Whether you’re a new mom or a seasoned milkmaid who’s been out of the baby game for a while, the truth is that it will take some time for your body’s milk supply to adjust. And if you’re going back to work soon, trying to increase your production or build up a supply of breastmilk, adding pumping to the equation will come with its own learning curve. Remember that no matter which category you fall into, there is no one-size-fits-all method for a pumping and breastfeeding schedule. Every body – and every baby – is different. But if you’re struggling to combine breastfeeding and expressing, there’s hope.
scary mom asked Molly Peterson, Certified Lactation Consultant at Lansinoh, the most common questions moms have about combining breastfeeding and expressing. Biggest takeaway? The balance between the two varies widely and is surprisingly intuitive – a reassuring thing for mums feeling the pressure of their baby’s milk needs. If that sounds like you, these prolactation tips should help you take some of the guesswork out of finding the right balance for you and your baby.
How many times a day should mothers express their milk while breastfeeding?
The frequency of expression during breastfeeding mainly depends on your body, your lifestyle and the nutritional needs of your baby. However, if you are new to a pumping routine, gradual additions to sessions are recommended.
“When you decide to start adding pumping to your routine, start with just one session a day,” says Petersen. “Once your body gets used to this pumping session, usually within a week or so, you can try adding another session in the evening after baby goes to bed or any other time of the day that works for you. The best thing to do is to add sessions gradually, if possible, each time allowing a few days to a week for your body to adjust before adding another.”
Generally speaking, it is usually beneficial to pump for each missed or skipped breastfeeding so that you can maintain your milk supply and align it with your baby’s nutritional needs. An average feeding rate for a newborn might be every one to three hours, while an infant might want to nurse every three to four hours. During cluster feeding, a baby can feed as often as every hour.
How can mothers alternate between expressing milk and breastfeeding?
“Many moms find it helpful to pump during or right after a breastfeeding session. Perhaps you are having a feed where your baby is only suckling from one breast. You can pump from the other side while baby is nursing. Sometimes babies suck from both breasts, but don’t empty all the available milk during the feed. Pumping right after a breastfeeding session allows you to enjoy the disappointment already. created by baby’s suckling. You can also schedule pumping sessions for any time of the day when baby is normally going for a longer period of time without feeding, perhaps during a nap,” says Petersen.
As for how long you should pump, try to spend 15-20 minutes hooked up to the pump. It may take less time or longer, depending on your body’s milk production. Ideally, you will pump until you notice that your breasts are draining well, by which time the milk will likely have slowed down.
An important note: Don’t forget to clean your breast pump’s nursing flanges after each use.
How long after pumping can mothers breastfeed?
If we’re being honest, pumping can sometimes seem like just another thing to add to the to-do list. So, giving your body the chance to produce more milk between breastfeeding and expressing can help maximize the amount of breast milk expressed, saving you time and energy.
According to Petersen, “Every body and situation is unique, but generally you’ll want to give your body at least an hour or so after pumping to be ready for another power session.”
Is it okay to pump once a day while breastfeeding?
Any mom who struggles to find the most comfortable (read: least awkward and least exhausting) breastfeeding position probably knows that pumping can be just as uncomfortable without the right setup. And let’s face it, a hands-free pumping bra can’t go that far, meaning pumping more than necessary isn’t on most moms’ wish list – leaving many wondering if it is acceptable to pump only once a day.
Petersen’s reassuring advice will hopefully leave mothers juggling breastfeeding and expressing breath with a collective sigh of relief: “There is no specific number of times a day that works for everyone. world. Try not to get overwhelmed by the pressure of expression. Find the routine that works best for you, your baby, your life and your family, and work on it.”
Molly Petersen, Certified Lactation Consultant at Lansinoh