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Exclusive pumping requires a lot of dedication, patience and even more perseverance. An exclusive pumper’s schedule is not for the faint of heart either.
Trust me, you ‘ll see.
Even so, the task of pumping exclusively for your baby to have your precious white liquid gold is truly worth the work.
In this article, you will be shown an exclusive pumping schedule for the different stages you and your baby will go through.
- Exclusive pumping after birth
- Exclusive pumping schedule for 4 month old
- Exclusive pumping schedule for 6 month old
- 7 months and beyond
- Pumping schedule for working moms
- Exclusively pumping schedule for building supply
- How many times a day should you pump
- How long can I pump breast milk exclusively?
Exclusive Pumping Sample Schedules
Note: these are sample schedules and a frame of reference. It is always best to consult with your lactation counselor before implementing any breastfeeding routines.
You’re going to be shown sample pumping schedules from birth to twelve months postpartum. These examples will help give you a better idea of what to expect exclusively pumping.
I myself exclusively pumped for ten long months after I had my first baby. I will be using a lot of my own experience and expertise with exclusive pumping to help guide you through the process.
An exclusive pumper’s schedule for the first 3-4 months postpartum is daunting to say the least. Basically, exclusive pumping takes the place of a baby’s feeding habits.
Of course, baby’s nurse for many different reasons and sometimes it’s just for comfort. There are even exclusive pumping moms that still comfort nurse their babies.
Even so, a newborn tends to like to feed ALOT.
It is mostly recommended to try and pump at least 8-12 times per day after birth up to 3 or 4 months postpartum. (source)
This is to ensure your milk supply is being established and that your supply and demand cycle is efficiently producing enough breast milk for your little one.
Start off by pumping 20 minutes at each session or until you feel like your have fully emptied your breasts with the pump.
Every woman is different and you may find that it takes you longer to feel empty than others. For instance, it could take me up to an hour sometimes before all of my breast milk felt evacuated.
It is also true that you are never truly “empty” of breast milk, as your body is always always making more.
Usually by 4 months postpartum, your baby has hopefully began to sleep through the night. Or, at least longer stretches. Pumping at night has been the hardest part about exclusive pumping up to this point.
However, things should begin to get a little easier for you mama.
If your baby is on a steady schedule of sleeping through night, you can begin to attempt weaning from the pump during your middle of the night pumping sessions.
An exclusive pumping schedule for 4 months could look something like this:
- 5 am pump / 8 am pump / 11 am pump / 1 pm pump / 3 pm pump / 6 pm pump / 9 pm pump
As you can see, the 2 am middle of the night pumping session has been dropped. Woohoo!
When dropping a pumping session off of your exclusive pumping routine, be aware that your milk supply may decrease slightly. However, many women report to not noticing any change in supply after making this move.
Most likely, your supply has already been regulated by this point.
However, do note that if you feel like your milk supply is decreasing too much, just resume the middle of the night pumping session and see if that replenishes things.
By the time your baby is 6 months old, you pretty much feel like an exclusive pumping expert. If you have a Spectra Breast Pump, you can even shock yourself by seeing how many accumulative hours you have pumped all together.
Quickly, here is how you find your total pumping hours on a Spectra:
- Power Button
- Letdown Button
- Cycle +
- Vacuum –
- Cycle –
- Vacuum +
- Letdown button
You may also be down to six pumps per day. This really begins to feel freeing! You can also stretch out your time in-between pumping sessions beyond 3 hours.
Exclusively pumping at 6 months postpartum also means that if you skip a pumping session it’s generally ok. However, it’s never a good idea to push the limits on this as a clog could easily brew itself up.
Observe below a general idea of how you could space out pumping sessions for an exclusive pumping schedule at 6 months.
- 7 am pump / 10 am pump / 2 pm pump / 5 pm pump / 8 pm pump / 10 pm pump
Guess what, you are a rockstar! Any exclusive pumper is, but to go beyond those first few months is amazing! But what does an exclusive pumper’s schedule look like past 7 months?
Well, it’s much more relaxed. Just as much work – yes, but at this stage, you pretty much have the hang of it.
You really only need to pump about four times per day by now. Your breast milk should be almost totally regulated and not really changing as long as you stick to your pumping regimen.
Check out the chart below for exclusive pumping schedules from brith to twelve months to see how the rest of the story goes.
Working mamas, this section is for you. In this portion of the working moms exclusive pumping schedule, you should get a good feel for how your pumping sessions and work day will flow together.
- Wake up (hopefully before baby) and begin your first pumping session of the day. Once complete, clean pump parts and store the breast milk.
6:00 – 7:00 AM
- Begin and finish getting you and baby ready for the day. This means, packing any pumping supplies you may need for work and preparing bottles for daycare.
- Work day starts. Time to pump again! Hopefully you have a designated place to pump that is secure from walk-ins. Read this pumping at work article to learn what your protected rights are.
- Finish pumping and quickly clean up your pump parts and store breast milk. Pro pumping hack: do not rinse pump parts, but instead put them into a sealable plastic bag to use once more before washing.
- Time for lunch and another pumping session! You will probably end up eating while you pump during your lunch break.
May I recommend that you go hands-free pumping while at work! You can achieve concealable and total discretion with this mobile and hands-free pumping set-up.
- Third and last pump while at work. Set a reminder or place a conspicuous sticky note to not forget your pumped breast milk from the day!
- Pick the little one up from daycare and love on that little sweetheart!
- Pump after dinner and prepare for the next day.
- Little one is down and out (fingers crossed) and you can finally pump one last time before sweet sleep. Repeat the process again tomorrow.
- If you are still performing your middle of the night pump. Have your pumping station ready to go already. This way, you can mindlessly (half asleep) get this miserable pump out of the way.
How to make the back to work pumping transition go more smoothly
So mama, this working moms pumping schedule may look a little intimating to you right now. If you’re feeling like you need or want a little extra hand-holding to help prepare you for this task, I have the right resource for you.
The Ultimate Back to Work Pumping Class by Milkology is an online course you can learn about how to best approach your strategy for pumping at work.
It will give you expert knowledge on how to go about building up your freezer stash, feeding baby a bottle and protecting your milk supply while busy at work.
Milkology also now has a course for exclusive pumpers too! You can bundle and save when you buy both. Get the second course 20% off.
P.S. Want a third pumping course for free? If you do decide to enroll in any of these courses above (using the links provided) I will also enroll you in my Pumping Pro Course for Free ($19.00 value)!
If you prefer to learn by reading rather than watching video, you may enjoy this course more and it’s the perfect compliment to Milkology’s courses. Here are the details on how to get your BOGO offer.
Building up a breast milk supply is a goal for many breastfeeding moms. The peace of mind and assurance of having that safety net of breast milk stashed away for a rainy day, (or shall we say while moms away to play) is big bonus.
There really is no unique schedule (that I know of) to help an exclusive pumper build a freezer stash. I think the main goal here is to have enough surplus breast milk left over each day that baby is not finishing.
How does this happen?
In short, you need to have a small over-supply every day in order to begin building a decently sized supply. As long as you not skipping pumping sessions (most importantly middle of the night).
Then, you should be able to have a few extra ounces to stash away by the end of the day. Take extra care to stay sufficiently hydrated to the max everyday and eat a high calorie diet to help your body make as much of that white liquid gold as it can!
I think this question has pretty much been answered, but for the skimmers in the group, here is the explanation. Depending on how many months postpartum you are, the number of times you should pump a day as an exclusive pumper will vary.
Take a look below at what seems to be the general rule for exclusive pumping and amount of pumps per day.
- Birth to 3 months postpartum = 8-12 pumps per day
- 4 months postpartum = 6-8 pumps per day
- 5-6 months postpartum = 6 pumps per day
- 7-8 months postpartum = 4 pumps per day
- 9 months postpartum = 4-3 pumps per day
- 10 months postpartum = 2 pumps per day
- 12 months + postpartum = 1 pump per day
Well mama, that depends on you!
There really is no finish line for exclusive pumpers. If the milk is still flowing and you are game to catch it, let it run and keep on pumping!
Just know, that any amount of time you dedicate to pumping exclusively is impressive and worthy of pride.
If this question pertains to the amount of time per session, it is mostly recommended to start with 20 minutes of pumping at a time.
However, with time, you may find that 20 minutes is not a long enough amount of time for the pump you own to remove all breast milk.
In that case, do what feels best and right for you and whenever in doubt, consult your doctor or lactation counselor for professional guidance.
To conclude this epic exclusive pumping schedule article, let’s look back quickly on the key points discussed.
An exclusive pumping schedule for a newborn should match the babies feeding habits. This could mean pumping up to twelve times a day to establish a milk supply that will sustain the baby’s needs.
Once the baby reaches about 4 months old and is sleeping through night, the process of weaning from a pumping session can take place. Typically, the dropped session is one middle of the night pump.
A working moms exclusive pumping schedule is tedious to say the least. This mama has a lot on her plate. If you are fearful or feeling overwhelmed about that task at hand.
Please consider helping yourself out by investing in one or all of the pumping and back to work resources I introduced you to above.
Once again those were, The Ultimate Back to Work Pumping Class, The Pumping Pro Course and The Ultimate Exclusive Pumping Class.
You can get all three of these excellent courses for $34.00 ($57.00 value)! Here is your next step.
- kellymom.com “Exclusive Pumping” https://kellymom.com/mother2mother/exclusive-pumping/
- kidshealth.org “Breastfeeding FAQ’S” https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/breastfeed-often.html