How much breast milk can I expect to pump in one session?

Every mom is different, but we’re not all that different when it comes to pumping breast milk.

If this is your first breastfeeding/pumping rodeo, it’s not unusual to have questions. Many people expect moms to pump a bottle’s worth of milk during a pumping session, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth for most moms. While some moms produce large quantities of breast milk, most moms build up their supply a little at a time.

On average, how many ounces of breast milk should I expect to pump per session?

In an average fifteen to twenty minute breast milk pumping session, most moms express between .5 ounces and four ounces of breast milk total. Some moms called “superproducers” are able to express four to eight ounces of breast milk per pumping session, but that is definitely not standard.

How much milk do babies need to grow and thrive?

Most babies between one and seven months old consume an average of one to five ounces of breast milk per feeding, a total of 25 to 36 ounces per day. After three to six months, your baby’s nutritional demand will level off, which will give you a clear idea of how much you need to pump to keep baby happy and healthy.

Does breastfeeding impact how much I am able to pump during sessions?

If you’re pumping in order to occasionally supplement breastfeeding, you may not be able to express as much breast milk during pumping sessions. An average of .5 to two ounces total is normal in this scenario, so you may need to pump more frequently to build up a supplemental supply. If you want to boost your milk supply, double pump breasts immediately after a breastfeeding session to completely empty breasts each time. This lets your body know that it needs to produce more breast milk.

Pro Tip: The best time for a pumping session is in the morning, when your milk supply is at its peak. Try scheduling your first pumping session of the day half an hour to an hour after your first feeding session.

How frequently should I pump if I am exclusively pumping?

To meet your baby’s minimal nutritional demands and maintain your breast milk supply, plan to pump eight times a day at least. Of course, as we’ve said many times before, your milk supply depends on how frequently you empty your breasts. The more consistently you pump, the more robust your milk supply.

Pro Tip: It can be a challenge to pump eight times a day if you’re working or out of the house for other reasons. That makes a discreet, wearable breast pump like the Elvie Stride or the Willow Go ideal for beefing up your pumping schedule no matter where you are or what else you’re doing.

What’s the best breast pump for increasing my breast milk supply?

We have a wide range of high quality breast pumps for moms to choose from. Because they are all medical devices regulated by the FDA, you can count on most pumps to do exactly what they say they’re going to do. As with most things, the easier it is to pump, the more frequently you’ll make time for it. The best pump for you will be a pump that allows you to achieve your maximum comfortable vacuum under the conditions that are most likely to occur. For example, if you know you’ll be pumping at work, a more discreet pump that doesn’t require you to plug into an outlet will make it easier, which means you’ll be more likely to pump regularly.

Need help deciding on a breast pump?

At Milk N Mamas Baby, we have more than two decades of experience in the medical device supply industry, and we specialize in breast pumps, pumping essentials, and breast pumping accessories. We’re also moms, like you, so we know a thing or two about balancing breastfeeding and pumping with your regularly scheduled day. If you’re not sure how to get started or which breast pump is right for you, give us a call. We’re happy to share our experiences and insights to help your pumping sessions flow.