Emily Oster

2 min Read Emily Oster

Emily Oster

What Happens to Milk Supply When You Stop Nighttime Feeding?

Q&A on pumping

Emily Oster

2 min Read

I have a one-month-old baby, and I am so tired. It would be so nice to sleep through the whole night sometimes, but even when my husband takes the whole night shift, I still wake up to pump. Now that my milk supply is established, what happens to my daytime milk supply if I stop pumping/nursing at night?

—I hate waking up to pump!

This is an example of a question where I think we could have better data than we do. So before giving you a (biology-based) answer below, I’ll put a pitch in for how we might create that and see if someone can do it.  

Here’s how I think we’d get this answer. Take women who are exclusively pumping and recording their amounts, either through an app associated with the pump or in some other way. I know these people are out there, because otherwise this newsletter wouldn’t exist. Use data on milk production over time, and observe when people drop their nighttime pump and see what happens, on average, to day production. There are some complexities — ideally, you’d look for people who are clearly aiming to continue their same daytime routine — but I think it’s doable. 

baby taking milk from feeder
Keira Burton / Pexels

But! For now, we do not have this. What we do know is that the most important determinant of breast milk supply is demand. If you stop nursing and pumping overnight, your nighttime supply will go down. Your daytime supply might also, but (anecdotally) it depends on the person and the timing. Certainly many people have babies who sleep through the night and they nurse during the day, so this is entirely possible. But some people also find their supply drops during the day when they drop the night feedings. Having said all this: sleep is also very, very important and can affect supply. 

A final note: There is some evidence that night nursing is especially effective at suppressing menstrual cycles. So if you’re planning on using breastfeeding as birth control — first of all, that’s not 100% effective in any case, and, second, it will be less effective without night nursing. 

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katko
1 month ago

Well in my case dropping night nursing (when my baby started sleeping 8+ hours a night straight by 2 months) was followed by a dramatic collapse in supply…while there were a number of factors (one of them, period return, itself caused by long stretches of no night nursing), the lactation consultants indicated that going more than 6 hours without pumping or breastfeeding at night was a major factor.

So if it is important to you to breastfeed or pump, you might not want to take the risk, especially so early, like in my case. I went from an abundant supply to struggling to provide even half of my baby’s daily intake.

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Milestones. We celebrate them in pregnancy, in parenting, and they’re a fun thing to celebrate at work too. Just a couple years ago I couldn’t have foreseen what this community would grow into. Today, there are over 400,000 of you here—asking questions, making others feel seen wherever they may be in their journey, and sharing information that supports data > panic. 

It has been a busy summer for the team at ParentData. I’d love to take a moment here to celebrate the 400k milestone. As I’ve said before, it’s more important than ever to put good data in the hands of parents. 

Share this post with a friend who could use a little more data, and a little less parenting overwhelm. 

📷 Me and my oldest, collaborating on “Expecting Better”

Milestones. We celebrate them in pregnancy, in parenting, and they’re a fun thing to celebrate at work too. Just a couple years ago I couldn’t have foreseen what this community would grow into. Today, there are over 400,000 of you here—asking questions, making others feel seen wherever they may be in their journey, and sharing information that supports data > panic.

It has been a busy summer for the team at ParentData. I’d love to take a moment here to celebrate the 400k milestone. As I’ve said before, it’s more important than ever to put good data in the hands of parents.

Share this post with a friend who could use a little more data, and a little less parenting overwhelm.

📷 Me and my oldest, collaborating on “Expecting Better”
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I spend a lot of time talking people down after they read the latest panic headline. In most cases, these articles create an unnecessary amount of stress around pregnancy and parenting. This is my pro tip for understanding whether the risk presented is something you should really be worrying about.

Comment “link” for an article with other tools to help you navigate risk and uncertainty.

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Do any of these findings surprise you? Let us know in the comments!

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Dr. Gillian Goddard sums up what she learned from the Hot Flash S e x Survey! Here are some key data takeaways:

🌶️ Among respondents, the most common s e x u a l frequency was 1 to 2 times per month, followed closely by 1 to 2 times per week
🌶️ 37% have found their sweet spot and are happy with the frequency of s e x they are having
🌶️ About 64% of respondents were very or somewhat satisfied with the quality of the s e x they are having

Do any of these findings surprise you? Let us know in the comments!

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Here’s what we know from a data standpoint:
✈️ The risk of injury to a child on a plane without a carseat is very small (about 1 in 250,000)
✈️ A JAMA Pediatrics paper estimates about 0.4 child air crash deaths per year might be prevented in the U.S. with car seats
✈️ Cars are far more dangerous than airplanes! The same JAMA paper suggests that if 5% to 10% of families switched to driving, then we would expect more total deaths as a result of this policy.

If you want to buy a seat for your lap infant, or bring a car seat for an older child, by all means do so! But the additional protection based on the numbers is extremely small.

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Tag a Dad who this holiday may be tricky for. We’re sending you love. 💛
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This graph shows sleeping location by age. You’ll notice that for the first three months, most kids are in their own sleeping location in a parent’s room. Then, over the first year, this switches toward their own room. As kids age, sharing a room with a sibling becomes more common.

Head to the newsletter for more and stay tuned for part two next week on naps! 🌙

#parentdata #emilyoster #childsleep #babysleep #parentingcommunity
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Weekends are good for extra cups of ☕️ and listening to podcasts. I asked our team how they pod—most people said on walks or during chores. What about you?

Comment “Link” to subscribe to ParentData with Emily Oster, joined by some excellent guests.

#parentdata #parentdatapodcast #parentingpodcast #parentingtips #emilyoster

Weekends are good for extra cups of ☕️ and listening to podcasts. I asked our team how they pod—most people said on walks or during chores. What about you?

Comment “Link” to subscribe to ParentData with Emily Oster, joined by some excellent guests.

#parentdata #parentdatapodcast #parentingpodcast #parentingtips #emilyoster
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Bug season is upon us. Besides annoyance, this can bring up safety concerns, particularly with ticks. They are carriers of diseases, most notably Lyme disease. So what’s the best course of action?

Prevention is key! I suggest:
⭐ Regular tick checks
⭐ Using bug sprays with DEET 
⭐ Wearing long sleeves and pants in the woods

Some parents worry about DEET, but repellants with up to 30% DEET are recommended by both the CDC and AAP. The data says you’re in the clear, so go for it. Enjoy your summer!

#parentdata #emilyoster #tickseason #bugbites #bugspray

Bug season is upon us. Besides annoyance, this can bring up safety concerns, particularly with ticks. They are carriers of diseases, most notably Lyme disease. So what’s the best course of action?

Prevention is key! I suggest:
⭐ Regular tick checks
⭐ Using bug sprays with DEET
⭐ Wearing long sleeves and pants in the woods

Some parents worry about DEET, but repellants with up to 30% DEET are recommended by both the CDC and AAP. The data says you’re in the clear, so go for it. Enjoy your summer!

#parentdata #emilyoster #tickseason #bugbites #bugspray
...