Pumping Mothers please help...

Deanna - posted on 03/19/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )

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I am pumping because I am working full time and my son is 3 months old. How do you know how much breast milk to give a 3 month old when they aren't nursing from the breast?

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Heidi - posted on 01/31/2014

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One thing you need to know is that, once your baby has started drinking from the bottle, if she doesn't want anymore, then you can't save that milk for later. The bacteria in their mouth breaks down all the good nutrients in it-- so don't fill up the bottle, and if she doesn't eat all of it, put the rest away for later-- it's no good. To avoid wasting your precious milk, start out with 3 oz and increase in small increments from there-- you need to burp the baby anyway. Also- babies get more from nursing than pumping, so just giving her what you pump isn't a good way to calculate it. I have recently had my supply go down when pumping and have had to power pump and get up in the middle of the night to pump so I have enough when I give my baby milk in the bottle. Most of the time, I nurse her though.

Melanie - posted on 03/21/2010

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i pumped exclusively w/my 1st bec. we couln't get the nursing thing down...i just pumped until i couldn't get anymore out...and fed her however much she wanted. one tip that i wish someone had told me...i ended up getting mastitis w/her and the dr. told me to make sure my nipples were clean...cotton ball and peroxide after pumping every once in a while...it's amazing that can settle into those grooves and can cause milk ducts to clog!

Sharril - posted on 03/20/2010

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My daughter is 5 months old and when I went back to work, I judged by how much I would pump. When she started needing to be nursed completely on both sides, we increased how much we would give her. When all else fails, just fill a bottle and see how much he drinks.
btw- When you introduce solids, he will drink less milk. My flow was off for several days after we started cereal because she had more than just milk filling her belly.

Andrea - posted on 03/20/2010

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Honestly - you can't go by formula charts - go by what comes out of your breasts! :) Except for the morning when we all know it's more than usual. You should be pumping today what you feed tomorrow. You should pump at the same times that your baby eats - at 3 months, that is roughly every 3 hours. The average is 1oz per hour. If you have 3 pumps in your 8 hour shift - and you get 3oz, then 2oz, then 4oz, then thats what you feed your baby. Honestly, it doesn't increase usually with breastfed babies - so it's going to be 3-4 oz for a while if fed every 3 hours or so. But it's important not to miss a growth spurt - so make sure your caregiver has extra for growth spurt days, and informs you of them so you can pump more or feed more on those days - or your body wont know to produce more. Also make sure your caregiver does not "comfort feed" - a baby might seem hungry after a bottle because it takes less time to eat it. It takes 15-20 mins for them to feel full, and when on the breast, it usually takes that long to eat - but the bottle is quicker - so make sure the caregiver tries everything else to sooth them first, and then if they still seem extremely hungry (eating hands and such) then give more (and tell you about it, so you can pump more for a couple of days).

Leslie - posted on 03/20/2010

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I pumped exclusively for 9 mos (and still have enough milk to get to 1yr). I started out filling my bags with 4oz of milk. When she drank all of that at 1 time, I went to filling my bags with 5 oz. I kept increasing when she drank each amount consistently. She typically drank a bottle every 3 hours when she was smaller. She has now backed off to 2 1/2 8 oz bottles during the day and she is 11 mos old.

Eleisha - posted on 03/20/2010

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At 3 months I was putting in 6 ounces of milk. On saying that sometimes she would drink 3 ounces and others she would drink the full 6. I did it on demand so I could mimic her BF as much as possible.

[deleted account]

i'm a mom who pumps exclusively (we had lots of trouble breast-feeding that ultimately couldn't be sorted out) and have been able to avoid using any formula by pumping my breasts six to seven times a day. From my extensive experience feeding my baby breast milk in a bottle, at around three months most average sized babies (ours is in the 25th percentile) will drink between 3-5 1/2 oz per feed if fed every three hours during the day/evening, with the last feed at about 11pm until the next morning (that's a total ranging from 21-26 oz a day...). When they're full, they will turn their head away from the bottle being offered and if you put the nipple back in their mouth, they won't really suck on it. If they're distracted and that's why they've stopped, if you just let them sit with you for a minute or two, looking around, and then offer the bottle again, if they're hungry, they'll take it... Just keep track of how much they are eating at each feed (so you can get a total at the end of the day- that way you won't stress so much about it if they only eat 3 oz at one feed but maybe 5 1/2 at the next... that's normal behaviour) and have faith that they're eating enough when they're actually breast feeding...

S - posted on 03/20/2010

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ask your pediatrician. It seems that every child's requirements may be different based on the child's needs. gaining weight, how often he eats etc
if you can't do that for awhile try giving him a 5 oz bottle and monitoring how he eats. For me, my lo usually slows down when she's full obvviously if he still fusses he may need a little more. try this for a few feeds till you can get a good estimate then monitor over the next few days to make sure he's not getting swollen or losing weight.

Anne - posted on 03/20/2010

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I went by the number of ounces it said on the formula cans and that is just about the amount of breastmilk my daughter drank, perhaps one or two ounces less.
In 24 hours she usually drank about 25 ounces of milk at 3 months old.

Tara - posted on 03/19/2010

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a log is definitely good to have for your baby! when i pump and give to my baby in a bottle, i just let him drink whatever he wants. sometimes he'll have an ounce, and want more an hour later sometimes he will drink 4 ounces and not want any for 3-4 hours (hes almost 5 months old exact age, and was almost 3 months early) he is gaining weight VERY WELL too :)

[deleted account]

With my first I had to put 5 ounces of milk in a bottle. He nursed every 1 1/2 hours. He was 4mo. when I had to go back to work and he drank about 25 ounces while I was at work. I had a hard time knowing how much to fill the bags/bottles for him. I decided to fill the bags at 3 oz. and 5oz. and thawed the larger one first. Fresh breastmilk can set out btw 4-6 hours. and one that is previously defrosted 4 hours. Leave it sitting out if he is not done; you can not reheat breastmilk. So...if he did not finish his bottle he can finish it later.



Maybe you can ask whoever is watching him to keep a log of how much he drinks, so you know how much to fill your bags up. I think it also depends on how often he is/was nursing before you went back to work. It may need to be a littleb bit of guess work for a few days.



I hope pumping goes well for you (I pumped for 9 months at work)

[deleted account]

With my first I had to put 5 ounces of milk in a bottle. He nursed every 1 1/2 hours. He was 4mo. when I had to go back to work and he drank about 25 ounces while I was at work. I had a hard time knowing how much to fill the bags/bottles for him. I decided to fill the bags at 3 oz. and 5oz. and thawed the larger one first. Fresh breastmilk can set out btw 4-6 hours. and one that is previously defrosted 4 hours. Leave it sitting out if he is not done; you can not reheat breastmilk. So...if he did not finish his bottle he can finish it later.



Maybe you can ask whoever is watching him to keep a log of how much he drinks, so you know how much to fill your bags up. I think it also depends on how often he is/was nursing before you went back to work. It may need to be a littleb bit of guess work for a few days.



I hope pumping goes well for you (I pumped for 9 months at work)

[deleted account]

With my first I had to put 5 ounces of milk in a bottle. He nursed every 1 1/2 hours. He was 4mo. when I had to go back to work and he drank about 25 ounces while I was at work. I had a hard time knowing how much to fill the bags/bottles for him. I decided to fill the bags at 3 oz. and 5oz. and thawed the larger one first. Fresh breastmilk can set out btw 4-6 hours. and one that is previously defrosted 4 hours. Leave it sitting out if he is not done; you can not reheat breastmilk. So...if he did not finish his bottle he can finish it later.



Maybe you can ask whoever is watching him to keep a log of how much he drinks, so you know how much to fill your bags up. I think it also depends on how often he is/was nursing before you went back to work. It may need to be a littleb bit of guess work for a few days.



I hope pumping goes well for you (I pumped for 9 months at work)

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