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Breast-Feeding - Pumping and Storing

Pumping and storing your milk allows you to breast-feed while working or just getting some time away from your baby. It's a good idea to have a plan for when you'll need to pump, select the right breast pump for you, and know how to store milk safely. These will help set you and your baby up for long-term breast-feeding success.

Pumping and your milk supply

If you often feed your baby pumped breast milk, your milk supply may decrease. This is because your body releases less prolactin than it does when you feed your baby at the breast. To help keep your milk supply when you pump frequently:

  • Breast-feed your baby whenever possible. For example, if you are working, breast-feed your baby frequently before you go to work in the morning, in the evening, and throughout the weekends.
  • Keep a regular pumping schedule. Don't try to make up for missing a session by pumping longer at the next one. This can lead to breast engorgement and decreased milk production.
  • Use a double electric pump, which expresses milk from both breasts at the same time.
  • Talk to a lactation consultant about how to manage a decreasing milk supply.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: May 01, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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