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Help!! I don't know if I am pumping enough milk?

Updated on November 5, 2012

Got Milk???

Got Milk?

I am a member of a forum for mothers who pump breast milk on a regular basis. And the number one question or problem that mothers who pump breast milk often ask is: I am only getting x amount of breast milk per session, is this normal?

There isn't a set number of ounces that mothers should pump during each pumping session. A vast majority of mothers will pump around 2-4 ounces per breast during a pumping session. However, there are mothers who produce more or less than this.


The Sooner You Start Pumping the Easier it Will Be

I know that I personally started pumping as soon as I came home from the hospital. My baby never seemed quite satisfied with my colostrum, not sure if it was due to the fact that he was forced out by a c-section, before he was ready. Silly boy, decided that he wanted to flip in my belly at 39 weeks, nice timing HUH. So I was scheduled for a c-section due to the position of my placenta, it was took risky to manually flipped him.

So after I got home from the hospital, I helped speed my milk production up by using my breast pump twice a day. I remember that those first few pumping session, I was lucky if I could get an ounce combined from both of my breasts. Keep in mind, full milk production doesn't come in til around five to six days after birth. A baby's tummy is very small and they don't need much breast milk at first.

After a few days, I started getting about 2 ounces a session combined from both breasts. I would pump usually an hour or so after a feeding. Slowly I was able to pump a little bit more each time.

By the time my baby was 6 weeks old, I was pumping around 6 am before I woke the baby up to eat. I found this was a great time to pump, as my breasts were often times engorged with milk. I made this pumping session a permanent session. I started pumping 5 - 6 ounces of milk combined from both of my breasts. After I was done pumping, then I would feed the baby.

Double Electric Breast Pump Reviews

Try Not to Stress...

My baby was 8 weeks old, when I returned to work. I was nervous about being able to keep up with my baby's demands. I begun pumping three additional times while I was at work, to be able to produce enough milk for the next day's feeding. I remember getting about 3 ounces per pumping session, combined from both breasts. I was trying not to stress out, because I was able to store up a freezer full of milk before I returned to work. But everything worked out and I was able to provide my baby fresh breast milk(not that there is anything wrong with frozen but fresh to me is easier to make).

I would combine several pumping sessions to create his milk for the next day. I was able to provide three five ounce bottles for him. I know that Monday's always seemed like I pumped less milk and by Friday my milk supply would increase a tiny bit.

As time has progressed, my baby is now 8 months old. I am now pumping 5 ounces three times a day when I am at work. And provide him with 3 seven ounce bottles for daycare. As my baby grew, my body was able to keep up with his demands.


My Pumping/Feeding Schedule

Pump at 6am
Feed baby after I pump
Pump at 10:30am
Pump at 1:00 PM
Pump at 4:30PM
Feed Baby at 6:00pm
Feed Baby at 9:30pm
Middle of Night Feed as Needed
 
This is my schedule that I have been using with my baby for the past few months. I hope this will help new mothers develop a pumping schedule that works for them. At 9 month's old I dropped the pumping session at 6am.

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      kelleyward 5 years ago

      very useful info. I breastfed all my boys and pumped some of the time. I highly recommend pumping often at the beginning to establish a supply. For me this was the most important part of regulating the amount I produced. Thanks!

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      Christy Garrett 5 years ago from TX

      Thank you, I hope this information is helpful to new moms. I am new to pumping, as my other two kids I exclusively breast fed them.

    • wonderingwoolley profile image

      wonderingwoolley 5 years ago from Madison, WI

      This is a really helpful hub for nervous new moms. Thanks for sharing, it is really useful and reassuring.