Not all babies sleep all through the night, but if yours fall into that category, you might find yourself lucky and have a great sleep all night too. However, pumping is very important to have a reserved supply of milk and avoid possible issues that might come up.
Apologies for being a killjoy, but we want your baby to get the best chance. So, back to the question, should you pump at night even when your baby is sleeping. We will give all the answers to your question in this article, and we will also discuss a lot about pumping exclusively or not exclusive.
Also, maintaining and establishing milk supply for your baby is very vital; it does not matter if they are nursing or not. When you express your milk, they will always have a supply available to feed. Even if it is the smallest produce, any tiny drop of milk from the mom’s breast is gold.
Not all mothers breastfeed after the birth of their baby, but it is a bet that they start pumping their breast within 5 to 6 hours after delivery. The early you start, the better the milk supply will increase for future sake.
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How Long Can I Go Without Pumping At Night
If you are feeding your baby exclusively with just breast milk and the baby is yet to start sucking directly, you are solely dependent on the pump or feeding bottle; you have to match the availability of milk to how often your baby feeds.
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To maintain and build healthy sanity, you can try taking a stretched nap for around 4-6 hours; this should get you through a full sleep cycle and be very helpful for mothers. Also, consider your baby’s sleep routine so you can fit yours too.
- Newly born:
Usually, nursing newborns are at least 8 -12 times within a day; pumping at least two hours intervals in 24 hours will help with enough supply and the flow of supply. It is advisable not to extend the time longer than three hours without having a pump if you want to have a well-established milk supply.
When feeding your newborn, tease them with nursing, especially if you are pumping when the baby is eating. Medical practitioners or experts advise double pumping. During this period, try to pump all the milk out for at least 10-25 minutes; also recommend pumping five minutes after the milk flow to help with supply increase and produce of milk.
- For older babies or Toddlers:
It will be best to pump once at night in the early stage or when you notice a reduction in production. Most mothers and experts recommend pumping milk within 1 am and 4 am as there is a high supply.
As babies get older, the pumping session should extend longer, including the midnight sessions. As they grow by the day, they eat more and require about 3.5 to 5 ounces, so more session for the production of milk is needed. With time sold, meals are introduced, and you can pump less.
Having to follow a pumping plan strictly can be a struggle; however, when you miss a session to pump in between, you accidentally do not need to beat yourself down. It might not harm your flow in supply, but you can make up for that by squeezing in different time plans to include in your regular sessions. Although planning a schedule for pumping that works great for you and your baby might be very helpful. Samples of schedules that may work for you;
- Early stage 9 – 12 weeks: 6 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 6 p.m., 10 p.m.
- Three to Six months: 6 a.m., 9 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m., 10 p.m.
- Six to eleven months: 6 a.m., 10 a.m., 2 p.m., 10 p.m.
- Eleven To twelve months: 6 am, 12 pm, 1 pm.
- Twelve to fourteen months: 6 am, 7 pm.
It is not certain to be very sure the milk supply will go down because expect anything when you stop pumping, the flow of supply might remain the same or stop; it might increase based on the sleep and rest your body is getting or reduce.
The safest way so far is to make up for the loss session for pumping, so you don’t risk losing the supply flow.
Factors to reconsider for night pumping;
- Most women often worry about the consequence of not pumping through the night, as it might affect supply since the level of prolactin tends to be higher at night than they are in the daytime. For example, some moms pump more milk around 1 am to 6 am today. So it is not certain that your supply will go down when you drop night sessions.
Be very observant of your sessions and take note of if you pump more during the night or day because the truth is every mother has it differently. Weight the benefit and the risk and figure out which is best for you to work.
- Comeback of the menstrual circle: Another risk to look out for when you drop night pumping is that your period will resume. The frequency of breastfeeding is important in the factor of fertility. So when you stop pumping overnight, your period is likely to return sooner than expected because there is a frequency reduction in the lactation process.
There are ways to stop pumping sessions; we’ve listed below four ways to drop them:-
Moving time within the sessions close to one another so when you jump one of them, it won’t be obvious, which you can continue with this process with them you drop them one after the other.
You can shift the session back close to the next midnight or early morning sessions until you can easily drop.
Training yourself with your pumping sessions is very helpful. Doing it slowly and in between sessions allows the body to adjust to the little changes until you can go for long breaks without pumping, and it does not affect the supply flow.
Steps to follow on how to drop night pumping sessions;
- Fix a time plan and write down the current pumping session schedule you are using that works for you and the baby.
- Put your lifestyle, e.g., career, chores, etc., into consideration so you can decide what you want your schedule to be.
- Create another plan that has a strategy of how you plan on dropping late-night pumping, not too slow and not too fast.
- Pay attention to the body changes and take note of what happens when you start dropping off some pumping sessions
In summary, mothers should find a way around it that would not make the whole process of pumping late at night exhausting. For example, they can set alarms for each session always make available snacks and water during the late-night pumping.
Set up a station or space for pumping, wear very simply comfy clothes like a bathrobe and slippers, and lastly, have available labeled bags to preserve the breast milk. Note: hygiene is vital for you and the baby. Always wash thoroughly and keep in a safe space before using and clean after every use.