How to Get on a Pumping Schedule with a New Baby

Question from a New Mother

My baby is 2 weeks old and due to issues latching on I am trying to pump for him. Our first week and a half was so hectic that I wasn’t very disciplined about pumping and I have not been able to collect enough for more than 1 bottle a day for him. My supply is pretty low right now so I just ordered Increase Breast Milk – More Milk Plus Vegetarian Capsule – 60 count. My initial plan was to give both breast milk and formula for the first few months and then transition to formula only. However, due to colic and gas issues I would love to increase my supply enough to give him breastmilk only. Sometimes I worry that it’s an impossible task. I read your statement on the side of the page on your website and just wanted to contact you and ask for any tips advice. I rented an electric pump from the hospital when we left and am using it. Any advice or even just encouragement would be wonderful.

Answer

Know that you can do it. My first recommendation is pump every 3 to 4 hours, plus you really need to pump at night.

Here is a basic schedule that will get you on the road to making ample milk for your son.

Breast Pumping Schedule

You can adjust this schedule to you biological clock. (earlier waking or later bed time)

Waking AM to Noon
6 AM, 9 AM, 12 Noon

Afternoon to Midnight
3 PM, 6PM, 9 PM, 12 Midnight

Wee Hours (A Must!)
3 AM

What you will notice, as early as tomorrow morning or the next morning, is the first wake up pumping session in the morning will be your best milk supply of the day.

Night feedings are critical to increasing milk supply. Most successful pumpers state that although they would love to stop night pumping, they do it usually 2 times per night, even if they pump for a year or more. There is good reason for night pumping. The hormone Feedback Inhibitor of Lactation (FIL) signals the mammary glands to slow or stop production when large gaps exist in pumping/feeding times, especially at night.

The next important step that many mothers don’t know about, is that milk hangs back even when you think you’ve pumped it all out. As you pump or breast feed, massage your breasts. This will get to the “hind milk”. Getting the hind milk out sets other hormones into action that increase breast milk supply.

The massage technique is to start at the side, under the arm and press forward toward the nipple. Try to feel the glands and apply gentle pressure where you feel full glands. Do the same under the breast lobe and again gently apply pressure toward the nipple.
Do this once you feel “let down” or if you don’t feel “let down”, once milk begins to flow. Continue all during each breast pumping session.
Within a few feedings, you will notice a difference in the amount of milk you produce and with the hind milk you get to the higher fat content and nutrients that will satisfy your baby better.

You have noted colic and gas. So while you are pumping, set a diet that doesn’t have gassy foods/veggies for a while. Then add foods to your diet and watch your baby for 2- 3 days for colic. If none happens that continue to add the foods you like with the usual caution.

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