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Thread: How much milk should I be able to express?

  1. #1

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    Default How much milk should I be able to express?

    Hello,

    My daughter is 6 weeks, and I always feel like I am not giving her enough milk... she is still having her 6-8 wet/dirty nappies a day, but she just always seems to want my boob and i dont know if she is hungry or just wants it for comfort. I breastfeed her , and sometimes I express milk and feed her that from the bottle - if I feel full and she is asleep and I dont want to wake her or if I am going out for a couple hours and am leaving Claire with DH.

    How much is a normal amount to express and feed? or does it really differ from person to person? I dont know whether it makes a difference but I have smallish breasts (10B to C cup size at the moment.)

    When I express it takes me a million years just to get like 30mL total from both breasts, and I have been told I am doing it right. Does it just mean I dont have alot of milk, or that my milk flow is not very fast??
    Will she get more milk if she sucks than if I express it?



    sorry for the ridiculously dumb question!

  2. #2

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    karina i'm sure if claire is putting on weight and having enough wet nappies then your milk supply is fine. i find it really varies on amount of milk i can express. the more i do it the better i get. getting a good seal is important. relaxing is important too. i believe claire would probably be better at getting your milk. i know i struggle to express enough for a full feed yet graces weight gain proves she is definitely getting enough!

  3. #3

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    expressing is no where near as effective as a baby!! i found this last week expressing for the first time in months took me ages but i did manage 100ml, just had to keep swapping to get left downs!!

  4. #4

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    Babies are super efficient at getting their milk out!!! Far more efficient than expressing. 6-8 wet/dirty nappies a day sounds like shes doing great!

    Jo

  5. #5

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    HI Karina,
    I am the same as you... I have to try a few times to get enough milk to make 120mls... and I only get that because I am on medication (motilium)to increase my milk suppy.
    As the others have said, expressing is so different to the baby feeding... apparently not all women are able to express... My ECHN was impressed that I could express 60ml... even with the amount of effort it takes.

  6. #6

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    Hi Karina
    First it is not a ridiculously dumb question.
    6 to 8 wet nappies in a day is good. This tells me that your baby is getting enough fluids and therefore is having enough to eat.
    When you express milk you will never be able get a much as your baby can. Depending on how hungry she I she will get somewhere between 100 and 180mls per feed. If you want to express milk it is a good idea to express after feeding your baby. You can freeze this milk and save for situations like you said.
    If you are only expressing 30 or so mils then you could put this into ice trays and freeze it that way. Or you can add fresh breast milk to previously frozen milk providing that the fresh milk has been left to cool in the fridge for 2 hours.

  7. #7

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    Karina, it also doesn't matter what size your bbs are

    Have you tried expressing at diferent times of the day? I could never get more than about 10-20 ml after mid morning, until after about 8 at night. Night time was always a lot easier for me to get any sort of quantity of EBM.

    If you have a manual pump, or you hand express and you can do it somewhere where you can see your DD, this can also help with let-down etc. If you use an electric pump, you might be able to do this too, but mine was too noisy so a photo had to do for me.

  8. #8

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    Karina,
    Is it possible that your bubs is having her 6 week growth spurt & that's why she is always on your boob? Perhaps as well she is thirsty & sometimes drinking for nourishment & sometimes for thrist?

  9. #9

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    Hello, I always found it difficult to express very much in one hit, although I had somethign of a too much too fast problem when I was actually feeding DD!! Perfectly normal, you'll find you're able to express more as time goes on, you'll also learn the easiest time of day (or night) to do it!

    One thing I found was really handy was learning to hand express. Sometimes it was more effective than the breast pump.

    HTH

  10. #10

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    Thanks for your responses. Good to know I'm not the only person who doesnt get much when expressing. I have been expressing by hand as NOTHING at all comes out with the pump! I might just try after a feed and see how I go.

  11. #11

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    Once your supply settles, or if baby is only feeding from one BB at a time, you can express from the other BB while she is feeding, it helps when you're having a let down! You might find you need a third hand (or a good pillow) to do this!

  12. #12

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    definately not a dumb question, i had heaps of trouble expressing and was worried that my DD wasn't getting enough milk from me too, but a lactation consultant that i was seeing informed me that bub gets more milk than expressing in some cases as they r more efficient. some times i was lucky to be able to get 30 ml after a fed and for what seemed like ages on the pump. i took DD for a weekly weigh in to put my mind at ease if she was putting on weight, she too had lots of wet nappies daily but seemed to be 'attached' for what seemed like the whole day sometimes. i also was advised to take Motillium to increase my milk supply by my lactation consultant and to date DD (13.5 months) is still breastfed. On some occasions i was able to get more EBM if i had a warm shower then expressed..and found electric pump easier than hand held.

  13. #13

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    I could never express either.....it would simply leak out of my boobs and i would get so excited if i got 20 mls.....i used to freeze whatever i could....you will be suprised how much you will collect in say over a week.....i also found morning xpressing was the best. By 5pm in the arvo, i was over it, as was my supply i think.
    Good luck, sounds like your doing great.

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