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Ask Sheila: How Long is a Pumping Session at Work?

by Healthy Horizons on April 17, 2017
 Anne and baby Emily (3.5 months) ask, "When I return to work, how long should I pump during each pumping session?"

A: Typically, moms are pumping between 10 and 15 minutes per session. Moms may pump longer if they don't have an efficient hospital-grade breastpump, or if they have time and the milk is still flowing. Remember with younger babies, under six months old, most moms are pumping every three hours while they are away from their baby. It is a supply and demand equation. Given that you will be away from your baby for one-third of the day, ideally you will pump to provide breastmilk for one-third of her needs. On average, most moms can express around 9 to 15 ounces in a workday. Remember, babies can make up the difference before and after work when you are home nursing!

To make pumping easier and to allow you to use your hands while pumping, we recommend a good hands-free bra. The bra from Simple Wishes is comfortable and secure.


Sheila Janakos, MPH, IBCLC, LE, RLC

Chief Executive Officer, Healthy Horizons



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