How much milk should I breast pump?

Too much or too little...

That’s the question that every new mom worries about. It can feel very disheartening in the early days when it seems as if you are only producing a dribble of milk when you breast pump, especially when other new moms are complaining about feeling like dairy cows!

It is worth bearing in mind the following though before you start to worry so you don't become disheatened:

Relaxed breast pumping
  • A baby is much more efficient at getting milk from the breast than a pump.
  • You will produce less milk in the early weeks than when your baby is a little older.
  • It can take a while to train your body to get used to the breast pump – remember, this is all new.
  • You will produce more milk in the morning.
  • You will produce less milk if you are upset or stressed, so take a break and try again later if that’s the case.
  • You will produce less milk if you have just breastfed or breast pumped than if it was a few hours ago.
  • A high-quality, comfortable breast pump will encourage greater milk production.

On top of all of this, the amount you can breast pump varies from mom to mom — and it has nothing to do with breast size or milk supply! It may be as little as 0.2oz or as much as 7 oz.

Feeding baby with Tommee Tippee bottle

Plus, don’t worry if your little guzzler seems to be taking more milk from the bottle than you are producing in one breast pumping session. This does NOT mean that your supply is low — the fast and steady flow of baby bottles just means they feed faster and may not realize their little tummies are full.

Finally, remember your milk production will vary depending on how you are feeling. Tiredness, stress, even hunger can all take their toll, so try to put your needs first and take care of yourself. It's not being selfish – a happy mommy really does equal a happy baby.

For more information about the amount of milk you should be breast pumping, contact your doctor or a similar suitably qualified health professional.

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