel as if I’m always attached to my pump because I have to exclusively pump for my daughter.
Answer? Pump as needed to get what your baby needs. This goes for the entire day. If your baby feeds about every 3 hours and you pump every 2 hours, you have a highe chance to be able to pump what they need each day.
This will be different for everyone as all our babies have different needs and our bodies are all different as well. Things that differ are how much your baby eats, how much milk your breasts can hold, the quality of your pump, and how well your body responds to your pump and your pump schedule.
Exclusive Pumper Schedule
I have a pretty regular pump schedule You can use this as a guideline or starting point for your schedule. Tweak it as needed for yourself.
5AM – Power Pump
7AM – Pump (get my toddler up)
9AM – Pump
11AM – Power Pump
1PM – Pump (make lunch)
230PM – Pump
4PM – Pump
6PM – Power Pump
8PM – Pump
10PM – Pump or Power Pump (depending on how my supply has been)
12AM – Pump
130AM – Pump
330AM – Pump
I am seriously pumping around the clock and it can be stressful but I try not to let myself get stressed as that lowers my supply.
I have a low supply of milk and it just how my body is. It was the same way with my son, although my body didn’t take well at all to breastfeeding or a pump with him. I’m thankful that my body has improved a bit with my daughter.
If I go more than 2 hours between a pumping session, my supply drops and it’s very noticeable. Some people can go 3 hours, 4 hours, or even 6 hours between pump sessions and not notice a drop in their supply. I hope to be able to go 3 hours between sessions but I’ll just have to wait and see if I will get there. My daughter is only two months old so I have some time to try to work that out.
Enjoy Your Little One
Don’t forget or overlook the little things because of your pumping schedule. Enjoy those extra cuddles with your little one or playtime with your toddler. You’ll be happy you took those few minutes to enjoy time with them when you look back as they grow older.
There’s plenty of friends I have that can adjust their pump schedules by 15-20 minutes, forward or back, and not worry about a supply issue. If I know I have to skip a pump session due to an appointment I’ll adjust my schedule a bit to accomodate it so I don’t miss a session but I may end up shortening a session. My body can usually handle these though and gives me the same output of milk or quite close to the same output when I pump. Your body can adjust to the schedule you pick, or when you shift sessions as well.
As you can tell from my schedule I try to get 3-4 pump sessions overnight. It’s not always fun waking up to pump, especially now that my little one has just started sleeping longer stretches at night. If I don’t wake up for them though, I do notice a supply drop throughout the rest of the day. It also means I may not have enough for my daughter during the daytime for her feedings.
I estimate that I spend about 8 hours pumping. This does not include the time I spend making bottles, cleaning bottles and pump parts, or feeding her.
My goal is to go 1 year with breastfeeding my daughter. I’ve made it just over two months now and I’ll admit it truly is rough but I’m still hopeful I can make it.
What does your pump schedule look like? What advice do you have for mothers who exclusively pump?
Check out this post for breastfeeding tips to survive the night.