I have a few questions today – how to manage switching bottles when pumping if your bottles overflow, and how to get into an exclusive pumping routine.
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I have cut down to 5 sessions a day and am finding that I have a big output in the morning… sometimes more than 12oz. What do you do with the bottles when they’re full? Do you stop pumping and switch bottles? I’m worried that my letdown will stop altogether if I do this.
I had the same problem in the mornings! At first, I did switch the bottles, but only one side at a time. So I would unplug the tubing on the side I needed to change (plugging that side back into the motor), and kept pumping on the other side while I switched the bottle. I would bring the change of bottles with me when I sat down, so it was pretty quick. (Note: make sure to bring caps for the bottles, too, if case you accidentally knock a bottle over.)
Letdown is a conditioned response that occurs on both sides at the same time, so hopefully the continued stimulation on one side should help mitigate any issues with that.
However! I then discovered these 8oz Medela bottles and started using them for my morning pumping session, which totally solved the problem. (I’m not sure what kind of pump you have, but even if it’s not Medela you might be able to find bigger ones that will screw into your pump).
When did you notice a significant change in your supply? I’m doing 5 sessions a day right now, but hoping to go down to 4 when my baby is 6 months, followed by 3 a few months later and then 2 towards the end (let’s hope I last that long, though!)
I didn’t experience any drops in supply until I dropped from 4 to 3 pumping sessions per day. The supply drop each time was very slow, but also kind of a lot, as you can see:
- Going from 4 to 3: gradually (over 3 months) lost about 10 ounces
- Going from 3 to 2: gradually (over 2 months) lost about 10 ounces
- Going from 2 to 1: gradually went down to 3 ounces before I dropped the last pumping session
However, another thing that I’ll mention is that I also got my period back around the time I dropped to 3 sessions per day. My supply took a few ounce hit every time I got my period and never fully recovered from it, so every month I would lose a few ounces.
Obviously, this is just my experience, and other people’s will likely vary.
I am a new mum to a week old baby and am exclusively pumping and want to get into a routine. I am just wondering – do you just pump from one breast per sessions or bit of both, currently I am doing 15 min alternating each breast per feed – 15 min on the right at 3pm then 15 min on the left at 6pm. I don’t know if that’s right. I currently get 3-4oz each session.
Congratulations on your brand new baby!
I would recommend pumping both sides every three hours for about 15 minutes. Is there any way you can get a double electric pump? It will definitely be worth it if you are planning on exclusively pumping long term. More information here:
It sounds like your supply is good! Since your milk supply will probably regulate in the next week or two, it’s best if you are pumping as much milk as possible now, so that when it does your supply will still be strong. Basically, when your milk comes in, sometimes it comes in with a lot at first, and then your body will decide it knows how much you need and then cut back to that. More on that here.
What do you do if you’re going out for the day – do you take your pump with you, or just bring saved milk?
I bring pumped milk for my baby, and only bring my pump if I am going to be gone more than three hours or so (or during a time when I would normally pump).
I would not bring my pump and no milk because I was always nervous that he’d get hungry before I could pump and then I’d be stuck out in public with a crying baby and no food to give him and it would be a disaster.
Please feel free to add any suggestions or thoughts in comments!