Breast Pumping


There are many reasons to pump breast milk! 

  • You want to store milk for when you are away from your baby. You may be going back to work, leaving the baby with family or friends or just going to the store.

  • Your baby can not latch or feed directly from the breast, in this case you may exclusively pump and feed your baby breast milk from a cup or bottle. 

  • You are donating milk to a milk bank or milk exchange program.

  • Tons of other reasons! You may be weaning and trying to alleviate pressure (pump until the pain goes away, do not drain your breast), you could be trying to increase your supply and simulating cluster feeding, you could be suffering from mastitis or need to drain your breast to help healing and so many more reasons! 

Breastfeeding and Pumping 

If you are primarily breastfeeding and want to pump to store breast milk for your baby: 

  • Pump in the morning, many women get the most milk first thing in the morning! 

  • Pump between breastfeeding, either 30-60 minutes after nursing or at least an hour before breastfeeding. This should leave plenty of milk for your baby at your next feeding.

  • If your baby wants to breastfeed right after a pumping, go ahead. Some babies are patient and will just feed longer to get the milk they need.

Breast Pumping When Baby is Not Breastfeeding

If you are pumping for a baby who is not breastfeeding, plan to pump 8-10 times each day. Full milk production is 25-35 oz. (750-1,035 ml) per day. Once mothers have reached full milk production, most mothers can maintain their milk supply by pumping 6-7 times a day.


This is general information and does not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. If you have a problem you cannot solve quickly, seek help right away. Every baby is different. If in doubt, contact your physician or healthcare provider.