How much milk should a new mom be producing?

Latrice - posted on 12/07/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I am a new mom. My daughter is 3 weeks old. I had a breast reduction 8 years ago and I had to supplement with formula before leaving the hospital because my baby started losing weight. Anywho, I have a hospital grade breast pump and I pump about 5 times a day. However I only produce 20-30ml from each breast after pumping which equates to a total of 1.5-2 ounces. Is this normal? My baby drinks 4 ounces of formula so a measly 2 ounces of expressed milk will not satisfy her. Should I be worried about my supply? How much milk should I be producing?

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Cynthia - posted on 08/28/2011

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Question: When you had your breast reduction did they just remove fat tissue or milk ducts? If they just reduced fat tissue, the you shouldn't have any problems producing enough milk for your baby, cut all bottled formula and nurse your child as often as she is hungry you will find this to be every hour for a while possibly even through the night, until your milk supply gets up, then you can gradually move the feedings to every two hours. Eat a broad and varied diet, according to nutritional recommendations for nursing mums upward of 2000 calories a day if you have a wide variety of fruits and veg. Have a cup of tea, water, or milk to hand while you are nursing to keep enough fluid on hand to meet your needs and your nursing babies needs. Breast milk tend to be more nutrionally dense than formula. If you decide to keep supplementing with formula, do so AFTER you nurse, and limit which times you supplement to those feedings she is most hungry at, ie first morning feeding the evening feeding before you lay her down for the night. Your guide to whether she is getting enough is 8-12 wet cloth diapers in a 24hr period of time. and of course weight gain from week to week.

New borns typically lose any where from 3 -to 16 ounces in the week after they are born as they learn to nurse, and recuperate from the birthing process, if you are anxious, your baby will be anxious and may not relax enough to nurse effectively.

Use the breast pump AFTER you nurse nor baby, not before this will help increase your supply, but no more than fifteen minutes or so you don't want to make yourself excessively sore.

you can be producing sufficient milk for your daughters needs as she nurses, and yet only pump and ounce or so extra after each feeding, this is completely normal. If you live in Britain, Canada, New Zealand, or Australia you will probably have your health nurse and or regional midwife coming in to check up on baby the first six weeks or so after birth or you will be going to the health unit once a week to weigh baby, theunnecesarean.com this website will give you charts for growth for breast fed infants including the WHO charts as well, you can also ask for a photo copy of your childs chart from the health unit, or make up a graph of your own with graph paper, your start point is the date with the your babys weekly weight starting from her birth weight. I found this the most reasuring method of my childrens growth pattern, If your childs weight or height fall below the curve for her percentile then you have cause to worry, don't forget to make a not with the dates for colds, fevers teething etc. this will help keep your worries in perspective. In our house my husband is 6'2" and I am 5' so you can see how keeping an eye on the growth curve charts would be reasuring, growth curves charts cover the first year and other charts from 1 to 3 , 3 to 6 etc. and are based on the measuring of thousands of children over the years.

you can also google image growth charts for birth to one year.

Rebecca - posted on 12/13/2009

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That is normal. It is important to remember to remember that your baby can get more milk from you than your pump can.

Nicole - posted on 12/11/2009

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Like Sara said, pumps are not as efficient as the baby at draining your breast. Do not judge your production by what your milk looks like in a bottle, judge your production by looking at your baby.



Is she having wet and soiled diapers? If something is coming out, that means something is going in. She should have at least 5-6 very wet diapers per day and 3-4 soiled ones.



Is she alert? Newborn babies do tend to sleep frequently, but if she seems to never have alert moments, this can be of some concern.



Is she gaining weight? It is normal for all babies (not just breastfed babies) to lose weight within the first days after birth, but they gain it back within a few weeks.



I recommend putting her to your breast as often as she will take it. Never give a bottle first. You will probably find no need for the bottles after all if you do this.



It was believed for a long time that a breast reduction can hinder milk supply, but science has now shown that a woman's breast tissue can be a resilient thing and can try to repair itself in the years following the procedure and during pregnancy.



In breastfeeding, as with anything when you have a new baby, the first few weeks can seem difficult, but if you can hang in there a bit longer it will get better!



Also, do not determine your production by how often she eats either. Just because a baby wants to nurse very frequently does not mean an inadequate milk supply. If diapers and weight gain look good, milk supply is fine.



Good luck and congrats on the birth of your new baby and your willingness to breastfeed! Way to go!

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Pumps are not as efficient as babies are at getting out the milk. Put your baby to the breast whenever she's hungry or even if she just wants to suck. This will help you establish a healthy supply. Just because you only pump 2 oz doesn't mean that when your baby sucks she is only getting 2 oz. She's probably getting much more than you think.

Jessica - posted on 12/10/2009

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I was the same way with both of my children. And my son lost almost a whole pound before we left the hospital and I was not told I had to supplement. Eventually with both my milk supply grew as they drank more. Just keep nursing when she wants and more will come in. Just be patient and don't give up. Some women produce tons of milk and other just enough for their baby. I know it is enough because my 7 pound baby now at three months weighs 14 pounds...so don't worry unless your daughter starts to loose weight. And by the way I nurse all the time so if it seems like she is eating alot its ok cause she is only eating to be full.

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Katie - posted on 12/07/2009

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2 ounces is pretty normal i was producing about 2 to 3 ounces and feeding every 2 hours for at least the first month as long as shes still gaining it should be ok. you wont pump as much as she actually gets from the breasts and if you switch breasts during a feeding example 10 minutes on left 10 minutes on right or however long she will get a higher calorie intake and better weight gain.

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