Babies: 0 - 3 Months

producing breast milk

i know its fine if you can only produce enough breast milk to feed baby for the time being, sometimes you just cant produce more, but is there a way to know how many ounces you can or should beproducing by week to week after birth?

Re: producing breast milk

  • You don't really know for sure how much you are producing.  As the weeks progress your baby gets better at nursing and your body producing more milk in response to that.  If you do want to supplement with a bottle, just make sure you don't do it too often because your body will produce less milk since the baby isn't nursing as much.
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  • I don't think there is any hard and fast rule as to how much you should be producing and when.  However, I did read that after the first month or so an infant really only eats the same amount until they are six months old.  I've read that from a month to 6 months they don't really eat any more than 5 oz. per feeding. 

    I know when I pump to replace a feeding, I usually get anywhere from 4-7 oz. at a time (that's both breasts combined).  A baby is more efficient at getting milk out than a pump is.

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  • The only real guide to whether you're producing enough is if the baby is creating enough dirty diapers each day. Basically, the more the baby is at breast, the more your body learns to produce; it's why you should not go more than 2-3 hrs between feedings for the first several weeks; it may feel like feeding is all you're doing. But there's no way to gauge exactly what you're creating or they're taking away (and pumping will not get as much as a baby can).  
    ~Mary & Mike~
    August 18, 2007

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  • image argonne:

    I know when I pump to replace a feeding, I usually get anywhere from 4-7 oz. at a time (that's both breasts combined).  A baby is more efficient at getting milk out than a pump is.

    So jealous- I am lucky if I get 4 ounces from both sides when I pump.  But baby seems like she always gets full when she nurses.  Everyone has different levels of "productivity" too.  With my first, we were supplementing with formula before she was three months old, because I could not keep up.  I can tell I am going to be doing this again with DD#2.  I know people, though, who could have produced enough milk to feed their kid and mine, and their back-to-work pump routine was pretty well the same.

  • Kellymom.com has some info on it I think... I'll look for a link.

    ETA: Here's the link on how much pumped milk babies need...

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkcalc.html

    Sorry I can't clicky it. 

  • image mamafoxX2:

    image argonne:

    I know when I pump to replace a feeding, I usually get anywhere from 4-7 oz. at a time (that's both breasts combined).  A baby is more efficient at getting milk out than a pump is.

    So jealous- I am lucky if I get 4 ounces from both sides when I pump.  But baby seems like she always gets full when she nurses.  Everyone has different levels of "productivity" too.  With my first, we were supplementing with formula before she was three months old, because I could not keep up.  I can tell I am going to be doing this again with DD#2.  I know people, though, who could have produced enough milk to feed their kid and mine, and their back-to-work pump routine was pretty well the same.

    It took quite a bit of practive with the pump to produce that much.  When I first started pumping 4 weeks PP, I was getting a max of 2.5-3 oz.  You just have to keep at it.  Your body gets used to the pump eventually.

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