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Thread: I pumped 18 oz in one sitting

  1. #1

    Default I pumped 18 oz in one sitting

    I worry about protecting my supply. I work full time and regularly go 5 plus hours without nursing or pumping. However I think I have an oversupply. I pump in the morning before work every day and typically get 8 oz. Then on lunch break I pump 10-15 oz. When i get home i pump another 8 oz or so. Then nurse all night. Today I pumped 18 oz just on my hour break. Probably could have gotten more if I'd had time. Baby is only 2 months old so my supply could "even out" in a few weeks? I don't mind producing so much because then I have a backup freezer supply. But I've heard its bad to have oversupply. Why is that? My baby is healthy and so am I.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: I pumped 18 oz in one sitting

    Hi queensfrost. There is nothing inherently wrong with an abundant milk production. If making this much milk is not causing issues for you or your baby, then it is not a problem.

    Every mom has a different breast storage capacity. This means some moms would be in excruciating pain if they had anything like 10-18 ounces of milk in their breasts at one time, and you apparently have no problem having this much in the breasts.
    Likewise, every baby has a different ability to handle any overproduction. In some cases, lots of milk in the breasts causes baby to not like the fast flow from the breast or the high amount of milk baby gets at once when nursing. Other babies are fine with it.

    If a nursing mom has abundant production, baby may gain very quickly in the early weeks/months. Some think this is unhealthy, but actually this is fine. A breastfed baby cannot eat too much. If a breastfed baby gains rapidly early on, it will even out later on.

    Today I pumped 18 oz just on my hour break.
    Do you mean you pumped for an hour? One thing to remember is you do not have to keep pumping until your breast is "emptied." Obviously your milk production is in fine shape so there is no reason to do that. Your baby never would have nursed enough to take 18 ounces in one feeding. That is about half what a baby would need the whole day! So I would suggest, pump for about 15-20 minutes a side (or 15-20 minutes total if you pump both sides at once) or until your breasts feel softened. Since you make so much milk, you may need to pump a bit longer to feel comfortable, but you can go by how you feel either way.

    When you say you go 5 hours without nursing or pumping, you mean during the workday while away from baby right? Most 2 month olds need to nurse more often than that. Even when mom has lots of milk, baby has a small tummy and requires frequent meals. I would also suggest trying to pump with a bit more frequency, and not regularly going 5 hours between pump sessions or nursing sessions if that can be avoided. Because over time, having that much milk in the breasts for long periods sends a message to the body to stop making so much milk, and this will impact milk production, and lead to less than enough milk. It can be difficult for a mom who is working apart from her baby to maintain normal milk production for the time she wants to breastfeed, so while your production certainly appears to be high now, it may be harder to maintain that as time goes on. The way to encourage the best milk production for the duration of breastfeeding is to remove milk from the breasts about as frequently as a baby would typically nurse, or as close to that as possible in the circumstance.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; July 31st, 2014 at 12:08 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: I pumped 18 oz in one sitting

    Thank you for the replies thats reassuring.

    Yes I go 5 hours while at work. He gets expressed milk during the day he has a stay at home dad.

    I'm worried about long term supply problems because I do go so long without pumping. I simply can't pump more at work. I have to go in my car which is parked a 5 minute walk away one way. Plus there is nowhere to sanitize parts. We have one sink in a bathroom shared by pet products. I work in retail with commission and lose sales when I leave. I've already cut my hours to 8 hours a day. Used to work 10.

    I want to breastfeed as long as possible years if I can. But will I eventually lose supply with this schedule?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: I pumped 18 oz in one sitting

    It's really difficult to say if you will lose production, and if so, when. The response to pumping and intervals between pump sessions is extremely variable, and you as an individual will have a different experience from every other individual out there. That being said, long intervals between pump sessions aren't ideal and there is a good chance that you will eventually see supply decline somewhat.

    Pump breaks don't have to be long to be useful. Maybe you could sneak in a quick bathroom break and hand-express some milk into a bowl? With your large supply, my guess is that you could quickly take out a few oz of milk, and milk removal plus the stimulation from expressing would signal your body to keep on producing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Central FL

    Default Re: I pumped 18 oz in one sitting

    many people do only 10-20 minute pumping sessions every 2-3 hours.
    sanitizing wipes and a cooler to keep pump parts in can help reduce the need for washing every single time.

    and practice hand expression since a quick break hand expressing can remove milk and with your current overstock you may not really "need" to collect that milk for the time being.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: I pumped 18 oz in one sitting

    When I first went back to work I pumped that type of volume. This did not last though. I always had to be sure to protect pump frequency but always had enough. It was a shock to me when my supply adjusted and I pumped a normal amount. Thankfully I did save some extra in the beginning so later on when it wasn't so easy to get extra I had a nice cushion. Also, use up the old stuff first! Its easy to get complacent when you pump so much in the beginning.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: I pumped 18 oz in one sitting

    But will I eventually lose supply with this schedule?
    You can only do what you can do. If you can pump once during an 8 hour day, that is certainly better than none, and it might well be ok, especially if you take steps to ensure baby usually nurses as close as possible in time before and after work and baby nurses lots when you are home, and is fed in a breastfeeding supportive way when you are at work. http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

    If you have a long commute as well, you might want to look into pumping while driving. At this point you clearly make more than enough milk, so you are starting out ahead in that sense.

    do watch out for any signs you are engorged or getting plugs or mastitis. Normal frequency with pumping is not just about milk production, it is actually important for the moms health. When milk is not removed frequently or well enough, mom can actually get sick.

    have you looked into the laws in your state as pertain to this issue of pumping in the workplace?

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