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Only Pumping 2 Oz Every 3 Hours: Best Tips To Boost Milk Supply

only pumping 2 oz every 3 hours

Milk supply often fluctuates, especially in the first few weeks of nursing and pumping. 

Milk production and the increase in breast milk supply are obsessed over by new moms who are determined to make more milk to accommodate their baby’s food demands.

In this article, we’ll discuss what you can do when a pumping session isn’t yielding the results you’re looking for and your pumped milk supply isn’t coming close to filling that breast milk storage capacity in the freezer.

Low milk supply is a major concern for many mothers on their breastfeeding journey. 

With this article’s help, you’ll better understand milk supply and how to increase the amount of milk your body produces.

Only pumping 2 oz every 3 hours

In the grand scheme of things, only pumping 2 oz every 3 hours does not mean that you don’t have a healthy milk supply.

This is typically enough milk per pumping session to keep most women from worrying too much about how much breast milk their body can make.

If you are exclusively pumping, you may need to devise a plan to get as much milk as possible from each pumping session, but if you are also nursing, then 2 ounces of milk during each pumping session doesn’t mean that you have a low milk supply.

How much milk should I be pumping?

Your milk supply typically keeps up with the demands of your baby. If your baby eats 2 oz every 3 hours, that’s how much breast milk your body will produce.

As your baby grows and baby nurses more frequently and demands more milk, the amount of milk your body makes also increases.

If your pumping output is not enough for your baby when you are engaged in pumping sessions, and you find yourself struggling to produce more breast milk, then you may need to engage in ways to increase your milk supply.

If you are not exclusively pumping or simply pumping to increase supply or supplement feeding, or if your baby nurses most of the time, then 2 oz every 3 hours is a perfectly acceptable amount of milk.

It depends on how much breast milk your baby consumes at any given stage of life.

The older baby gets, the more they will need to eat, and a milk supply increase will be necessary.

only pumping 2 oz every 3 hours

Increasing milk supply

If you need more milk than you can pump, there are ways to increase supply so that your breast milk can catch up with the amount of milk your baby’s age and growth demands.

The following are some ways that you may be able to pump more breast milk for your little one.

1. More pumping sessions if you are exclusively pumping

You must continuously engage in exclusive pumping as a routine. Your pumping output will decrease if you miss a pumping session, shorten sessions, or start to skip pumping.

This is difficult to maintain for moms who return to work after maternity leave, but nearly all employers are legally bound to give you time and space to pump if you exclusively pump to feed your child.

2. Check your pump quality

A hospital-grade electric breast pump will help you with the milk yield you get while exercising exclusive pumping.

If you keep up with frequent milk removal and aren’t skipping any sessions but still getting less milk than your baby needs, you may need a better pump.

Hand expression, manual pumps, low-quality used pumps, or even suitable pumps with old parts, can make even one pumping session a nightmare when exclusively breastfeeding your baby.

3. Stay hydrated

You will produce less milk if you are dehydrated. 

Exclusive breastfeeding demands a lot of your body, and you won’t get the normal amount of milk or be able to get a freezer stash built if you are not staying adequately hydrated.

You must drink water (coconut water is great, too) rather than caffeinated beverages that can dehydrate you faster.

If you aren’t sure how much water you should be consuming to get as much milk from your breasts as possible, speak to your lactation consultant to get a specific nutrition and hydration plan started for you.

4. Lactation cookies

When you are trying to amp up your milk supply in the early weeks, many moms reach for supplements like lactation snacks and cookies.

With ingredients known to increase your milk supply quickly, many new moms can get more ounces per session shortly after eating these tasty treats.

If you aren’t comfortable purchasing these snacks, you can just as quickly start producing more milk by making your supply of these tasty snacks.

Many recipes are accessible online, or you can get some great snack recipes that can help you make more milk from your lactation expert or doctor.

If you aren’t big on snacking, you can also try herbal supplements that are safe and effective to pump more and have more nursing success.

Products like Legendairy Milk offer a safe and natural way to increase your supply within the first week or so of taking the supplements.

What causes a decrease in pumping output?

Maybe you’ve had success up to this point, and you were making more milk than you ever thought possible, and then suddenly, there was a decrease in the amount of pumping output you are seeing, and you want to get back to exclusive pumping success.

If the issues mentioned above are not factors for you, then the following factors may have something to do with why you are seeing a sudden downturn in how much milk you feed per session.

1. Wrong-size pump parts

Different pumps use different types of parts, and if you have recently switched pumps but have yet to change pump parts, you may see a decrease in what you’d consider a normal amount of milk.

Having shields that go with the pump you have, and making sure that flanges and shields are the right sizes, especially in the early days of breastfeeding when you’re trying to build your supply up, is of the utmost importance.

If you have recently switched pumps or find that your shields and flanges are not fitting your breasts correctly, you may notice that you are now producing just a tiny amount of milk rather than you had been producing.

only pumping 2 oz every 3 hours

2. Emotional state

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. 

If you have been experiencing depression, anxiety, or negative feelings in the last week, you may produce less milk than expected.

Postpartum depression affects about one in every eight women. 

If you think you may be that one in eight, and it is affecting your mental health and the amount of breast milk you are feeding your baby, there are many resources available to you that can help you.

Reach out to your doctor and tell them you don’t feel “normal,” and give them a list or description of your symptoms.

It is a common issue, and you deserve the available help.

Does breast size affect the amount of milk supply?

The amount of breast tissue a woman has, or the size of her breasts, specifically, is not an accurate predictor of how much she can pump or produce for her baby.

Some women have huge breasts and have trouble producing enough milk for their baby and eventually have to stop pumping, and there are women with very small breasts who are over-producers.

Don’t discount yourself immediately if you don’t have large breasts. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to pump enough for your baby.

As long as you stick to a schedule in which you are pumping every three hours, you will likely not have an issue with how much you are pumping.

On the other hand, if you have large breasts and think you should be pumping large amounts of milk simply due to your breast size, you should cut yourself slack.

Pumping has nothing to do with how large your breasts are, and you should not put yourself under more pressure.

Conclusion

If you are pumping 2 oz every three hours, it may shock you that you don’t need to produce more milk. 

Keep up with your schedule, and your body will do the rest. There is no set “normal” amount you should be able to pump. 

You’re doing fine if you are pumping two, three, or four ounces per feeding session, and your child seems content and healthy.

Always be open with your doctor during your appointments if you are having issues with feeding your baby, and never feel bashful about mentioning your mental health if it’s an issue for you. 

Every mom deserves to be heard, supported, and helped.

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