How much milk do you express?

Zodwa - posted on 09/22/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I've just started expressing milk today and am wondering how much is the norm - if there is such a thing - to express. I had been pumping for about 45 minutes and only managed 4 ounces.
Then it was time to feed little Maya (from the other breast).

So my question is - how long should you pump for? And how much milk can you pump in one sitting?

Crossing fingers that Maya will take to the bottle.

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[deleted account]

To answer the question though, in the beginning I only pumped out 1 to 2 ounces at a time with my first child. The most I have ever pumped with the manual pump is 10 oz in one sitting.

For my second child, the most I have ever pumped out at one time is 14 oz. That was only once though. I now pump about four times a day for 20 to 30 minutes and pump any where from 4 to 11 oz of milk at a time depending on how often I pumped the day before. I started out only pumping a couple of ounces. The supply will build very quickly as long as you pump often. The amount of times you pump is more important than how long you pump if you are looking to increase your pumping supply. Also drink a full glass of water before you pump each time.

Stephanie - posted on 09/22/2009

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I don't know that there is a norm - if there is, I'm just as curious as you! I get the most in the morning. After I feed my son in the morning, I pump for about 20 minutes and get about 5-6 oz on the side he didn't feed on and about 1 or 2 from the side he didn't feed on. In the afternoon, it's much lower. I usually only get about 2 or 3 oz per side at each session. Play around with the settings on your pump and move it around during the pumping session. Sometimes I can get an extra ounce just by adjusting the cup. I would just say to try to pump at the same time every day (if possible). Within a couple of days, your body will figure out that you'll need to make more milk then. Good luck!!

Milka - posted on 09/22/2009

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I usually pump my breast at the same time every 3 hours until the breast soft. I pump 5 minutes at the left side and 5 minutes at the right side and get back to the left side again. it takes around 20 minutes and get 60 ml or 80 ml. But my son sometimes eats 100 ml or 110 ml. So I still need more milk actually.

[deleted account]

4 oz is a lot for the first time pumping. I used a manual pump for my first child. I would keep my pump in the fridge and would pump immediately after breastfeeding my son every time. I would also squeeze and massage the breast while pumping. You do not have to sit there for 45 minutes though. That can be discouraging. I would usually only pump until my milk ran out or 5 minutes. Your supply will build up very quickly that way. Only keep the pump in the fridge for a day though and then wash it.

My second child was a NICU baby so I now pump exclusively. I now have a medela electric double pump. I started out pumping six times a day. I would set a goal that I wanted to pump out and then sit there until I reached that goal. I would massage the breast while pumping pushing hard on any hard spots that I felt until they became soft. I built a good supply that way really quickly. Psychology works too. Use small bottles while pumping so it actually looks like you are pumping a good amount until your supply builds.

Charlotte - posted on 09/22/2009

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The most I have ever been able to pump in a single sitting was 4 oz and that was when I was terribly engored (baby had RSV and hadn't nursed in 12 hours). Under normal curcumstances, I'm luck to get 2 oz (and yes, that's from both breasts combined). Some women do not respond to pumps and cannot pump anything at all...

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Zodwa - posted on 09/23/2009

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I'm using a manual pump - Pigeon so it takes a bit longer. I'm going to try pumping in the morning rather than mid afternoon. Thanks for the help/

Carla - posted on 09/22/2009

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I also get more first thing in the morning and can usually pump 4-6 oz in one breast and around 2 in the breast he last fed from. I usually stop at the 4-6 oz though as its all I really need to add to his rice and give him a drink (im trying with no avail to get him to drink from a bottle just incase he has to for any reason) I get that in around 5 minutes or so and if I kept going I'd prob get more, but then again I have a big baby, he weighed 17lbs a few weeks ago and he is 16 weeks now. I suppose if I had a small baby I'd get less. I also pump to donate, so have kept an extra supply up as well.

Another thing, I'm using the avent isis manual pump at the mo... for a while I was using the tommee tippee closer to nature pump and got much less and it took longer so it may depend on the type of pump you are using as well.

Ursula - posted on 09/22/2009

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Yikes! I only get 2 to 4 oz when I pump both sides and my daughter didn't eat! When I give her a bottle she only takes 2 to 3 oz in a single feeding anyway, maybe that's why. I'm trying to build up a better stock pile (I work 2 times a month, 14 hour days, starting Saturday and I wanted some fresh stuff stored). She is 13 weeks old and I have never supplemented. It sounds like you're getting plenty of milk. Our pedi told us an older baby adequately drains a breast in 5 to 7 minutes and a pump takes a little longer. Once my milk actually lets down (it takes longer with the pump) I get 2 to 3 oz in about 3 minutes.....maybe I should leave the pump on longer, but when I try, I don't get any more milk.

Jennifer - posted on 09/22/2009

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I also get the most in the morning. I can usually get about 4 oz. on the side she doesn't feed from and 1 1/2 from the side she does. It only takes maybe 10 minutes though. I have an electric pump and I put it on a high setting and it comes out pretty fast. I know it sounds weird but rub around the pump on your breast and it'll help loosen up your ducts and make it come out a little quicker. Heat also works well. If your little one doesn't take a bottle try a couple different kinds of nipples. My little girl took a nuk nipple since its supposed to resemble a breast. Good luck!

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