The method that is best for you in attaining a sufficient amount of breastmilk for Your Child depends on your circumstances.
For many mothers, breast pumping is an efficient alternative to breastfeeding. Then the task is to make sure you find the right balance between breastfeeding and pumping, which suits you best and provides the best yield.
Reasons for Breast Pumping
You’ll often discover that you cannot breastfeed on demand due to lifestyle or certain medical conditions.
Here are common reasons why many choose breast pumping:
- To store breastmilk so that another caretaker feed the baby while you are busy or away at work
- The baby has problems latching to the breast
- To increase breastmilk supply or to drain your breast to prevent mastitis
How much to Pump?
A basic and helpful rule for effective management of breast pumping is the supply and demand concept. The higher the demand for breastmilk from Your Child, the more supply your breasts will produce.
Usually, babies require about 25-30 oz. of milk per day, distributed among several feeding times. Therefore, you can generally follow the schedule of feeding Your Child every 2-3 hours for about 15 minutes per breast during daytime and pump at least twice at night in case the supply goes low on the next day.
Over time, it will be easy to decide which method fits best for each part of the day. Here are some guidelines that may be helpful:
If you’re mainly breastfeeding:
- Pumping in the morning can be beneficial, as most mothers produce the most milk in the morning
- Pump 1 hour before or after your breastfeeding intervals as a backup for providing a sufficient amount to Your Child
If you are only breast pumping:
- Plan to pump around 8-10 times per day
- Try to establish full milk production as time goes by, to reach about 3 – 6 oz. of milk per pumping session. Once you reach that amount, adjust the schedule whichever way to have at least 25 – 35 oz. ready for Your Child each day
If you find you cannot produce enough milk, don’t pressure yourself. Every mom and baby is different. Milk supply levels vary during different times of the day, or even between different weeks.
Just know that diet and emotions play a great role in how much your body produces milk. Be sure to consult with your physician or a lactation expert if these problems persist.
Dr. Piyawut Kreetapirom, MD. (26 August 2021)