Is pumping only 3 times a day possible?! Please help!

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Registered: 12-31-1969
Is pumping only 3 times a day possible?! Please help!
Tue, 09-25-2012 - 7:23am

Hi everyone,

My daughter is 5.5 months old. I have been planning on pumping until she is 6 months old then was going to be a free woman. I've got a huge freezer stash and have been planning on mixing that milk with formula until it was all gone, so she'd still be getting my milk for another month or so. But my heart says it's not time for me to stop. I want to be a "free woman" but would still like to continue pumping.

Here is my current schedule: 5AM, 9AM, 1PM, 5PM, 9PM I produce more in the AM (10-12oz per AM session) and by the time I'm doing my 9PM pump I am getting only about 7-8oz. It's like this daily, so I'd say my supply is pretty good.

Here is my concerns though. I would happily continue pumping, but now that DD is getting older, she is getting more and more fussy. I am hands free already, but always have her in the bouncy or jumper. Sometimes she'll be happy the whole time, other times she will scream the whole time and that really stresses me out. The way my schedule is with work, I do 3 out of my 5 sessions while I'm away from here: either I'm at work or she's already in bed for the night. It's so relaxing and nice to be able to pump without worrying about her becoming upset.

What I'd really, really, really like to do is drop my 1PM and 5PM sessions. I realize this will cause a big drop in supply and number of ounces produced, but it's either this or stop pumping completely.

My main question is: If I drop both of those pump sessions, will I still continue to produce milk if I keep up my other 3 pumps? Can anyone suggest a better schedule for me that would maybe work out better?

Thank you so much for any and all advice. I really need it! Please help me be able to continue pumping!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2010
Thu, 09-27-2012 - 9:12am
I had an average supply and had to keep up pumping many times a day to keep up with my daughter, but even I was able near the end to drop to 3. I made about 32 oz at 8 pumps a day, and once I was down to 3 pumps near the end, I was still getting 18oz. So you can see that I was almost to half production, but it was still a decent amount of milk, which worked out fine because she was eating less by then and I had a bunch in the freezer.

I would think dropping the 1 and 5 would be tough because then you would be going a full 12 hrs between pumps. You have a better supply than I did, but mine took a big hit once I dropped to 2 and was thus leaving 12 hrs in between. Could you space them a tad more evenly? I am assuming 5am, 9am, and 9pm are the times that she is not awake and with you, and that you want to get rid of 1 and 5 because those are the times you have her with you. Does she take an afternoon nap? Could you drop to 4 instead of 3 and just do one afternoon pump during that nap? You may find with your very good supply that you can get away with being a lot more flexible with pumping. Some can, some can't. It's frustrating that you have to try it to see. Good luck to you!


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-15-2012
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 10:07pm

I don't know about three but I do four, and it is fairly easy for me. I pump in the car on the way to work at about 6:30, then at work at about 10:30-11, and again about 2:30 or last pump is somewhere between 8:30-9:00. I recentyl dropped from 5 per day, and was getting about 32 ounces, and I now get about 28-30, so I didn't drop too much. I do pump longer during my second and third sessions though to help with that. My son is about 8 1/2 months old.Good luck, I know how it is when your little one is fussy. I have that on the weekends, it stinks to not be able to do anything about it when you are pumping.Good Luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2012
Fri, 10-05-2012 - 8:29pm

my dd is almost 6 mos, and I'm pretty much down to 3 pumps.  Some days I squeeze in 4.  I've gone from 60 oz when I was pumping 5-6 times, to 48-50 oz now.  If I were you, I'd aim to drop the 9 am pump, and the 5 pm pump to have some nice even spacing.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2012
Sun, 10-07-2012 - 8:28pm

Hi! Congratulations on making it this far :smileyhappy:

My baby is now 6.5 months old, and I'm down to 3 pumps, and still making enough milk for her - I pump 9pm, 7am, 1pm. However, the length of each pump is longer - I have to do half an hour or so at each to get enough milk, while I used to do 15 or 20 minutes. I pump: when someone can watch her, when she's taking a nap (so that can be any time between 11am and 2pm), or when she's asleep. I've dropped pumps one at a time, though, so I would suggest going down to four and then in a couple of weeks going to 3.


Good luck!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2012
Mon, 10-15-2012 - 12:25pm

Very possible! I was at 3x a day from the middle of July to a few weeks ago, now I'm on to 2x a day 11 AM and 11PM and still getting a few more ounces than i use. I was engorged for about 36 hours and then I was fine.