How much milk should I leave behind for my baby? How much does baby take per feed?

Oh yes, another common question we get from mommies and caregivers.

Research tells us that exclusively breastfed babies take in an average of 25 oz (750 mL) per day between the ages of 1 month and 6 months. Different babies take in different amounts of milk; a typical range of milk intakes is 19-30 oz per day (570-900 mL per day).

From the info above, we can use it to estimate the average amount of milk baby will need at a feeding:

• Estimate the number of times that baby nurses per day (24 hours).
• Then divide 25 oz by the number of nursings.
• This gives you a “ballpark” figure for the amount of expressed milk your exclusively breastfed baby will need at one feeding.

Example:

If baby usually nurses around 8 times per day, you can guess that baby might need around 3 ounces per feeding when mom is away. (25/8=3.1).

OR

Baby’s weight in pounds X 2.5 = amount in ounces per 24 hours

So, you can estimate how many ounces per 24 hours and then calculate based on feeding frequency.

EXAMPLE

A 9 pound baby needs about 9 × 2.5 = 22.5 ounces per 24 hours. So if he is having 10 feedings each day, the baby needs 22.5 ounces each day ÷ 10 feedings = 2.25 ounces per feeding

HOPE this helps!

Rita Rahayu Omar,BSc, CISA, IBCLC

Lactation Consultant