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How often can I pump?

DD is 5 weeks old. She nurses occassionally, but primarily I pump and feed her and we've had to supplement with formula. This has been going on since she was hospitalized wih jaundice at one week and we need to track how much she is receiving per feeding and for the day. Anyhow, the past few days she had a complete personality change and started spitting up and such. I called the pediatrician and he said to do one or the other (breast milk or formula) for a few days to see if that helps so I went with breastmilk because that's my first choice. Anyhow I am concerned I am not producing enough. I've only been supplementing a feeding or two at most with formula and there's been days she hasn't had any but any supply I had in the fridge is gone and I'm afraid if I pump and it's not enough and I can't supplement what am I supposed to do. So my question is how often can I pump? I do every two hours, can I do every hour? After increasing demand can I then switch back to two hours and have more supply?

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Asked by LoveBuggsMommie at 8:43 PM on Jul. 7, 2011 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 17 (3,581 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • Pumping tends to dry out the supply since it's not an on demand thing. Is there any way you can put her on you to help stimulate more production? Maybe do a switch over...have her on one side while pumping on the other at the same time?? Maybe ever hour to every 2 hours to can try it. I read somewhere that you can also drink or eat something that may help with can look into that. G'luck to you.

    Answer by Imortlmommy at 8:53 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • Make sure you are drinking fluid. The best way to increase is just nurse often for a few days. During the day every 1 to 2 hours. This will increase your supply. You can pump when you are done. If you stress about it, it wont help. Also when pumping do something. Hard to do but I found reading would make me relax and I would get more milk. Hang in there!

    Answer by Amr515 at 11:18 PM on Jul. 7, 2011

  • Pump only as often as baby eats--if she eats every hour, then pump every hour; if she eats every three hours, then pump every three hours.

    I agree with lmortlmommy that pumping on one side while feeding your baby on the other is a good way to get up a fridge stash of breast milk... It takes a bit of coordination in the beginning, but it's not too difficult once you get the hang of it...

    Answer by GoodyBrook at 12:28 AM on Jul. 8, 2011

  • I would increase the nursing time and pump afterwards.. I can't multi-task it so I feed from one breast and pump from the other, then switch next feeding.. you may not get much at first but 24-48hrs you'll see an increase. Also taking Fenugreek seems to work for some people to increase milk supply.

    Answer by Camilletnt at 8:34 AM on Jul. 8, 2011

  • i pump every 6 to 9 hours apart, and 3 times a day, but that's b/c I have a lot of supply. Think you should atleast breastfeed 2 or 3 times a day to keep it going. as far as long often it's depends on how much you can produce within that 2 or 3 hours. You need to empty the breast as much as you can, b/c that sends the msg that you are running out and needs more. Drink a lot of milk, soup, water and the mother's milk to increase it.

    Answer by Amy2079 at 12:14 PM on Jul. 8, 2011

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