If baby is healthy and gaining well, focus on exclusively breastfeeding for 6-8 weeks before you move on to expressing. Feed responsively to your baby’s cues, but at least every 2-3 hours at a minimum.
This period of time is absolutely golden to nail your latch, regulate your supply and find your feet with it all.
If you pump too soon (unless medically advised), you can end up with an over supply which is not fun to deal with, or an under supply as a pump is often not as effective as a baby - you’ll not know what camp you fall into until you’re right in amongst it unfortunately!
Start lining up your antenatal breastfeeding support A team - infant feeding team at the hospital, IBCLC, local breastfeeding groups like la leche league, cranial osteopath, tongue tie practitioner etc.
You got this mama ❤️ those first weeks will be challenging but it’s so worth it to keep going 😘
Agree that the above is guidelines that “they” say to do, but also that all babies and breastfeeding journeys are different. There isn’t a one size fits all rule as it’s impossible. By being too strict on the above you can stress yourself out and put too much pressure on yourself. In turn that can lead to frustration, even depression, and having to give up BF. I say spend a couple of days seeing how your body reacts, if breastmilk comes through or not.
For me the hospital encouraged me to try the pump as baby was in prolonged period (6 days) and needed more liquid due to jaundice. I also allowed a bit of formula to supplement baby and make sure the jaundice was flushing out. The pumping got my supply going and I am able to breastfeed and express around 200ml a day over 1-2 pumping. The formula also gave my nipples a rest for a few hours which ultimately meant I haven’t (touch wood) had cracked nipples or very much pain. It’s still early for me but this worked for me.