Time Between Feedings And/or Pumping.....

Updated on February 27, 2008
J.P. asks from Quincy, MA
13 answers

How much time is too much time between pumping and or nursing? My 3 1/2 month old has been sleeping at least 8 hours a night and I am concerned that my milk supply will suffer as a result. I have been waking once in the middle of the night to pump, but not sure if that is enough. She is primarily breastfed and only takes a bottle when I am at work (part time 3 nights a week). Any suggestions or help is greatly appreciated.

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.B.

answers from Portland on

I attend the breastfeeding support grouop that is held on tuesdays from 1-3 at the Scarborough Maine Med. Learning Center, it is free. That answer has come up and my daughter who is 15 weeks old sleeps about 9-11 hours per night and I do not wake to pump. Karen the lactation consultant that runs the group said you shouldn't because if you do you will always have to. Your body will go through an adjustment period of a few days where you may get engorged it may be a little painful, but after a few nights you should be back to normal. Your milk supply will not go down, and you could probably use the sleep. It is a supply and demand, so what your baby needs, your body will supply, right now you are making more milk than your baby needs if you are pumping. I am also a stay at home mom and I do not pump, thank goodness, because I hate pumping. If you have more questions you can always call Maine Med. and ask the lactation consultants there, they are very helpful. I used them a lot at the beginning as it took me 6 weeks to successfully breastfeed. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.C.

answers from Springfield on

J.,
Stay asleep!!!!! Your body knows full well that it has a baby to feed, and it will continue to make exactly enough milk. It's amazing, and it's true. Your milk supply will adjust to your baby's needs all by itself. So, enjoy that sleep!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.R.

answers from Boston on

When I was nursing, and my kids slept throught the night...so did I!!! It is my understanding that milk is produced based on need. In other words, if your baby doesn't need it at night, eventually your body will adjust to that schedule. You should still be full for the a.m. feeding. I did not encounter a problem with this. If you are waking up in the middle of the night because you are engorged, then just express a bit to take the pressure off. This will help your body adjust to the changing nursing pattern. Good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.G.

answers from Barnstable on

My daughter slept through the night at three months old as well; she is now 13 months old and still nurses. I also work 8 hours a day (have for last 7 months)and she is at daycare drinking from a cup. My milk supply hasnt diminished at all and is always ready and available when she wants it(she nurses 3 times a day). At 3 months they have established the supply they need and so I wouldnt worry as long as she is healthy. The pumping is great and I'm sure it is helpful to you and relieves any "build up".

B.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.F.

answers from Hartford on

Ask your pediatrician, but I imagine he/she will tell you to enjoy the rest. Sleep when your baby sleeps and don't worry about pumping. You need rest to stay healthy and a healthy mom maintains the strongest milk supply. Especially with two older children - get some sleep and try not to worry.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.K.

answers from Boston on

Lucky you to have a baby sleeping that long at night so soon! I don't think your milk supply will suffer if you don't pump at night, if it does just pump a little extra during the day and it will build up again.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.T.

answers from Boston on

I know it's probably difficult to believe, but your body has an amazing ability to adapt and will produce enough milk based on your baby's demand and schedule. Take advantage of the fact that you have a sleeping baby, and SLEEP. It will take a day or two, but your body will adjust to the longer period without feeding at night. It really will. Good luck!
M.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.M.

answers from Boston on

First of all CONGRATULATIONS for having a 3 1/2 month old that is sleeping 8 hours!!!! Yeah sleep.

From what I understand, our bodies are in tune to the feeding demands of our nursing infants. So if the demand is low at a specific time our supply at that time will deminish while it will replenish and make plenty for the times our babies eat heartily.

If you are concerned and want to double check with a professional the lactation specialist at the hospital you gave birth at will be a great resource as is your local Le Leche League or your childs pediatrician. Often the pediatrician will look at weight gain to make sure the child is feeding enough.

If your child is growing well you should relax and sleep for 8 hours too!!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.K.

answers from Boston on

Sleep, sleep, sleep!! Don't wake up to pump! Get your sleep! My daughter has slept through the night since birth and is now 11 mos and still nursing. I slept throught the night, too! My 3 yr old NEVER slept, so I was so excited to get some sleep that it didn't even occur to me to worry about my milk supply. Good luck and congrats on having a "sleeper"!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.W.

answers from Boston on

When my son started sleeping through the night I would pump before I would go to bed.My body adjusted and produced enough for all his feedings.The first couple of nights were tough,but hang in there,your body will adjust!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.G.

answers from Springfield on

Hi J.

Do you need that night time pumping to get enough milk for her bottles?

My children never slept eight hour stretches so young, but I pumped and worked part time and my milk supply would simply adjust to my babies' needs. If you believe that your milk is getting low, just let her suck a lot and your supply will be back up within a day if you are well hydrated. She will go through developmental stretches of heavy nursing and then not so much and then they get sick and back to nursing all the time...the milk supply will go up and down. I always pumped at work though, to supply the next bottle, but never produced as much for the pump.
Good luck and don't worry....it will lower your milk supply:)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.P.

answers from Portland on

Hi J.,
Breasts are a wonderful thing. They will automatically regulate to what your child needs. The fact that a three and a half month old is able to sleep for eight hours without waking means she's getting all the nutrients she needs from your milk. She'd wake if she needed more. I'd be inclined to not pump if I were you and get the extra sleep (but that's just me). As they get older you don't have that same full feeling but you are still making enough milk.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.S.

answers from Boston on

Congrats on your little girl being such a great sleeper! I am sure you love the newfound rest. Unless the twins get you up..

ANyway, my 6 month old has been sleeping through the night for awhile now as well ( i consider myself very lucky and fingers are crossed for it to continue). I "dreamfeed" her right before bed to empty one breast, pump the other (this is around 11PM) and then I don't feed her until 7 usually. My breasts are very very full, near exploding, in the AM but it doesn't seem to have hurt my milk supply as she seems to be getting enough. I pump during the day as I work full time. So I think as long as you put her to the breast as often as you can, your body will make enough. I'd hate to have to get up in the middle of the night just to pump. But I will warn you the breasts will be very very full. One thing I sometimes do is get up 10 minutes before her and pump - you can get like 8 oz in 5 minutes so you have some to feed her during the day. That's a good way to stockpile some in the freezer.

Next question: Middle of the Night engorgement....OUCH!