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Pumping Schedule For A Newborn (5 Sample Schedules)

Pumping Schedule For A Newborn (5 Sample Schedules)
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If you have an infant, you may be wondering what is the easiest pumping schedule for a newborn. You may have heard that you should pump between 8 and 12 times per 24 hours for an infant, but how does that translate into a schedule?

When my baby was born, I searched for a sample pumping schedule for a newborn. Below is the one that worked the best for me with a new baby. 

One option for a pumping schedule for a newborn is to pump at these times. Pump every two to three hours during the day, with a maximum of a four hour stretch at night. Note that the last session is the most important for your milk supply. Here is the schedule:

  • 6 am – Pump Session 1 of 9
  • 8 am – Pump Session 2 of 9
  • 10 am – Pump Session 3 of 9
  • 12 pm – Pump Session 4 of 9
  • 3 pm – Pump Session 5 of 9
  • 6 pm – Pump Session 6 of 9
  • 9 pm – Pump Session 7 of 9
  • 12 am – Pump Session 8 of 9
  • 3 am – Pump Session 9 of 9

Following this newborn pumping schedule will ensure that you pump 9 times per day, and every 2 to 3 hours, with a small baby.

This is appropriate to do if you are exclusively pumping instead of breastfeeding sessions.

The middle of the night pumping sessions are tough, but it is important to keep up with them and stick to the schedule.

During the middle of the night is when your hormones are highest and they will help you to produce the most milk.

Another benefit to pumping on a schedule is that you will train your body that you need to produce milk on a regular basis.

This will help to establish your milk supply, which is critical in the first few weeks with a baby.

Exclusively Pumping Schedule For A Newborn

If you are exclusively pumping for a newborn, the schedule above should work well to ensure that you are building up your milk supply. This is critical in the first few weeks.

This will mimic the same number of times that a newborn would typically feed.

I used this pumping schedule because my daughter was in the NICU. We couldn’t practice feeding until she grew a little bigger, so I exclusively pumped for her.

If you are not exclusively pumping, then your pumping schedule will be a bit different. You can replace some of the pumping sessions with breastfeeding sessions.

Below is a schedule you can follow for this scenario.

This may seem overwhelming, and it is a lot of pumping at the beginning. 

Rest assured that once your milk supply regulates and your baby is a little older, you will not need to pump as often. You can start space out the pumping sessions as your baby grows.

Once your baby is a little older, follow these exclusive pumping schedules listed by month.

Sample Breastfeeding And Pumping Schedule For A Newborn

You may be interested in a combination of breastfeeding and pumping for your newborn. This may be for a few different reasons. 

It could be because you want to build a freezer stash for when you go back to work. 

Having pumped milk in the refrigerator or freezer also gives you a little bit of a break and allows your partner to help with some of the feeding responsibility for your infant.

If you are using a combination of feeding methods, here is a sample breastfeeding and pumping schedule for a newborn:

  • 6 am – Breastfeed, then pump immediately after 
  • 8 am – Feed baby a bottle and pump to replace the session
  • 10 am – Breastfeed, then pump immediately after
  • 12 pm – Breastfeed
  • 3 pm – Breastfeed
  • 6 pm – Breastfeed
  • 9 pm – Breastfeed
  • 12 am – Breastfeed
  • 3 am – Breastfeed

With this schedule, you will pump three times per day. Most moms will notice that their milk supply is the highest overnight and in the morning. 

By pumping early in the morning, you will be able to take advantage of the hours where you have high milk supply and collect the extra milk.

This will help you to collect enough to give your baby a bottle or to build a freezer stash.

If you are looking to increase your milk supply, this is one of my favorite products (I found it on Etsy, and you can check out all the amazing reviews).

You can also use heat and massage to help increase milk supply. Here is another one of my favorite products for increasing milk supply (link to Amazon).

You can read more details here about building a stockpile of breast milk.

How Often Should I Pump With A Newborn

For a newborn that is under 2 months of age, you should pump 8 to 12 times per day if you are exclusively pumping. This means that you are replacing all feeding sessions with pumping sessions.

If you are doing a combination of nursing and pumping, then you do not need to pump as frequently.

You should still aim for at least 8 to 12 feeding sessions to ensure your infant has enough milk. You can pump anywhere from 0 to 3 times per day.

Remember, if you are pumping in addition to breastfeeding, anything you can pump is “extra” milk. 

Don’t feel discouraged if you get half an ounce, or one ounce after a feeding session. This is milk over and above what your baby needs. Every ounce is precious.

If you pump one ounce after 4 feeding sessions, during the day you’ve pumped an entire extra bottle of milk!

Some moms will not want to pump because it can lead to an oversupply of milk. As long as you remove the milk regularly with feeding or pumping, then pumping shouldn’t be harmful. 

If you notice that you are becoming uncomfortable with an oversupply, then you may want to reduce the number of pumping sessions.

3 More Newborn Pumping Schedules

Each of these sample newborn pumping schedules will depend on your individual situation. Be sure to pick the one that best fits you and your baby’s needs. 

The first thing to determine is how often you need to pump for your infant.

If you are wondering how often should you pump breast milk for newborns, then the answer depends on your situation.

  • If you are exclusively pumping, you should pump 8 to 12 times per day to mimic a newborn’s feeding schedule.
  • If you are pumping and nursing, you can pump anywhere from 0 to 3 times per day.
  • If you have an oversupply of milk, you should reduce pumping sessions to help reduce and regulate your milk supply.
  • Use the newborn pumping schedules above for recommendations on the different times of day to pump.

Exclusive Pumping Schedule With A Newborn

With this schedule, you want to mimic the number of feeds your baby takes. This includes the middle of the night feeds and pumping sessions.

The hormone which makes milk is highest in the 12am to 5am time frame for most moms. These sessions are important for establishing and maintaining your milk supply when you have a newborn.

You are also more likely to pump more milk early in the morning. The number of ounces you pump later in the day will likely decrease.

Here is a sample schedule for exclusively pumping for a newborn.

TimeLength of Pumping Session
5am20 minutes (up to 30 minutes, or until empty)
7am20 minutes (up to 30 minutes, or until empty)
9am20 minutes
11am20 minutes
2pm20-25 minutes
5pm20-25 minutes
8pm20-25 minutes
11pm20-25 minutes
2am20 minutes (up to 30 minutes, or until empty)

Here is an alternative schedule to follow if you are exclusively pumping for a newborn.

Pick the schedule where the times work the best for your day.

With this newborn exclusive pumping schedule, you are pumping more frequently, but for a shorter length of time during the pumping sessions.

TimeLength of Pumping Session
6am20 minutes (up to 25 minutes, or until empty)
8am20 minutes (up to 25 minutes, or until empty)
10am20 minutes
12pm20 minutes
2pm20 minutes
4pm15-20 minutes
6pm15-20 minutes
8pm15-20 minutes
10pm15-20 minutes
2am20 minutes (up to 30 minutes, or until empty)

Newborn Pump Schedule (Breastfeeding and Pumping)

With this pumping schedule, you will pump fewer minutes during each session than if you are exclusively pumping. This is because you do not need to mimic a full feeding session. 

Similar to exclusive pumping, you may want to ensure you pump during the morning hours. This will help you to take advantage of the time when your milk-making hormone (prolactin) is at its peak. 

By pumping in the morning, you are more likely to see a larger volume of milk when you pump.

Here is a sample pumping schedule if you are breastfeeding and pumping. This is appropriate if you do not have an oversupply of milk.

TimeLength of Pumping Session
6amNurse, then pump 10 minutes (up to 15 minutes)
8amNurse, then pump 10 minutes (up to 15 minutes)
10amNurse, then pump 10 minutes (up to 15 minutes)

Should You Pump With A Newborn?

You may be wondering if it is ok to pump for a newborn. In most moms without an oversupply of milk, yes, it is just fine to pump for your newborn. 

Below I go into the reasons why you may want to pump for your infant and when you may want to avoid pumping for a newborn baby.

Pros to Pumping for a Newborn

There are several scenarios where pumping can help a new mom with her milk supply. 

If your milk supply is on the lower end, then pumping can help to simulate increased demand, which will usually result in an increased supply. 

Also, if your baby has one of these situations, pumping may help:

  • A painful latch
  • A tongue tie,  or 
  • He or she is s not transferring milk efficiently.

If these scenarios apply, then pumping will help to protect your milk supply until the issue can be evaluated and addressed by a lactation consultant.

Cons to Pumping For A Newborn

There are some lactation consultants who advise against pumping for a newborn. This is because pumping can cause an oversupply of milk. 

If you have previously nursed or pumped for a baby, then you will have an idea if you have an oversupply.

If this is the case, then you probably want to limit or avoid pumping until after your milk supply has regulated around 8 to 12 weeks.

The other con to pumping for a newborn is that it can take up precious time. If you are pumping, then you may have difficulty doing other things, such as taking a nap or preparing food for yourself.

How Much Milk Should You Pump For A Newborn?

During the first few days of your newborn’s life, you may only pump a few ounces of milk each day. Usually hand expressing will allow you to express more milk than you can pump with an electric pump.

After your mature milk comes in, you should expect to pump much more milk.

The amount of milk you should pump for a newborn is around 24 to 30 ounces per day if you are exclusively pumping, and replacing all feeding sessions with pumping sessions.

This is the average amount that a baby will eat after the first few weeks.

If you are pumping and breastfeeding, then the amount of milk you may pump for a newborn is half an ounce to an ounce after each feeding session. 

It would be highly unusual to fill an entire bottle of milk after feeding your baby.

This would mean that you have a large oversupply of milk or your baby was not transferring milk efficiently during the feeding session.

Conclusion

There are several options for your pumping schedule for a newborn. The most important thing when setting up your schedule is to pump every 2 to 3 hours during the day, with up to a 4 hour stretch at night.

You have several different options whether you are creating a newborn pumping schedule for exclusively pumping, or if you are doing a combination of breastfeeding and pumping.

NEXT, Check Out

  1. My Best Pumping Tips for Beginners
  2. Exclusive Discounts for Breastfeeding and Pumping Moms

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4352698/

https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=delayed-or-not-enough-milk-production-90-P02390

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