Pumping Breastmilk - When is the Right Time?

This week, we focus on choosing the best time in your routine for pumping breastmilk.


Question: What's the best time of day/night to pump?

Answer: This really depends on your baby’s feeding pattern, every mum and baby are different so there is no right or wrong time of day to express. It is important to be flexible, especially in your baby’s first few weeks as you both adjust and establish breastfeeding. Here are some top tips to help you identify what may work best for you:

  • Some mums get into a routine and pump when their partner feeds stored expressed breastmilk to baby. This is a good opportunity to express so that you mimic your baby’s pattern
  • Many mums pump at the same time as their baby feeds from one breast because this is all they need and encourages let down
  • Other babies cluster feed so finding a time to pump can be unrealistic
  • Over the next few days see if there is a time that suits you, where you can pump for about an hour after you finish the last feed, and an hour before you feed. Your breastmilk will refill around 45 minutes after the breasts have emptied.
  • Several mums will do a night time pumping session before they go to sleep or during the night.

The real key is to find a time when it suits you both, invest in a breast pump that is comfortable and has the correct shield size for you to make all your expressing sessions as effective as they can be. Just give it a try, start with pumping off one breast to start with. Don’t expect huge volumes 2-3oz is fine, the more you feed the more milk you will make for your little one.