Freezer supply

Sabrina - posted on 12/18/2008 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I am getting ready to go back to work in a few weeks and I was wondering how much milk I should have stored up in the freezer? Right now I have about 10-12 oz frozen and I keep a few fresh bottles for practice feedings. Any recommendations?

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My freezer is overrun with milk bags and my DH goes "mooo" every time he sees me pumping. That's how much I keep in supply. lol. There is no such thing as too much so pump as much as you can. I started pumping this time when my son was a week old after each morning feeding, when milk supply is at its greatest. I'm at work again full time and pump every 3 to 4 hours. I've been able to keep up with demand and even pump more than he eats in a given day, so the freezer just keeps growing. Which is a relief because with my first two my supply started to dwindle once I went back to work. I think pumping ahead of time has increased my supply.



My advice is to pump after baby's first am feeding and keep storing it. You can never have too much. Good luck!

Jeanne - posted on 12/29/2008

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My BF'ing days are long gone, but this is what I remember. With my first I had a meager freezer stash and always sent an extra bottle or two of fresh milk each day. At the end of the day what was left rotated to become the first feeds for the next day. That kept my dcp from worrying about running out, and I did have to educate her about how not to waste it. My production was equal to what he took so I never pulled ahead. It was a challenge to keep up whenever he hit a growth spurt because suddenly he'd take that extra bottle and I couldn't make extra; I'd use up my freezer stash and I'd have to dual pump/nurse in the evenings, mornings, and weekends until my supply caught up and I could freeze a bit extra. With my second, I started dual pump/nursing once each morning starting at 4 weeks and freezing the pumped output, and I built up a large stash which kept me from stressing. BTW if you're not allergic to nuts and you want to boost your supply try taking fenugreek capsules. You might smell like pancake syrup but it works! Otherwise look up "galactagogue" for milk stimulating herbs and supplements. Dual pump/nursing is when the baby nurses on one side and you pump the other side; it's a big time saver. A hands-free rig for the horn helps a lot, as does having a helper hand the baby to you once you're tethered - er - set up.

Alexandra - posted on 12/29/2008

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I am in a breastfeeding support group outside of Portland Maine and the group suggests tthat I keep about 2-3 days of supply in the freezer. I have been worrying about going back to work and already my milk supply is going down. My husband and i decided to start formula a week or so ago and I am supposed to be pumping like crazy. Every time my husband feeds my daughter I am pumping!

Marilyn - posted on 12/22/2008

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everyone's supply is different - like Natalie, my supply was enormous, too! I started freezing whatever excess I pumped in the beginning, and I thought I would never go through it, but to my surprise, we did. so, I agree w/Natalie - store as much as you can, but don't stress out about it. Are you able to pump at work? that will help keep your supply on schedule...

Mylan - posted on 12/22/2008

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I had issues with feeding directly from the breast, so I had to start pumping by the third week. Are you pumping during the day while at home or still breastfeeding? the importance of storage pretty much depends on how your supply is to start with and what your at-work pumping schedule is going to be like. I just got back to work this month, and while my at-work schedule isn't like it was when I was at home, I'm still able to get three good sessions in during the day. *knock on wood that it stays that way*



I did a tally of how many ounces my daughter ate at home, and it came out to 28-30 ounces a day. If you can pump out about that much a day, you're golden. If not, then you might have to supplement. Since I have about that much a day, I wind up freezing extra when my daughter's appetite drops so the milk doesn't go bad. It'll go fairly quickly when your baby starts eating more ounces per feeding, too.

Carissa - posted on 12/19/2008

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I pumped like crazy before I went back to work to build up a freezer supply and it turns out I was able to meet my babies needs without cutting in to it. I think it really depends on what your supply is like and if it drops when you are pumping more than actual bfeeding. if you find it does drop More Milk Plus from Motherlove was a big help for me. Good luck! And I second what Jeanne said, the first day (maybe week) was really bad, but it got easier very quickly.

Natalie - posted on 12/19/2008

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My advice is to keep as much as possible. My milk supply was enormous. I was pumping 10 oz everytime. I went back to work when he was six weeks and had a freezer full at the time (probably 30 bags) I also had a fresh supply in the fridge. He is now 4 months and 2 weeks and although I have only increased my pumping frequency, I have lost my supply and we are down to our last five freezer bags. I started supplementing formula 2 weeks ago due to the fact that I am losing my milk so quickly now. In short, store as much as you can.

Jeanne - posted on 12/18/2008

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As a newly returned to work mom I can offer some good advice. I didn't pump while I was home because my supply was low and I felt like I was feeding my son every hour to keep him full, so it is good that you have some already. I pump at 8:30, 11:30 and 2:30. I usually can only get about 8 oz by pumping. So, that holds him over till I get home, he does get formula though if he is still hungry and I am not home yet, you have to do what you have to do right. My advice would be to have at least two days ahead of milk just incase your child starts a growth spurt or is extra hungry one day over another. If I could, I would have 20 oz frozen as a back up. Good luck with going back to work, my first day was horrible, I cried the whole day, but the next day was so much better!

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