When should I pump?

When should you pump if you're home with your baby and fully breastfeeding? Here are some tips you may find helpful:

  • Try pumping in the morning. Most women get more milk then.
  • Pump 30-60 minutes after a nursing and at least an hour before a nursing. This leaves plenty of milk for your baby at the next feeding.

If your baby wants to breastfeed right after a pumping, go ahead. Some babies are patient and feed longer to get the milk they need. Just keep going back and forth from breast to breast until your baby is done.

If you are pumping for a baby who is not breastfeeding, plan to pump 8-10 times each day. Go no longer than 5 hours between pumpings until you are pumping a full milk supply (25-35 oz. per day). After that, if you can sleep for an 8-hour stretch without too much breast fullness, go ahead.

This is general information and does not replace the advice of your physician or healthcare provider. If you have a problem you cannot solve quickly, seek help right away.

Every baby is different, and your baby may not be average.
If in doubt, contact your physician or other healthcare provider.

Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA, Lactation Consultant, Ameda Breastfeeding Products
Coauthor of Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers