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How much breastmilk do you produce?

(13 Posts)
Badgerwife Thu 01-Sep-11 12:51:00

I'm just being curious really. My DD is nearly 5 weeks old and I am very lucky that I've been able to produce plenty of milk from the start. This morning, she only fed from the one side so I had to express the other - otherwise, I get and I got 150 mls out, which is my record so far.

In your experience, is that a normal amount?

Incidently, no one told me how much money I would end up spending on breast pads! I can go through 12 a night at the moment and have to sleep on towels and feed with a towel under me, and I really hope I will stop leaking so much soon!

EauRouge Thu 01-Sep-11 13:12:42

Er... enough for a 6 month old and a nearly 3 year old. I have no idea. I know when DD2 was 5 weeks old I was producing enough to make Dairy Crest worried so I sympathise about the leaking. It'll get better!

What you can express and what your DD can get out may not be the same thing, babies are more efficient at sucking than a pump is. Also at 5 weeks your supply probably won't have regulated. A lot of women have oversupply at this stage. It's not normally a problem but sometimes you can get engorged and it can be uncomfortable (or sometimes your baby can get a bit sicky if you have fast let down too)

Once your DD is a few weeks older then you should find that your supply regulates, your breasts will feel soft most of the time rather than hard and full and you won't go through so many breastpads. What's happening to you at the moment sounds totally normal though.

Out of interest, why are you expressing while she is feeding, are you building up a freezer stash?

Badgerwife Thu 01-Sep-11 13:26:29

I expressed because the breast DD hadn't touched was so full it was just leaking freely and I didn't want to waste it or wait til her next feed and need to change clothes again!

She has been cluster-feeding in the evenings for hours at a time sometimes and I eventually do dry up so the HV said if I'm that full anyway in the day I should just express (not regularly just the odd time) and use the expressed milk the same evening as top-up. Then DH can feed her and I get a chunk of sleep!

pinkytheshrinky Thu 01-Sep-11 13:31:28

enough! I have never been able to express but have successfully breastfed 4 children (and still am feeding dc4)

midori1999 Thu 01-Sep-11 16:26:45

I'm not an expert, by any means, but from what I gather, expressing regularly early on can mess with your supply. So, if you get engorged in the morning and express it off, you're body will keep making that amount of milk as it will think it needs to. Whereas if you don't express, or just express enough off by hand to stop the leaking/engorgement, your body will adjust so you don't become so engorged.

Likewise, by giving expressed milk in the evenings your body will not be recieving 'signals' from your baby feeding that it needs to produce more milk at this time, so you'll continue to 'dry up'. (although it's not really drying up as the breast can never empty fully and is always producing milk).

Of course, if you're happy to continue as you are, then that's obviously fine.

midori1999 Thu 01-Sep-11 16:29:16

and in answer to your question, I usually get 3-6oz per expressing 'session', but that is from both breasts, although usually after a feed.

In the early days I was very engorged a lot and presumably could have expressed oodles, but I stopped myself as I kept getting mastitis as I had over supply.

thisisyesterday Thu 01-Sep-11 16:30:43

i make enough for a 2 year old?

it varies hugely how much people can express, and it's not a great indication of how much you are producing.
some women successfully breastfeed their children but cannot express anything at all...

if you express frm the get go then you will tend to produce plenty, the more you express the more you will make.
you may well find that it starts to drop as you reach the 12 week mark and your prolactin levels naturally drop.

there is no normal when it comes to expressing amounts I'm afraid. if it's working for you then go with it.
I used to get around 5oz out after ds2's morning feed, which I was expresing to give to a friend, but I only did that for a few months

entropygirl Fri 02-Sep-11 01:38:55

I got 330 mls out of one boob the other day...scary. I'd love to donate it to a milk bank but they wont take it as it has blood transfusion cooties.

silverangel Fri 02-Sep-11 07:11:53

Wow, I'm exclusivley expressing (twins in SCBU), every three hours - most I get is 50mls! Have been put on domperidone to try and increase supply but I'm pretty sure its related to them being so early as it doesn't seem to be increasing!

kochanski Fri 02-Sep-11 07:18:49

I had to spend a few hours away from my twins when they were about 3 months so needed to express - easily 8 oz each side!

Obviously milk supply adapts to what you need and someone feeding twins will need to produce more than for a singleton. When I was feeding just my dd I struggled to express anything at all but she grew just fine so must have been something there.

thisisyesterday Fri 02-Sep-11 16:46:00

silverangel you ideally need to be expressing 10-12 times a day to build up a good supply. as often as a newborn would be feeding, so at least every 2 hours would be good and you must, must, must include at least a couple of night feeds.

the more you pump the more you ought to make.
what kind of pump are you using?

Badgerwife Sun 04-Sep-11 10:11:20

This is so fascinating; presumably entropygirl despite being able to hold 330mls each at any one time, your boobs aren't the size of your head?

organiccarrotcake Sun 04-Sep-11 10:33:11

silverangel how often are you expressing for your babies?

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