If you want to combine breastfeeding and pumping, your biggest challenge will be to find a schedule that works for both you and your baby.
In this post we’ll discuss why you might want to combine breastfeeding and pumping and share some tips for how to get started.
Is It OK To Mix Breastfeeding and Pumping?
Yes, and many women do and there are many benefits to combining breastfeeding and pumping. But mixing breastfeeding and pumping can be a challenge. But if you’re patient with yourself and with the process, you should eventually be able to find a schedule that works.
Benefits of Combining Breastfeeding and Pumping
- It can help you keep up your supply of breastmilk.
- Feeding from a bottle can give you a rest from breastfeeding if you’re feeling tired or sore.
- It means that someone else can feed your baby, which will be useful if you want to work or rest.
- Pumping breastmilk can help alleviate clogs and the feeling of discomfort some women get when nursing.
How Long Should You Wait Between Breastfeeding and Pumping?
It’s a good idea to pump shortly after a nursing session. In this way, your baby can naturally get all the milk they need. Once they’re finished, wait about 30 minutes and then begin pumping.
This will send a signal to your body that it needs to make more milk. So eventually, you might see an increase to your milk supply.
Eventually, you may be able to feed your baby with one breast while pumping the other side.
How Many Times Should You Pump in a Day?
Once you’ve been pumping a while, you may be able to pump with every feeding. But to begin with, you might find it best to pump with every other feeding, or two or three times a day. Pumping in the morning might give the best results, as many women find that they produce more milk in the morning.
After you start pumping, you should continue to feed your baby according to their schedule. Different babies have different needs, but this may amount to feeding them every three hours or so, and at least once a night.
You might not be able to pump every time. The number of times you pump in a day will depend on how much milk you aim to store for later, and how much milk your body can produce.
The main thing is that you stick to your current schedule, to ensure your baby gets all the milk they need. Adding pumping to an already demanding feeding schedule might feel overwhelming at first. But it will get easier.
What’s the Best Breast Pump to Use?
Breast pumps are either manual or automatic. If the first one you try works for you, great! But if not, experiment with a few more makes and models until you find one you’re happy with.
Other Tips For Combining Breastfeeding and Pumping
- Stay hydrated. Feeding your baby is thirsty work. Combining feeding with pumping is even thirstier work. So make sure you drink plenty of fluids so you can stay hydrated.
- Stay calm. Feeling relaxed can help your milk flow more easily. But stress can affect your supply. So do whatever it takes to stay calm when you’re feeding or pumping, whether that’s finding a quiet place, or playing soothing music.
- Be kind to yourself. Set realistic goals. You probably won’t be able to immediately start combining feeding with pumping. It will take you, your body, and your baby some time to adjust. So be patient with yourself. You’ll get there, in the end!
Further Support For New Mums and Mums-to-Be
We have loads of guides and resources to help you through your pregnancy and birth, and those crucial early months of your baby’s life:
- How to prepare for breastfeeding.
- When to buy, measure, and wear nursing bras.
- What is the let-down reflex when breastfeeding?
- Why does my other breast leak when breastfeeding?
We also have a range of sustainable baby products. For instance, we have reusable breast pads that will help you stay dry, clean and comfortable while you’re nursing.
Take a look at our range of comfortable, absorbent, and eco-friendly reusable breast pads.