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Pumping question

Posted by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 8:02 PM
  • 6 Replies
My daughter is starting to take a bottle some bc I go back to work next week. I have been trying for two days to store some milk for the first day back. I let her feed and then I pump what's left but its only like 1/2 an ounce bc she's eating about four ounces a time. So what do I need to do? Have her nurse on one side completely and pump the other and then vice versa?
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by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 8:02 PM
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by Alicia on Feb. 15, 2013 at 8:17 PM
Pump once every morning. Either pump one side while nursing the other or pump and hour before or after that first feeding. Baby's bottles are no bigger than 3ozs to be given every 2.5-3 hrs. Figure about 1-1.25ozs per hour apart, no more or it will mess with your supply in the long run.
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by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 8:22 PM
Ok. She's eating about 4ounces every 2.5-3 hours so is that too much?
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by Group Admin on Feb. 15, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Yes--double what it should be. has an article on bottle feeding the breastfed baby which has all you need to know. Your caregivers should get a copy of it also.
by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 10:04 PM
4 oz every 3 hours sounds about right to me
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by Group Admin on Feb. 15, 2013 at 10:43 PM
To clarify-- 4 oz. All at one time is too much. Split into 2 feedings over 3-4 hours is right. Burp after each ounce.
by Ruby Member on Feb. 15, 2013 at 11:33 PM


Preparing for Your Return to Work: The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide

How often should I express milk?

Once a day is usually plenty at the beginning. Most moms find that they are able to express the most milk in the morning hours. You can nurse your baby on one side while expressing milk on the other side. Or you could pump both sides about one hour after your baby’s first morning feeding. Don’t worry if you don’t get very much milk at first. It takes practice, and your body needs to “learn” to make milk for that extra “feeding.” When milk is removed, your body responds by making more milk at a faster rate. It can take a few days for your body to increase production (Daly, Kent, Owens et al.,1996). Any milk collected during these practice sessions can be stored in the freezer.

How much milk should I have stored in my freezer?

Many mothers find that they feel less stress if they to know that they don't need to create a large freezer stash of milk before they return to work. Instead, they can use their maternity leave to focus on being with their babies and getting breastfeeding well-established. If you have enough milk to send with your baby on your first day, then you have enough in the freezer.

It is important to express as much milk while you are at work as your baby needs during that time. If your baby needs 10 ounces while you are away at work, then you need to pump at least 10 ounces each day.
For example:
If you were to only pump 8 ounces and send 2 ounces from the freezer each day, you would not be expressing the amount of milk your baby requires. Your body will “think” that your baby needs 2 fewer ounces each day than he really does, and your production will not match his demand. If you start to run out of milk in your freezer, you may face the difficult decision of how to meet your baby’s needs. Many mothers learn too late that increasing their milk supply to meet their baby’s demands is more complex than it seems. Meeting your child’s daily needs for expressed milk during separation is the best way to avoid difficulties later.

Using the simple system described, you pump each day what your baby would need the next day. This way you only use the small freezer stash for emergencies, such as dropping and spilling a day’s worth of milk, or other milk-related calamities.

Returning to Work: The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide

How much milk will my baby need while I’m away?

Breastfed babies need, on average, 24 to 32 ounces of milk per day (Kent et al., 2006). If you spread that amount over a full day it equals 1-1.25 ounces per hour. With that information in mind, plan on leaving about 1-1.25 ounces of milk for each hour of separation. Most breastfed babies need no more than 2-4 ounces at each feeding (Kent et al., 2006). Breastfed babies need less milk than formula-fed babies do, and unlike with formula, the amount of breastmilk your baby needs does not increase as he grows bigger. When you return to work, your baby will need only a portion of this daily amount of milk from the care provider, because he will still be getting much of it by breastfeeding during the hours of the day and night when you are together.

Offering smaller bottles, of no more than 2-4 ounces, means there is a smaller chance that your baby will not finish his bottle and leave milk that must be thrown away bylicensed daycares. 

Lots more helpful info in both of those articles!
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