A guide to pumping breast milk

Breastfeeding mothers often pump their milk for various reasons. Whether it’s to save their extra milk from going to waste or they’re trying to wean their babies off the breast, pumping is common. You may be wondering where to begin or if there are certain factors to consider when beginning, so we’ve put together a guide to pumping breast milk.

The basics about pumping breast milk

  • 2-3 full pumps is usually normal to extract enough milk for one feeding
  • Because your milk production is dependent on how often your breasts are stimulated, If you consistently decrease your pumping frequency, your milk supply will also decrease.
  • Gradually incorporating solid foods into an infant’s diet, who is aged 6 months or older, is likely to affect milk supply

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A normal amount to pump

  • Set a ballpark figure that serves as the basis for the calculation of  your 24-hour pumping output. For example, if your baby usually nurses around eight times per day, you can guess that he might need around three ounces per feeding every three hours when you’re away. (24/8=3 oz)
  • Recommended amount: 750-800 mL (25-27 oz) per day by 7-10 days postpartum.
  • In the presence of a twin, aim for pumping 800-950 mL (27-32 oz) by 14 days postpartum.
  • If supply is borderline (350-500 ml / 11-17 oz) or low (less than 350 ml / 11 oz), then galactagogues may be taken.
  • A mother may increase milk production even as late as 9-15 weeks after birth, provided that, they continue with regular pumping.

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Factors that affect milk production for pumping

Find out how to produce enough milk while pumping on the next page…