How Many Ounces Do You Pump?

Hannah - posted on 03/12/2010 ( 23 moms have responded )

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I'm curious how many ounces other mothers are able pump. I work full-time, so in the morning before work I pump 5-7 ounces, typically. I pump once in morning at work and get 5-8, then once in the early afternoon and get another 4-5. So far it's been enough because my son has been drinking 12-18 ounces a day. Oh and my amounts are both breasts together, I don't get 5-7 per breast, I think that would be INCREDIBLE though!

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Lauren - posted on 03/13/2010

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I would love to get 4oz. at a time! I only get 1-2ozs. I just went back to work this past Monday. I don't know how to get a good supply built up. I absolutely hate it, but my mother in law has to supplement my son ith formula because I don't have any stored. How does someone get a supply built up?

Allison - posted on 03/12/2010

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Average output per pumping session is 2-3 oz, so you are doing extreamly well! Keep in mind babies only need about 1 oz of pumped milk for every hour they are away from you. It sounds like your little one is taking a bit too much, which is easy to do. Encourage your caregiver to do paced feedings and to do smaller bottles at a time. Kellymom has some good info here: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/bottl... and here http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkc...



Also, breastfed babies do not to increase the amount of milk they take in as they fet older. The milk actually adjusts for babies needs and age. 25oz per day is what is normal. Since I'm assuming you nurse when baby is with you, you won't know exactly how much he's taking in, of course, though you can trust he's getting enough.



Finally, many babies will reverse-cycle, meaning they will take little milk during the day and make up for it in the evenings and at night while you're home. Co-sleeping can help facilitate this, as baby can nurse frequently without either of you needing to wake fully.



Keep up the good work! :-)

Hannah - posted on 03/15/2010

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I work full-time, so I pump before work and then 2 times at work. I notice that the amount of milk I get usually decreases as the day goes on, so at night I try to nurse my baby as often as possible and on both sides if he'll take it - in order to get my supply back up. Also when I get full over night I always get up and pump so my body doesn't start thinking I don't need that milk - because I DO! I would also recommend pumping after every feeding. You aren't supposed to keep milk in your breast afterwards because it can cause Mastitis, so you may as well pump it even if it's only another 1 or 2 oz.

Allison - posted on 03/12/2010

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One thing you want to be careful of doing is pumping so much you cause an oversupply. Because milk is a supply and demand system, when you're nursing and pumping you can create your body to make a lot more milk than you need. It sounds like a good thing when you need to get more milk to freeze, but it can also be bad as it can cause forceful letdown (and many babies don't like it - will sputter and choke a lot while feeding) or will cause baby to not get enough of the fatty hindmilk as they get full on the large amount of foremilk that you are producing.

Kellymom has a lot of great information on OALD (overactive letdown) and over-production in general. Just something to be aware of. I know many moms don't keep a freezer stash - just pump one day for the next day's worth of milk.

Jill - posted on 03/15/2010

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I generally pump about 4-7 ounces (total for both sides) each time I pump - I pump twice at work. I also pump on one side and nurse on the other for one feeding during the night. I have found that drinking some mother's milk tea and eating oatmeal make a difference. If I do both, I usually produce 2 more ounces overall than on the days I don't do those things. I also agree keeping hydrated and eating snacks are essential. Good luck!

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Danielle - posted on 03/26/2012

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It's worth adding that if you have an FSA (flexible spending account), breast pumps are now an eligible health expense whereas before, you needed a doctor's note. Basically, you can now buy a good pump and it's reimburseable.

Jill - posted on 03/15/2010

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Oh - I should also say I use the Medula Pump in Style Advanced as well.

Hannah - posted on 03/15/2010

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Remembered one more thing: AnneMarie Johnson previously recommended the Medela Pump in Style Advanced pump - and I AGREE!. If you are serious about breastfeeding you have to be SERIOUS about a GOOD pump. It was definetly expensive $270 or so, but it's well worth it. I am completely empty with a minimum of 5 oz in about 15 minutes or less. You can reuse the pump for your pregnancies, so it's just a one time cost.

Hannah - posted on 03/15/2010

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Also, I notice a large drop in my supply when I don't drink enough water or eat enough. Honestly, within hours I can tell - so you may want to keep water with you constantly and have small snacks throughout the day.

Jill - posted on 03/15/2010

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I am working on increasing my milk supply so my baby can actually breastfeed. She is currently bottlefed expressed milk. I use the Medela Harmony (handpump) and try to pump 20-25 minutes each side. I am able to get 3-4 ounces (total) each time I pump. I do not pump until I am dry, because I am already taking an hour to pump and I just do not have that kind of time, even though I have not yet returned to work. However, I only have a chance to pump a couple of times a day, so I am only getting about 10 ounces a day at the moment. (My baby is only 2 weeks old, so I am able to supplement with only a few ounces of formula because her demand is fairly low.)

Jennifer - posted on 03/14/2010

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To get your supply built up, pump everyday, including days when you don't work. I pumped about 10-15 min after my baby nursed. I pumped once in the morning 10-15min after the morning (before work) feed, and often once more in the evening. I pumped at work at the times I would normally feed my baby.

I think the pump you have may make a difference, too. I use the Medela Freestyle, which allows me to continue working at my desk even while pumping. I try to pump at least 15 minutes and often end up pumping 20 minutes. When I'm diligent about pumping everyday, I typically get 5-7oz a session out of both breasts.

Jessie - posted on 03/13/2010

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you are doing fine I think. at the absolute most I get 4 ounces combined with a double pump. this is rare and always when I am at work and away from my baby for several hours. then norm for me is 2.5 ounces total. I only work part time so it hasnt been a real issue. I spoke to a lactation consultant and she said I was doing fine considereing how often he nurse in addition to pumping.

Melinda - posted on 03/13/2010

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I am glad that I read your post. I recently went back to work and was not sure how much expressed milk to give my 3 month old while at day care. During my pumping sessions I was pumping 4 - 5 oz and she typically nurses 6x/day. Since I didn't know how much she was getting from me at any one time, I am giving her 5 oz bottles at day care. I started with 4 oz, but she would often become fussy and not content after only 4 oz, so I decided to give her 5 oz bottles of expressed milk for day care. Should I just keep watching her and ask her caregivers to let me know if 5 oz starts to not be enough?

Anne - posted on 03/13/2010

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I get:

2 x 3 oz at 8am

2 x 3 oz at 2pm

2 x 1.5 oz at 6pm

2 x 3 oz at 12pm



total = 21 oz



I was able to get more when the pumping sessions were more evenly spaced but I had to change to fit in with her nap schedule.



I find the medela pump in style advanced electronic pump to be very good.

Adrian - posted on 03/12/2010

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How do you ladies do it? The most I have ever pumped at a time was 4 oz. I would love to be able to pump more at a time since I work full time but I am unable to. Any secrets?

Michelle - posted on 03/12/2010

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I nurse unless we're going out then I pump and I can get 5-6 ounces per breast when I pumpp. Its crazy! Even after she eats I can still get at least 2-3 ounces a breast. Lotsa milk here! =P

Marabeth - posted on 03/12/2010

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i nurse every morning for thirty minutes and get 3-4 oz total.. way less than the other mothers here it seems. oh well, my 12 month old nurses really frequently though.. and 3-6 times at night. so i'm guessing thats why.

Andrea - posted on 03/12/2010

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My daughter is 4 months, and I am a work from home mom, so I only pump in order to freeze for dates nights and such - Or if I am in a rush to go somewhere, it takes less time to pump then it does to feed, so sometimes I will do that. I get about 3-4 oz during the day, but my daughter sleeps from 10pm - 7am, and when I pump in the morning, I get about 9 oz, that is how I am able to freeze some.

Jackie - posted on 03/12/2010

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I just went back to work this week, and whenever I pump I have been getting 4 oz each time.

C - posted on 03/12/2010

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I was home with my kids who nursed for an extened period. I pumped once a day to have a stash in case I was out. I would get, on average, 4-6 oz total.

Selia - posted on 03/12/2010

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I get about 1-2 each side if she isn't nursing, 3-4 one side (and every once in a while 5 on my good side if really full beforehand) if she nurses one side while I pump the other.

Amy - posted on 03/12/2010

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i wondered how much i could, but i'm a stay at home mom, so i only pump when we go on dates ----which hasn't been for a few months. so i have no idea. when i did though i got about 3 oz a side. i would love to get 5 oz a breast too! lol.

Rosalinda - posted on 03/12/2010

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Allison, I am so happy I read your post. I did not know that breastfeed babies dont keep increasing how much they eat. I was beginning to worry since i pump the same today as I did 2 months ago. Ahhhh what a relief.





oops forgot to mention I get 4-6 ounces a pump every three to 4 hours. If I go longer i can get as much as 11.

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