Breastfeeding For New Moms: Breast Milk Storage Capacity

Breastfeeding For New Moms: Breast Milk Storage Capacity

Breastfeeding moms have already made the most important nutrition decision concerning their babies—breastfeeding provides unparalleled nutrition benefits for both mom and baby! If this is your first time nursing, you’re sure to have many questions about breast milk supply, let down, and feeding frequency. Even if you’ve nursed before, did you know that your breast milk storage capacity might not be the same as before? Believe it or not, breastfeeding is not the same experience for each child.

Even though the two might seem related, breast size and milk storage capacity are not linked. Breast tissue does not impact storage capacity. According to this infographic produced by Nancy MohrBacher, there are three breast milk storage capacity classifications that cover the range of nursing mothers.

Small breast milk storage capacity: you are providing enough breast milk to keep your baby full and happy (a baby consumes a standard 30 ounces of breast milk a day) but need to feed more frequently than other moms. Signs that you have small breast milk storage capacity include frequent feedings (about 12 a day) and regularly at night, your baby feeds from both breasts, and you have trouble double pumping. Be sure to stay hydrated and focus on your baby’s feeding cues to help with let down and nursing frequency. Each of your feedings produces an estimated 2 ½ ounces of breast milk.

Medium breast milk storage capacity: your baby might feed from both breasts, but not necessarily. Because you produce just under 4 ounces of breast milk per feeding, your baby will nurse around 8 times a day to get the full 30 ounces he or she needs to gain healthy weight. You might feed at night, but not on a regular basis.

Large breast milk storage capacity: you produce about 5 ounces of breast milk per feeding, so you have less (6) feedings per day than other moms might have. Also, your baby will typically nurse from just one breast at a time. Because you produce larger amounts of breast milk at a time, you are able to skip middle of the night feedings!

There is no right or wrong ability when it comes to breast milk storage, moms. As long as your pediatrician notes that your baby is gaining healthy weight, be confident in your ability to nurse your baby. Milk-making glands in your breasts determine how much breast milk you’ll be able to produce at one time, so listen to your body’s cues and figure out the best breastfeeding plan for you and your baby.


Happy nursing, moms!