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Thread: Working Moms: How much breastmilk do you pump in an 8-12 hour work day?

  1. #1
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    Default Working Moms: How much breastmilk do you pump in an 8-12 hour work day?

    I'm curious to see how much breastmilk the average woman pumps while at work. I pump on average 11-12 oz while I'm away from my baby. My baby is 5 months old, 12.5 lbs, and is now drinking a 6 oz bottle each feeding; I'm only producing about 12 oz. during the day pumping and I can't keep up with her expressed milk needs while I'm at work. I really do not want to supplement with formula but from the looks of it, it may be my only option soon. Baby nurses at night and when I'm home but due to my long work hour schedule, she requires 3 bottles of expressed milk a day. I'm dipping into my freezer stash and its dwindling away!

    Have any of you experienced this? What can I do to increase the milk pumped? I use a Medela Symphony pump (hospital rental) so I know the pump is high grade.

    I've tried Fenugreek and have seen a small increase of milk production of 0.5 oz or so but nothing drastic.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Working Moms: How much breastmilk do you pump in an 8-12 hour work day?

    Your child should take about 1-1.5 ounces per hour you are away from him. 6 ounces is way more breatmilk than a child that young should normally be drinking at one time and I think this is a pretty clear case of your caregiver overfeeding the baby. Maybe you could try preparing bottles in 3 or 4 ounce increments and ask your caregiver to try to calm baby in other ways. Here's some great info on how to bottle feed a breastfed baby. You might want to share it with your caregiver.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Working Moms: How much breastmilk do you pump in an 8-12 hour work day?

    6 ounces seems like a lot.

    I never was able to pump more than 3-4 ounces per session.

    I pumped 2x per day and went home at lunch.

    My DD ate two 3-4 ounce bottles. One in the am and one in the pm.

    I added a session in the morning when I woke up to keep up with her.
    Proud mom of 2:
    DD 5/2008 nursed for 3 years and 3 months.
    DS born 8/2011 nursing like a champ

    Sorry for the short responses...always, always, always NAK or holding a baby

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Working Moms: How much breastmilk do you pump in an 8-12 hour work day?

    i was going to link the same thing Paige did. I pumped about 12-13 oz during the day when I was away from my son. He never took more than 3-4 oz per bottle. Babies who are FF need more volume as they age but BM really don't because the composition changes to what they need. Is your caregiver familiar with the feeding needs of a BF baby? Your output seems normal and my thought is that it IS enough for baby.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Working Moms: How much breastmilk do you pump in an 8-12 hour work day?

    Up until my son was 7 months old, I was pumping 22-26 ounces of milk in the 9 hours I'm at work. He was eating 14 ounces per day at day care (4 three-ounce bottles, and 1 two-ounce bottle).

    Now DS is almost 11 months old. My supply has drastically decreased. I pump 12-15 ounces at work and he eats 11 ounces per day at day care (2 four-ounce bottles, 1 three-ounce bottle).

    Needless to say, I've donated approx 1200 ounces of milk.
    First baby Thanos Liam born on 12/20/2009... we are and since birth and still going strong!!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Working Moms: How much breastmilk do you pump in an 8-12 hour work day?

    I agree with pps that it sounds like your caregiver is overfeeding. When you think about it, only like 14% of babies in the US are exclusively breastfed to 6 months, so probably your caregiver does not have much experience with a breastfed baby. I'd try sending smaller bottles, and have DCP try other things to soothe baby, rather than jump to the conclusion that any fussing is hunger.

    My DS is now 10 months, and has never taken more than 4.5 oz at a time, and it's typically 4 oz (sometimes he'll still only finish 3).

    At 5 months, I think he was taking around 3 oz typically, we may have gone up to more like 4 oz around 6-7 months.

    The one thing that I've experienced with pumping at work is that my output has been slowly decreasing over time. I now rent a Symphony, but most days I'm only about to get 6 oz (DH takes 8 oz in the 8 hours he's at daycare). Luckily, I have a good-sized freezer stash, and we've been able to avoid formula, and with the holidays coming up, I should definitely make it past 1 year with the stash. I do, however, only pump once at work, because I only work a 6-6.5 hour day when I'm here. Pumping more frequently may help.

    It's definitely hard. How is baby's weight and diaper output? What about night nursing? I've debated sending DS with less milk during the day now because he is taking solids and he nurses all.night.long, and he's 55% percentile for weight, so I know that he's getting enough to eat even if he didn't get a full oz/hour at DCP.
    First-time mom to Little Manatee (1/7/2010)

    Nursed for 3 1/2 years!



    My little boy is my everything.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Working Moms: How much breastmilk do you pump in an 8-12 hour work day?

    She was taking on average 5 ounces but my Mother-in-law says that 5 oz isn't satisfying her anymore and asked me to send 6 ounces. I didn't know any better so I've been trying to send 6 ounces per feeding. Should she just be getting fed more frequently rather than 6 ounces at a time? I called the doctor's office and they said the guidlines for both formula and breastfed babies are 6-8 oz every 3-4 hours.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Working Moms: How much breastmilk do you pump in an 8-12 hour work day?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*arog421 View Post
    She was taking on average 5 ounces but my Mother-in-law says that 5 oz isn't satisfying her anymore and asked me to send 6 ounces. I didn't know any better so I've been trying to send 6 ounces per feeding. Should she just be getting fed more frequently rather than 6 ounces at a time? I called the doctor's office and they said the guidlines for both formula and breastfed babies are 6-8 oz every 3-4 hours.
    The baby is 12.5 pounds, about 22 inches ht. She was 5lb 6 oz when born. She's on the small side and in the bottom 10 percentile on growth and height for her age. I don't want to deprive her of food.

    She wet diaper output isn't as good as it once was and since we started her on cereal, she has bowel movements every 2-3 days.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Working Moms: How much breastmilk do you pump in an 8-12 hour work day?

    Wow. 6 to 8 ounces every 3 to 4 hours. I would get a new pediatrician.

    My baby ate 8 ounces to 12 at most in 10.5 hours away from me.

    My 2 year old cannot drink 8 ounces of milk at one time. That sounds like a recipe for failure at pumping.

    I pumped 12 ounces or so a day for my daughter, she ate 2 ounce bottles every couple of hours and has generally been in the 5% range. That is my daughter's growth curve, just like someone else's baby is in the 95% growth curve. As long as your baby is growing along A curve, it doesn't matter which curve it is.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Working Moms: How much breastmilk do you pump in an 8-12 hour work day?

    Here is an article about how much milk your baby should be taking in. There is a calculator there for you to get an exact amount, though keep in mind it is a guideline not an absolute.

    Your output is normal and actually on the high side. Your doctor's office is wrong. Formula and breastmilk are very different and feeding guidelines are not the same for them. Formula is the same composition whether your baby is 2 days old, 2 months old, or a year old. That is why you have to increase the amount you give your baby as your baby grows and needs more calories and nutrients. Your breastmilk changes in composition and gets more concentrated as your baby grows, so the volume doesn't increase by much. If it did, your breasts would have to keep getting bigger and bigger to accommodate it.

    I would suggest:
    • Ask your mother to give her smaller feedings more frequently.
    • Make sure you have slow flow nipples and that they are not worn out (frequent use and washing can make the holes bigger and increase the flow rate). To test them, put water in them and they should drip at a rate of one drop per second.
    • Ask her to try other soothing techniques after feedings if baby is still fussing. It doesn't necessarily mean she is still hungry, but she may still have the need to suck or feel cuddled. Does she use a pacifier? If so, you might want to have your mother give her one after a bottle.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

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