Expressing breast milk with a pump is a very strange experience and it does take a while to get used to it. Different models of breast pumps make different noises, some are quieter than others.
Don’t be surprised if you don’t get a lot of milk when you first start expressing. For your first attempt a volume of 20mL would be a good effort.
It does take time to build up your milk supply, especially if you are breastfeeding baby and also using a breast pump for extra milk storage.
Some mothers will evenutally be able to express 150 mLs in about 10 minutes, but some mothers find they can never get more than 50mLs. It just depends on your milk let down, and how relaxed you can feel. The type of breast pump that you use, does not generally affect the quantity, it just affects the time taken.
The volume of milk that you express also depends on when you fed baby. If you express after just feeding baby, then you wont get much milk as baby would have drunk it all. But then the following day, your breasts would increase supply to cover the amount that baby drank yesterday + the small volume that you expressed yesterday. So it does take a few days for the supply to increase. I would suggest that you do it slowly, and at the same time each day.
Your breasts will just “think” that your baby is drinking a lot of milk at that time each day and will produce milk depending on the demand.
You need to drink lots of water too.
Expressing milk in the morning usually gives a better volume result, as at the end of the day you are tired and this can affect supply.
If you are away from baby, you will need to express milk at the same times that you would usually feed baby, to maintain your supply. The amount of milk that you express in this case will be larger (compared to just after a feed as described above). The actual volume will depend on the age of your baby, and how much milk they are normally drinking from you. You should use the breast pump until your breast feel empty. Don’t set a specific volume to obtain, because your baby might not actually be drinking that much from you anyway.
We always suggest that you store the milk in little Milk Storage Bags. Put the milk straight into the freezer (unless you need to use it straight away). Yes you can combine frozen milk from subsequent days together to mix up one feed.
If your baby does not drink the full bottle – you must discard the contents.
Make sure all equipment is washed in hot soapy water, and sterilised.