Sample Breastfeeding and Pumping Schedule for Newborns

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Most mothers imagine themselves feeding their newborns directly at the breast while cuddling them in their arms. However, that’s not always how it goes for all moms. Many end up pumping either part or full time, and that’s completely fine! 

However, combining breastfeeding and pumping can be exhausting. Coming up with a schedule that will work can be even more exhausting. That’s where I kick in and save you time! 

In this article, I will share a sample pumping schedule for newborns as well as breastfeeding and pumping schedules for older babies, exclusive pumping schedules, pumping schedules at work, and more, so let’s dive right in!

What is A Good Schedule for Breastfeeding and Pumping?

Breastfeeding and Pumping Schedule for Newborns

Pumping can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a steady schedule you can rely on. Therefore, if you plan to pump regularly, please create a schedule that works for you and ensure you’re pumping the right amount of breast milk you need to feed your newborn baby or build a breast milk stash.

Breastfeeding mothers pump their milk for many different reasons, and your personal pumping schedule will mostly depend on your own reason for pumping. 

For instance, if you’re pumping for a baby that was born prematurely, you will probably be pumping exclusively (pumping around the clock, even during the night). 

If you want to have a greater milk supply, you will likely be pumping in between nursing sessions. Also, you probably don’t need a strict schedule. However, you may want to follow some guidelines for the right times to pump.

As you can see, different reasons and needs require different schedules. And it’s crucial to know yours as you make a plan.

How Much Milk Should I Pump?

Keep in mind that every breastfeeding mother is different and provides milk at different rates; therefore, it all depends on your storage capacity. And that can differ.

Some mothers can pump a lot of ounces per session and go multiple hours between sessions, whereas others don’t provide as much breast milk each time and need to pump more often.

However, most moms will be going towards the same goal, which is to make enough for the day – 25-30 ounces total for a newborn baby that’s between 1 and 6 months of age.

Thus, don’t ever compare yourself to other moms and try to make the best of it. Your purpose for making a schedule is to produce milk that your little one needs in 24 hours as well as to achieve your own pumping goals.

When Should I Start Pumping?

It depends on your situation and goals! For instance, if you are not able to breastfeed your little one at birth, exclusively pumping is the way to go to establish and keep your breast milk supply

However, if you’re pumping to stockpile before going back to work, you can start 3-4 weeks beforehand. Lastly, if you’re occasionally pumping to prevent mastitis, engorgement, or increase your supply, you can pump whenever you want.

Sample Breastfeeding and Pumping Schedule for Newborn

Breastfeeding and Pumping Schedule for Newborns

Now, before I share with you an exclusive pumping schedule for newborns, I want to say that it’s just a possible schedule. Meaning it’s customizable! As I already stated, every mother is different, produces milk at different rates, and has different goals in mind.

Also, your schedule will likely change over time, along with your body and your baby’s needs. Therefore, use the following schedule as a guide and adjust it to your own needs.

When you’re dealing with a newborn, you will need to pump between 8 and 12 times a day, including in the middle of the night. Each pumping session should last 15-20 minutes.

  • 6 am – breastfeeding
  • 7 am – pumping for about 15-20 minutes
  • 9 am – breastfeeding
  • 10 am – pumping for about 15-20 minutes
  • 12 pm – breastfeeding
  • 1 pm – pumping for about 15-20 minutes
  • 3 pm – breastfeeding
  • 4 pm – pumping for about 15-20 minutes
  • 6 pm – breastfeeding
  • 7 pm – pumping for about 15-20 minutes
  • 9 pm – breastfeeding
  • 10 pm – pumping for about 15-20 minutes
  • 12 am – breastfeeding
  • 1 am – pumping for about 15-20 minutes
  • 3 am – breastfeeding

Milk is digested quickly, so they’re hungry very often. However, when your baby’s about 1-2 months old, they will nurse between 7-9 times a day.

Sample Breastfeeding and Pumping Schedule for Older Babies (6 Months and Over)

As your little one grows, you likely won’t have to pump breast milk so frequently. And you can even be able to stop pumping sessions in the middle of the might.

Still, it’s crucial to space out your pumping sessions properly. And make sure to pump during the morning because your milk supply is usually highest at this period of the day.

  • 7 am – pumping for about 15-20 minutes or less
  • 8 am – breastfeeding
  • 10 am – pumping for about 15-20 minutes or less
  • 11 am – breastfeeding
  • 1 pm – pumping for about 15-20 minutes or less
  • 3 pm – breastfeeding
  • 5 pm – pumping for about 15-20 minutes or less
  • 7 pm – breastfeeding
  • 9 pm – pumping for about 15-20 minutes or less
  • 10 pm – breastfeeding
  • 12 am – pumping for about 15-20 minutes or less
  • 1 am – breastfeeding

At the age of 6 months old, babies who’re consuming solids will breastfeed about 4-5 times a day. If you notice your little one wanting to eat more often, they can be having a teething or growth spurt.

Sample Breastfeeding and Pumping Schedule for Building A Freezer Stash

Breastfeeding and Pumping Schedule for Newborns

If you’re planning to build a milk stash, you should pump between nursing sessions with your little one. You should either pump 30-60 minutes after breastfeeding or 60 minutes before breastfeeding.

  • 7 am – breastfeeding
  • 8 am – pumping for about 15-20 minutes
  • 10 am – breastfeeding
  • 11 am – pumping for about 15-20 minutes
  • 4 pm – breastfeeding
  • 7 pm – breastfeeding
  • 10 pm – breastfeeding
  • 12 am – pumping for about 15-20 minutes
  • 2 am – breastfeeding
  • 5 am – breastfeeding

If you’re pumping at work, you can pump less often than at home, as long as you pump enough per session (about 15 minutes). Follow the next schedule for pumping sessions at work.

  • 7 am – breastfeeding
  • 10 am – pumping at work
  • 2 pm – pumping at work
  • 5:30 pm – breastfeeding
  • 8 pm – breastfeeding
  • 11 pm – pumping at home
  • 2 am – breastfeeding
  • 5 am – breastfeeding

What’s Power Pumping?

Mothers who’re looking to boost their milk supply use power pumping. It’s a technique that imitates the cluster feeding babies usually do during growth spurts.

If you want to try out power pumping, follow the next routine.

  • 20 minutes pumping
  • 10-minute break
  • 10 minutes pumping
  • 10-minute break
  • 15 minutes pumping
  • 10-minute break

You can continue the pattern for 1-2 hours, depending on your time and needs.

How Many Times Should I Pump While Breastfeeding?

If exclusively pumping, you should pump 8-12 times per day. You can either do it 30-60 minutes after or 60 minutes before breastfeeding.

As your baby gets older, you probably won’t have to pump so frequently or so much during a pumping session.

Final Tips

Although breastfeeding and pumping at the same time can be overwhelming, once you establish good pumping schedules, you will easily adapt and master these practices.

In my personal experience, breastfeeding is easier than pumping. Plus, snuggling a baby close releases good hormones, including those that help you create breast milk.

Breastfeeding and Pumping Schedule for Newborns

However, if you want to combine breastfeeding and pumping, I have a few last tips for you. 

Use A Double Electric Pump

First of all, I suggest that you use a double electric pump. Not only will you save time but also increase your milk supply. Also, if you’re pumping exclusively, rent a hospital-grade pump for maximum comfort and even better results.

Furthermore, make sure that your flanges fit perfectly. Too tight a fit can cause nipple damage and pain, while a flimsy fit can make it difficult to pump enough breast milk.

Wash Regularly

I also suggest that you wash your breast pump parts with water and soap between feedings to keep everything clean and in good condition.

Also, if you have a premature or a medically fragile baby, follow precise sterilization techniques for your breast pump to prevent any medical problems.

You can easily sterilize your pump by boiling it or washing away any germs and bacteria with lukewarm water and liquid dish soap. For extra germ removal, sanitize your pump’s parts at least once a day.

Fill Two Needs with One Deed

Lastly, you can pump one breast while breastfeeding your newborn on the other if you’re at home while pumping.

Nursing moms usually find they make more milk this way, as their little one helps initiate the letdown reflex (involuntary reflex when a mom is nursing which causes the milk to flow freely).

Do you have any tips of your own? If yes, drop a comment below, and let’s chat about breastfeeding and pumping. Let’s help each other!

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