Breastfeeding and Pumping Schedule: A Complete Beginner’s Guide

This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post, at no added cost to you. Find full disclosures here.

Are you ready to start a breastfeeding and pumping schedule, but you’re not quite sure where or how to plan a routine that will work for the many different scenarios you have whirling around in your head?

This article will help you fill in the blanks on how to successfully establish a routine around pumping and breastfeeding.

You will also be introduced to some very useful breastfeeding and pumping resources.

I’ll even provide you with free sample pumping schedules and an opportunity to access a free pumping course.

Quick Navigation

Breastfeeding and Pumping Schedule Tips to Establish Milk Supply

It is so important to establish your milk supply as soon as possible!

Building a freezer stash depends on your breast milk regulating to safely over-produce beyond what your little one consumes per day.

Starting a strategic breast pumping schedule right away can make a huge difference in your milk supply later on too.

How to Establish Your Supply before your Milk Regulates

When your milk first comes in, your body pretty much relies on postpartum hormones to produce milk.

Once these hormones regulate so does your milk supply and then the supply and demand switch turns on.

If your goal is to hopefully have an over-supply for the purpose of building a decent-sized freezer stash, you may want to start pumping right away.

I mean, at the hospital!

Whip out that breast pump and use it once per day for 10-15 minutes after you have nursed your baby. 

In some instances, a lactation consultant will advise you to wait 2-3 weeks before you begin a breast pumping regimen.

This is because they recommend you let your baby regulate your supply for you to avoid complications that an over-supply may result in.

It is always best to consult with a lactation consultant if you are experiencing any problems.

However, if you are worried about having a low supply, beginning a breast pumping regimen right away can drastically increase your overall milk production.

Below, you will see a sample breastfeeding and pumping schedule I designed to help a mama with an established milk supply build her freezer stash and even increase milk supply if need be!

Breastfeeding and pumping schedule
Pin this for later!

Pumping and Breastfeeding Schedule to Build a Freezer Stash

It is generally a recommendation to use the breast pump for 10-15 min after your baby nurses, at least 2-3 times per day and maintaining this for the first few months.

This breastfeeding and pumping routine will drastically help you build a freezer stash more quickly.

For example, I didn’t start a routined pumping schedule until six weeks postpartum. Unfortunately, by then my breast milk supply had already been regulated by my baby and I became a “just-enougher” with little to no extra milk per day to stash away.

So take it from me, having a freezer stash of surplus breast milk as a back-up would be ideal.

Which is another reason why I love Milkology’s breastfeeding and pumping courses.

These online breastfeeding classes teach you how to build a freezer stash, how to safely store and handle breast milk and how to troubleshoot any breastfeeding issues that may come your way.

For only $19 you can join today, watch it in your pj’s tonight and feel so much more prepared and confident about breastfeeding and pumping in only 90 minutes.

Plus, once enrolled, you have the opportunity to get The Ultimate Back to Work Pumping Class at a 20% off discount.

Having these two courses in your resource library would completely eliminate any breastfeeding and pumping problems you may have now or in the future.

When you consider what’s at cost by not being prepared, there’s really no good reason not to invest a small amount in your breastfeeding success. By the way, have you seen the price of formula lately?

See Also: 7 Best Online Breastfeeding Courses for New Moms

Why You Should Collect Breast Milk While You Breastfeed 

If you haven’t purchased any type of a nursing cup or milk saver yet, make sure you do! I strongly recommend The Boobble Cup (10% off discount code) for this purpose.

This unique and simple silicone hybrid breast pump/breast shell will assist to catch any leaking breast milk from the breast that is not being nursed on.

Instead of letting that breast milk leak out into a breast pad, catch it and add it to your freezer stash. You will be amazed at how quickly these 1-2 ounces will add up with little to no effort on your part. 

See Also: The Ultimate Back to Work Pumping Class Review and Sneak Peek!

Free Pumping Schedules

An image of a cell phone with a free pumping schedule on the screen.
Three free pumping schedules to help increase milk supply or build a freezer stash. Download and print or keep on your phone.

How to Schedule Pumping While Nursing

Like I said before, if you’re hoping to build a freezer stash, start pumping right away! If you’re still nursing your baby, plan to pump after she has fed and is satisfied.

This will begin to tell your body to produce more milk than what baby consumes. It is suggested to start with an additional 10-15 minutes of pumping 2-3 times per day after you’re done nursing.

Infants can easily nurse up to twelve times per day or, around the clock (like mine did).

Idealy, pumping every time after your little one breastfeeds is best, but I also think there is such a thing as too much supply. Many mamas with an over-supply struggle with frequent clogs and mastitis.

Moral of the story, you CAN over do it!

I know it can be hard to squeeze in pumping sessions on top of nursing and caring for an infant, but just do the best you can and remember, everything you are doing now for your little one won’t be permanent.

But it could mean a lifetime of better health for your child.

Related: From Under-Producer to Overcomer: A New Mom’s Breastfeeding Journey

Breastfeeding and Pumping Schedule for Working Moms

So, what does breastfeeding look like for the working mom?

Below, I’ve put together a simple to follow breastfeeding and pumping schedule routine that you can easily implement without suffering a decrease in milk supply.

Breastfeeding and pumping schedule for working moms infographic.
Pin this for later!

How to Ease the Back to Work Breastfeeding Transition

For many breastfeeding moms going to back to work and maintaining your milk supply is a concern. Pumping at work is uncharted territory for most.

However, you will learn absolutely EVERYTHING you need to know about pumping at work in, The Ultimate Back to Work Pumping Class by Milkology.

Don’t forget to contact me if you enroll in any of Milkology’s courses through a link on this site so you can get The Pumping Pro Course for free! 

P.S. Milkology offers a 20% off discount when you purchase their second course. Meaning, you can have unlimited access to both courses for only $34!

Best Pumping Kit for Pumping at Work 

In case you are also curious about what the best pumping set up is for pumping at work, I have a couple recommendations to help make pumping at work a lot less of a hassle and even more productive!

I really like the Pumpables Genie Plus for pumping at work because it is compact, quiet and very light weight – making it perfect for storing in your desk and toting it to and from work.

Or, keep this pump at work and leave your larger personal breast pump at home.

If you’re interested in grabbing the Genie Plus, take advantage of this 10% off your entire order.

Best Hands-Free Pumping kit for Work

In addition to a breast pump for work, you will want to use a pumping kit that is hands-free and even concealable, like Freemie Collection Cups.

I love this pumping kit for work so much because it is the best kit for pumping discreetly. You can slip the cups under your shirt and in any bra you wear (no pumping bra needed)! 

Frequently Asked Pumping Schedule Questions

This next section will hopefully address the pumping schedule questions you may still have left remaining. Such as, keeping track of your pumping schedule, how often to pump, how long to pump for and when to drop pumping sessions.

How do I keep track of my breast pumping sessions? 

I’m so happy to share one of my favorite pumping resources with you!

It’s an app by Medela, called Pump Log and I love it!

Here are all the awesome features it provides.

Pump log app overview to help with scheduling great pumping sessions

How often should I be pumping? 

The answer to this question depends on how many months postpartum you are.

If you are exclusively pumping, your breast pumping sessions are basically taking the place of your baby’s nursing habits.

Here is a postpartum pumping schedule planned out for up to twelve months postpartum you can save for later.

How long do I need to pump at each session?

This answer could be drastically different for everyone. The recommendation for time on the pump is based on how long it takes to fully empty your breasts.

For me, this could take up to an hour! However for others, it could only be twenty minutes.

It is critical to empty sufficiently at every session to avoid clogs and a decrease in milk supply.

When can I drop pumping sessions and still maintain my supply? 

I was exclusively pumping at least eight times a day from four weeks postpartum to four months postpartum.

I dropped my middle of the night pumping session as soon as my baby began to consistently sleep through the night.

When you’re a full time exclusive pumper, it’s best to let your baby’s habits dictate what changes your body can adapt to safely without losing your breast milk supply. Just like if you were exclusively nursing.

How to Get Prepared for Breastfeeding and Lactation 

Breastfeeding can be complicated and definitely so can figuring out your milk supply. Which is why this must-have breastfeeding resource is my #1 recommendation for new moms.

The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class is a complete online breastfeeding video course that covers everything from the golden hour, latching, pumping, your milk supply and more.

If you are feeling a little anxious about breastfeeding and all that goes along with it, this is an extremely affordable and wonderful place to begin your breastfeeding journey.

Image of free breastfeeding tracker printable in a frame with time nursed filled in.
FREE breastfeeding tracker to keep track of feedings, notes for the day and which side last nursed..

In Closing

I hope you will be taking away many helpful pumping and breastfeeding scheduled tips from this read.

Navigating the many new roles we must play as new moms isn’t always black and white and breastfeeding comes with a learning curve.

It’s understandable why we put so much pressure on our bodies to feed our babies, because we are in some cases the only way they are being sustained.

Don’t let yourself go without some form of breastfeeding training before your baby is born or at least while they are still very little.

If you like to learn online and in your pjs, I suggest grabbing yourself a seat in Milkology’s breastfeeding classes. 

  • How to establish your milk supply.
  • Invest in pump school before you run into breast pumping and milk supply problems.
  • Schedule a pumping routine that will encourage a small over-supply to build a freezer stash.
  • Pump after you have nursed your baby a few times a day, 15-20 extra minutes.
  • Get a handy pump log app to keep track of your milk supply and pumping schedule.
  • Exclusively pumping is equivalent to a nursing baby.
  • Pump until you are empty to prevent clogs and mastitis.

You can drop your middle of the night of pump as soon as baby is sleeping through the night and your supply has regulated (usually around 5 months postpartum)

One last look at my recommendations

Earlier you were introduced to the two BEST breastfeeding and pumping online courses, both by Milkology.

I know it can be hard to decide which one to go with right now.

I recommend starting with The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class and then using your second purchase discount to later get The Ultimate Back to Work Pumping Class when you are approaching a breastfeeding or milk supply transition.

Visit my recommendations page to see more of what I love and use!

Back to top ⬆︎

Read Next: Exclusive Pumping Schedule: From Birth and Beyond

Pin for later and share!

Love Our Littles® is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

The content of this website is for informational and entertainment purposes only. This isn't medical advice and if someone relies on it to their detriment, I am not liable.

shares