I'm just wondering how often I should express to build up a good stash for if I have to return to work sooner than expected. I'm only 5 weeks now lol but I want to have a clear pumping plan sorted so I know what I'm doing. I BF my DD but sadly returned to work at 5 weeks and never knew how often to pump so I only lasted 2 more weeks BFing. I was hoping to BF this time for 12 months
I started pumping daily in the morning around 5 weeks. Roughly once or twice a week my SO would give the baby a bottle to get him used to it and I would pump then as well. By the time I went back to work at 12 weeks, I had a decent freezer stash. Good luck! It's overwhelming at first but you get into the routine of it. Some people will say not to worry, that you only need 24hours worth in the freezer, but I'm glad I had more because over time we definitely used it.
I would wait until the baby is a few weeks old. If you start pumping too soon it can effect your supply and you could be making way more than you need which could lead to other things- blocked ducts, mastitis, etc. Its better to wait until you have an established supply.
I went to work when DD was 11 weeks. Around 6 weeks I started pumping in the morning one time after her first feed. I stored that milk. I still do that every morning. Along w pumping every 3 hours in away from her at work. So she goes to daycare from 630a to 445p my day looks like this
I just want to say, I didnt have much of a stash when I went back to work. Don't get discouraged or stressed when the time comes. My babes was a cluster feeder since the day he left my body. 24/7. After 12 weeks, I went back to work. I rarely had a chance to pump before then. I cant even remember when the babes stopped eating all the time, but as he got better, i squeezed in little pumping sessions. You should start at like 10 mins, then increase as time goes on. It takes practice. I had a few frozen baggies of 4's and 2's. I thought he would eat 4 while I was gone, but boy was I wrong. He was taking 8 and then we got him down to 6 and only some days now he still takes 6. Im only gone for 5 hours but we do know, since he was born, he loves to eat. Anyway, I had enough for just a few days before I went back. I didnt stress because as long as you're ahead, even just a couple days, youre fine. I even had a free sample of infant enfamil formula for my mom just incase because I had no idea what to expect for her. Ofcourse I didnt want to give the formula, but it was a just incase and I felt better knowing it was there, we eventually just got rid of it. Since Im back to work, I make sure to pump atleast 6 oz since i know thats what he eats when im gone and not pumping that, i would fall behind. Im only at work 4 hours but I pump twice to get 6oz. I also pump at night, about a half hour to an hour after babes goes to sleep. My out put at night is ALWAYS different but always worth it for the stash. Since he's had some solids with my mom, hes been taking less milk. So since i stored up for 6 oz, i now have a bit extra. Some days he still takes the 6, but some not. I have a pretty decent stash now so Im a little bit more lax about pumping. But definitely wait a few weeks in the beginning to establish supply. Then pumping always helps supply. I just wanted to let you know, you may not get to over a thousand ounces stored up and you may not always have a chance to pump, but you'll get there.
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