Is Knowing When to Pump Breast Milk Your Issue?

Some mothers have no choice but to pump their milk if they want to continue feeding their baby breast milk for an extended time. Other mothers can breastfeed an entire year or more without ever having to pump a drop of milk!

Then there are those who aren't sure about when to pump breast milk.

I've pumped my milk for all three of my babies. I've worked while breastfeeding, went to school while breastfeeding, went out of town without my baby while breastfeeding, and have even sent my baby out of town to visit grandparents while I stayed at home....while breastfeeding!

So knowing when to pump your milk is just a matter of asking yourself a few questions. If the answer to anyone of these questions is yes, then you'll know when to pump breast milk:

  • Do I have a low milk supply? If you have a low milk supply, pumping can help increase your breast milk if you want to continue breastfeeding your baby. To know what may be causing you to have a low milk supply and the solutions to bringing it back up, click here.
  • Do I have mastitis? Mastitis can be pretty painful and make you feel as if you have the flu. It is basically a clogged milk duct that may have become infected. It can cause you to have a fever, chills, and feel weak and tired.

Although nursing your baby a lot is the best way to relieve mastitis fast, pumping can also help if your baby is just too full to drink any more milk. You can always store the milk for later.

  • Do I have engorged breasts? Engorgement can happen to even the most experienced breastfeeding mom. It happens when you haven't nursed your baby for a long time. For example, if your baby starts sleeping through the night or you're away from your baby too long.

Your milk ducts become filled with milk, ready to be emptied. And if you don't have your baby with you to empty them and to relieve the soreness that comes with it, the next best thing is to pump. You can always store this milk for later as well.

  • Will I be away from my baby for extended periods of time on a regular basis? Extended periods of time include going to work or just going out to have fun.

This is a big one!

If you plan on feeding your baby your milk while you're away for any amount of time, then you should definitely pump. And make sure you get a good breastpump to do it with!

  • Am I going on a trip without my baby? If you want to feed your baby your milk during this period, pump and store lots of it ahead of time so your baby can have plenty while you're gone. And don't forget to take your breastpump with you so you won't become engorged!

Answering these questions with a simple yes or no should help you determine when to pump breast milk.

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