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HELP... just starting to pump. Not sure how to start.

Ok so this is mythird kid and I still don't know how to go about pumping. I am going back to work in the begining of may and want to continue BFing for as long as possible. My son is 51/2 weeks old and eats every 3 hours. Please help me!!!

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Asked by Melissa6280 at 6:02 PM on Apr. 14, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (7)
  • Ok, don't pump till you have a let down. Seriously, if you pump without let down then it will hurt and bruise and you will pump for longer than need be. I stimulated my nipples till they felt all like it was letdown (dripping too) and then pumped. You get the most that way without damaging your body (pumps can seriously hurt you if you're not careful)

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:54 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • When I first went back to work I pumped before I left the house. Then once in the morning, once at lunch, and before I left. I couldn't keep that up for very long so I started just pumping right when I woke up. Then I would wake him up and nurse. I would pump once at work then again after I nursed him before I went to bed.

    At first when I cut back I was really engorged, but after a couple of days my body adjusted and I was pumping 10 oz. at lunch each day.  I pumped alot when I was home with him so my supple was massive. I know most people don't get that much.  I am also able to go a long time between nursing without getting too uncomfortable.  Everyone is different thought.


    Answer by MAUREEN55 at 6:58 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • I also recommend investing in a good electric pump. I have a Medula Pump n Style Advanced and I love it. Doing all that I was able to keep him on just breast milk until he was 7 or 8 months. Then I had to supplement with 1 formula bottle a day.

    Answer by MAUREEN55 at 6:58 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • I don't agree about not pumping until you have letdown... unless you don't want to come anywhere near having enough milk for your baby. At least in my experience, you need to pump every 2-3 hours while away from your baby, and you need to pump after baby goes to bed, to even come CLOSE. Two things that you have working "against" you for maintaining adequate supply: #1 baby will actually drink more if it's from a bottle and #2, baby is more efficient of getting the milk out of you than a pump. Be sure you have a double electric pump, preferably Medela. Drink lots of water, and start putting aside feedings before you go back , if at all possible. The new Medela Pump in style has 2 modes, the first mode helps get your milk to let down. But I'd take a picture of your baby to get you "in the mood." Good luck, it's hard work. But you can do it. Check out the BF moms group on CM, lots of great advice there.


    Answer by EmilySusan at 8:15 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • Also, nurse your baby on-demand whenever you're around him or her. Don't be tempted to offer a bottle if you're around your baby, or to supplement with expressed milk or formula if s/he still seems hungry. You don't want baby to start refusing the breast because it's harder work. (I"ve struggled with that, too).

    Answer by EmilySusan at 8:18 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • Everybody else has pretty much said it all, except:

    1.) Get a good supply ready BEFORE you go back to work. That way, if you have a hard time figuring out a pumping schedule at work, you have backup in the freezer, and won't be super stressed out.

    2.) When pumping at home, pump one side while you nurse on the other. This will help you have letdown and help you be able to pump more milk.


    Answer by kynziesmom at 10:40 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • The lactation consult. told me to pump for the first week right after the first morning feeding. You may not get any the first few days but keep doing it. The next week add a session sometime in the evening. I'm going back to work mid- may and have been doing this for 2 weeks. I already have lots of milk saved up. You can even freeze and save it even if you only have 1/2 oz or 1 oz since you can combine the frozen in a bottle later on.

    Answer by danielp at 12:07 AM on Apr. 15, 2009

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