How Did I Produce 60 oz. of Breastmilk A Day?
A little background – my son was born at 27 weeks and I started pumping/hand expressing a couple hours after he was born.
My first session I think I pumped 1.5ml after 15 minutes of pumping followed by 5 minutes of hand expressing.
I can remember using a syringe to get every last drop of colostrum to give my little babe who was fighting hard in the NICU.
By day 2, I was getting up to about 10ml each session.
I remember seeing another mom bringing her milk into the NICU with a gallon size bag full of bottles of milk and I said “oh my goodness I’m nowhere near producing that much!” I was still delivering my milk in a syringe!
But just a few days later, my milk had come in and before I knew it, I was pumping 60 oz. a day in 7 sessions.
Now that my son is home from the NICU, I am trying to breastfeed him most of the day with a couple breastmilkbottles thrown in.
However, even with breastfeeding, I am still pumping about 45 oz. a day.
I am by no means a lactation expert and what has worked for me may not work for everyone but here are a few of my tips!
1. Drink lots of water!!! I have definitely noticed a difference in my supply on days that I do not drink enough water. Aim for at least 8 glasses a day, maybe even more.
2. Healthy diet. I have heard people say that if you lose too much weight postpartum then your milk supply will go down. I weigh 110 pounds and eat over 2000 calories a day and have not had a problem with my supply going down. I also exercise at least 3 days/week. My diet consists of lots of oats in the form of oatmeal and Aussie bites (I buy these at Costco). I tried lactation cookies but I found the Aussie bites which had similar ingredients and were much cheaper. Healthy fats like avocadoes and peanut butter. I’m not a huge meat eater so I get most of my protein from beans, Nutrilite meal replacement shakes, and Nutrilite meal bars. I am 100% gluten free but I still eat a high carb diet from rice, rice pasta, gf bagels, and potatoes. I still take my Nutrilite vitamin perfect pack, which I took before and during pregnancy as my prenatal.
3. Power pumping. I didn’t do this every day but if I felt like my supply was a little lower one day, I would throw in a power pumping session and could get a couple more ounces by doing so. If you are trying to up your supply, I suggest picking the same time every day (like every day at 7pm) and power pumping for a week straight. Turn on your favorite movie and get ready to pump! Power pumping is pumping for 20 minutes, resting for 10 minutes, pumping for 10, resting for 10, pumping for 10. For a total of 40 minutes of pumping in an hour long period.
4. Breast massage. Take a warm shower and massage your breasts in small circles (like you would for a breast exam). Then massage them by pressing from the outer edge of your breast toward the nipple in a continuous motion (Edson says, “you don’t have to do THAT alone” 😜). Pump immediately after your shower and try pressing on your chest from different angles while pumping, this always helps me get more milk out.
5. Empty your breasts! An empty breast signals your body to produce more. If you are breastfeeding and you are trying to up your supply, I recommend pumping after every feeding to make sure you are empty. Even if you are empty and nothing is coming out, pumping for 5 minutes after nursing will tell your body that your baby is still hungry and trying to suck. This should tell your body to produce more. If you are exclusively pumping, you should pump for a minimum of 15 minutes and even up to 30+ minutes if milk is still coming out. You should continue pumping for 2 minutes after the last drop of milk.
6. Eliminate stress (take a milk bath like this lil guy). Stress is a huge factor of low milk supply. Having a newborn (especially a preemie in the NICU) can definitely be stressful! But try to keep a positive attitude!
I believe so much in the power of words. You get what you speak! If you are always complaining, you will stress yourself out and your body will respond poorly. If you always have a positive attitude, you will be happier and milk production will be easier for your body.
Sounds crazy, but it’s true.
Treat yo’ self!
I hope this helps somebody!!
Just remember – drink lots of water, healthy diet, power pumping, breast massage, empty your breasts, eliminate stress!