Exclusive Pumping after Exclusive Nursing

How to begin EXCLUSIVE PUMPING after exclusively nursing!

So you think Exclusive Pumping may work better for your family? Here’s how to get off on the right foot on your EP journey after having exclusively nursed

  • Introduce a bottle to baby. It may help if someone else feeds baby, without baby smelling your scent.
  • Try different nipples until you find one baby likes. Don’t give up!
  • Replace nursing sessions with pumping sessions, feeding baby on demand from a bottle.
  • Pump at least every 3 hours with at least one middle of the night session. This is incredibly important to maintaining your milk supply and must be a priority.
  • Bottle-feed baby on demand and pump on schedule. Find what works for you.
  • Practice paced bottle feeding. Hold the baby more upright and the bottle more horizontal. Give baby breaks and burp baby often. They need time to recognize they are getting full.
  • Get support with feeding bottles and washing bottles if possible!
  • Look to the CDC for guidelines on safe storage of milk and cleaning guidelines for pump parts and bottles.

When should I pump?

(ppd = pumps per day, with sample times of day)

Exclusive Pumping Sample Schedule


You might see a different schedule that begins at birth with 8 ppd (pumps per day) and ends at 12 months with 1 ppd. That schedule is great if you’d like to be weaned by 12 months. Use THIS schedule as a sample for building and maintaining your milk supply until you are ready to wean. Alter as needed, based on what’s best for your schedule and family priorities.

(The numbers on the right are suggested times of the day to pump.)

You want to aim for 120 minutes total in a 24-hr day. Usually around 15-20 minutes double pumping when you’re still pumping frequently (both breasts at once). You may need to use heat, and hands-on massage to empty efficiently.
*I consider anything under 4 pumps a day “weaning” and during weaning you want to create less and less milk. You would not pump as long because you would not be aiming to keep your supply up at that point.

❗️ This is a SAMPLE schedule based on typical/average output. Every mother is different! Every breast has a different storage capacity and every mother produces a different daily total. Some mothers need to pump more frequently, some can go longer between pumps because their breasts can store more milk!
‼️ If you see a drop in your supply after dropping a pump, you may need to remain at a higher number of pumps per day. Do what works for you and your baby. ❤️

I always envisioned nursing. Yes I was frustrated when my preemie baby had no stamina for nursing and we had to bottle feed. But guess what? He could have learned to nurse. I could have fed from the breast. But I chose exclusive pumping and I’d never look back.
Pumping gave me control. Pumping helped my husband care for our baby and I did not resent him. Pumping saved my breasts, my sleep, and my sanity. Pumping helped the transition to daycare go smoothly. Pumping helped other family members bond with my baby over feeding. Pumping gave my baby MY PRECIOUS MILK that was made just for him. I chose the pump life.

If YOU are switching to “the pump life” I want you to feel EMPOWERED by that choice! I am here to support you! There is SO MUCH HELP for breastfeeding by directly nursing but not enough help for breastfeeding by pumping! (YES you are still breastfeeding, you’re just not nursing!) I hope this website gives you the help you need. If you need 1:1 support, I can support you in that way, too! Get the support you need HERE!

My favorite pumping essentials

Click HERE to see a full list!
Want more great ideas? Even more pumping favorites HERE!