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How are you transitioning from breast feeding to pumping?

I have to return to work in month and want to pump for at least three more months. How do I start to pump and how should I transition between exclusively breast feeding to b-f and pumped/bottled milk?

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Asked by kathleen3d at 10:45 PM on May. 16, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (5)
  • 1st, don't stop nursing completely. Do it as often as you can when w/ baby. A pump isn't as effective at expressing milk as a baby. Get some fenugreek caps from GNC or where ever to increase supply to start a stash. Pump as often as possible to keep up demand (which keeps up supply). Use warm compresses (like a hot towel or this product Gerber makes that you can microwave) to help get out as much milk as possible. Since our breasts like to let down at the same time, try pumping one side while baby nurses on the other. Get wide, slow flow, breast like bottle nipples -like Breastflo. Also get a reliable double electric pump if you'll be working full time. Medela is the top rated brand. Join a breastfeeding group here for more help.

    Answer by jus1jess at 10:54 PM on May. 16, 2009

  • For now...pump one side while nursing the other in the morning in order to stock up a bit. When you go back to work, you'll pump once for every three hours away from baby. Nurse when you're home.

    Nothing easier. No big production. If you're with the baby, you nurse. When you're not, baby gets a sippyt cup (preferable) or a bottle.

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:07 PM on May. 16, 2009

  • Start pumping now right after or while nursing the baby. Have some one else try giving a bottle it Lo is over 6 weeks old. While at work try to pump at the same times the Lo would be nursing if you were home. Make sure you take with your employer before hand about accomodating your pumping needs. By law they have to allow you to at least pump on the breaks you would get legally. Once you return to work if you can pump enough to keep up with what LO eats while you are awy then you will not need to pump at home anymore. Some women have issues pumping enough while at work though so you might have to pump some at home to keep up. while home simply put LO to breast to eat and when you are not there give a bottle. There are several groups on here for working moms who breastfeed join one of them for support throughout this process.

    Answer by aeneva at 10:26 AM on May. 17, 2009

  • Lots of good info on this at

    How often to pump, how to "teach" your body to let down for the pump etc.


    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 4:32 PM on May. 17, 2009

  • I just returned to work from maternity leave last month and have been ebf my daughter. I started pumping 1-2 times a day when I was still at home but breastfed her all other times. I saved up a good freezer supply this way. At work, I pump twice a day and get enough for the next day and bf her when I'm home and on weekends. I would say to start pumping (my lactation consultant told me to pump after I feed my daughter, so I'd pump about an hour after I fed her) now to get used to it. I use the Medela and it really works well. I thought pumping would be a huge hassle but it's not and my daughter refuses formula anyway.

    Answer by danielp at 4:46 PM on May. 18, 2009

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