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Pumping for Your Exclusively Breastfed Baby

Updated: May 5



Pumping for Your Exclusively Breastfed Baby | Jax, FL Night Nannies

Pumping for Your Exclusively Breastfed Baby

How much milk should you be pumping for your exclusively breastfed baby while you're away? How do you decide when you aren't really sure how much milk she's even drinking? It's kind of an awe moment. At some point you moved past her falling asleep at the breast and being worried about her getting enough milk every time she latches on. You've moved past the nerves of nursing in public. Now she's gaining weight wonderfully, has hit all of her milestones, and the two of you have found your groove! So, how much milk will you be pumping for your exclusively breastfed baby? Don't know? Don't worry! There are a few things to take into consideration.


First, is your baby getting any nutrients from food yet?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusively breastfeeding for approximately the first 6 months of life, continue breastfeeding until baby's first birthday, and longer while mutually desired by mother and baby. Many solid foods contain water, especially fruits! If your caregiver reports that your baby is drinking less milk than you or the caregiver anticipated water content in foods should be considered. Also, babies are more likely to take sips of milk along with the food.


Is your baby familiar with using a bottle or cup?

When introducing a cup or a bottle there may be tears and pushback. At the bare minimum, she'll be learning a new skill. And new skills take lots of practice. There will be some spilled milk during a process so take that into consideration. As a seasoned postpartum and infant care specialist who has helped to bottle-train many babies, I would account for at least a half ounce being lost during each feed.


Third, who will be caring for your little one?

Be sure that this person is well-versed in preparing, handling, and storing breastmilk and is prepared to make the best use of your liquid gold. What does that even mean? It means that they need to understand and be mindful not to unintentionally waste the milk you're pumping for your exclusively breastfed baby. Prepare small increments at first. Don't heat it unless you're sure she'll drink it. Don't tilt the bottle too much, just enough and listen for an active suck-swallow pattern. One great feeding method is paced bottle feeding [>>. The caregiver should be able to identify early, active, and late feeding cues, stop to burp the baby often, and also know how to recognize when your baby is full, not over full.


Finally, whether you're away for a few hours or a few days, here are a couple of guidelines for you to consider when trying to decide how much milk you'll need when pumping for your exclusively breastfed baby who feeds on demand at home;

  1. a ounce to an ounce and a half for every hour you're away

  2. 2-5 oz 8 to 12 times a day


At the Jax Baby Company, we know there are very few hard fast rules when it comes to parenting. Each family, every baby, and every person is unique. Consider all factors, prepare your caregiver, get to pumping for your exclusively breastfed baby, and do your thang girl!


Not sure how to prepare your caregiver best?

Not sure you even want a task a caregiver with this job?


Our postpartum and infant care specialist are here to help you prepare your caregiver and even come to provide the care you want for your baby while you're away!


Happy Birth & Parenting!


~Elizabeth Luke

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