There is no 'normal' amount. What you express does not reflect the amount your baby is getting when they drink nor does it reflect your supply. Some people get very little expressing yet have no supply issues whatsoever. The most effective pump is your baby.
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17-05-2012 12:22 #31Senior Member
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17-05-2012 12:31 #32Senior Member
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*deleted duplicate post*
17-05-2012 18:51 #33
You shouldn't have to pump for long, as your baby gets more efficient shouldn't be any long term need. The aim should be to go free range and just breastfeed with no faff. When you do that is up to you, but I'd recommend taking a couple of days to stay in bed, watch DVDs, eat cake and feed, feed, feed. Remember, you don't do the feeding, you're the coach, babies feed themselves, given free access to calibrate their own milk supply.
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20-05-2012 08:46 #34
Thanks everyone - I guess I was asking what everyone else could average to pump in a day?
On the suggestion on another thread I am going to contact the Aba today. I am able to express 100mls per day and bub is feeding 2-4 hourly during the day so the 100mls is in addition to bubs feeds. Based on what the CHN said I didnt gauge the 100mls per day as enough and I seem to nearly be always at the pump and dont think I can sustain that with my toddler & a business to run!
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20-05-2012 09:06 #35
20-05-2012 09:54 #36
Between DDs age of 3-10mths I could pump 150-250ml of milk out of a boob in the morning I fed off the other. But evenings I could barely get 50ml.
20-05-2012 10:35 #37
Ah! here you are
The first couple of weeks after baby is born can be very exhausting, while your body recovers form the birth and while breastfeeding is being established - especially when you have another child to care for too. It sounds like you know quite a bit about how breastfeeding works, and have already tried some of the things that are normally suggested for increasing milk supply. Breastfeeding works on supply and demand, which means the more milk is removed from the breasts the more your breasts will make. Breastfeeding more frequently is the quickest and most efficient way to build up your milk supply. As well as removing milk, when you feed, hormones that are released just by being close to and feeding helps to increase milk production. What's amazing is that your breasts are never truly empty. Even as you are feeding on one side, the other side is making more milk. This means you can offer the first side a second time and so on until you feel bubby has had his/her fill of milk. This is called ‘switch nursing’ – you switch sides several times until baby is full. Some mothers also find offering a 'top up' breast feed works well - this is where the baby is put back to the breast 20-30 minutes after their normal breastfeed. The milk that is produced a short time after a breastfeed has finished is very high in fat and antibodies, as well as a sleep hormone. Some mothers find offering a top-up breastfeed is often enough to settle a baby off into a deep relaxing sleep. It is also a very effective way of building up milk supply, and is helpful in babies who suffer wind or colic, as the comfort sucking creates a wave of movement through the gut that can help settle any gas. Another easy method to increase milk supply is to offer the breast as comfort instead of a dummy (if baby has one) for a few days – sometimes that extra feeding and suckling is all that is needed to increase milk supply. Some mothers also find that breast compressions during a feed help – this is where you take a large handful of breast and gently compress it as baby feeds, then move to a different section of breast. (It sounds like you are already doing this one)
The frequency of the breastfeeding is more important than the length of time spent at the breast, so this means that frequent feeds, even if they are short, are more effective than a long time spent at the breast spaced further apart. Some babies will finish a side in 10-20 minutes, and others will take longer. It is a good idea to let baby decide the length of the feed, as they are all different. If bubby is falling asleep at the breast, you can try waking him/her up a little by changing nappy between feeds, or rubbing the soles of the feet firmly. You can also massage the palm of the hand with your thumb, and this can bring on the sucking reflex. It can help to offer a feed as soon as baby is showing hunger signs, because babies can follow their instincts and will feed best when they are calm. If he gets to the point of being upset and distressed, it can be more difficult to get them to attach well to the breast. Some early feeding cues are turning the head form side to side, poking the tongue out, putting the fists to the mouth, wriggling, and rooting with the mouth if a cheek is gently brushed. As soon as you see them, that’s the time to offer the breast straight away. It can help to put bubby straight on your bare chest just as he/she is stirring from a sleep. It’s a lovely place for them to wake up, all safe and calm, and they will likely start to look for the breast on their own, if given the chance.
Some mothers express as a way to boost supply, but quite often frequent feeding of the baby is enough to get supply going. Expressing can be time consuming as well, so it is suggested frequent feeding with top up breast feeds is tried first. If you do decide to continue to express to increase your supply, the best time to do this is about 1 hour after a breastfeed. Any milk you express can be offered after his feeds, if you feel s/he needs a top up.
Remember that more frequent feeding means more milk. The more frequently you stimulate your nipples, the more your brain gets the message to make more milk. A newborn baby needs between 8-12 feeds in 24 hours.
Have you noticed your let-down reflex working when you feed? Some mums never notice it and others do. The let down reflex is the body's way of releasing the milk the breasts have made and pushing it out to the baby. What happens is the baby sucking stimulates nerves in the end of the nipple, and this causes the release of a hormone that causes the area where the milk is made to contract, and this pushes the milk down the duct and out the nipple to the baby. The duct, which is usually flat like fettuccini, pops open like a straw and this allows the milk to flow freely out of the breast. You will know your let down reflex is working because baby's sucking pattern will change from a rapid suck to a slower suck-swallow. Have you noticed this? Some mothers feel the let down reflex as a tingling sensation, or notice a feeling of fullness, or may even notice dripping or squirting from the other breast, and we can hear the baby swallowing the milk. The let down reflex can be encouraged by warmth, gentle massage of the breasts, taking some deep breaths and relaxing the shoulders down, or using relaxing music while feeding; things that may inhibit the let down reflex are tension, pain, fatigue, stress or embarrassment. The let down reflex, is very important for breastfeeding and expressing breastmilk, and is very important for making sure the breasts are drained effectively. When breasts are drained effectively, milk production will increase.
Here is some more information on the let down reflex
Here is a summary of ideas for increasing your milk supply:
- Offer each breast twice or more at every feed, with a nappy change break in between if needed.
- if baby is still showing signs of hunger, offer a breastfeed ‘top up’ 20 mins after the feed. It really gives the message ‘make more milk’!
- Breastfeed more often
- offer your breast as comfort rather than dummy
- Keep switching sides when babies sucking slows
- Try stroking breast wall as baby feeds, and try /breast compression’ (gently squeeze a large handful of breast as baby feeds. Hold for as long as he is drinking well, and when he slows, move to a different part of the breast and squeeze again)
- Make sure you are warm and comfortable, and baby is correctly positioned, then try to relax with deep breathing to encourage the let down reflex
Here is some more information on building milk supply:
Another important aspect to breastfeeding is positioning and attachment, as you have mentioned. A well attached baby will drain the breast effectively, and draining the breast is what sends a signal to the brain to 'make more milk'. One of the most important things to remember for getting bubby attached properly is to unwrap her/him. Unwrapping gets bubby close to your body and this is what we want - tummy to mummy. The chin should touch your breast first when you attach, with the nose pointing toward the nipple. “Chest to chest and chin to breast”.
Here are some things to look for:
. BIG wide mouth as he attaches
. Baby's mouth covers the nipple and a large amount of areola (if not too enormous, as another mum mentioned...)
. The chin is touching the breast
. You and your baby are "tummy to tummy" (baby is fully facing you) - unwrapped
. The nose is clear of the breast
. The upper and lower lips are 'flanged' out over the breast (not tucked in)
. The head and body are in a straight line
. Arms are wrapped around you (or not tucked in between her body and yours)
. There should not be pain beyond the first latch and stretching of the nipple
I have attached a link below to some extra information on attachment. I have also included a video to another method called baby led attachment, and many mothers find this is an excellent way to get baby to attach well to the breast.
What may be reassuring to know is that most women (about 96%) are able to produce enough milk for their babies, and even if your supply is slightly low at the moment there are lots of things you can try to increase it. Some mothers even feel as though their milk supply is low, but when we look at the signs, it is actually fine. The main things we look for to check baby is getting enough milk are:
- 5 heavily wet disposable nappies in 24hours, and 1-2 poos (what goes in, must come out, so this is a really important sign). Dark yellow, strong smelling wee is a sign baby is not getting enough milk. The poo should be a mustard yellow colour and runny
- weight gain over time, as well as increase in length and head circumference
- some periods of being alert and settled (A baby who is very lethargic, sleep and not waking for feeds is a cause for concern)
- baby is having 8-12 breastfeeds in 24 hours (sometimes this settles to 6-8 feeds in 24 hours in an older baby)
- You can feel a ‘let down’ of milk when baby feeds (a feeling of tingling, fullness, dripping, squirting, or a suck change in baby)
- You can hear swallowing when you breastfeed him (this is a sign the milk is being transferred from your breasts to baby)
Are you able to share - What is the age of your baby, what have the weight gains been like, and what is leading you to believe your milk supply is low?
There are many theories on galactagogues and foods that may help boost milk supply, but the only proven way to boost it is by milk removal. Be aware that fenugreek can cause tummy upsets in many babies (and mums). Domperidone (on script) works by increasing prolactin levels and is used safely by many breastfeeding mums. The dose needs to be quite high - 2 tabs 3 times per day - and it will take around 72 hours to notice a difference BUT will only work if you are stimulating the breasts with frequent feeding/pumping as well. Most mums need to be on it for several weeks or more and then wean off slowly. Its worth trying these other ideas first before going the drugs option.
Hope that helps. Got to go change a poo nappy now YUK.
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20-05-2012 12:34 #38Senior Member
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Wow purplecat i have to thank you for your great post i am struggling also with feeding and learnt a few things i will now be trying with my boy who i am comp feeding with formula.. Hopefully can cut that out.
20-05-2012 12:56 #39
There is a link below to a fantastic article on reducing top ups that you may find useful.
20-05-2012 13:28 #40
Everyone has already suggested oats/porridge because they really help. You can also switch regular milk for oat milk.
One thing that really affected my supply was stress. The more stressed I was, the less milk I had. Look into some ways to reduce stress in your life eg. meditation, having a skin to skin bath with your baby or avoiding people or situations that stress you out.
Op, to answer your pumping question, I get quite a bit of milk when I express. My sister in comparison, get's 10-15ml total and that is it. She successfully breastfed both her children until 2yo with no supplemental formula/milk. What you can pump is no indication of supply. Some of us let down to a pump (like me) and some of us just don't (like my sister). You really have to watch your baby to guage whether they are getting enough from their feeds by making sure your baby looks hydrated, content and is having enough wet nappies.
Last edited by Opinionated; 20-05-2012 at 13:34.
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