Expressed milk: How much does your baby need?

How much expressed breast milk I should pack for my two-month-old daughter in each bottle for her daytime feedings while I'm at work?


Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

If you are away nine hours each day, it is very likely that she'll need four or five bottles of your expressed milk. Since breastmilk is digested in less than two hours, it is best for her to be given smaller and more frequent feeds by her caregiver -- probably no more than two to three ounces per feed at your baby's age.

It's hard to say exactly how much milk your baby will want at each feed, so send along more than you anticipate her wanting during your first week of work.

You can feed your baby refrigerated expressed milk that has been properly handled (it can be saved in the refrigerator, at 32 to 39 degrees F for three to five days). Even when using primarily fresh refrigerated breast milk it is still wise to freeze some of your milk. Freeze in portions of between two and four ounces. Many mothers choose to freeze their milk directly in bottles. Be sure to leave one inch at the top to allow for expansion as it freezes. If you are adding fresh breast milk to frozen, be sure to chill first so that you don't defrost the top layer of your frozen milk.


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