I have a 4 1/2 week old baby girl who is exclusively breastfed. We had some issues with breastfeeding at first but now we seem to be over the hump and have established a good breastfeeding relationship. She nurses often and is gaining weight well. Sometime in the next week to two weeks, I would like to start pumping and saving milk so her father can take a turn feeding her once in awhile and for the rare occasions when we may enlist the help of a sitter. I do not NEED to pump. When I do go back to work (which won't be for another 5 months) she will come with me. I am wondering, when do I pump when the baby is with me all day and nursing every 1-3 hours? And I am looking for any discussion/advice from mamas with a similar experience. Thanks!
Discussion on Pumping
I would pump right after your first morning feeding, for 10-15 minutes. You may only get .5-2oz between the two breasts, but that's because baby has already taken what she needs. So you may need to collect a couple of days' worth to get a full serving to freeze. In the morning when you are rested, your supply will be higher and your letdown easier on the pump.
This is how I built up a stash before returning to work. Hope that helps!
I had this same problem when I started building up my stash at 5 weeks PP. My DS loves to nurse all day long and it's hard to pump when he's awake. I agree with PP about pumping after the morning feeding. You'll be surprised how much you can get out even after your LO ate, since the morning is when our bodies make the most prolactin hormone.
FWIW, it was hard for me to pump after the first feeding, since that's when DS is really fussy and needs me to hold him a lot, so I would pump after our early,early morning feeding (about 3 or 4 am) since he always went to sleep right after that one. It sucked to wake up so early, but I just played around on the computer for a while while I pumped for 20 minutes, then went back to bed.
ITA with PP about using the first morning pump to build a stash. I also want to note that when DD turned 7 mos, I started pumping at 8:30 pm (2 hrs after last feed) so that her daddy could handle the first night waking and I could get a nice solid chunk of sleep. It might be too early for you to do that and not mess with your supply, but man let me tell you that this has seriously changed my life now that I'm back to work full time. I head to bed at 8:30, DH gives her a bottle at around midnight, and I get up when she needs me after that, often around 2-3 am, and take her into bed so she can nurse, snuggle etc and I can still get some rest, I wish I had done this sooner as my first month back to work was really challenging for many reasons not the least of which was sleep deprivation.