Milk supply: How much milk should I pump?

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Most breastfeeding mothers tend to worry about their milk supply. "How much milk did you pump in week 3?" Many would compare their supply with their friends and colleagues. They are constantly worrying if they are giving their babies enough milk. How much expressed milk will my baby need?

As a general rule, if the first month of exclusive breastfeeding is going well, your milk production dramatically increases from about 30 ml on Day 1 to a peak of about 900 ml per baby around Day 40.

In exclusively breastfed babies, milk intake increases quickly during the first few weeks of life, then stays about the same between one and six months. After six months, breastmilk intake will continue at this same level until — sometime after six months, depending in baby’s intake from other foods — baby’s milk intake begins to decrease gradually.

Research tells us that exclusively breastfed babies take in an average of 750 ml per day between the ages of 1 month and 6 months. Different babies take in different amounts of milk; a typical range of milk intakes is 570-900 ml per day.

We can use this information to estimate the average amount of milk baby will need at a feeding:
  • Estimate the number of times that baby nurses per day (24 hours).
  • Then divide 750 ml by the number of nursings.
  • This gives you a “ballpark” figure for the amount of expressed milk your exclusively breastfed baby will need at one feeding.


Sources:
http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/
http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog/2012/11/27/how-much-milk-should-you-expect-to-pump.html
http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/9241562110.pdf


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