While breastfeeding and pumping milk may seem like a good option, it may be difficult to know precisely how much your baby should be eating. Is there a recommended amount of how much milk do breastfed babies eat? Is there an ideal daily calorie intake for them? To get a sense of how much milk to give their babies, many moms who pump their breast milk consult the formula feeding recommendations.
There are differences between formula and breast milk. As such, mom’s milk digests faster than formula milk. Hence, the guidelines regarding expressed milk and formula milk differ. Let’s dive in.
How Long is a Feeding Session?
Breast feedings are often longer at first—about 20 minutes per breast. The quantity of milk in both breasts is minimal in the early days of your breastfeeding journey. If at all feasible, newborns should nurse on both breasts.
Keep in mind that your breast is constantly producing milk. You are never empty, so don’t worry.
We recommend taking a half-hour rest after 40 minutes of nursing. Try to soothe your baby differently. When your baby feeds again, you will experience another spike of the milk-producing hormone prolactin.
As your baby grows older, the length of each meal may be reduced. Some newborns can drink 60 to 150 mL (2 – 5 oz) in five minutes. Some babies, however, need 20 to 40 minutes every meal. Both sorts of babies are perfectly normal.
Do Babies Need a Lot of Breast Milk?
To the best of our ability, we strive to keep feeding simple and uncomplicated things. There isn’t a set daily nutrient need for babies since each one is unique.
The average quantity of milk a newborn takes in from one breast is from 30 mL to 135mL, and the average volume is around 70-80 mL.
Depending on your baby’s hunger and how much milk is withdrawn from the breast during each session, you may have anywhere from 4 to 13 breastfeeding sessions daily. It can express anything from 54 to 234 mL of milk in a single nursing session.
Boys normally consume 831 mL of milk daily, whereas girls typically consume 755 mL daily. Breastfed newborns’ milk consumption may vary from 478 mL to 1,356 mL per day as they develop. Hence, it is difficult to answer the issue of how much breast milk a newborn requires. As helpful as recommendations like the one above might be in providing context for your feeding experience, each mother, each baby, and each nursing journey are unique and cannot be compared. You’re doing just fine as long as mom and baby are happy and healthy.
A Time Frame of How How Much Milk Do Breastfeed Babies Eat
The First 24 Hours
An optimal serving size for a newborn’s stomach is one teaspoon of colostrum every two hours during the first 24 hours of life. The first five days after delivery are critical in setting the stage for the remainder of your breastfeeding experience, as your body produces bigger amounts of milk and your baby learns to feed. However, don’t anticipate a bountiful supply right away. Breast milk is only able to be stored in your baby’s stomach for 5–7 milliliters (about 1– 1/2 tablespoons) every feeding on day one. It’s typical for newborns to lose weight after birth, but your doctor and nurses will keep a close eye on your baby to ensure they’re healthy. Don’t be concerned.
Since your body knows that your baby will soon be hungry if you don’t give him colostrum, eliminating it by pumping or feeding signals it to generate more milk to satisfy his rising demands.
Your baby’s tummy will have expanded to the size of a walnut by the third day. Since the baby’s stomach can take between 22 and 27ml or 3/4 to 1 ounce every feeding at this point, the quantity of breast milk the baby consumes will have grown tremendously in only a few days. In the first week after delivery, feeding your baby at least eight to ten times a day helps to ensure a healthy and abundant milk supply.
The First Two Weeks to One Month
During this period, you begin to produce more mature milk to fulfill your baby’s changing demands. While the exact time varies from mother to mother, it’s usually between 24 and 120 hours after the baby is born. As a result, you should speak to a doctor or nurse to ensure your infant receives the necessary nourishment until your milk output has increased. Mothers typically produce 500 mLs (½ ounces) of milk every 24 hours at the end of the first week. After one week, your baby’s stomach will have increased in size and capacity, allowing it to store around 45–60 mL or 1–2 ounces of milk.
By the time a baby is two weeks old, they should be back to his or her birth weight, and he or she should have at least six wet diapers and three or more nappies with bowel movements per 24 hours. At this point, your baby’s stomach has expanded to the size of an egg, and it can now hold between 80 and 150 mL or 2 to 5 ounces of food per meal. You may expect your baby to gain between 4 and 7 ounces a week throughout the first month during the Maintenance Phase of your nursing journey.
One Month Up to 6 Months
Even after your baby is four weeks old, if you keep up your feeding and pumping regimen, your milk production won’t alter significantly until he or she is six months old. If you aren’t pumping to build up a supply, your supply may fall around 6 months of age when new foods begin to replace part of your baby’s breast milk intake in their diet. For the first six months, babies typically grow between 4 and 7 ounces per week, or roughly 1 and 2 pounds per month.
From 6 Months to 12 Months
From about 6 to 12 months of age, this normally decreases to approximately a pound every month.
While breastfed newborns consume the same amount of milk each day, they eat less often and for longer periods as they age. While your baby may have fewer feedings throughout the day, they will normally breastfeed for a longer time each time. During the three- to six-month period, newborns’ growth slows down, so they don’t require as much milk.
Breast Milk Storage Tips
If you plan on collecting and storing breast milk to bottle feed your infant, keep it in 2- to 4-ounce quantities. This is particularly true if your infant is young and does not need a huge quantity at each meal.
Storing breast milk in lesser quantities reduces waste. It’s simple to defrost an additional 2 ounces if necessary, but if you thaw and reheat a container containing 6 ounces of breast milk and your baby only eats 4 ounces, you must give the excess within two hours or toss it away. 4
You may keep bigger quantities in each container as your baby grows and takes more at each meal.
As a starting point, you may use this information to determine how much your baby should eat on a given day, and if you choose, you can adjust it depending on your baby’s requirements.
Ultimately, we recommend letting your baby lead the way. If he finishes his bottle and continues to be uncomfortably hungry, we will feed him again. There is nothing wrong with not attempting to get him to eat more if he doesn’t want to, and then we would discuss the best approach with your pediatrician.