How much milk should I get?
There is no right answer to how much milk you should get when pumping. If you
pump after feeding your baby, you'd be doing well to get an ounce at first. If
you pump instead of feeding, you may get as much as your baby would have eaten (~2 ounces
early on, more later), or you may get less (remember, your baby is much more
effective than the pump-- don't assume lack of pumping output means your baby isn't
getting enough to eat.) On the other hand, I've exchanged e-mail with one
mom that regularly pumps 16 ounces per session. Don't count on that :-).
If you aren't getting as much as you would like, there are some things you can do.
- Check out my pumping tips on the main pumping page.
- Try increasing your supply via herbal means--
- I liked fenugreek, available at most health food stores. I took 3
capsules 4 times a day. If that doesn't do it for you, keep increasing until your
sweat/urine/breastmilk smells like maple syrup.
- Blessed thistle is also supposed to be good, but I'm not sure of the
- Mother's milk tea has both of the above (plus some other herbs), but in
fairly small quantities. If you just need a little boost, I'd try it.
- More Milk drops have a mixed record among those I've talked to.
One person had tremendous results in hours by following the instructions, another had no
luck at all.
- Above all, relax. Make every effort you can, and be secure you
are doing the best you can for your baby. If you have to add some formula to your
babies diet, temporarily or long term, so be it. It is an adequate substitute for
when breastmilk isn't available. Don't let this discourage you into giving up
entirely, since every drop of breastmilk is precious.