Breast Pumping


Breast pumping is for circumstances when:  

  • A mother  is at home with her baby and exclusively breastfeeding and needs to store up milk
  • A mother has a baby who is not able to breastfeed,  or elects to breast pump exclusively to express milk  for her baby

Breastfeeding and Pumping to Store Up Milk

If you are at home with your baby and exclusively breastfeeding:

  • Pump in the morning. This is when most women get more milk.
  • 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 the 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.


Talk to your healthcare provider. In most cases, 10-15 minutes per breast is long enough. The idea is to drain your breasts of milk. Massaging your breasts gently before and during pumping as well as hand expression after pumping can be helpful to drain your breasts well.

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.