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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it possible to dry and reconstitute human breastmilk? I am thinking like powdered dry milk - and what is lost, nutritionally? I guess obviously the antibodies, right?
It seems like that would be an easier way to handle breastmilk in banks, because it would be less temperature-sensitive in transportation, it would have a longer shelf life, etc. And you could mix up a few oz at a time instead of thawing a whole bag if you wanted.

Does milk capacity *really* have nothing to do with breast size? I am only wondering because I just pumped 14.5 oz, 9.5 of which was from one breast, in one sitting. Looking at that volume of milk, it is bigger than a B-cup breast is. So if you have smaller breasts, can you build up the same amount of milk while engorged? (If that makes any sense.)

What is the maximum amount of milk a person can make in a day? I know people (my mom, and some MDC posters) have EBF twins. Anyone do triplets or quads?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boingo82
Is it possible to dry and reconstitute human breastmilk? I am thinking like powdered dry milk - and what is lost, nutritionally? I guess obviously the antibodies, right?
That's a very interesting question! I imagine it must be possible, but I don't know.

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Does milk capacity *really* have nothing to do with breast size? I am only wondering because I just pumped 14.5 oz, 9.5 of which was from one breast, in one sitting. Looking at that volume of milk, it is bigger than a B-cup breast is. So if you have smaller breasts, can you build up the same amount of milk while engorged? (If that makes any sense.)
Not exactly. The breasts continually make milk whenever they are being nursed on or pumped. So, although a small breast may not hold much milk at any given moment, it can produce a larger volume during the course of a feeding or pumping session.

-Joan
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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Originally Posted by chlaal
That's a very interesting question! I imagine it must be possible, but I don't know.

Not exactly. The breasts continually make milk whenever they are being nursed on or pumped. So, although a small breast may not hold much milk at any given moment, it can produce a larger volume during the course of a feeding or pumping session.

-Joan
Ok, that makes sense. I guess one cannot make milk as fast as it is pumped or nursed. I always get to that point where there is just nothing left.
 

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I'm an EP'er, have B cup breasts and for months regularly pumped 8 oz every morning from one side, a few times over 9 oz. The other side is not noticably smaller but is my slower producer and maxes out at 6 oz.

it would be pretty great if we could dry milk up and make human formula. I had gallons and gallons of breastmilk that went to waste. (I know I should have donated but was saving for dd just in case I dried up.)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boingo82
Does milk capacity *really* have nothing to do with breast size? I am only wondering because I just pumped 14.5 oz, 9.5 of which was from one breast, in one sitting. Looking at that volume of milk, it is bigger than a B-cup breast is. So if you have smaller breasts, can you build up the same amount of milk while engorged? (If that makes any sense.)
No idea on the other questions. But for that one, breast size doesn't affect how much you can produce, just how much you can store. So a D cup can have more milk stored between feedings, but an A cup will just continue to produce milk continually and make just as much. Because of that, I've read that someone with smaller breasts might need to feed more often because they are producing the milk more on demand. Which of course, probably has led to the myth of smaller breasts not making enough, because those mothers would need to nurse more often and couldn't wait 3-4 hours like has been recommended by some in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok, that makes even more sense - especially that back in the 50's, small busted women would have "run out" of milk.

Bri - right now I have my 6 oz side and my 6-10oz side, but funny thing - last time it was a 4 oz and a 6 oz side, and they were opposite! Gavin likes the right one best, and now it is my big producer. I do have a bigger bust than last time, too, which is why I wondered if that was connected to my capacity going up.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boingo82
Ok, that makes sense. I guess one cannot make milk as fast as it is pumped or nursed. I always get to that point where there is just nothing left.
If you kept going, eventually more would come out. But you might have to pump "dry" for quite a while before that would happen. When I pump, I'm usually producing milk for the first 10-12 minutes, then "dry" from around 12 minutes to 18, then get another letdown around 18-19 minutes.

Re making more milk with the second baby, that has been my experience too and I don't know why it is -- but it's certainly nice to be pumping such large amounts this time around, and not have to worry about it the way I did last time!

-Joan
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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Originally Posted by chlaal
If you kept going, eventually more would come out. But you might have to pump "dry" for quite a while before that would happen. When I pump, I'm usually producing milk for the first 10-12 minutes, then "dry" from around 12 minutes to 18, then get another letdown around 18-19 minutes.

Re making more milk with the second baby, that has been my experience too and I don't know why it is -- but it's certainly nice to be pumping such large amounts this time around, and not have to worry about it the way I did last time!

-Joan
I'll have to try and pump longer, and see what happens. I've always quit as soon as I was dry.
I am loving having spare milk right now, too. As is my fat baby, apparently. His arms, legs, and belly are the same size around as my 2-year old, but on a frame that's a foot shorter!
 

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What is the maximum amount of milk a person can make in a day? I know people (my mom, and some MDC posters) have EBF twins. Anyone do triplets or quads?

I know a former LLL Leader here in this area who exclusively breastfed her triplets. It was rough and she needed lots of support, but she did it!

Average capacity for a day? a typical range of milk intakes is 19-30 oz per day
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkcalc.html

Obviously, moms can make much more than this, especially with multiples. Above quote is just an average.

Storage capacity: Another factor that affects milk production and breastfeeding management is mom's milk storage capacity. Storage capacity is the amount of milk that the breast can store between feedings. This can vary widely from mom to mom and also between breasts for the same mom. Storage capacity is not determined by breast size, although breast size can certainly limit the amount of milk that can be stored. Moms with large or small storage capacities can produce plenty of milk for baby. A mother with a larger milk storage capacity may be able to go longer between feedings without impacting milk supply and baby's growth. A mother with a smaller storage capacity, however, will need to nurse baby more often to satisfy baby's appetite and maintain milk supply since her breasts will become full (slowing production) more quickly.
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/milkproduction.html

Laurel
 

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If you powdered human milk the antibodies would be lost (or destroyed, whatever) but also the fat. You'd have to replace it with veggie oil, because animal fat goes rancid too fast. That's why formula has veggie oil in it, because they have to skim the cow milk and add oil to replace it. That means no colesterol for baby's brain development.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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Originally Posted by Benji'sMom
If you powdered human milk the antibodies would be lost (or destroyed, whatever) but also the fat. You'd have to replace it with veggie oil, because animal fat goes rancid too fast. That's why formula has veggie oil in it, because they have to skim the cow milk and add oil to replace it. That means no colesterol for baby's brain development.
Come to think of it, the Carnation dried milk is nonfat. Formula doesn't have cholesterol? I didn't realize that!

Laurdsed, thanks for the links! Very helpful. Those also explain why I can get away with only 1-2 pumping sessions at work and not have supply problems. (Currently, I'm actually getting a lot more than I need, actually.)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bri276
it would be pretty great if we could dry milk up and make human formula.
I've actually wondered about this. The "you think you know best" thread in another forum got me thinking about it (the point of the thread was--we do things so differently from the way our parents and grandparents did, and we think we're making the right decisions for our children--but, if the research changes over the next few decades and our children make very different choices, will we be quiet and support them or will we be like so many of OUR parents and try to push them to do things the way we did).

Anyway, what got me thinking...what if "science" did eventually develop a formula that was truly identical to bm in terms of nutrition (including antibodies, etc.)--or better? Given that bm isn't the same from one day to the next, and given its unique properties, it seems impossible, but who knows?

As for more milk with the second baby...that just makes physiological sense, I think, in the same way that second births tend to be faster b/c your uterus has already been "trained" in what to do.
 
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