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How much breast milk should I be able to pump?

16 replies

AddictedtoGreys · 06/09/2016 14:31

I had my DD on Friday and I am EBF, however I have had problems with my latch on my left breast and so my nipple is bleeding when DD feeds. So I am feeding her from my right side and pumping off the left. As with my DS I am making an awful lot of milk, and I ended up with mastitis with DS and don't want that to happen again. I am pumping when I feel the left side getting full and uncomfortable, about every 4 hours, and getting 50ml. However after my breast is still huge. Is this right? Or should I be able to get more off?

OP posts:
dollydaydream84 · 06/09/2016 22:22

How long are you expressing for? I would express for an hour when my Dd was so young. Also had to express due to pain due to tongue tie. To help the feeding have you used nipples shields? They saved me!

AddictedtoGreys · 07/09/2016 00:23

Hi dolly I used nipple shields with my DS and they helped a lot, I will see if I can pick some up tomorrow. I just make so much milk it's ridiculous.

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popthisoneout · 07/09/2016 00:35

I sound be wary of expressing too much as it can lead to oversupply which is no fun at all and increases the risk of mastitis. 50mls is a good amount and I wouldn't over stimulate the breast if it comes off easily, then that great.

Can you get some RL support with latching on that side? Get checked for tongue tie etc.

phoolani · 07/09/2016 00:42

I would echo pop about not expressing too much but from (distant) memory your breast should feel at least a bit deflated after expressing so maybe you should aim for a bit more? I had a real nightmare with mastitis until I started feeling my breast as I was feeding/expressing and feeling for 'knots' (for want of a better word), the little hard lumps. If I found one I massaged it gently whilst feeling until it dissipated. No problems after that. You may know this of course, but I remember it really changing the breastfeeding game for me.

dollydaydream84 · 07/09/2016 07:35

I think you are supposed to express until the breast feels empty or deflated. That's what I've been doing since I established supply. By not draining the breast completely you risk getting mastitis and blocked ducts. Hard though as the other posters are right over stimulating can mean you get more milk long term. Finding that balance is hard. I could get about 90ml in an hour at that stage (but I was trying to increase supply). How long do you express for? It takes a good half hour to drain all the milk from me but that doesn't mean it's the same for everyone. I got 560mls last week at one double expressing but at week 1 was lucky to get 50ml sometimes. I would say try to realise and work out when you get that deflated feeling. Good luck. I pray not to have mastitis it sounds awful!

1frenchfoodie · 07/09/2016 07:37

Your breast is likely to still be bigger after pumping than a feed as baby is more efficient than a pump though you should feel some deflation. If 50ml is all you can get then go with it - amounts can really differ between people (and breasts) and if you pump more than baby feeds you'll have created an oversupply which may not be what you want.

I'm guessing you are using lanisoh or similar to sooth the nipple so you can feed off it again eventually. My DD (now 5.5 months) was known as 'nipple shredder' in our household in the first few weeks but it did all settle down relatively quickly.

BertieBotts · 07/09/2016 07:45

About 30ml from either side is typical. When people get more it's usually either because they're still in the first 3 months on hormone based rather than demand based supply (basically your body makes too much milk because it isn't sure how many babies you've had yet) or it's because they have got a routine going with expressing so their body is kind of "expecting" to produce more at this point.

It sounds though that your problem isn't not making enough milk, it's that you're struggling to transfer the milk from the breast to the pump or wherever. That is worth looking at. If you can hold off the nipple shields, then I would try, because that's likely to make the problem worse. But do use them if you think you can't feed any other way.

You could try hand expressing as some women find it easier for draining the breast than using a pump. But PPs are also right that when you're removing more milk than your LO is drinking, it sends the message to your body to make more milk than you need, which might be exacerbating the problem.

Have you had the latch troubleshooted on the left? Have you tried using the rugby ball trick, which is where you hold baby under your left arm like a rugby ball to latch on, which kind of "tricks" them into thinking it's the right boob, it can help.

If you have lansinoh that should help with healing, and you don't need to wipe it off before a feed.

dollydaydream84 · 07/09/2016 08:19

just to add even though I'm now in an expressing routine I still have mornings where I can barely get half an ounce off in the first ten mins then it flows like a river so if I had given up after the first twn mons I wouldn't have drained properly. Very difficult and no exact science. Harder in the early days when you haven't a clue how much you are producing.

AddictedtoGreys · 07/09/2016 09:34

Thank you everyone for your advice, and bertie yes I tried the rugby ball position yesterday and different positions so make a difference. I am seeing the midwife tomorrow so will get her to check the latch and everything then and try and show me where I am going wrong.

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BertieBotts · 07/09/2016 10:14

It's completely anecdotal but there appears to be a correlation between babies with tongue tie and oversupply. Midwives often aren't great at spotting tongue tie but some of them can be. It's worth asking her opinion, but also bearing in mind even if she says she doesn't think there is one.

BertieBotts · 07/09/2016 10:14

It's completely anecdotal but there appears to be a correlation between babies with tongue tie and oversupply. Midwives often aren't great at spotting tongue tie but some of them can be. It's worth asking her opinion, but also bearing in mind even if she says she doesn't think there is one.

popthisoneout · 07/09/2016 10:52

I would try and see a specialist somewhere if you can. Midwives and health visitors get basic breastfeeding training so aren't always great at spotting tongue tied etc. do you have a breastfeeding cafe near you?

AddictedtoGreys · 07/09/2016 14:47

No I don't. But I did have the same problem when I had my DS and he didn't have tongue tie.

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AddictedtoGreys · 08/09/2016 12:36

Turns out she has tongue tie! So seeing a breastfeeding person tomorrow to see how bad it is bad if anything needs to be done about it.

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popthisoneout · 08/09/2016 13:46

That's good to have a diagnosis. You may or may not need it snipped but at least you can work on the latch in a different way now you know. I'd get it done as you've nothing to lose and potentially more to gain.

NeedATrim · 08/09/2016 13:58

I produced plenty of milk but when it came to expressing, then I could only pump out around 3 possibly 4 fluid ounces at a time on o e breast, and less so on the other. I found that by massaging my breast whilst pumping produxed more milk to flow and I read that in a study so thought I'd givee it a try. I also tried to sniff my babys clothes, and one time it made my milk come in. I've tried to do it since and it rarely happens. I have to pump at intervals through the day into the same bottle in order to get to a liquid level I'm happy with to bag and chuck inti the freezer. I so envy other mums who can pump a whole large feed in one go! I hope it works out for you OP, keep at it if you can.

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