6 Tips for Creating a Breast Milk Pumping ScheduleJeff
Breastfeeding has a reputation for being one of the most nourishing options to provide your baby. But even though it’s a natural instinct for your baby, there’s still a learning curve involved with breastfeeding. It’s not always easy to gauge when your baby is hungry when your milk supply is in fair shape, or which position your baby prefers to be in when it’s feeding time.
These are all factors to consider when you’re getting used to breastfeeding; understanding how to weave pumping sessions into your daily life, especially if you’re heading back to work, is essential for keeping a steady milk flow, properly organizing and storing breastmilk and mitigating your own stress levels. But when’s the best time to pump breastmilk, and how can you ensure your supply stays strong?
Whether you’ve decided to start pumping for your partner to help with feeds or you’re committing to an exclusive breast milk pumping schedule, here are some of our favorite tips for maintaining consistency and happiness.
1. Purchase a Hospital Grade Electric Pump
If you plan to exclusively pump or you simply want to set yourself up for success from the start, get yourself a double electric pump. Hospital-grade breast pumps are designed to be the most powerful and effective option out there to help new mothers collect breastmilk for their babies. If you have the opportunity to invest in one for personal use, take advantage of it! This may help ease your pumping experience and make it less challenging to collect large quantities of milk at a time.
2. Talk to Your Boss About Pumping Breaks
If you want to create a pumping schedule but you’re returning to work, it’s important to be open and honest with your boss about your plans. This can make it easier to get some time to yourself when you head back to the office, and it can also lessen the stress that may be involved with stepping away from your work to collect milk.
3. Pump When Baby Would Normally Feed
All babies are different, and they might have different eating habits as well. The number of times they feed throughout the day will also change as they get older. All of these factors aside, it’s still important to pump when your baby would generally feed from your breast. Typically, this is about every 2 to 3 hours.
It’s important to remember that breastfeeding is all about supply and demand. If you feed your baby or pump to collect milk, your body knows that it needs to replenish its own stockpile. Training your body to act this way, even when your baby isn’t around, is made simple with a pumping schedule. Just schedule breaks during your day to pump when you would normally feed your baby – this can increase your chances of being able to produce milk long-term.
4. Keep Pumping Sessions Between 8-15 Minutes
Feeding baby straight from your breast may be easier to navigate and decide when it’s time to wrap things up; your baby will likely feed from your breast until they are full! So how do you know when to detach your breast pump?
Baby Center recommended keeping pumping time between 8-15 minutes if you’re using a double electric pump. You can also cut back on time if you notice no new milk appearing in your collection bottles.
If you’re having trouble with supply, power pumping can be helpful. This is when your pumping sessions last between 15-20 minutes, then resting for 10 minutes. Then you pump for 10 minutes, rest for another 10 minutes, then pump for an additional 10 minutes. Cluster feeding is designed to recoup the supply-and-demand system in your body and remind it to continue creating milk.
5. Get a Handheld Pump for On-The-Go Sessions
While double electric pumps are ideal for scheduled breast pumping, you may still invest in a manual pump. This can be useful for vacations or other disruptions in your normal everyday schedule – a handheld pump can be your saving grace if you’re trying to keep your breast milk supply up, or you need relief during a long travel experience.
6. Consider this Sample Pumping Schedule
Still not sure about how often to pump breastmilk? Looking for more insight on the best time of day to pump breastmilk? Consider this sample pumping schedule by NEB Medical, or use it as guidance to create a schedule that fits your lifestyle:
- 5:30 a.m. Breastfeed when your baby wakes up
- 7 a.m. Breastfeed before heading to work
- 9 a.m. Pump at work
- 12 p.m. Pump during lunch break
- 3 p.m. Pump during your afternoon break
- 5:30 p.m. Breastfeed at daycare or at home
- 8 p.m. Bedtime breastfeeding
- Breastfeed during the night as needed
Remember: This can be adjusted from one baby/mom to another. Keep your own everyday schedule in mind when forming your breast milk pumping schedule.
Turn Your Stockpile into Breast Milk Jewelry
Getting into the flow of a breast milk pumping schedule can work wonders for you, so much that you may find yourself sitting on a major freezer stockpile! If you notice that you have ample milk to keep your baby nourished and satisfied, consider using some of your supply for breast milk jewelry.
At Keepsake Mom, we create jewelry for mothers as a sign of celebration of motherhood. Each piece combines beauty and meaning to create an everlasting keepsake that represents the bond between mother and baby.
It can also be the perfect celebration of your breastfeeding journey. Breastfeeding can be one of the most monumental accomplishments of a mother’s life, and having an emblem that recognizes the hard work and dedication can help you cherish the feeling for years to come.
Ready to learn more? Explore one-of-a-kind breast milk jewelry at KeepsakeMom. View our rings, necklaces, earrings, and more to find the perfect breast milk keepsake.