Are you wondering how often should you pump if you are exclusively pumping? My exclusive pumping journey has come to an end (until the next baby) but I am eager to share how I successfully made it work for 2 kids under 2. When you are going to be pumping for your baby exclusively, I think these are must-haves that are needed to set you up for success.
How Often Should You Be Pumping If You Are Exclusively Pumping
This schedule that will help you maximize your supply and time. When you exclusive pump you have to ensure you are pumping often enough to keep your supply going. Consistency is key to success. When your baby is under the age of three months, it is recommended to pump around every 2-3 hours and aim for 8-12 pump sessions in a 24 hours period. This helps mimic the way your baby would be nursing if they were latching. The consistency establishes the supply over the first 3 months where you can then gradually drop a pumping session and get the same about. We have to remember that every woman is different, and some come out of the hospital producing an abundance of milk. It just depends on how much milk you are producing and how much your baby is eating.
Example of 8 Pump Schedule
6am, 8am, 10 am, 1pm, 3pm, 6pm, 8pm, 10 pm
Older Baby Pumping Schedule
If your baby is a bit older, you can adjust the needs for pumping to fit your lifestyle. You want to ensure you are producing as much as possible. Having a surplus for your baby when they get hungry is ideal but it’s not a must. As long as baby is fed, that is all that matters.
If your baby is around 10-12 weeks, you might want to do 6-8 pump sessions throughout the day. Or if they are a little older like 3-6 months, you can push it back to say 4-5 pump sessions through the day. Keep reducing the number of pump sessions as your child begins to grow. Once you stick to a schedule for the first weeks to months, you begin to know your body and what is needed in your schedule and how many pump sessions.
Example of a 5 Pump Schedule
7am, 11am, 1pm, 7pm, 11pm
As you can see this schedule allows you to have some gaps throughout the day to pump. Workaround your lunchtime, cooking schedule, and tweak it to accommodate your lifestyle.
How Long Do You Pump
Depending on your pump and how it works you want to try and pump for around 15-25 minutes each time in the beginning. As your baby grows you might be able to produce an abundance of milk with less time attached to the pump. But the rough guide recommended, in the beginning, is 15 minutes at a time at least.
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Essentials For Exclusive Pumping I Recommend
Medela Quick Clean Breastpump & Accessory Wipes | These wipes are great for when you don’t have time to wash your entire breast pump and accessories completely.
Spectra S1PLUS Breast Pump | Great for making the most out of your pumping sessions. This breast pump fits nicely and works great at maximizing the amount of milk you produce at an affordable price.
Medela Harmony Manual Breastpump | This manual pump is great to keep on hand for when you don’t have electricity or even are out and about. You can pump in a bathroom stall at the mall if you need to, and then put milk in a cooler until you get home.
Bananafish Charlotte Breast Pump Tote | I love this tote as you can carry all your supplies for your breast pump and storage area for milk. Great for taking to work or when you are out running errands.
Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags | Disinfect your pump efficiently when you are away from home with these micro-steam bags. Highly recommend these.
Lansinoh Simple Wishes Hands-Free Pumping Bra | This bra is excellent for anyone who wants to work or complete a task while they pump. Hands-free and comfortable to wear.
Lansinoh Stay Dry Disposable Nursing Pads | | Don’t get embarrassed because you leaked, use these pads to help keep you nice and dry any time of the day!
Medela Breastmilk Cooler Set | This cooler set is great if you work or will be away but still want to stick to your schedule. Keep your milk cool while you are out and then when you get home to toss in fridge or freezer.
Medela Pump & Save Breastmilk Bags | No fuss bags that will help when storing your milk. Lay them flat and freeze for minimal space used for each bag. Then thaw, and you are ready to feed your little one. They offer a great seal on the bags.
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*This conversation is sponsored by Aeroflow Breastpumps but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Sincerely Onyi.