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Thread: Basics

  1. #1
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    Feb 2008
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    Default Basics

    My daughter is 3 wks old. I've been pumping twice a day for the past week and I'm only getting about 1.5oz total when I pump. I need to know:

    How often should I pump?

    How long should I pump?

    How much should I expect to express in each session?

    How much (ounces on average) do newborns actually eat? (My daughter eats every 2 1/2 to 3 hrs)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    NoVA
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    Default Re: Basics



    Hi! This really all depends on why you are pumping? If your pumping to have enough for a occasional bottle it's much different than if you are pumping to build supply or if you are returning to work soon.
    Let us know and I can give you an idea of what to expect.

    Here are also some good articles on pumping:

    LLL on Pumping


    How much expressed milk will my baby need? (non LLL resource)

    I also wanted to let you know that if you are feeding on demand during the day and getting 1.5oz that's a good amount!
    Jessica
    LLL Leader

    Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day.

    Visit LLL of Ashburn PM's Blog!

  3. #3
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    Feb 2008
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    Default Re: Basics

    Thank you. Yes, I am planning to return to work in five weeks.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Basics

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmom08 View Post
    My daughter is 3 wks old. I've been pumping twice a day for the past week and I'm only getting about 1.5oz total when I pump.
    This is a good amount while you are at home and nursing all day, you'll find that when you are away and pump in instead of nurse then you will get more.

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmom08 View Post
    How often should I pump?
    Right now you can set a time during the day to pump, mornings work well for moms because your supply is usually higher. You can also pump on one side while baby nurses on the other (this usually yields a lot of milk!) if baby takes both sides then you can wait until baby is on the second side and pump on the side baby is done with.

    When you go back to work you want to pump as often as your baby eats. So every 2 1/2 -3 hours for you. It's ok if one day your busy and can't get to one session, or on occasion you have to go longer. Problems often arise though when you go a long time between pumping or drop sessions altogether, this is how you wean!

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmom08 View Post
    How long should I pump?
    This will depend on you and your pump. If you don't already have a double electric or hospital grade pump I would strongly encourage you to get one.
    Some mom's let down very quickly for the pump, others really need longer. You should try to pump until the milk is done flowing and even pump a few minutes after the milk has stopped if you have time. Average time seems to be anywhere from 10-20 minutes - this varies though!!

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmom08 View Post
    How much should I expect to express in each session?
    While you are nursing during the day, even a half an oz is good. Based on how long you are away from your baby and how often she's eating during the day you'll have the amount of milk you'll need to give her, this would be the amount of milk that you'd want to pump. In theory, you'd get exactly what she'd take the next day - of course that's in a perfect world! Somedays you'll probably get more, somedays you'll get less. Saving that surplus and using it on "low" pumping days is a good idea. Making sure that your baby is not being overfed will guard against you not being able to keep up. Most mom's find that they don't have to pump at home, you just pump enough while away. After you've got some milk in the freezer and you've got the pumping thing down, some mom's just give baby the amount they've pumped the day before. The amount almost always varies daily.

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmom08 View Post
    How much (ounces on average) do newborns actually eat? (My daughter eats every 2 1/2 to 3 hrs)
    The link I posted earlier is a great way to figure this out. Babies take an average of 25oz per 24 hours, this works out to about an oz an hour. So if you were away 8 hrs you'd aim to give her 4-2oz bottles or maybe 3- 2.5oz bottles... you want smaller more frequent bottles as opposed to larger less frequent bottles. This is almost the exact opposite of formula fed babies, so if your daycare provider is not experienced with the bottle fed baby taking mama's milk you may have to give them a little education on the subject.
    This is not a hard and fast rule, some babies take more and some babies take less during the day, instead getting most of their milk from mom while they are together. This is called reverse cycling and totally normal.

    HTH
    Last edited by @llli*LLLJessica; February 29th, 2008 at 11:36 AM.
    Jessica
    LLL Leader

    Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day.

    Visit LLL of Ashburn PM's Blog!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Default Re: Basics

    This is all really great and encouraging news. Thank you for your help!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Basics

    Your welcome!
    Jessica
    LLL Leader

    Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day.

    Visit LLL of Ashburn PM's Blog!

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