One of my biggest regrets during my first year as a mom with Miss Lace was not pumping enough milk in the beginning few months of her life. I didn’t have the best breastfeeding experience with her initially (see The Truth About Breastfeeding Part One and Part Two) so it definitely impacted my decision on how much I wanted to breastfeed and pump when I first started out. Since I had never breastfed before, I didn’t realize that once your body learns your baby’s needs and regulates your milk supply, you will no longer produce excess milk. During my experience with Miss Lace, my supply drastically decreased when she was about four-five months old. I was no longer able to pump off any extra milk to store for the times I wanted to pass the task off to someone else, or sneak out sans baby. Even when I skipped a feed during that time by using the little milk I did have stored up, I was no longer able to replenish it by pumping that same amount. This was both discouraging and frustrating.
This time around with baby brother, I knew I needed to be more proactive and pump extra at the beginning of my breastfeeding experience so I could have a decent supply stored up for the times I needed to pass the duty off to someone else, go out solo with Miss Lace or just take a break by escaping for awhile on my own (if I ever find the time to actually do this!). Since his birth, I have been pumping an extra feed each night after I put him down for bed. I plan to continue to do this for at least another month or so until I build up what I think is a large enough freezer supply.