We get a lot of emails about pumping and one of the more common questions is “when do you pump?”. The answer depends on a several factors and will vary with your baby’s age and whether you are nursing or exclusively pumping.
I’ll start with nursing because that’s an “easier” schedule than EPing. This schedule is really only to build up your supply, pumping is not a necessary step in breastfeeding (unless you are away from baby of course) Here is my pump scheduled when I nursed my son:
Newborn to 3 Months:
Pumped 3 times a day. Right after his morning nursing session (when we were up for the day), once when my husband got home from work and once right before I went to bed. I always pumped right after baby ate to make sure he was getting enough.
3 Months – 4 Months:
I dropped down to 2 pumping sessions a day mainly because I was getting way too full and uncomfortable. I dropped the afternoon session and only pumped in the morning and right before bed.
I was so over pumping and had a great supply so at 5 months I gave up the morning session. I started pumping at night only just to get completely empty before I was off to bed. I will continue to do this until it is time to wean.
When Exclusively Pumping:
Here was my approximate schedule of how I pumped when I exclusively pumped my daughter broken down by age:
Of course, if you ever get stuck or need help with your pumping or nursing schedules, please contact a lactation consultant. These ladies are supportive, knowledgeable and amazing. They can help you with your unique situation and can offer tips that will work for you.