Accidently Went 6 Hours Without Breastfeeding

Accidentally went 6 hours without breastfeeding


Breastfeeding is an essential part of the postpartum period, and it is vital to maintain a regular pumping schedule to ensure milk production and supply. Missing even one pumping session or going hours without nursing can cause a decrease in milk production and supply.

This can be particularly concerning for new mothers who want to provide their newborn baby with breast milk exclusively. While there are many reasons why a mother may miss a pumping/nursing session, such as baby sleep, medical complications, or other reasons, it is crucial to understand the potential impact on milk supply and production.

This article will provide valuable insights into how to maintain milk production, even if a mother accidentally went 6 hours without breastfeeding or pumping. We will discuss the importance of regular pumping sessions, the potential risks of missing sessions, and ways to increase milk yield.


Milk Production and Accidentally Going 6 Hours Without Breastfeeding

woman, breastfeeding, baby

When a breastfeeding mother goes without pumping or breastfeeding for 6 hours, it can potentially impact milk production. Milk production is affected by demand and supply, and pumping helps to stimulate milk production. When pumping is missed for an extended period, it can lower the milk supply. This is because milk production starts to decrease if milk is sitting in the breast for too long without being expressed.

Missing pumping sessions can also increase the risk of clogged milk ducts, which can lead to painful conditions like mastitis, and breast infection. When a mother does not pump or breastfeed regularly, the milk supply decreases, and breasts become full, which can cause engorgement and pain.

If a mother continues to miss pumping sessions, it can lower overall prolactin levels, which can further reduce milk supply. Most women need to breastfeed or pump regularly to maintain their milk supply, and a general breastfeeding rule is to breast feed or pump every 3-4 hours.

It’s also important to note that missing pump sessions with breastfed babies or feedings overnight does not increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). However, it’s important to feed a growing baby regularly, and if a mother is unable to breastfeed or pump, bottle feeding can be an option.



How to Deal with Engorged Breasts After Going 6 Hours Without Breastfeeding

Engorged breasts can be a painful and uncomfortable condition for breastfeeding mothers. If you go more than 6 hours without breastfeeding or pumping, your breasts may become full and swollen. Here are some tips on how to deal with engorged or full breasts with:

Pump or breastfeed as soon as possible: To relieve the pressure and discomfort, it’s important to empty your breasts of as much milk as soon as you can. Try to breastfeed or pump as soon as you notice that your breasts are full.

Use a breast pump If you’re away from your baby to empty your breasts and maintain your milk supply. Double pumping can be more effective at emptying your breasts quickly.

Gently massage your breasts to help to stimulate milk flow and relieve pressure. Use your fingers to massage your breasts gently in a circular motion.

Apply warmth to your breasts to help increase blood flow and promote milk flow. You can use a warm compress or take a warm shower before breastfeeding or pumping.

Avoid missing pumping or breastfeeding sessions to maintain your milk supply and prevent engorgement. Try not to go more than 3-4 hours without breastfeeding or pumping during the day, and don’t go more than 6 hours without pumping or breastfeeding overnight.

Avoid sudden weaning to prevent engorgement and other medical complications. If you need to stop breastfeeding, try to do so gradually by eliminating one pumping session or feeding at a time.


How to Relieve Blocked Milk Ducts After Going 6 Hours Without Breastfeeding

Clogged milk ducts can be a painful condition for a breastfeeding mother. If you’ve gone 6 hours without pumping or breastfeeding, it’s important to take steps to deal with clogged ducts.

First, gently massage your breast and use a warm compress to encourage milk flow. You can also try pumping or hand-expressing milk from the affected breast. Double pumping can be especially helpful in emptying the breast and preventing further clogging.

It’s important to continue pumping or breastfeeding regularly to maintain the milk supply. If you start eliminating pumping sessions, it can lead to a low milk supply and potentially more clogged ducts.

If you have a sudden decrease in milk supply, you can try pumping at night to stimulate milk production. It’s also important to stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet to support milk production.

If you’re experiencing a painful breast infection, seek medical attention immediately.

Remember that every woman’s body is different, and some may produce more milk than others. Don’t compare yourself to other moms, and trust that your body will produce enough milk for your growing baby.

How to Avoid Accidentally Going 6 Hours Without Breastfeeding

Sometimes nursing mothers unintentionally skip many hours of nursing, which might reduce their milk supply and hinder their breastfeeding efforts. Breastfeeding women can, however, employ a few techniques to prevent going too long without breastfeeding.

use a double pump. Breastfeeding mothers can pump milk using a double pump for one or more feedings during the day or at night, even if their baby is sleeping. This can help maintain milk supply and ensure that the baby has enough milk to eat.

Do not delay pumping for too long, especially at night. Breastfeeding mothers can set an alarm to wake up and pump during the night, even if their baby is sleeping. This can help prevent going 6 hours without breastfeeding and lower the risk of developing medical complications, such as a painful condition called mastitis.

For some breastfeeding mothers who are exclusively pumping, they may need to pump every 2-3 hours to maintain their milk supply. This can be challenging, but it is important to remember that every pumping session helps, even if it’s just a small amount of milk.

Breastfeeding mothers should keep up their regular breastfeeding or pumping to meet the baby’s nutritional needs even when they think about giving their developing infant solid foods, . Remember that introducing solid foods shouldn’t take the place of breast milk or formula.

The Benefits of Pumping Breast Milk

Pumping allows the mother to provide milk for the baby even when she cannot be present to breastfeed. This can be especially helpful for mothers who have to work outside of the home, or who are experiencing medical complications that prevent them from breastfeeding.

One advantage of pumping breast milk is that it keeps a mother’s milk supply steady. A mother may produce less milk if she skips feedings or stops nursing for several hours. When the infant is sleeping and not being breastfed, pumping at night can help keep the milk supply steady.

Double pumping can also increase milk production and help to empty the breasts more completely. This can be particularly helpful for mothers who are exclusively pumping or who have a low milk supply.

Pumping breast milk can also provide flexibility for the mother and the baby. With pumped milk, the baby can be fed by someone else, such as a caregiver or partner, allowing the mother to take breaks and rest. Additionally, pumping can help mothers continue breastfeeding even when they are away from the baby for one or more feedings.

However, it is important to note that pumping should not be used as a substitute for breastfeeding, as breast milk is more than just nutrition for the baby. It also provides immune system benefits and helps to strengthen the bond between mother and baby.


How many hours without pumping or nursing is advisable?

For breastfeeding mothers, it’s important to maintain a regular pumping and nursing schedule to maintain milk production and supply.

The general rule of thumb is that breastfeeding mothers should not go more than 4-5 hours without pumping or nursing.

Going longer than this can lead to a decrease in milk production and supply. However, some mothers may be able to go up to 6 hours without pumping or nursing without experiencing a significant decrease in breast milk production or supply.

It’s important to note that the amount of time a mother can go without pumping or nursing can vary from person to person and can also depend on factors such as the age of the baby, milk production, and milk supply.

Additionally, going without pumping or nursing for too long can lead to engorgement, clogged milk ducts, and even painful breast infections.

If a mother needs to go without pumping or nursing for a longer period of time, it’s recommended to pump or hand express milk during this time to maintain milk production and until milk supply starts again.

It’s also important to continue pumping at night if the baby is not breastfeeding during these hours.

Final Thoughts

while it is important to establish a consistent breastfeeding routine with a growing baby, it is understandable that even the most dedicated breastfeeding mothers can accidentally go without breastfeeding for extended periods.

To avoid going 6 hours without breastfeeding, pumping at night, setting alarms, and establishing a solid breastfeeding routine can be helpful.

However, it is also important for mothers to be gentle with themselves and not feel guilty or discouraged if they miss a session or their baby sleeps longer than usual.

By prioritizing their own health and well-being, breastfeeding mothers can continue to provide the best possible nutrition for their growing baby.


How Long Can A Newborn Go Without Breastfeeding?

Newborns should be breastfed on-demand, typically every 2-3 hours or 8-12 times a day, as they have small stomachs and need frequent feedings for proper growth and development. It’s generally recommended not to go longer than 4-5 hours without breastfeeding, but if a baby is sleeping for a longer period, waking them up for a feeding is important.

Will sleeping through the night affect supply?

If a baby consistently sleeps through the night, it may cause a temporary decrease in milk supply due to fewer feedings. there is usually no cause for concern., however, as long as the baby is gaining weight and has sufficient wet and dirty diapers

Will my milk supply decrease if I miss a feeding?

Missing a feeding occasionally is unlikely to decrease milk supply, especially if breastfeeding or pumping is resumed as soon as possible. However, consistently missing feedings or pumping sessions can signal to the body to decrease milk production, potentially leading to a decrease in milk supply over time.

Can you breastfeed once a day without pumping?

Sure, you can breastfeed once a day without pumping, but your milk production can suffer. Regular breastfeeding and pumping can help to keep a healthy milk supply in place. To minimize engorgement and maintain milk production, a mother who intends to breastfeed less frequently can gradually cut back on the number of feedings. Regular breastfeeding and pumping can help to keep a healthy milk supply in place.

Do I need to pump at night when baby sleeps through the night?

If your baby is consistently sleeping through the night and your breasts feel comfortable, you do not need to pump at night. However, it may be necessary to breast pump at night to maintain milk supply and prevent potential issues such as mastitis especially if you experience discomfort or engorgement



This post is written and edited by Sandy who is a clinical pharmacist with over 20 years of experience specializing in pre-natal and post-natal care.