How to Make a Pumping and Breastfeeding Schedule

Pumping and breastfeeding schedule

Breast milk is the safest and most nutritious food you can give a baby. It contains all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and antibodies a growing infant needs. Many moms choose to breastfeed their little ones.


However, more mothers nowadays choose to pump, either exclusively or in tandem with breastfeeding. Pumping has its convenience, and it is a fantastic option for mothers busy with work or always on the go.


Like breastfeeding, pumping follows a schedule. A consistent time for pumping means a constant flow of milk supply. Here is how you can make your own effective schedule


Why Do Mothers Choose Pumping Over Breastfeeding?

Nursing is a personal choice moms need to make. There is no right or wrong answer when choosing which method works best for you. The choice often comes down to how your lifestyle is.


Some moms prefer to pump breast milk because it gives them more control over their time. Moms can store breast milk in the fridge so other family members or caregivers can nurse the baby. This is helpful for moms who have limited maternity leave and need to be back at work immediately.


Mothers with twins, triplets, or more can also benefit from pumping. It can be a handful to nurse more than one baby simultaneously. Collecting milk beforehand can feed more infants and lessen a mother’s stress.


Some moms might also have issues with their breast milk supply. Moms who have difficulty producing more milk can nurse after a breastfeeding session to increase production.


Finally, pumping gives more moms rest time while caring for a baby. Breastfeeding can put a toll on a sleep-deprived mother. Pumping allows other family members to watch over the baby while the mom takes some needed rest. 


Exclusively pumping does limit the skin-to-skin bonding moms and babies have. It is also slightly pricier since you will need equipment. But plenty of moms can look over these details, especially if pumping is necessary.


How Often Should I Pump Breast Milk?

Pumping should be frequent, as though you are breastfeeding a baby. You want to pump as often throughout the day to signal your brain to produce more milk.


You should produce around 25-35 oz. (750-1,035 ml) per day when exclusively pumping. This is enough milk to support your baby within 24 hours. Most moms take around 8 to 10 sessions to reach that amount.


Moms who breastfeed should time pumping before or after nursing. You can pump one hour before or 30-60 minutes after breastfeeding. Pumping in the morning should also help you yield more from your milk supply.


How Do I Make a Pumping and Breastfeeding Schedule?

Your schedule depends on your everyday routine. People have different lifestyles and activities, so your pumping sessions will be unique compared to others.


Some moms might produce more milk than others and only need fewer sessions. Others might find it more difficult to produce high amounts of milk and need to pump more frequently.


The younger your baby is, the more milk they will need. Expect around 8 to 12 pumping sessions within 24 hours. This also includes pumping at night. 


You will eventually lessen the pumping as your baby grows older. Although you should still space out the schedule to fulfill your baby’s needs without drying out your supply.


Sample Pumping Schedule

If you are exclusively pumping for your baby, the best method is to do it every 2 hours during the day and 4 hours during the night. This can keep your supply going.


A sample pumping schedule for a newborn should look like this:

  • 6 AM
  • 8 AM
  • 10 AM
  • 12 PM
  • 2 PM
  • 4 PM
  • 6 PM
  • 10 PM
  • 3 PM


As your baby grows older, you can freely spread out the schedule to look something like this:

  • 6 AM
  • 8 AM
  •  2 PM
  • 4 PM
  • 6 PM
  • 10 PM
  • 4 AM


You can adjust your schedule based on what you are comfortable with. Some mothers might choose to breastfeed their babies at home while pumping at work. Others will alternate from nursing to pumping.


Some moms do a technique called power pumping to produce more milk. Like cluster feeding, it involves short pumping bursts to stimulate the body and increase the milk supply. Moms pump their breasts for 10-20 minutes, followed by a 10-minute break. This can take around an hour or two. 


Pumping can be very difficult, especially if you struggle to keep up with your baby’s demands. Find the schedule that fits well with you and your baby. Do not forget to take care of yourself, too, while pumping every day.



Should I pump breast milk at night?

Pump during the night, even though you feel very sleepy. Many babies require nursing during bedtime, so it only makes sense to have a pumping session. Although it is a pain to get out of bed so early in the morning, prolactin level is at its peak around 2 to 5 AM.


When should I start pumping?

Mothers who cannot produce milk at birth should start pumping immediately. Meanwhile, mothers who need to return to work should begin building their stash 3 to 4 weeks before the transition.


What supplies do I need for pumping?

Besides a pump, you will need bottles and storage bags for your milk. You might also want to invest in nursing pads, a comfortable bra, nipple shields, and cream to make life easier and more comfortable.



Caring for a baby is a big responsibility. Many mothers must juggle work and home life every day. Fortunately, pumping has become a way for mothers to take back their time without sacrificing their baby’s nutrition.


Pumping must be done on a schedule to maintain the rate of milk production. Routines vary from mom to mom. But what matters most is that a mom can produce enough breast milk to last for a whole day.


Pumping can have its challenges, such as being more expensive and less intimate. But there is no denying how much it helps moms around the world in nursing and caring for their babies.

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