Got milk? One thing many moms spend a lot of time doing after having a baby, especially in the beginning, is breastfeeding and pumping milk for their baby. Yet, despite all that breastfeeding and pumping, you may be wondering if your baby is actually getting the amount that she needs.
Breastmilk provides the ideal nutrition for the infant, and exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months. Adequate milk production by the mother is therefore critical, and early milk production has been shown to significantly affect milk production during established lactation. Previous studies indicate that milk production should reach the lower limit of normal for established lactation mL per day by day 11 after birth.
Some babies grow more slowly and some grow very rapidly. Our studies of exclusively breastfed babies aged one to six months showed they typically breastfed between four and 13 times a day, and for between 12 minutes and nearer to one hour during each feeding session. Sometimes mums think their baby has had a good feed, but are surprised to discover he only had a very small amount of milk.
But it is totally normal. See what experts and moms who've been there say about pumping just a few ounces at a time. Also breasts can vary from person to person -- one may be able to hold 6 ounces in the breast while another may only have the storage capacity to hold 2 ounces -- so there is a wide range of normal.
Many mothers wonder how much expressed breastmilk they need to have available if they are away from baby. 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 though it likely increases short term during growth spurts. The research tells us that exclusively breastfed babies take in an average of 25 oz mL per day between the ages of 1 month and 6 months.
The best way to establish a normal supply of breast milk is to start early, breastfeed frequently and make sure your baby is latching on correctly. Increasing your supply is all about supply and demand - the more your baby feeds, the more milk you will produce. Some women have low supply, particularly during the early weeks of breastfeeding.
Although there are lots of ways to help a baby back to the breast when they are ready, sometimes, even with good helpa mother may find herself pumping her breast milk temporarily or long-term. Colostrum the first breast milk is quite thick and sticky and low in volume and is present before baby is born. It is the delivery of the placenta, and the sudden drop in the hormone progesterone, that signals the body to start making a higher volume of breast milk.
Breastfeeding your baby is hard work, and pumping makes life with a little one even more of a balancing act. Knowing how much you should pump and how to make the most of your situation can take some of the stress away, giving you a better attitude when it comes to enjoying your baby. Many moms have been there: You go to pump and end up with maybe an ounce of milk from each side.
Most feel inadequate with the amount of milk they are able to pump. This can be totally normalespecially if you are in the early weeks of breastfeeding or you are exclusively breastfeeding and pumping in between direct latch. In fact, I still continue to get less than 1 oz during the day whenever I pumped to build my stash or pumped during the weekend.