MUSC Women's Care

musc women's care

How Much Breast Milk Should I Be Making?

In the first weeks of your baby's hospitalization, it is ideal to pump seven to eight times per day.

  1. A typical pumping schedule would be to pump every three hours during the day, just prior to going to bed, and then 4 to 5 hours later in the middle of the night (7-8 times per day). Most mothers who pump less than 6 times every 24 hours will have problems with low milk supply.
  2. You should be making at least 300 ml (10 ounces) per day at the end of the first week of pumping, and at least 500 ml (15 ounces) per day at the end of two weeks of pumping.
  3. Your goal after two weeks of pumping should be a minimum of 500 ml per day. Most mothers must pump 6-8 times per day to produce this amount but others may be able to pump less and still keep a good milk supply.
  4. Some mothers believe that they do not need to produce a lot of milk if their baby is small, but it is important to produce a minimum of 500 ml/day so you are not at risk of low milk supply or losing your milk supply altogether.
  5. If you are making less than 500 ml per day after two weeks of pumping, please ask your baby's nurse to page a Lactation Consultant to help you. You can also call the MUSC Lactation Center yourself at (843) 792-0780.

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