For mamas returning to work or stay at home moms that want to have a freezer stash, this is for YOU.
How much milk should you have in the freezer?
THERE IS NO SET ANSWER. I have seen recommendations to have just enough for one week (5 ounce bottle, 3 times a day x 5 days = 45 ounces). In theory this makes sense as you can just use that amount until its replenished. . .
BUT . . .
To make returning to work less stressful, I’d recommend having more. I set a personal goal for 150 ounces or more.
It might seem like overkill to have that much, but I want to be prepared. Prepared for if I have a stressful day at work and don’t produce enough as baby is eating.
Or if we want to have a date night and feel comforted that if I choose to have a drink, baby will have enough milk.
Or if I need to take a medicine that requires me to pump and dump.
AND 150 ounces is achievable and you can even easily surpass that amount! You overachiever, I see you! If you start pumping every morning after nursing baby (when the supply is the best, it is SO quick and easy to build a stash!)
Note, the first few times you pump you might not get much because your body has learned how much baby eats and has adjusted. SOME PEOPLE have no shortage and can pump a few ounces without any issue the first few times pumping! But pumping is all about supply and demand. Consistently is key for gradually increasing supply so you can make a freezer stash.
SO gameplan – starting at week 4, pump in the morning only after feeding baby. (I usually do between 8-9am) when we’re “up” for the day.
Let’s say you pump 2 oz every morning for that first week week 2oz x 7days in a week x 1 week = 14 ounces already! From weeks 5-10 weeks, lets say you pump 4 oz x 7 days in a week x 5 weeks = 140 ounces. So that is already a total of 154 ounces!
Another option is pumping twice a day if you only have a few weeks left and need to build a supply, you could pump in morning AND at night. Let’s say you get 6 oz daily between the two sessions and do this from 8-12 weeks. 6 oz x 7 days per week x 4 weeks = 168 ounces.
So whatever your timeline is, you can do it, you totally got this!