When is the best time for you to use your breast pump?
Moms have many things to consider when choosing when to pump. Should you pump before your baby wakes up to nurse or after they've had their first feeding in the morning? Should you wait until the baby is napping and hope he or she doesn't wake up before you've replenished your supply? Here are some helpful hints to use when you're wondering when to pump.
When do you feel the fullest? Many moms find that early mornings are when they feel the fullest, and this is the best time for them to pump. Hopefully you have just had a few hours of sleep (in a row) and your body has had a chance to rest and recover from taking care of your baby, so your milk supply should be at its peak as you begin your day. When working full-time, I used to wake up at 5:30 so I could pump, eat breakfast, shower and be ready to go when the baby woke up at 7. Then I could nurse and we'd leave for daycare.
When does your baby nurse the least? If your baby cluster feeds in the afternoons, then this is not a good time to try to pump. If the majority of the calories are consumed in the afternoons, then you may have milk available for pumping in the morning or in the evenings.
When are you the most relaxed? This aspect of pumping is hard to achieve! Pumping when your newborn is asleep and when you feel the fullest just might be the same time your older child is getting ready to have lunch. Sure, it's possible to set up your two-year-old with a TV show or a special game when you're ready to pump, but if you're consistently worried about them pulling the tubes of your pump, or if they're wandering into the kitchen when you've just set up your pumping "station" in the living room, then you will find it difficult to relax to get a good pumping session in. Can you pump when your toddler naps or when they're quietly reading a story with you? Are you most relaxed when everyone in the house is in bed and you've just had a wonderful shower? Are you most relaxed when you've just finished dinner and the whole family is sitting down together? Finding your most relaxed time to pump will help you avoid stressful pumping sessions.
When is the most convenient for you? Waking up early to pump or pumping when your baby sleeps may not be good options for you. Maybe you can pump while you serve the older child lunch, or when your newborn is in her bouncy chair? He or she can practice tummy time near you while you pump.
For me, the best time to pump was the middle of the night. The phone couldn't ring, the doorbell couldn't be buzzed, the dog usually didn't bark, and the kids usually didn't need me - so I was pretty relaxed -- and I felt the fullest. Try these tips to find your best pumping time - you will be the best person to decide what works for you.