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How long does it take to empty a breast?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm curious how long it takes a typical baby to empty a breast? My DD is 3 mos and never usually nurses more than 10-15 minutes per side. I'm not sure if it's bc most of the milk is out or what? I do have low supply (and she gets a bottle after nursing) but even in the morning when I know I have more milk (likely enough for the whole feed) she's still a 10 minute gal. I know when I pump most of the milk comes out in 10 minutes whether it's an ounce or 4 ounces. Anyway, just curious. Thanks.

Cindy
post #2 of 11
I don't think there's a standard answer, sorry. It would depend on how big the breast is, how full it is, how eagerly the baby is eating, how old the baby is etc.
post #3 of 11
Mine, if he's really hungry, or upset, can empty a super full boob in 10 min. or less. But like the PP said, it really depends on a lot of other stuff!
post #4 of 11
A breast is never empty. We refer to emptying the breast, but that really reflects a misunderstanding of how milk production works. Even once the milk that already let down has been removed from the breast, if baby continues to suckle, even just gently, (s)he can and will stimulate further letdowns of milk. Milk is constantly being produced. That is why the advice is to allow baby to nurse until baby indicates that he/she is finished by letting go of the nipple voluntarily.

That said, if you mean how long does it take for baby to remove the milk that has already been let down, well that also depends on how much milk there is and how vigorously baby suckles.

FWIW, I don't think breast size matters too much, with all due respect to the PP.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
A breast is never empty. We refer to emptying the breast, but that really reflects a misunderstanding of how milk production works. Even once the milk that already let down has been removed from the breast, if baby continues to suckle, even just gently, (s)he can and will stimulate further letdowns of milk. Milk is constantly being produced. That is why the advice is to allow baby to nurse until baby indicates that he/she is finished by letting go of the nipple voluntarily.

That said, if you mean how long does it take for baby to remove the milk that has already been let down, well that also depends on how much milk there is and how vigorously baby suckles.

FWIW, I don't think breast size matters too much, with all due respect to the PP.

Yes this!

I have had four completely different nurslings and I could give you four different answers to what it feels like but none of them are right for you. My current baby is not an agressive nurser and sometimes just snacks, but sometimes she will just hang out there for a while and I will continue to let down over and over. It's a never-ending supply. Cool huh?
post #6 of 11
I don't think I ever have a completely empty breast. Seems my milk is always there in large amounts.
post #7 of 11
Yep. I always tell mamas "They're factories, not warehouses."
post #8 of 11
Sounds like she's just very efficient.

My DD was like this for a looong time. I though for sure she was starving herself because she would be done in five minutes flat. But nope, she was just fulfilled on the amount she gulped down.

Can I ask why you suspect/think/know that you have low milk supply?
post #9 of 11
Dd and ds both have nursed on one breast for each feeding and usually finish in less than 5 minutes. 7 minutes is a marathon for us! Dd was a big baby and ds is too, big and efficient nursers.


I remember all the books saying to set up a nursing corner with food, books, pillows and a drink and after starting breastfeeding I wondered why you would need all of that stuff? It's not like you're there for long! I'd forgotten that some babies nursed for up to 40 minutes!
post #10 of 11
Mine are 5 minutes on each side nursers, too. Occasionally, at the bedtime feeding, my little one will nurse for 15 or 20 minutes. But, that's more that he's tired and trying to fall asleep, rather than just eating.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm guessing she is getting most of the milk in the 10 minutes...it's probably just a trickle after that.

Sparkling gemini: I got breast implants when I was 20. I sooo regret it. But the incision caused damage in there, unfortunately. I did the pumping around the clock thing when DD was new and take domperidone now but I still don't have enough milk to EBF. DD takes b/w 1-3 ounces of formula after each feed. I know she gets more than I can pump but in the morning I can pump 2.5-4 ounces (after sleeping through the night), usually about 2 ounces mid morning pumpings and 1-1.5 ounces in the evenings.

Cindy
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