After birth, you may feel sad if you find yourself faced with a pump rather than your nursing baby. It may help to think of the pump as a useful tool that can help you get ready for breastfeeding.
Begin pumping by keeping your goal in mind: Full milk production--25-35 ounces (750-1050 mL) per baby per day--by Day 10 to 14. Right after birth, your body is primed and ready to make milk. Don’t wait too long. If you do, it may be harder to reach this goal.
You are now producing as much milk as your baby needs: 25-35 ounces (750-1050 mL) per day. (If not, click on “How can I use a pump to reach full milk production?”) If your baby is not yet ready to breastfeed, don’t despair. Your pump can help you keep your milk at this level until your baby is ready. To do this, it may help to understand how milk production works.
You achieved full milk production. You’ve maintained it for a time. Now what do you do?
Pumping for a non-breastfeeding baby brings many rewards. It feels great to see your baby grow and thrive on your milk. And it sets your mind at ease to know that you’re giving your baby the best. But it is not easy. Experts recommend mother’s milk for at least a baby’s first year. Even so, many mothers find it hard to make exclusive pumping work long-term. This is not surprising. Exclusive pumping takes at least twice the time and effort of breastfeeding.