Learning to use a breast pump can take some time. Be patient if you're not producing as much milk as you'd like at first. Your body will gradually learn to stimulate the let-down reflex when you pump, increasing the amount of breast milk that you express.
When to start pumping
If you're planning to pump when you return to work, start practicing one or two weeks before you're planning to go back. This can help you learn how your pump works. You can pump immediately after the baby eats or in between feedings. You can also pump from one of your breasts while feeding your child from the other.
How often should you pump?
Try pumping as frequently as your child generally eats, maybe every three to four hours. You can also pump immediately after your child eats, which helps increase the production of breast milk.
How long should you pump?
Pumping breast milk takes about as long as breastfeeding. With regular practice, it may take you between 10 and 15 minutes to pump from both breasts using a good electric breast pump. It may take about 30–45 minutes to pump using a hand-operated breast pump.