How much are you actually producing??

Stacy - posted on 07/26/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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So, I have read a lot of the posts and read lots of websites and books and I am still not sure how much is 'normal' to be producing at each pump session.

I have a 5 month old and have been exclusively pumping for about 3 to 4 months. At first I pumped every 3 hrs, but now I really do only pump every 6 hours, so only 4 times a day in total, for between 15 to 20 minutes. I get around 3 to 4 ounces out of each breast, for a total of 6-8 oz in each session.

My son is not starving and is not needing me to supplement at all with formula. I have a freezer with about 30, 3 to 4 oz bags in it for when I am away for work. I do not feel stressed until I read that other people pump way more often that their children are eating a lot more than my son. He only takes about 4 oz at most feedings (occasionally he will want 5-8 oz when he seems to be going through a growth spurt) and is now eating first foods twice a day.

Do I need to be concerned that I am going to stop producing enough to satisfy him? I have never heard of anyone pumping so few times a day in all of the reading I have done and now I am getting concerned?? Everyone warns about if you don't pump enough you will stop producing, but I am not.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

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3 Comments

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Amanda - posted on 07/31/2009

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It sounds like you and your son have worked out a great system. As long as he is not giving hunger cues and is growing well, then you are feeding him enough. As an exclusive pumper for twins I am always plagued with doubt, but you seem to be doing fine. Just know that if you need to make more milk you can just pump more often for 10 more minutes than usual, and if you REALLY start to sputter out you can use fenugreek/oatmeal/almonds to help increase your supply. Though breast stimulation is the biggest component of milk production. When my kids are going through a growth spurt I am usually pumping every 2 hours and making about 6 oz at a time. But on a normal day, I pump every three-four hours (creating about 7-8 oz) with an 8-9 hour break for sleep at night. I will wake up and pump about 30 mins (making 21 oz). They are now 6 months old eating cereal in the morning with approx 2 oz milk and 2 oz veggie or fruit in the afternoon, so they will eat approx. 28-33 oz. a day.

I hope this helps you realize you are not alone in your worry about production.

Stacy - posted on 07/30/2009

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thanks Nicole. what do you mean by 3-6 hourly? You produce that many ounces every hour? Sorry I was confused when I read your post, but I am thankful you replied to my post, this exclusive pumping thing is just so tiring and NO ONE and I do mean, NO ONE will ever understand that who has not done it. I am not someone to complain about it to others, as I know I am doing a beautiful thing for my baby, but it is so tiring and emotionally draining sometimes that I just want to cry. I read about breastfeeding moms and I am jealous and feel left out of their circle, I have to hook up to a gosh darn machine to get the milk, no intimate feelings there! LOL

I love my son more than anything in this world, but I sometimes just want to go to sleep and not have to wake up to pump!! I want to sleep for 8 hours wake up and drink coffee!! LOL I feel a bit guilty for those feelings too!! grrr!! This mommy thing is hard! :-)

Anyway, kind of ranted there for a minute, thanks for your post and any help or guidance is appreciated, you have gone 11 months and I hope to too, so thank you!

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i used to worry that i never had enough milk for my daughter, as i read stories from people who got alot more milk in one 20 min pump than i ever did but she always had enough milk and it was only when she went through her growth spurts that i needed to defrost milk occasssionally, YOu seem to produce about the same amount of milk as i do, and its the same amount i have gotten out each session in the last 11 months! i express anywhere from 3-6 hourly with an 8 hour gap at night the morning pump i generally get 2 feeds worth out though.

If your boy is happy, not hungry and having 5 wet nappies a day, growing at the right weight and height and meeting milestones i wouldn't be to concerned, however if you are really worried i would go to the Doctors or nurse and ask them.

But by the sounds of it your body knows how much your baby needs and is giving you just the right amount! Keep up the good work its a hard life pumping but we are all here for you!

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