How Long Do You Need to Pump Breast Milk


Breast pumping: How long to pump

If new to breast pumps, this question is likely to give you sleepless nights? We have seen many new moms searching for answers online. Googling may not even help as you are likely to get conflicting answers and that why we have prepared this article. 

Why give your baby your own milk? 

woman carries baby

Breastfeeding has been associated with many health benefits, which no alternative can offer, not even the baby formula. In fact, research has revealed that babies who are breastfed well are less likely to get diabetes when older. They are also less likely to become overweight. That is why you will hear health professionals insisting babies to be given breast milk for the recommended period.

Moms who don’t have all the time to be with their babies opt to express milk, and that is how breast pumps (both manual and electric) come into play.

What is the proper way to pump breast milk?

When it comes to expressing milk, you have two options: to extract manually or to use an electric pump. An electric pump is more efficient and costly at the same time. The advantage of using a manual pump is that you have more control over the pumping motion. Besides, you part with less money to own one.

Whether using an electric or manual pump, it is recommended to think about your baby when expressing milk. That way, milk will flow a lot easier, and the experience will be great.

How long is best?

How Long Do You Need to Pump Breast Milk

Now let’s dive into what you came here for: how long do you need to pump breast milk?

While timing changes from one woman to another, the average is around 5-7 minutes per breast if you are using an electric pump. Note that most electric breast pumps come with two breast shields that can extract at the same time. 

Manual pumps have one breast shield. This means they take longer to express milk. Timing also depends on how fast milk flows from your breast and how quickly you operate the pump. If you are too slow or keep stopping, the longest it can take is around 15 minutes per breast. That is approximately 30 minutes to express completely. This can explain why some moms prefer electric breast pumps. With time, it is possible to express milk faster (with manual pumps) if you keep on practicing.   

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