Tips for Pumping

Depending on your job, it may take determination and dedication to pump at work, but if you're nursing and are planning to go back to work or even occasionally leave baby with a sitter, you'll need to pump.

Tips for Pumping
  • If you're working full-time, a double electric pump is the way to go. Double electric means both breasts can be pumped simultaneously.

  • During the average eight hour day, pump at least twice, if not three times.  Ideally, you'll be pumping when the baby would normally be nursing. 

  • Pumps are not as efficient as babies, so your pump outtake is not a reliable indicator of your supply. How many ounces you pump can vary depending on the time of day and even how long ago Baby nursed.  Some women pump only an ounce from each breast while others average two ounces from each breast.
  • Pumping is as much mental as it is physical.  In order to help elicit a letdown (or increase your output), look at pictures or videos of your baby (even on your phone).

  • Nurse Baby right before you leave and as soon as you arrive home. Try to schedule a pumping for the morning as milk production is at its highest then. 

  • A breastfed baby will never need more than a 4 oz bottle at a time.  In order to calculate how much your baby will need, check out this Milk Calculator from KellyMom.   

  • A breastfed baby can stay with the "slow-flow" nipple for as long as they need a bottle.  Rest assured that you never need to change it.  A slow flow nipple will ensure baby must work for the bottle just like they do at the breast. 

  • We suggest using paced bottle feeding, to help mimic the natural rhythm of breastfeeding. Paced bottle feeding is where baby sits semi-upright while you hold the bottle horizontal and take natural pauses so the baby can control the flow. 
What can you expect?
  • Once you return to work, you might notice your little one is nursing more frequently and more often during the evening/nighttime hours. This is completely normal and is your baby's way to reconnect with you.

  • You may even notice your baby 'reverse cycling,' which is when a baby takes in less milk during the day (maybe refusing or forgoing a bottle at daycare) but will make up for it at night.