One of the things I think caused the most confusion to new moms is a pumping and breastfeeding schedule for newborn. Especially when you are pumping and breastfeeding at the same time. Do you need to pump after every time you breastfeed? Or do you need to breastfeed after every time you pump? What happens if you come and then your baby wakes up and wants to be fed? Do you need to give your baby the milk with the milk you just pumped out of your body or you just give him the breast?
In this article I'm going to show you some samples of the pumping and breastfeeding schedule for newborn and for a 2 month old. So that you know what to do in those situations.
Pumping and breastfeeding schedule for newborns
Here is a sample breastfeeding and pumping schedule for a newborn if you are using a combination of feeding methods:
- 6 am – Breastfeeding, then immediately pump after
- 8 am – Breastfeed
- 10 am – Breastfeed
- 12 pm – Breastfeed - then pump
- 2 pm – Breastfeed
- 4 pm - Breastfeed - then pump
- 6 pm – Breastfeed
- 8 pm - Breastfeed
- 10 pm – Breastfeed
- 1 am – Breastfeed - then pump
- 3 am – Breastfeed
This sample integrates both pumping and breastfeeding, but there are also different ways to feed your baby. It can be exclusive pumping or exclusive breastfeeding. But the most flexible and most common is to combine pumping and breastfeeding.
Exclusive pumping vs. pumping and breastfeeding
While in the modern day, exclusive breastfeeding can be too much trouble to follow, the combination of pumping and breastfeeding or exclusive pumping are much more common.
There are some cases that even though the mother wants to breastfeed, she just cannot breastfeed (due to latching problems, for example). And here is when she has to opt for exclusive pumping or formula.
Each method has its own pros and cons, and there is no conclusion that one is better than the other. It all depends on how the mother prefers and how the methods can fit into their schedule.
Exclusive pumping is when a mother uses a manual breast pump or electric breast pump to pump the milk out of her body.
Read my guide: Exclusive Pumping Schedule For Newborn
Exclusive pumping allows your baby to be fed without mom’s present.
This creates opportunities for fathers to be involved.
Allow moms to do something else rather than staying around the baby all day to breastfeed.
If you are a working mom or if you work from home, there are many times when you just cannot get off of work yet. Exclusive pumping allows you to have a milk stash so you can finish your book while your baby is still able to eat.
Some moms without clogged milk ducts can save time if they follow exclusive pumping.
While breastfeeding only allows you to empty one breast at a time, exclusive pumping saves you half of the time, especially when you use an electric dual breast pump.
Ignore letdown reflex.
Letdown is when your body receives a signal from your baby to produce more milk fast to satisfy his need. Even though the breast pump often have a massage to stimulate the let down, it is not the same thing with a real letdown sent by your baby. The mothers who do exclusive pumping, after a while when their bodies get used to exclusive pumping, often lose the letdown reflex.
Might not be effective for moms with clogged milk ducts issues
The fastest and the most effective way to deal with clogged milk ducts is through breastfeeding. Your baby is the most incredible human breast pump machine.
Speaking from experience, during my 1 year breastfeeding oh, there was not a time where I could so my new does issues with a breast pump. I always needed my son's help to relieve clogged milk ducts.
Pumping and breastfeeding
Pumping and breastfeeding is when you rotate between pumping and breastfeeding. When your baby is around and you are not busy, you breastfeed. When your baby's not around or maybe you are just busy working, you pump.
It is simple but do you still have the flexibility, most modern moms choose to do both pumping and breastfeeding.
Increasing the amount of your breast milk.
Because breastfeeding is more effective than pumping, the signal your body receives when breastfeeding is stronger. And following your baby's needs, your body will automatically increase the amount of milk.
Another mistake when you pump is that you always look at how much milk you have extracted. Maybe you even try to not look at it, but after a pumping session, maybe 20 minutes, When you look at the milk you have extracted, if it is not as much as you expected, you get disappointed all the time. and this negative signal is not good for your body to produce more milk.
Keep the letdown reflex
Because you have a chance to breastfeed your baby, your body will not lose the let down reflex. And by alternating between pumping and breastfeeding, your body will still receive letdown signals even when you pump.
Helping prevent clogged ducts and relieving engorgement pressure.
As opposed to exclusive pumping, when you have a breastfeeding section in your pumping and breastfeeding schedule for newborn, you can prevent clogged milk ducts.
Encouraging your baby to accept bottle-feeding
There are many parents who have issues when their babies refuse bottles. but if you started pumping and breastfeeding at the beginning, your baby will have a chance to be introduced to the bottle early. This encourages your baby to accept bottle feeding or give him a chance to get used to it.
Sometimes when you have a pumping and breastfeeding session to close, your breast / nipples get hurt.
When you should integrate pumping and breastfeeding
Even though you might have decided to integrate pumping and breastfeeding, You should not do that from day one. Because your body will need some time to get used to the new routine and schedule, as well as Build up your milk supply what's more yeah a lot of things to worry about at this first few weeks, so it's best not to over complicated things
It is ideal to wait at least 4 to 6 weeks before you decide to integrate pumping into your breastfeeding.
However there are some mums who have been advised to pump milk in the first few weeks. These are often due to some breastfeeding difficulties. Your midwife and a lactation consultant can tell you to pump earlier if needed.
There's other options you can do. If you are going back to work, before you start working for about 2 to 3 weeks you can start pumping at that time to have a small milk stash for your baby at home.
Or if you want to integrate pumping earlier, just wait until you feel confident and comfortable with breastfeeding. Then you can start pumping.
Sample pumping and breastfeeding schedule for newborns
Here is a sample of a pumping and breastfeeding schedule for newborn. Feel free to adapt and change this to fit your own schedule.
- 6 a.m: breastfeed then pump right after
- 8 a.m. breastfeed
- 10 a.m. breastfeed
- 12 p.m. breastfeed and pump
- 2 p.m. breastfeed
- 4 p.m. breastfeed and pump
- 6pm breastfeed
- 8 p.m. breastfeed
- 10 p.m. breastfeed
- 1 a.m. breastfeed
- 3 a.m. breastfeed
A side note when you want to integrate pumping into a breastfeeding schedule is that you will want to pump at least three sections during the day. Try to avoid pumping at night because you need to sleep and to rest. If you pump at night then you will have to spend time to pump and then feed your baby when your baby wakes up. That is too much staying up at night and causing sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation is one of the key factors that reduce your milk supply.
However, there are some moms who say that pumping at night gives them a lot of milk. If it works for you then feel free to do so. But from my personal experience, I do advise that you should prioritize your sleep before everything else.
For moms who only breastfeed at night, you can start to breastfeed and then pump right after you wake up. The morning hours are the time that your prolactin hormones are at the highest level and are the one responsible to increase your milk supply and drive milk production. This time is the ideal time to pump.
Typically, an infant would nurse each breast for 20 to 30 minutes. Try not to nurse for a long time as your milk level can be low and your baby would burn more calories trying to nurse rather than receiving energy.
If you notice that your baby doesn't wake up every 2 hours, you don't need to wake him up. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends only waking your baby up if he sleeps more than four hours for the first two weeks. Otherwise it is okay to let him sleep.
Sample breastfeeding and pumping schedule for 2-month-old
The sample pumping and breastfeeding schedule for newborns above can follow you and your baby until your baby he's three months old. However for some babies who developed faster, that schedule might not fit anymore.
For those babies, they don’t wake up to feed every 2 hours anymore. And therefore mom's should not try to stick with the two hours pumping and breastfeeding schedule for newborn.
If you follow EASY, you will notice that the gap between your baby's feeds gets longer. And very often that during the day your baby doesn't feed as much, but he wakes up more often at night and eats more at night.
For these babies, it's time for them to change to a new feeding schedule. Therefore it is also time for moms to apply a new breastfeeding and pumping schedule for 2 months old.
Here is the sample schedule, let's look at them.
- 6 am – Breastfeed (or whenever your baby wakes)
- 10 am – Pump
- 1 pm – Pump
- 4 pm – Pump
- 6pm – Breastfeed
- 10 pm - Breastfeed
- 1 pm - Pump
- 3 pm - Breastfeed
With this schedule, we try to increase the pumping session to four times during the day. This will help you to build up your milk stash slowly.
How to combine pumping and breastfeeding if you are exclusively breastfeeding
Start pumping before feeding time
If you are exclusively breastfeeding and you want to come by pumping and breastfeeding, try to pump around 30 minutes before you're breastfeeding section. This will help you to get used to the breast pump as well as give you time for you to pump before your baby needs it.
Alternate between pumping and breastfeeding
To make your pumping session effective, alternating between pumping and breastfeeding would help. This is because when alternating pumping and breastfeeding, your body will get used to the massage and the stimulation level of the breast pump.
What’s more, pumping requires a lot of extra work from preparing the parts, installing and washing the parts. This can be a burden for moms and create unnecessary pressure. Therefore alternating between pumping and breastfeeding gives you some time to feel relaxed.
Start with at least 3 pumping sections during day time
Another tip is to integrate at least three pumping sections during the daytime. And keep breastfeeding at night.
You don't want to only pump once in a while because your body will not get used to the breast pump. And therefore does not produce as much milk as regular.
When to pump while breastfeeding newborn
Right after breastfeeding
If your baby has just fed and slept but your breasts don't feel empty, adding another pumping session right after breastfeeding can increase your milk production over time and reduce the risk of clogged milk ducts.
If you want to have extra milk or increase your supply, expressing milk after breastfeeding is useful, and it will continue to make more.
30 minutes after breastfeeding
If you are on the stage of trying to boost your milk supply, and you have tried to pump right after breastfeeding but you weren't able to get more milk, try waiting for about 30 minutes after breastfeeding. This would give your body more time to produce milk and also less tiring.
Try to plan for at least an hour between the end of your pumping session and the baby’s next feed.
Early in the morning
As I have mentioned above, many moms can have more milk if they had a pumping session very early in the day. You don't have to wait until your baby wakes up to have your first pumping session, but you can wake up 2 hours earlier and start your pumping and then leave an hour for your breasts to fill themselves up with milk again to prepare for your baby’s wake.
How to pump while nursing your baby
You can pump while nursing your baby. And in fact for me, it is more effective to pump while nursing my son at the same time.
Because when nursing my baby, my body received a lot of signals for my son to produce more milk. And have let down quickly.
When trying to pump my other breast while nursing my son, I've realized that I can extract a lot more milk while my son still gets full.
However it is very tricky to pump while nursing because it is very troublesome to use an electric breast pump while nursing. So I opted for a manual pump in this case, and I chose a manual pump that is designed for milk-catching. There are many manual pumps for milk catching but I prefer Haakaa. I think the suction of Haakaa is good and it helps to collect milk and it stays in place. And what's more, I don't get tired of pressing on a lever or squeezing a suction.
One more thing to take note of if you pump while nursing your baby is that you need to clean your nipples well before you pump. Especially when you alternate between each breasts.
How Much Milk Should I Expect From Pumping?
I would avoid this question at all costs.
Yes, let me repeat. Do not measure how much milk you can extract in each pumping session. Feel free to put your milk into a cup measurement but never think that you could have done better.
I think it is extremely harmful for moms to compare themselves with others. because everybody is different. And there's no way that a mom’s milk supply can be able to compare with other moms’ milk supply.
I've seen people stress themselves out over setting a target of milk amount to express everyday. So I do not give a number here but I just want you to know that your body will always produce enough breast milk for your baby. If you are in doubt, check if your baby has gained weight. If your baby gains weight normally, you are awesome.
Wrap it up
There you have it. A sample of pumping and breastfeeding schedule for newborn, a sample of pumping and breastfeeding schedule for 2 months old and all the tips that you can use if you want to integrate pumping into your breastfeeding schedule.
Last but not least, trust your instinct.