Longest time to go between pumps?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-05-2011
Longest time to go between pumps?
Fri, 08-05-2011 - 11:06pm

My son is almost 5 months old, and right now I am at 6 pumps a day. I haven't gone longer than 6 hours without pumping due to fear of losing supply or getting clogged (which hasn't happened much at all since about 15 weeks--used to get them all the time). Do any of you go longer than 6 hours between pumps (and then make up for it by shorter in-between times at other times of the day)? I would love to sleep a tiny bit longer when possible or to not feel so rushed at work to pump.

Also, what has been your experience with dropping to 5 pumps? I'd like to try, but it looks like some people on this board experience the biggest drop in supply going from 6 to 5 pumps.

Right now, I make about 1-2 bottles more than my son drinks each day if that makes a difference.

Thanks for the advice!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2011
Sat, 08-06-2011 - 2:27am

I haven't gone longer than 6-6.5 hrs. b/w pumps so I can't help you there. But I am one of those people who experienced a big drop going down to 5 pumps. At 6 pumps I was pumping 50 oz.. When I dropped a pump I went down to 40 oz. but it took a couple of weeks to go down and even out. I still pump 5X but now produce 35-39 oz. Every one is different, but just thought I would share my experience. My daughter is almost 6 months and drinks 27-33 oz. a day. I'm too scared to drop another one so I am waiting until her milk intake goes down once she is doing good with solids. That day can't come soon enough!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-09-2011
Sat, 08-06-2011 - 9:00pm
I didn't have a drop going from 6 to 5. But everyone is different. I would say give it a try and see how it goes for you. I really needed my sleep and would go 9 hours at night without pumping. (of course still was awake with LO - but at least not pumping.) I figured at 5 months - alot of babies actually sleep 10+ hours (haaha- not mine but I hear about such babies). If I was BFing I would be going that long without - so my logic was it should work with the pump as well.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-05-2011
Sat, 08-06-2011 - 10:48pm

Thanks for the replies!

I think I'm going to try going a little longer between pumps every once in a while at night (my son definitely isn't one of those 10-hour sleepers, but my husband is great about sharing some of the night feedings if they don't coincide with my pumping) and see how it goes. If I can do that, sticking with 6 pumps wouldn't be so bad, especially on my days off.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-2011
Sun, 08-07-2011 - 12:00am

My son is 4.5 months, I dropped down to 4 pumps about 2 months ago and actually saw a gradual increase in supply (I now get 50 oz a day). However... I pump for a very long time at each session, usually 45 minutes. This works better for me than pumping shorter and more often.

Overnight I tend to go for about 10 hours which means I wake up VERY engorged, but that has only been a discomfort rather than doing anything bad to my supply.

I agree with the last post, it's worth trying and see how things go. You can always ramp back up to 6 if need be. The other thing that I've read is that being rested is key for good supply, so skipping a nighttime pump might actually help your supply. Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-27-2011
Wed, 09-14-2011 - 11:26am

I also used this logic. :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2010
Wed, 09-14-2011 - 12:52pm
I dropped the middle of the night pump when my daughter started sleeping 9 hours straight. I think my supply could have been better if I had stuck with the middle of the night pump even though she was sleeping, but I was only around 3 months in (had not found this board yet and didn't really know what I was doing). I did figure that if I were breastfeeding I would be sleeping when she slept, so it should be fine, but I think I would have had more of a surplus if I had stuck it out a little longer.

That said, you are a couple of months further in than I was when I dropped the middle of the night pump, so I would guess that you would be fine. As others have mentioned it can take a couple of weeks to notice a difference. I tried to keep my gap between pumps to 8 hrs or 9 at the most (when exhausted), which also allowed me to get up before my daughter and pump when not trying to entertain her.

It sounds like you have a good supply with some to freeze and that you are very diligent with your daytime pumps. I had to be that way too. I think you will be fine...and that you deserve more sleep! If you decide to stretch out your nighttime, let us know how it goes!


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-05-2011
Thu, 09-15-2011 - 11:30pm

Thanks so much for the advice and support. I ended up dropping to 5 pumps and haven't seen a decrease yet =). I still don't go longer than 6 hours at night usually, but at work a few times, I've had to go 7 or even 8 hours and have been able to avoid freaking out about it. Glad to hear some words of wisdom from you all!