Ask The Expert: Pumping Sessions


Every member of our Customer Service team is a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) or an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), so when you have a problem, they are well-equipped to solve it.

And because sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know, we’d like to share their answers to frequently-asked questions to keep you in the know.

We are breaking down the questions by subject so below we are tackling pumping sessions. Specifically, how long should each pumping session be and how much milk should you expect to pump.

Meet Kristi Dodson. International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and on our amazing customer service team. (Seriously, if you ever need help, Kristi is just an email away).





Q: How long should each pumping session be?

A: Most women find that they’re close to empty after 15-30 minutes. Since milk production is constant, breasts are never fully empty, but they should feel softer and more comfortable after a pumping session. If you’re new to pumping or using a new pump, it can take a few sessions to find the right settings and amount of time that work best for your body – be patient with yourself.


Q: How much milk should I expect to pump?  


A: This can vary so much from person to person for many reasons. 

  1. Baby’s age matters a lot. Newborn tummies are so tiny, you may only express a few drops of milk that cover the bottom of a bottle to a few ounces in the first week postpartum. As baby grows, milk production will increase over 4-6 weeks with regular nursing and/or pumping sessions. 
  2. It’s a common misconception that breast size affects milk output. Breasts are made up of many different tissues, so storage capacity is determined simply by your body’s unique makeup. There’s no real rhyme or reason.
  3. How frequently your breasts are emptied affects production. If you want to increase, nurse/pump more often, less often if you want to decrease, and keep on keepin’ on if you want things to stay steady. 
  4. And, of course, there is nuance. Woman A could pump every 3 hours and get about 3.5-4 ounces each time. So over 24 hours, she would pump 8 times a day to produce 28-32 ounces of milk. Woman B could pump every 6 hours and get about 7-8 ounces per session. So over 24 hours, she would pump 4 times and produce the same 28-32 ounces. Woman A clearly has a smaller capacity than Woman B, which means she’ll have to invest more time into nursing/pumping. 
Joanna Wolff

Joanna Wolff is a creative consultant who loves weaving together a brand's story. When she's not working she enjoys spending time with her son and husband, traveling, squeezing in yoga where she can, and using any excuse to be by the ocean. She also prides herself on finding the perfect gift for kids' birthdays.