Hello - My question is when to pump in order to 1. maintain my supply, 2. start building reserve supply, and 3. to minimize uncomfortable engorgement?
I have a 6 wk old who is exclusively breastfed, with one feed per day via a bottle, in the evening when my husband gets home. She's a good nurser and I have a healthy supply; I usually only nurse from one breast per feeding, for 10-20 min (9-10x per day). She goes "to bed" when we do, around 10pm after a final feed (breast). She is now sleeping 5-6 hours for this first stretch, then another 2-3, and maybe a final 1-2 before we get up for the day. I am now usually pumping once per day, during or immediately after she feeds in the morning, around 8 or 9am.
Do I need to pump during her long stretch of sleep to maintain my supply or will my body adjust? Also, if I don't, I wake up very engorged (especially in the breast I didn't last nurse on) and my daughter has a hard time processing all that milk during her night feed (choking, spilling). However, I'd rather sleep than wake just to pump!
And/or should I pump during/right after the night-time feed (~4am)? One or both breasts? Sometimes she will feed from both at that time but not always. Again, I'd rather wait until morning so I can maximize sleep...but also want to relieve the pressure and maintain supply.
Finally, should I pump when she has her evening bottle? My breasts typically hurt at that time since I'm skipping a feed, but I know my supply is much lower in the evening so worry I won't get much, and I prefer to nurse a lot before bed to fill her up so I don't want to pump too much and mess up nursing.