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sailalong 02-06-2013 08:20 PM

Do you pump in the middle of the night?
So my LO is nearly 4wks old and has recently started sleeping up to 6h at night after cluster feeding every 45 min-hour for several hours before the long stretch. The issue with this is that I always seem to wake up engorged after ~3h. Should I be pumping to empty my breasts or just to relieve the engorgement? I'm trying to get my supply up so that I can build up a stash for when I go back to work. The past 2 nights I've tried pumping at 3am and am only getting ~ 3oz total from both breasts which doesn't seem like a lot. I'm worried that if I don't pump then my supply will get even lower? I know he's been getting enough milk over the past 2 weeks as he's gaining weight wonderfully, at his 3 weeks checkup he was over a pound heavier than his birth weight. I just worry that my milk supply won't keep up with his increasing demand over time.

evasimone 02-06-2013 09:45 PM

Re: Do you pump in the middle of the night?
I am far from being an expert but from what I understand as long as you are nursing on demand your body will produce what your baby needs. So my recommendation is to pump to relieve engorgement. If you really want to get a freezer stash then pump fully at 3 and freeze what you get but don't do it because you think you need to maintain your supply.

My opinion is that at 4 weeks 3 ounces is really good. You don't respond to a pump like you do a baby. I am exclusively pumping and have yet to get more than 4 ounces in a session and that's with a hospital grade rental. If your little one is under 10 lbs he probably only needs 15 ounces per day give or take a few ounces. Over 10 lbs then its about 20 give or take 5 ounces. So 3 ounces from one pump is a decent amount. I pump 10 times a day and only get 2-3 ounces per pump usually with an early morning 4 ounce pump. I have a surplus even though I am not pumping crazy impressive amounts and DD is being fed only my expressed milk.

EmilytheStrange 02-06-2013 09:58 PM

Depends on when baby is waking up.

EmilytheStrange 02-06-2013 09:59 PM

Stupid phone :)

Depends on when baby is waking up. There is a very crucial time - I think it's like 5/6am that can affect your supply.

I can't remember the details. Let me see if I can find it.

momma_dna 02-06-2013 10:04 PM

My son was the exact same way as your son at that age and at night I only pumped enough to relieve engorgement. Prior to returning to work, I just would pump a couple times a day usually in the morning right after nursing him. I started pumping when he was 4 weeks and had a decent freezer stash by the time I returned to work when he was three months. I worked full time when my son was 3-10 months old. I never had issues with my supply and he was exclusively breastfed. Your body will make what it needs based on demand. The engorgement will get better and less once your body figures out how much it needs to make to keep up with your son demands/needs. We just stopped nursing at 20.5 months due to pregnancy and pain from breastfeeding.

EmilytheStrange 02-06-2013 10:06 PM

Here's one quote,

"Night time feeds are also important because it is in the early hours of the morning that the hormones that stimulate milk production are at their highest. Your breasts are not a storage facility, they operate on a supply and demand basis, the more your baby suckles, the more hormones are released that signal your body to produce more milk, so the night time feeds stimulate even more hormones which set your body up for the day ahead."

Supposed to be less important after like 3 months.

GEMQEMCABOOSE 02-07-2013 05:45 AM

Re: Do you pump in the middle of the night?
I would pump just enough to relieve engorgement. Put it in the freezer for later. I always pumped after one or two feedings during the day for the first couple months to build freezer stash and donate and just because I felt better, knowing I'd done a little extra to help my supply.

cpamamma 02-07-2013 10:06 AM

I personally wouldn't pump in the middle of the night. Your body will know to keep making milk when baby needs it and adjust accordingly. If you are lucky enough to have a 4 week old who sleeps for six hours then I say you should sleep too! I nursed my first DD for 13 months and only pumped at work to replace feedings. Worked perfectly. Of course if you want to use that time to build your stash go for it. But other than that I don't think there's any need for you to do so.

mibarra 02-07-2013 11:31 AM

Re: Do you pump in the middle of the night?
If it's painful I would personally pump just enough to relieve the pressure. Your body should start regulating to match LO's eating patterns! :)

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