💫You will be instructed to express milk between 10-12 times in a 24 hour period, whether by baby, pump or combination by both. I am here to tell you that schedule is unrealistic and if you strive for this many sessions a day, you may find yourself wanting to cut your journey short unnecessarily. It is easy to become discouraged when expectations are set SO high. You’re not doing it wrong, you’ve been given text book advice; not tired mom, let’s be real, advice.
I am also going to share a study that may calm your nerves and ease up your schedule, something I think we would all be interested in learning more about!
This advice is related to exclusive pumping, not feeding your baby at breast. When baby is in the drivers seat, it is a different game. They very well may want to feed 12x a day, I would never recommend withholding their meals. Feeding on demand at the breast is the other side of this coin.
This study involves two groups of nursing mothers, two schedules both varying feedings per day and times sessions.
10x per 24hrs
Approx 14 mins per session
7 times per 24hrs
Approx 20 mins per session
The outcome of this study shows that women with an increased amount of sessions at breast had an increased volume of milk resulting in more weight gain on day 15. 𝗛𝗼𝘄𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗼𝗻 𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝟯𝟱 𝗯𝗼𝘁𝗵 𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽’𝘀 𝘃𝗼𝗹𝘂𝗺𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗺𝗶𝗹𝗸 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗯𝗮𝗯𝘆’𝘀 𝘄𝗲𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝗴𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝘄𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗰𝗹𝗼𝘀𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝗻 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗹𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗱.
M De Carvalho et al. Pediatrics. 1983 Sep
This all said, you do not need to drain every last ounce of your sanity to build your milk supply. The study shares that more frequent removal stimulates prolactin responses, this is factual. However, aiming for approximately 140 mins at the breast divided between 7-10 sessions within a 24 hour period will likely result with the same outcome.