5 Reasons NOT to Pump

A reason not to pump? You probably don’t hear that very often. Pumping has surged in recent years, especially since insurance companies now cover breast pumps. But just because you can get a breast pump doesn’t mean you have to use it! This post will cover five reasons NOT to pump.


As a disclaimer, pumps have a place! Pumps save many moms a lot a hassle. They are great in some scenarios. There are lots of good reasons to pump! In fact, New Little Life is mostly focused on pumping, especially for working moms. If you’re a pumping mom, this post is not for you. But, the working moms course might be! Check that out, here.

(This post was originally a video. Watch it below!)

#1 Reason NOT to pump: Baby is healthy and breastfeeding is going well

You should not pump because you think you have to. You do not have to pump! Pumping is not a normal part of the breastfeeding relationship. A pump would be an artificial device that you are introducing into breastfeeding.

Sometimes it’s great and needed, but most of the time it is not. So if there is a reason that you need to pump, awesome. New Little Life can help you do that.

If things are going well and you don’t anticipate any problems, you’ve had a normal delivery, baby is latching well and you’re doing fine, there is no need to pump. STOP!

#2 Reason NOT to Pump: To Feed the Freezer

You may have heard, “You should feed the baby and not the freezer.” This is a great motto! You should be focused on feeding your baby and not building a freezer stash of breastmilk. A freezer stash is really unnecessary in my opinion. 3-4 bags of frozen milk is usually sufficient backup! This should cover a trip to the dentist, a lunch with friends, or a date with your partner. If you’re going to be away from your baby, you will probably pump when you get back home since you will have missed a feeding.

Even working moms don’t need a large freezer stash! A days worth would be great. If you’re pumping every time your away from your baby, you will be replenishing your freezer stash.

Now, if you plan on weaning early and continuing to feed your baby breastmilk, or you’re going to be away from your baby for an extended period of time, you might need a larger supply. But those are rare situations!

Please don’t feel that you have to build a freezer stash. Catch a little with the Haaka here and there. Throw three bags in the freezer and call it good. Don’t stress yourself out about it.

#3 Reason NOT to Pump: Just because your insurance gave you one

It’s really cool that insurance companies are giving moms free pumps! A lot of moms are working now and are planning on pumping later. Or, if your baby is born early and is in the NICU, you will probably need to pump. As mentioned before, there are a few reasons pumps are awesome! But, if you are a stay at home mom, or work from home mom, exclusively breastfeeding and things are going well, STOP PUMPING! Just because your insurance company gave you a pump doesn’t mean you have to use it.

#4 Reason NOT to Pump: To relieve engorgement

This one is super tempting! You have colostrum in the beginning which exactly what your baby needs. Colostrum is difficult to pump out. If you are pumping in the first few days, which I hope you are not if things are going well with your baby, you are probably not getting a lot of output. This is normal. Don’t stress.

When your milk transitions in, it’s going to come in in full force. A little engorgement is normal. It can be really tempting to pump out some milk because it is uncomfortable. But, pumping some of that milk out is going to send signals to your brain to make more milk. Then, you are perpetuating this engorgement problem. Remember, the more you pump, the more you make. If you take the milk out, your body is going to fill it up. So, pumping to relieve engorgement is a bad idea.

#5 Reason NOT to Pump: So your partner can feed the baby

Having some pumped milk so your partner can help you feed the baby isn’t the worst idea. But, there are other ways that your partner can bond with the baby. You need to figure out what works for you. If you want your partner to feed that night feeding and that works for you, great. If your partner is begging to feed the baby because they think that is the only way to bond with them, that is a bad reason to pump.

The whole vibe of this discussion should be:

if you want to pump or you need to pump, then pump!

If you don’t want to pump or don’t need to pump, don’t pump!

Hopefully these reasons are helpful or validating. If you have questions or if you want to talk more in depth about any of these things, comment below!

Happy breastfeeding, happy pumping or happy time you put the breast pump in the closet and never touched it again. Whatever works for you, go and do!