Get More Sleep Even If You Pump All Night Long
You may be wondering How To Stop Pumping At Night or if you could sleep while breast pumping? Maybe you’re like me you’ve slept through the exclusive pumping session and wondered can I get more sleep while pumping?
The short answer is YES and I’ll show you exactly how down below.
Babies especially in the first few weeks of life have little tiny tummies that empty out quite easily and often. Breast milk feeds babies process the milk even faster than formula feed babies. It is for this reason that babies need to eat every two-three hours the first few weeks post-birth.
This post may contain affiliate links. For my full disclosure see here.
Sleep While Breast Pumping
If you are having a hard time exclusive pumping or are nervous about continuing tonight’s pump when you go back to work I highly encourage you to take this amazing breast pumping course by a real certified lactation consultant.
When To Expect A Full 8 Hours Of Sleep?
This all depends on your child and on you. If your baby starts taking more breast milk, starts taking longer stretches you may find that you are having a full night’s rest after a few weeks. Just remember newborns require that night feeding until about 6 months.
Most of us (me included) will continue to wake up along with our baby up until the first year. But the baby does start taking longer stretches with time.
How to Stop Pumping Overnight?
Exclusively pumping is different than breastfeeding because you are not having your baby at your breast obviously and you are not feeding your baby right from the source.
This means that you have to pump and either feed your baby or store your breast milk. Because of these options sleeping can take second hand to exclusively pumping moms.
So, the questions are when to stop pumping at night and how to not pump at night?
Well, we either get up pump and then feed our baby, change and put the baby back down.
Or we pump, store the breast milk, clean our parts, then go to bed.
However, I figured out 6 hacks that can help you get more sleep. (even if it’s just that extra two minutes)
How to Sleep More while Exclusively Pumping
1. Involve Your Partner & Try The Four Hour Rule
By having your partner do the ‘last’ feeding you can rest and get a full sleep cycle.
All you have to do is a pump, go to sleep, then when the baby wakes up your partner will feed them the expressed milk.
This way you can get at least a four-hour stretch of sleep which is one sleep cycle. Before you have to wake up and pump again.
Try not to go much longer than 4 hours. Especially in the first few weeks while your milk supply gets established. Your milk supply will usually be established by 12-15 weeks.
Once baby starts taking more milk and longer stretches between feedings you’ll be able to get longer stretches of sleep. The first few weeks expect to be waking every 2-3 hours for pumping, with that wonderful 4 hour stretch in the beginning. I promise it really does get better.
Prolonging sleep (which is great) can also make your breast engorged and with engorgement comes things like mastitis.
What is Mastitis & How Does it Affect Pumping Mothers?
Mastitis is a very painful infection in your breast tissue. It is when one of your milk ducts gets clogged and the tissue around that area is hot to the touch, swollen, and sometimes feels like a ball.
How to Treat Mastitis:
- Apply a hot wash cloth to your breast in the affected area
- Massage downwards toward your nipple in order to liquefy the milk that has been clogged
- Continue to do this before any pumping sessions
If the pain is too much and you cannot tolerate the hot cloth and massage go see your OB they can give you antibiotics.
2. Have Extra Pumping Parts
Having extra pumping parts allows you to easily switch them out if anything rips or stops functioning at night.
Imagine 3 am and you can no longer pump, your baby doesn’t latch, you start getting engorged. The stores are not open, not even Amazon’s same-day delivery can help you now.
Don’t put yourself in the situation. Keep your mind at ease and double up on your pumping parts.
Pumping Parts You’ll need Double of
This tip goes hand in hand with tip number two. If the baby is within arms reach in a bassinet next to you or in your bed you can easily calm them, change or feed them and get back to your sleep faster.
There are so many benefits of co-sleep too. I’m a strong believer in co-sleeping even with Exclusively Pumping co-sleeping will let you get more sleep.
Don’t worry that the pump noise will wake baby, they will be accustomed to it after the few times you start to use it.
- 36 Ways To Sleep More With A Newborn (pumping schedule, sleep training & More)
- 5 Essentials Every Pumping Moms NEEDS
Co-Sleeping While Exclusively Pumping
A great thing to do while co-sleeping and exclusively pumping is to have a baby on your bed or in a bassinet.
I tried both and I found myself able to pump at sleeping easier when I had little one in his bassinet. This way while I moved around to get the pump set up I didn’t disturb my little man.
What If Baby Starts Sleeping Longer Or You Slept Through Pumping Session?
This is awesome news for you, if your little one drops in the middle of the night wakes up. You do NOT have to wake up and pump. It does not make you a bad mother to sleep.
If you have some expressed milk on hand, you can give that to the baby when they wake up next.
If you just went 6 straight hours sleeping and your breast is engorged just pump as soon as you wake up. It is not the end of the world.
I know as a pumping mom you feel guilt when you sleep instead of the pump because you feel like you just missed your chance to get a few more ounces of milk.
It is okay, you will get those ounces throughout the day. Here are some tips if you struggle with your milk supply.
4. Stay Hydrated Throughout The Day
By actively drinking water all day you are more likely to have a better milk supply which in turn means you can get more food for the baby to start a milk stash.
Drinking water throughout the day also does wonders for your postpartum body. It starts to heal it from within and nourishes it.
By having a body that is getting enough water you are able to fall asleep faster instead of tossing and turning when you should be sleeping.
Falling asleep while pumping at night is a common issue. Always keep a large jug of water (and snacks) by your breast pump, because pumping makes you extremely thirsty and hungry.
How To Stay Healthy To Improve Your Sleep Patterns & Your Pumping
Eating healthy doesn’t just stop once you give birth. Try to incorporate different milk-boosting foods into your diet to give your supply and your pumping experience a boost.
Doing light exercise – once you are given the okay by your doctor. Is also a great way to keep your health in top-top shape. The healthier you are, the better your milk supply will increase, the more you can pump in less time.
5. Keep Pumping Parts ‘Cold’
Due to the New CDC & FDA rules on washing pumping parts – pumping parts should really be washed each and every time you pump. If you have two pumps this could work out easier for you.
I used to recommend that you keep your pumping parts cold until the next night pumping session that way you don’t have to wake up at night and wash pump parts. What I recommend now is that
- After pumping at night, place all the items you used in a ziplock bag
- Throw that ziplock bag in the freezer or fridge
- Use your double parts for the next night pumping session
- In the morning wash the items in the ziplock bag
6. Keep Everything At Arms Length
During those first few weeks baby will not only wake up to feed, but they will also poop, fill a diaper with pee and cry for cuddles.
You want to be able to have diapers, a washcloth, bottles, and your breast pump at arm’s length to avoid getting up and going into a separate room. This way you can do what has to be done and get back to your bed sooner.
It’s great if you have a little ‘station’ by your bedside where you can easily grab a diaper, an extra shirt, or even another swaddle if you need it.
Every night you can replace the items you used with new ones in your station to always be fully stocked.
That’s it 6 super simple things you can try right now on how to sleep more while exclusively night pumping.
Did we miss a tip that you can give us that’s helped you? Leave it in the comments below! You’d be helping other moms out too.
Want To Remember These Sleep Tips For Exclusive Pumpers? Pin The Image Below To Your Favorite Pinterest Board.
How To Sleep More While Exclusively Pumping
You May Also Like: