Breast Feeding and Pumping Schedule

Updated on March 18, 2010
A.B. asks from Simpsonville, SC
15 answers

Hi ladies,

I just had my second daughter last week and she initially was not eating well. She has since picked up a bit--now feeds 5-10minutes on each side every 3 hours. I became engorged and was told by pediatrician to pump after each feeding approx 5 min and give baby back what was pumped in a bottle. She will NOT take a bottle. I have tried Dr. Brown's and Tommee Tippee brands without success. SHe is eating better now so I don't think it necessary. Anyways, because I have been pumping to relieve engorgement and breast feeding as well I need to get on a schedule so that I know she is getting all that she wants and needs and then pump at an appropriate time. Obviously pumping right before she eats is probably not a good idea. How often should I be trying to feed her and do I always pump after she eats or just once or twice a day? I don't know what to do...I breast fed my first but never pumped and she ended up on formula after about 8 weeks. I want to do this longer than that, I just don't have any breast feeding support (I don't know anyone with any solid advice right now.) Thanks for the help

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answers from Atlanta on

CONGRATULATIONS! It takes a strong, brave, determined mom to breastfeed and you are doing great!

The first 3 weeks you, your baby, and your body are all trying to get in sync, and then it gets easier. Your production will be better if you pump and just freeze it (they sell special baggies) for times over the coming months. Also, there are milk donation sites for people with cancer and babies with special needs, so it won't be wasted:)

Feed on demand, and watch her diapers and weight-gain -- that will tell you best if she's getting the right amount for HER. Nursing every two hours was typical for my children -- nursed each side 20 min, for 40 min total, and started again around 80 minutes later. There were times when my son nursed every 70 minutes -- I was a "milk maid" for those 2 weeks:)

You could also pump during "missed" feedings, such as during naps or in the night. I needed around 1 hour to "produce" another feeding but each mom varies. LaLeche has a great 800# with pre-recorded information and pamplets you can order too. 1+800-LALECHE ###-###-####) and

Good luck and keep up the great work!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Breastfeeding is probably one of the hardest things I have ever done. I breast fed my first daughter for 22 months and am breastfeeding my second (3 mos.). Just remember that your breasts are created to be able to increase and decrease milk production according to the needs of your baby. In the beginning, it is a challenge because your milk comes in fast and your baby is just learning how to latch on correctly. It will get better. Just put the baby to your breast whenever she wakes up and let her stay on as long as she will. I would stop pumping unless it is a huge problem. You can massage your breasts while your baby is sucking so that she takes in more and it will relieve some of the engorgement. You can also massage your breasts in the shower to relieve some of the discomfort. I would also look up the la leche league on-line and see if there are any support groups in your area. There may be a consultant who could come to your house to check on how well your baby is latching on and could answer some of your questions. I think they also have a hot line you can call. There is support and no question is a silly one! You can do it. The first few weeks are the hardest, but your baby will get better and better and your breasts will feel better soon! Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I am about to try breastfeeding again with my 2nd (due april) and i am very nervous b/c it was not easy with my first, now almost 2 years. I talked to the lactation consultants at the hospital i gave birth at, there was a number to call and leave a message and someone calls u back. I used them ALOT along with Kellymom has lots of experienced and new moms that offer great support, you won't be sorry you asked! It is hard enough with one so i can't imagine an infant and toddler.....but we can do it!! Congrats and good luck : )

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Hi A.!
I breast fed all 4 of mine for at least a year and really don't have anything to add to the great responses you've gotten thus far. Every one of my children was different and we just had to learn each other as we went along.....and sometimes we were limping along, frustrated, in pain, and wondering if it was all worth it! There is NO question about it, that breast feeding is the absolute best for both you and your baby (I'm sure you've heard it a million times!) but it doesn't hurt to remind yourself when things get tough that you're doing what God intended and no matter what, you ARE doing a good job! When you're exhausted it's hard to feel like anything's going right sometimes. I was never very involved with Le Leche League as far as meetings/get togethers were concerned but they were/are a fantastic group of Moms and they really helped my out on several occasions and the level of empathy and support was wonderful! I also just wanted to add another response # up here to let you know that there are MANY of us out here who have "been there, done that, doing that" and are here on board for you if you EVER need help or just to chat! I'm more than happy to provide my phone # if you don't find the support you're looking for in your area and just need a sounding board or long distance shoulder! Just send me an email if you need/want to:)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

With a baby this young it's best to feed on demand. Trying to limit her to scheduled feedings could decrease your millk supply. My first was a very fast nurser and was always done within 5-10 minutes. Is your baby wetting plenty of diapers? Does she seem satisfied now after she nurses? If so, you may be able to stop the pumping and bottles. If you're pumping solely to relieve engorgement, you'll need to stop because you're stimulating your breasts to produce even more milk. A lot of doctors are not supportive of breastfeeding or very knowledgable about it because they receive very little instruction in med school. I would contact La Leche League. They were so helpful to me with my first baby and with him I had every nursing problem in the book!



answers from Charleston on

I had major problems with engorgement and pumped to relieve the pain, but it continued and got worse over time. If it is a continual problem for you, feed your baby when she wants to be fed and only pump just enough to relieve the pressure...not a whole bottle full. This should help your breasts make enough to feed your daughter but not so much that you're in pain all the time. I learned this the hard way! There is a ton of information on breast feeding and problems on the La Leche League website if you have more questions.



answers from Spartanburg on

We were instructed by our matrons and pediatricians to nurse "on demand", ie give them the breast whenever they seem to want it (usually by crying). My son only seemed to stop crying when on the breast, so I felt like a human pacificier, so I only have this experience to go by! You don't need to pump anymore unless you are still getting engorged/it's painful. The idea is that if you let her feed as often as she wants (usually more than every 3 hours for newborns), you will get into a cycle/rhythm with each other, your breasts adapting to her needs, by either producing more or less milk as she requires. Often newborns like to breastfeed often and for long periods of time, 5-10 mins sounds a bit quick for a newborn, with me it was at least 15 mins each side at that stage. Often they are also doing it for comfort and security than hunger, which does no harm, unless it bothers you.



answers from Charleston on

I would first call the pediatrician and see if you still need to be pumping...he/she might have meant just for a while while your body got used to producing milk. If you do still need to pump, usually the morning feeding is when I had the most milk, so maybe for a few minutes after her morning feeding. Freeze the milk if she doesn't need it -- it'll come in handy later!


answers from Richmond on

Wow I can't believe you don't have like 40 responses by now, this is usually a hot topic. I had a lot of trouble with my 3rd baby, if you click on my name you can see the questions I've posted about it and all the great responses too! It's too much to list! But I would also make sure there isn't a reason your daughter isn't a good eater... for my son, his frenulum on the underside of his tongue was too far forward and had to be clipped. Definately keep pumping after each feeding to keep up milk supply, and give someone else the bottle to feed your daughter... my son didn't take a bottle from me until he was about 6 weeks old, and it took a lot of crying from both of us until it happened! Don't give up, and keep your chin up mama! Congrats on the new one, and good luck!



answers from Indianapolis on

I agree with Rachel about being completely surprised at how few people have responded.

Our first child was a snacker, he was a very efficient eater and was usually done in a few minutes compared to our daughter who took much longer to nurse.

Rachel's advice on having someone else provide the bottle is a good one. We had to experiment with several bottles, too, and find the nipple that was closest to what both kids were accustomed to from me.

Keep pumping!



answers from Charleston on

Breastfeeding on demand is the best, and in my opinion the only way, to get a solid breastfeeding relationship established. That basically means that if she is awake and aware,offer it. If she takes it and you know she's latching then great, if not, then try again after a diaper change or if she seems fussy. Pump only if you get engorged but offering the breast on demand should prevent that but taking a quick shower with the warm water and massaging should help to alleviate it without breaking out the pump. Your local hospital should have a lactation consultant on staff. You could also ask your ob, pediatrician or look online for a local LLL meeting. Stick to it, it sounds like you're dedicated to giving your daughter the best and I'm sure with a little hands on help from one of those sources, you should be successful. Just don't be modest if you do get one on one help, the best thing to do is to understand that they're professionals and will do their best to make you feel comfortable.



answers from Charleston on

Definitely breast feed on demand. Wait to switch sides until she seems satisfied with one, don't go by the clock. Breastfeeding on a schedule is the surest and quickest way to reduce your supply. For more individual advice, get in touch with your local La Leche League, or even the lactation consultant at your local hospital. They are the ones to provide breastfeeding advice. While your pediatrician means well, they receive very little education on lactation and breastfeeding, and are often not the best source of information and advice. Follow your baby's cues, don't watch the clock, and you'll be fine!



answers from Atlanta on

Check out for the best breastfeeding advice. With a baby this young, scheduling is not a good thing. Nurse on demand--and it might seem like she's doing it ALL the time at first. That is NORMAL. She's establishing your supply and comforting herself. Even comfort nursing will boost your milk supply. Every three hours is not very often for a baby that young. If she's not demanding it sooner, cut it back to two hours at the very least.

If she won't take a bottle, you can try a cup. A lot of babies prefer cup feeding or finger feeding (which is slow, but effective). If you're really concerned, you can put your pumped milk into an SNS like the Lact-aid and supplement her while she's nursing. I had to use one for a while with my son.

You CAN do this. I know it's tough. You might also try a breastfeeding group, like La Leche League, for local support. Support is the number-one factor in breastfeeding success, and you need the right information, which unfortunately peds don't always have.



answers from Atlanta on

Check out there are great breastfeeding support groups on there.

Also, is a site devoted to breastfeeding info



answers from Atlanta on

Hi A.,

Congratulations on your new baby! I would suggest that for now you feed on demand, which will not only help with engorgement but will also further improve your supply and ensure that baby is getting all she wants to eat.

If you can tell that you have milk left after a breast feeding session, that's a good time to pump. Right now, I wouldn't worry about introducing a bottle. Your main goal now should be establishing your milk supply!

I'm a CAPPA postpartum doula, and you might want to check the CAPPA website to see if there are postpartum doulas, lactation consultants, etc. near you. We love to help new moms! Here's the link to our Membership search page:

Best of luck to you!


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