How much milk do I express for my baby?
It can be confusing trying to figure out how much expressed milk to leave for your baby if you are away from them.
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).
Current breastfeeding research does not indicate that breastmilk intake changes with baby’s age or weight between one and six months. After six months, breastmilk intake will continue at this same level until — sometime after six months, depending on baby’s intake from other foods — baby’s milk intake begins to decrease gradually.
The research tells us that exclusively breastfed babies take in an average of 750 mL per day between the ages of 1 month and 6 months. Different babies take in different amounts of milk; a typical range of milk intakes is 570-900 mL per day.
We can use this information to estimate the average amount of milk your baby will need at each feed:
● Estimate the number of times that baby feeds per day (24 hours).
● Then divide by the number of feeds i.e. 8
● This gives you a “ballpark” figure for the amount of expressed milk your
exclusively breastfed baby will need at one feed.
Another way to estimate feeds in the early days is 150mls/kg.day ie if a baby weighs 3kg, they would need approx 450mls a day or 56mls per feed (8 feeds in 24 hrs). If you are wanting to pump for a freezer stash the best time to pump is first thing in the morning when you have the most amount of milk straight after a feed. I recommend double pumping for ten minutes with a hospital grade breast pump.