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Breastfeeding and Pumping Schedule: A Complete Beginner’s Guide

Do you need help creating breastfeeding and pumping schedules, but you’re not quite sure where to start? 

This complete guide to pumping and breastfeeding for beginners will help you fill in the blanks on how to successfully establish your milk supply, build a freezer stash and how to get ahead of breastfeeding complications before they strike! 

I’ll even provide you with sample newborn pumping schedules and some to increase your milk supply. Plus, you’ll have an opportunity to access a free pumping and milk supply course!

Pin this for laterBreastfeeding and pumping schedule routine with pumping mom and baby.

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Breastfeeding and Pumping 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 as well.

How to Establish Your Supply Before 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 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 or twice per day for 10-15 minutes after you have nursed your baby. Please note that pumping before 3 weeks postpartum is not usually recommended and I’ll explain why in the next section.

Pumping and Breastfeeding Guidelines for After Birth 

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 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 may drastically increase your overall milk production.

Below, you will see a sample newborn breastfeeding and pumping schedule to give you a better idea of how to go about implementing a routine. 

You will also find a sample breastfeeding and pumping schedule for moms with an established milk supply who want to beef up their production after the next section.

Newborn Pumping and Breastfeeding Schedule Sample newborn pumping and breastfeeding schedule

Pumping and Breastfeeding Schedule to Build a Freezer Stash

If you are keen on building a freezer stash, it is generally recommended to use the breast pump for 10-15 min after your baby nurses, at least 2-3 times per day and maintain this for the first few months.

Try and wait 5 minutes after your baby is done feeding and see if you can achieve another let-down with pumping. This breastfeeding and pumping routine will dramatically help you build a freezer stash more quickly.

Sadly, I didn’t get this advice as a new mom…

Which for me meant, that my supply was regulated to only produce as much as my baby demanded and I struggled as 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.

And this why I love and recommend Milkology’s online breastfeeding and pumping courses!

Their number one online class for moms,The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class, shows you how to get the perfect first latch, how to safely store and handle breast milk and how to troubleshoot common breastfeeding issues that may come your way.

If you’re ready, you can easily enroll right now and I promise you will 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 for a well-rounded breastfeeding and pumping strategy sure to lead you towards your baby feeding success!s

Having the best online breastfeeding and pumping courses in your new mom resource library would greatly help eliminate most common breastfeeding and pumping mistakes you might make along the way of your breastfeeding journey.

When you consider the hefty cost of not being prepared, there is really no good reason not to invest in these risk-free resources.

Pink lettering that reads "hey mama, look here!"Three pin arrows surrounded by hearts.Plus, I would also like to gift you a FREE seat in my pumping and milk supply course with your enrollment today in any of the Milkology courses I mentioned above! Here are the details.

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 a silicone breast pump for this purpose.

These unique and simple silicone breast pumps will assist to help you effortlessly catch any leaking breast milk from the breast that is not being nursed on.

Instead of letting all 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!

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.

Breastfeeding and Pumping Schedule to Increase Milk Supply or Build A Freezer StashBreastfeeding and pumping schedule

Pumping and Over-Supply

Infants can easily nurse up to twelve times per day. Or, basically around the clock. Ideally, pumping for a short time after your little one nurses is ideal depending on your milk supply goals.

However, there can also be such a thing as too much milk production.

Many mamas with an over-supply struggle with frequent clogs and mastitis.

Moral of the story, you CAN over do it!

Always take time to re-evaluate your pumping and breastfeeding routine to make sure you are not overdoing it. Take note of the health of your breast tissue and levels of engorgement.

Put your health and comfort first and consult with a lactation consultant if you are unsure about what steps to take to correct a perceived issue.  

Breastfeeding and Pumping Schedule for Working Moms

You may want to know what breastfeeding and pumping looks like for a working mom.

Below, I’ve put together a simple-to-follow breastfeeding and pumping schedule for working moms that can be easily implemented without suffering a decrease in milk supply.

Breastfeeding and pumping schedule for working moms infographic.

How to Ease the Back to Work Breastfeeding Transition

For many breastfeeding moms going 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.

And don’t forget that Milkology offers a discount to put towards any other course of theirs you might also be interested in. 

I would also like to offer you a complimentary seat in my online pumping and milk supply course if you choose to register for any of Milkology’s courses today through a link in this post. Simply contact me after you’ve signed up and I’ll do the rest!

P.S. my course is on the same platform as Milkology’s, which makes it super convenient to switch back and forth!

Best Breast Pump 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 love BabyBuddha’s portable pump (use code LOVEOURLITTLES10 at their website for 10% off!) for pumping at work because it is compact, quiet and very light weight.

These attributes make it the perfect pump for storing in your desk and toting it to and from work. Or, you can eliminate the work of transporting it everyday and keep this pump at work and get a hospital grade breast pump for home use only.

The BabyBuddha is also a great pump to use for pumping in the car.

Best Handsfree Pumping Options 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 these Spectra Handsfree Cups.

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

Another totally handsfree and concealable pumping kit for work is the Willow Breast Pump. This pump is an all-in-one discreet pumping system. 

While the Willow is an amazing wearable pump, it is an out of reach price range for many new moms. However, this handsfree Pump is a fraction of the price and it functions the same! 

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 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.

As we discussed earlier, newborns can sometimes nurses up to 12 times or more per day! Even so, pumping doesn’t always have to look EXACTLY like nursing would.

Most moms find that they can go 3-4 hours in-between pumping sessions. You may need to pump more often early on if you are experiencing painful engorgement.

However, engorgement can also be caused by inflammation. Sometimes, relieving inflammation with an ice pack may be more effective than pumping. It’s always best to seek medical advice in these instances.

Exclusive pumping schedule from birth to 12 months

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, but for others, it could only be twenty minutes. It is critical to empty all sitting breast milk from a let-down sufficiently at every pumping session to avoid clogs and a decrease in milk supply. 

With that said, never force yourself to pump if it is painful.

Yes, there is sure to be some discomfort in the beginning until your body gets used to this new process of milk removal. However, it is not normal to experience pain during pumping that is excruciating.

You will know the difference. 

With that in mind, it is usually just fine to pump for 5-10 minutes after the milk has stopped spraying. 

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 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 a printable pump log that helps you track your daily output, start and end times and a spot for notes. 

You could also grab this Ultimate Baby Care Planner with a pump log, baby tracker, breastfeeding log, pumping privacy signs, pumping schedules and so much more! 

Another way to keep track of your pumping sessions is an app by Medela, called Pump Log and it’s pretty handy, especially if you’re exclusively pumping.

Here are all the awesome features it provides:

  • Calculates when you can stop pumping.
  • Track your stats to see your production trends.
  • Has a simple interface for easy entry.

Pump log app overview to help with scheduling great pumping sessions

How to Prepare for Pumping and Breastfeeding

Navigating the many new roles we must play as new moms isn’t always black and white and breastfeeding for the first time sometimes comes with a steep 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 pumping and breastfeeding training before your baby is born or at least while they are still very little.

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

I recommend starting with The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class and then using the upsell discount code you get at checkout to also get The Ultimate Back to Work Pumping Class, which is perfect for when you are approaching a breastfeeding or milk supply transition.

In Closing

I hope you will be taking away many helpful pumping and breastfeeding schedule tips from this read! We also explored how to establish your milk supply and how doing so will help you build a freezer stash for returning to work.

You were supplied with newborn breastfeeding and pumping schedules, plus a pumping schedule to help increase your milk supply or establish a really strong supply from the very beginning.

I introduced you to helpful tools to aid you in tracking your daily pumping and breastfeeding routine. We even covered frequently asked breastfeeding and pumping schedule questions.  

References:

  1. How to Balance Breastfeeding and Pumping – https://www.care.com/c/stories/4419/how-to-balance-breastfeeding-and-pumping/

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