Remember, drained breasts make milk faster. Full breasts make milk slower. Every time your breasts feel full, this slows your average milk production while pumping and breastfeeding. The more times each day you drain your breasts well, the more milk you make. When you first return to work, you can allow up to one five hour stretch a day without breast pumping or breastfeeding, even at night. You may be able to increase this stretch as your baby gets older, as long as you can keep up your milk production.
Breastfeed often. Every breastfeeding reduces the amount of expressed milk needed. From one to six months, the amount of milk your baby needs each day stays steady. So if you breastfeed less when you’re together, this increases baby’s need for expressed milk when you’re apart. In the morning, if you can, breastfeed once when you wake up and again just before you leave your baby. Breastfeed as soon as you are reunited after work. If your baby seems hungry just before you arrive, suggest giving as little milk as possible.
Pump as often as you can at work. If needed, when home you can also pump after breastfeeding. (Drained breasts make milk faster.) If you can’t pump often at work, keep milk production steady by breastfeeding more at home.
Remember, you will not have to use a breast pump forever. In fact many mothers find they can decrease the number of times they pump or completely stop pumping at work when their baby is between nine and twelve months old. This is the time when your baby will start taking more solid food and other fluids, and you can breastfeed when you are home with your baby.