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Ep. 103- Breast Storage Capacity

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Welcome back to the Milk Minute Podcast, everyone. Hey, I’m actually really kind of excited about this episode today. Can I just start about, like tell you what it’s about? Okay. Tell us a little bit about, okay. Today we’re going to talk about breast storage capacity, refill rate and the magic number.

I’m going to tell you what that is later. Ooh, there’s a magic number? There’s a magic number sort of, anyway. Okay. So I’m so excited about this because I feel like it’s the missing piece of the puzzle to so many people understanding how to maintain a supply. Well, I’m dying to know, because I feel like we’re still at baseline trying to bust the myth that big boobs equal more milk. So much.

Okay. But let’s begin with kind of an on-topic question here. Okay. I’m going to start with a question from Nikki who’s part of our breastfeeding group. And she was asking if it’s normal to get about 10 milliliters in her haakaa, especially when one side got an ounce. Obsessed with this question. Me too. Love this question.

What is the purpose of the haakaa? Let me tell you. The purpose of the haakaa is to collect small, tiny little amounts of milk throughout the day instead of letting that milk that lets down on the opposite breast while you’re feeding fall into your bra or on a towel. Cause that’s pretty much what used to happen back in the day before someone was like, well, I’m going to invent this thing and we’re just going to catch it.

Yeah. So yes. And I always tell people 10 milliliters, if you do this eight times a day, when you add it up at the end of a 24-hour period, it’s almost three ounces. That’s, that’s more than a full feed for some babies. That’s almost three ounces of milk. Right? I, so what I tell people, I’m like, it is normal to get nothing or to fill the entire haakaa.

There is kind of no abnormal in this and if you’re not getting much or nothing, there are a few things we can try to maybe get a little more, but also it’s fine. Right? It’s fine. If you are getting a full haakaa every time you might want to phone a friend, right? Because you might have oversupply. We might want to not use the haakaa every time.

But I think the most common thing I see is between 10 milliliters and one ounce. Yep. Same. And it’s also more common to get more in the first six weeks and less as time goes on. And it doesn’t mean that you’re getting less supply at all. It just means your milk is changing. We’re maturing a little bit and what baby needs and you’re highly regulated at that point so you might not be making a ton extra.

The haakaa helps us function at just a very slight oversupply. I mean, yeah, it’s really nice. I love it. And just remember 10 milliliters three times that’s an ounce of milk. That feels like a lot more doesn’t it? When I say you got an ounce versus you got 10 milliliters? Well, 30 milliliters is an ounce, but that’s what you meant.

Whatever. You guys understand. I’m just saying like, these are supposed to be small amounts. It is totally normal. One of my boobs does absolutely nothing on the haakaa. Thank you very much, righty. We’ll give you a hand, a round of applause anyway. You know, the other one does an ounce and a half. Great, good job overachiever.

It’s all fine. It’s all fine. And it’s also fine to mix milks of different temperatures. We will die on this hill. When you have little bits of milk, just combine them in one container in the fridge throughout the day. And when you have enough freeze it. Okay. Amending that. I will die on this hill until somebody actually proves it wrong in research. Thank you very much. Exactly. Okay. I think that is an important segue into the topic. Okay.

Hey, everybody, Heather here with some good news for you. If you’ve been wanting a lactation consult with me, but you’re not really sure how to go about it, I finally can take some insurance. So if you have Blue Cross Blue Shield, Anthem, or Cigna PPO, there’s a very good chance that you can get your visits a hundred percent approved with me.

So if you fill out the short form, it’ll take less than two minutes in the show notes with your insurance information, we’ll know one as little as five hours if you’re approved. And then we’ll throw you right on my calendar and then we get to hang out and guess what? It’s not just one visit. I can see you prenatally.

I can see you before you go back to work. I can see you when you start solid foods. I can see you through weaning. I mean, we got this whole journey covered.

So shout out to those insurance companies for valuing this as work, and I’m here for you every step of the way. So click the link in the show notes to learn more about my private consults and make sure that we can get you what you need. I look forward to working with you. Bye.

I’m actually really glad that we’re going to get to nerd out on this today. And I’m thinking I’m probably going to learn something and I don’t know what you mean when you say magic number, so I’m already dying to get there. Okay. I’m excited to talk about it. So first I just want to introduce the topic of breast storage capacity.

What the heck is that? I think when people think about what’s going on in the breasts, they imagine like, if you know that there are lobes, you just imagine these sacks in your breasts that are either full or empty. Kind of, yeah. I mean, in, in short breast storage capacity is the amount of milk you can hold in your mammary glands. The most amount of milk you could hold.

And it is independent of breast size overall, because as we know, and we have said before, and we will say it again, breast size is mostly determined by fatty tissue rather than glandular tissue. And they’re independent of each other. So your left breast and your right breast are different. Right. But here’s the thing. How much milk you can hold, especially before your breast becomes over full and you experience apoptosis, right?

Cell death. Is actually really key to understanding so much about how you have to pump and why your baby feeds a certain amount of times and why you might breastfeed totally differently than Susie Q over there. And we never talk about it. So here we are talking about it. Here we are. And also, I just want to point out this is not a thing that is completely isolated to babies.

Adults eat differently than each other too. So for example, my friend Kelly snacks all day long. And I eat in spurts. I eat a lot, a few times a day. And at the end of a 24-hour period, we’ve probably eaten the same amount. It’s just different times and babies are the same way. And the reason behind the babies eating that way is what we’re talking about today.

Yes. And let me state I understand that I sound like a broken record, but I cannot help it. We need more studies because there were pretty much exactly two studies that directly talked about this that I have ever found. And two more that like mentioned it and basically all of them were like 20 years old, people.

Oh my gosh. The most recent one was 2005. And this one is something that they could actually make money off of. Yes. This is what I don’t understand. Like hello, if you are a PhD out there or you’re looking to get your PhD, this one you could monetize. Okay. We’re going to give it to you on a silver platter.

Please do it. Please study this. Okay. So anyway, looking at the studies that were available, which are inadequate, and I’m saying that out front, and I want to produce a correction episode with new information. Okay. So anyway, a couple of studies looked at this and they cited a range of maximum breast storage capacity between 2.6 ounces in a single breast and 20.5 ounces in a single breast. Wait.

So in this study, out of all the participants, the person with the absolute smallest maximum storage capacity, so the amount that they could absolutely fill their busting boob with was 2.6 ounces of milk. The person in the study with the biggest breast storage capacity was 20 and a half ounces of milk in one boob.

That is a huge range people. Oh my. Incredible range, okay. So the participant in the study who had the biggest capacity was able to produce 90% of what their baby needed in both of their boobs just filling them one time. Whoa. Right? No, thank you by the way. No, thank you. And the participant with the smallest capacity was able to provide at the very most about 20% of their baby’s daily needs with both breasts full.

And all of these are normal. Like, you know, this is just, this was looking at people, all people in this study, like they had healthy babies, their babies had normal growth ranges. You know nobody had health conditions. I mean, these were just like, they had a bunch of people and they were like, Hey, let’s measure your storage capacity.

I would say it’s normal for your baby, but 20 ounces in one boob is, we’ll call it an oversupply, not normal for the mom. Right. But the point is that this range is really big. I will say the storage capacity might be normal, but actually producing that much milk over and over throughout the day is what we would call an oversupply.

Very interesting. Just because your storage capacity is that big doesn’t mean you have to like, that your breasts are becoming full all the time. Something that is directly related to the capacity is what we are going to call the refill rate, which is how quickly your mammary glands produce milk. So, what we actually see is those with a smaller capacity, often have a faster refill rate.

And those with a larger capacity have a lower refill rate because they’re not fully emptying their breasts. Right. And we know, y’all know, cause you listened to all of our episodes, right. That the more often we empty our breasts, the more they’re going to replace that milk. The faster it’s going to replace that milk.

So this is why when someone is struggling with the supply and they tell me, well, I’ve pumped after a feed and I only got half an ounce, but then, you know, so I was really worried about my supply, but then I went five hours overnight and I pumped four ounces after that. So like maybe the key is I should just wait longer.

And I’m like, no, that is not the key. That is not the key. Waiting longer doesn’t give you more milk. Waiting longer means you’re having a slower refill. Like overall, you’re probably going to have the same output unless you do this chronically where you wait and wait and wait. And then your breast refill time just slowly decreases.

Right? And you’re going to slowly see your output decrease too. And this topic is near and dear to my heart, Heather, because the first time that I breastfed, I didn’t understand this at all. I made just enough to like, maybe not quite enough sometimes. And it was like, I just didn’t understand. I was like, the person you’re just describing.

And I was like, I pumped and I got 10 milliliters. First of all, I didn’t know how to pump. But also I didn’t understand why my baby was eating every single hour all the time for months. And now that I’m breastfeeding again, and I actually know what I’m doing, I know that actually I have these big old boobs and a small storage capacity.

Yeah. And I’ve witnessed this and her baby is perfectly healthy and fine, but this baby snacks like my friend Kelly all day long. Yeah. And like, so the longest I’ve ever gone without pumping or feeding was five hours and I got four ounces from my left boob. And I think, frankly, that, that is my absolute max storage capacity.

I was engorged. Super in pain. It took 30 minutes to get that all out. And I don’t think that I should go that long without nursing. Yeah. Because when you feel that full, your cells are dying. Yeah. And let me tell you righty, it was still two ounces. She tries and doesn’t, doesn’t pull through. Our little baby righty.

But I pretty consistently make one ounce per hour, maybe an ounce and a half per hour, pretty consistently in pumping between one and three ounces per breast and that’s fine.

Ahat is what we would call low storage capacity. And that also means my babies are just going to eat more often. And they’re trained to do that. Your babies are super adaptable. So sometimes when we add a bottle is when. When we have a snacker with low storage capacity and we introduce a bottle, things can get wonky.

Because then the baby is like, Ooh, I can get four ounces at one time, pretty quickly with a bottle. That’s nice. Because before, if you never introduce a bottle and you’ve got a snacker, the baby just is like, this is just how I eat, you know. They’ve learned that that’s the way they get their food and it’s fine.

So, if you are a person who’s got a snacker, you’ve got to really watch those pace feeds and just be conscious of the fact that they might eat an ounce and then need to go play for a little bit. And then they might come back, circle back around and eat another ounce because your bottle feeding and your pumping should match your breastfeeding patterns.

And I’ll say like, this is the missing piece when we see pediatricians who are like, well, your baby’s eight months old now, and they should be going four hours between feeds. I’m sorry. You don’t understand. You know, or your friend is like, my baby only feeds twice a day and you’re like, wow, my baby, the same age eats 10 times a day.

Why is this different? What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with my baby? You know, actually probably nothing’s wrong. Right? You guys probably just have different storage capacities. But here was my question and I’m sure you have the same one, Heather, is like, why does this vary so much? Why does it? Because all of our textbooks are like everybody has between 12 and 20 lobules in their breasts.

Guess what? No, they don’t. There were a couple of studies that looked at this and some of them noted as few as three lobules and accompanying functioning ducts in people who were successfully lactating and had normally growing babies. What? Yeah. Three? And that’s extreme. Right.

And that’s low, but you can imagine if somebody only has three lobules and ducts, their storage capacity is going to be way smaller. Oh, they’re working so hard. Then somebody with 20, you know. 20 might be crowded and they might not be as efficient. Right. It’s just, it’s really like, we can’t just look even at perfect imaging. Right. Even if we did a good ultrasound imaging, we were like, we can see exactly all of the structures of your mammary gland.

We still can’t look at that and be like, here’s what your breast storage capacity is going to be. We don’t know how many function. We don’t know what kind of tissue room they have to stretch. I mean, all of our physiologies are going to be individual. It’s a very wide spectrum of normal. I just think that the extremes are underrepresented.

No, wait. I think the snackers and low breast milk storage capacity are underrepresented. And I think the over suppliers with large storage capacity are over celebrated. I don’t know. Have you noticed this is my new campaign on Tik TOK, by the way? Is to document how much I pump and like remind people that that’s normal.

Oh, and it’s very popular because people are like, oh my gosh, this whole time I was about to quit breastfeeding. And then I saw that your baby is healthy and you’ve just pumped an ounce and a half. So, okay. Maybe you can’t remember this, but when you were pumping for Heidi from that experience, what do you feel like you could say your breast storage capacity was?

I would usually get about two and a half on my right and about one to one and a half on my left. And that was a good one. I mean, honestly, same. That’s, that’s pretty much what I get. The most I ever got when I was working and I pumped and I had waited a long time and it was combined was six ounces. Combined between the two and the left was only two ounces.

Twinsies. I feel like we’re exact twins except my righty’s the shitty titty. And my lefty, my lefty struggles, but we love her. It’s fine. It’s fine. So I definitely was not an over supplier. I was a just enougher. And it really was okay.

Well, and I think that it does tend to be people with a large breast storage capacity that are at risk for oversupply, because if they’re pumping often and they’re training their body to refill as fast as possible, and they have a large storage capacity, what if it’s 10 ounces per breast?

That can get extreme really fast. Yeah. And then they think they have to pump to feel better. And then the more they pump the faster it fills up and then, understandable, by the way, I understand. Everybody who’s experienced engorgement is like, please, for the love of God remove the milk. Right. And we actually have an episode on that.

So we’ll link our episode to oversupply in the show notes for you. So I hope you guys understand those concepts. I feel like they’re simple, but literally nobody said those words to me ever. No.

When I was breastfeeding and if somebody had just said, like, if my doctor had just looked at me and said, well, look, your baby eats so often because frankly, like he has a lip tie and do you have a low breast storage capacity.

I would have been like, wow, I feel validated and I don’t want to quit. Right. And they’re like, and your baby is medically well, so good job. And he’s fine. Yay. So here’s the thing that we get to do. We get to do like a little math now. I don’t want to do any math. It’s not really math. Just give me the answer. It’s just, there’s just a number.

Okay. So I mentioned the magic number. What the hell is the magic number? This concept was mentioned in like very few places. There was a lactation textbook it was mentioned, a paper written by an IB CLC where it was mentioned.

The magic number is the number of times that you need to empty your breasts per day, 24 hours, to maintain an adequate milk supply for your baby.

So how do you know if it’s adequate? What if you’re not exclusively pumping? Hold on. The two dynamics that we just talked about, refill rate and storage capacity, you can kind of use those and you can use either, how many times your baby is eating and how well they’re growing, or how many times you’re pumping and what you need to then feed your baby to kind of figure that out.

And the reason this number matters is not typically for people who are exclusively feeding straight from their body, right? Cause usually babies just regulate that process. This typically is a really important number for people who are part-time pumping and part-time feeding their babies at home. Yeah.

It can get very complicated. This matters for exclusive pumpers too, but again, it’s a little bit easier to figure out because when you’re exclusively pumping, you can be like, well, this is the amount of milk I need to feed the baby. And I just pumped it, so great. You know, or it’s not enough, so I have to pump more.

But when we’re troubleshooting supply issues for those part-time pumpers, this is important. So typically when people are returning to work, one of the things I ask them is like maybe once a week, for the three weeks before you go to work, write down how many times your baby breastfeeds in a 24-hour period.

Don’t say how long, don’t worry about that. Make a tally on the wall. As simple as you can. Don’t get one of the stupid apps that I hate so much. Yeah. Nothing stressful. Yeah. Just a tally and look over that and kind of look at that average number, right? Maybe it’s six, maybe it’s eight, maybe it’s 15. Those are all fine.

Have that in mind when you go to work because often what happens, and I see this a lot, is when we go back to work too, sometimes babies also begin to sleep longer at night. And so we have a combination of an increased burden for how much they need to eat during waking hours. And also that the parent is then away from them during those hours and having to pump.

So we have to adjust how many times do we have to pump versus feeding baby directly to maintain that supply. Hence why Canada and other countries have this figured out with maternity leave. Because this is very, this is a lot to ask of somebody. Yeah. But it’s a really useful thing to kind of try to figure out your magic number quote, before you have to go back to work.

Right. So that if say you go to work, it’s a weekend. You’re like, I’m not pumping enough for baby. And we’re like, okay, how many times are you pumping at work? You’re pumping twice in an eight-hour shift. Okay. How many times is baby feeding when you’re home? Oh, well they just started sleeping through the night, so they’re only feeding three times.

I wonder if this is something that we could ask Juliana Franco about who did our workplace accommodations episode back in the day, to see if this is something that we could write into a medical accommodation for a patient, for their specific magic number? Right.

Well, usually what it looks like is we look at that and we’re like, okay, we need to figure out a way to add in more milk expressions per 24 hours.

So like, are we going to wake up at night? Are we going to dream feed baby? Are we going to feed baby one extra time before you leave even though they’re not really hungry? Are we going to pump on the way to work or from work? You know, we have to be creative about it sometimes, but having kind of a goal number in mind can really help guide that process.

And if you were already back at work and you know, maybe your baby’s six months old, now you can still do this. Maybe just try exclusively nursing over the weekend and pay attention to how often baby is initiating a feed on Saturday and Sunday and average that, and then use that for a guide for the next work week.

But you know, if you’ve got nothing to go off of, 8 to 10 times in a 24-hour period is really normal for those older babies. 10 to 12 times is really normal for a newborn. But you know, like we mentioned before, if you’re pumping 10 ounces at a time, you might only need to do this twice a day, you know?

Yeah. Three times a day. Just keep an eye on it because things can change as your baby gets older and as your body adjusts. Yeah.

So there was an interesting number quoted in here from some of these studies and the paper, one of the papers I read about the magic number said that for parents who pump 10 ounces or more for their first morning pump, right, the one where we’re like you get the most, they can usually maintain a supply with just five times of pumping or feeding per day per 24 hours.

Oh, for how long? I don’t know. Indefinitely, yeah. And for the parents who produced five ounces or less basically needed to pump twice as much as that other group.

So about 10 times per 24 hours. I would say people are usually getting in about eight. Yeah. Which is why everyone that goes back to work is just either a just enougher, or slightly under. And I think the, the thing to remember when you’re trying to figure this out, if you’re like, okay, I figured out my magic number is 10.

I’ve only been doing eight with how many times baby feeds and my pumps. Don’t forget that not every feed or pump has to be equal nor do they have to be spaced out exactly two hours apart. Right. We can add an extra one oh a half hour after that one or an extra one, one hour after that. So can I ask a devil’s advocate question?

Absolutely. Go for it. Yes. So the research that I’m most familiar with says that in the first six weeks, it’s more about the frequency of initiation of emptying that makes the difference in supply. And after six weeks, it’s actually more about the amount of time at each session.

So if your baby is older, like maybe say you have a four-month-old and you’re trying to increase supply, you would tack on an extra five to 10 minutes at the end of every feeding session or pumping session to trigger your body that maybe we’re cluster feeding, you know, or maybe baby is wanting more.

So that is definitely research that I’ve read, but I don’t know how that shakes out with this. This seems more like a frequency thing. Yeah. Like I have also read that in some lactation literature, what you’re saying, but I will be honest and say that I haven’t seen a robust amount of evidence for it.

Yeah. Do you know what I mean? And same with this, right? There’s not a robust amount of evidence for it. I have seen a lot of, you know, citations where we see that frequency matters and how fully you empty your breasts matters. But I suspect that it also is another really individual thing. Right. And, you know, we know that those two dynamics are important.

And how do we fit those in with our understanding of storage capacity and refill rate? Because we know more frequent feedings, no matter what are going to affect that refill rate. Can I tell you the research that I want? Yeah. I want the research that studies what happens in that first week of life and how that factors into long-term storage capacity.

Yeah. Or during pregnancy, when we’re actually producing more glandular tissue. I would also like to know how that factors in with multiples and how many placentas those multiples had. Because the more, the more placenta, the more placenta you have, the more human placental lactogen. I like where you’re going. Which is why typically people are like, oh, I’m so nervous.

I’m having twins. I don’t know if I’m going to have enough milk. And your body kind of already has a clue that you have twins because you have so much placental surface area. And, and therefore more of that HPL, that’s released when the placentas are removed.

Also there is good research that shows that the number of times that your baby feeds on day three of life directly correlates with how much supply you have at six months.

Right? So what is happening with like, maybe you’re born with three lobules. You only have three sacks for the milk to collect in. But what’s happening there is it like a, is it a hormonal thing? Is it like an epithelium cell thing? What if you’re born with like 25, do some of them wither and die if you don’t have enough estrogen during puberty?

Right. What if your baby initiates 25 feeds on the third day of life and just never comes off the boob? What happens in there that affects that storage capacity? That’s what I need to know. How can we make this an early intervention thing? You know, I’m trying to make this an answers episode and it’s a questions episode.

I always have more questions. It’s okay. No, these are important questions to ask, but also for those at home who are like, I don’t care. I just want to know how to fix this. I think that I’m going to try to recap for you. Okay. Because these are really important factors to understand when we’re problem-solving low supply, particularly when you are pumping at work.

So we have a breast storage capacity, and frankly, that is a pretty fixed number. You cannot quickly or easily change that, or possibly change that at all. Right. And we have a refill rate that is affected by how frequently and how fully we empty the breasts. Both of those are going to affect our refill rate.

And based on your storage capacity and your refill rate, we have a number of times that your particular body needs those breasts emptied in order to maintain enough milk supply for your baby.

If you have a lower breast storage capacity, five ounces for both breasts or less, you are probably going to have to empty your breasts 10 times or more in a 24-hour period. If your yield from both breasts is 10 ounces or more, you are probably going to look at more like the five or six times in a 24-hour period.

Okay. One of these is not better than the other. They are just different. How quickly you can pump and how quickly you empty your breasts, I don’t know how that factors into this. I think really this is a good guideline. You know, a lot of times I have to be careful and I tell patients like this isn’t a rule.

Okay. Don’t feel trapped by these numbers. Use it as a loose guideline to get to know your body and appreciate your body. This is the starting line. Right. If you’re like, I don’t know what’s happening. I don’t know how to fix it. Start here. Yeah. Good place to start. Let us know how it goes. If it worked, if it improved your life. If it improved your yield. Right.

And also consider like, if you’re having a pumping problem at work, if you cannot fix the amount of times you pump at work, consider the dynamic of how often your baby or how many times your baby feeds when you’re at home. And can you influence that dynamic? Most babies are going to take a boob when you offer it, you know?

Yeah. I always say if they look like they would take a boob, give it to them. Yeah. Why not? And really just remember that we have to think about baby’s caloric intake in a 24-hour block. We do not say, okay, how much are you able to get into baby from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM? Pressure’s on. It’s no, it’s not like that. It’s a 24-hour period.

That’s what we need to meet in a 24-hour period. What is your number? Right. So if you can’t meet that while you’re at work, then don’t overbook your evenings. Don’t sign your older child up for dance, gymnastics, and soccer. You know, maybe we just need to be honest with ourselves about the fact that we need to come home from work and we need to nurse four times between now and 10:00 PM.

And this is what I tell my husband when I’m like here recording or working with clients. I’m like, I will tell you when I’m a half an hour away from home and you need to not feed baby anymore. Cause if you haven’t fed her in a half an hour, a hundred percent, she will eat. Even if she cries the whole half hour, please, dear God just don’t feed her cause I’m going to come home with milk that needs to be removed.

No baby has starved to death in 30 minutes. No. And you know, like you can be real with your care providers about that. You can be like, look, I need to feed them when I show up to get them from daycare. So do not feed them after this time.

Right. And I’ll call you if I’m going to be late. And that’s like, that’s one of the ways I regulate it. Right. Cause I know if I come home and it’s another two hours till my baby eats that, that is one to two times that I’ve missed feeding her, that I need to maintain a supply.

I think this is so important. And I think, I hope that there’s a lot of people breathing a sigh of relief as they’ve just pumped only two ounces and they can now appreciate it. I honestly, Heather, I’m so glad we’re both like small storage capacity sisters here. Oh yeah. It feels really good. A lot of people just, you know, what’s really fucked up? What? I keep getting stuck on, like the oversupply TikTok algorithm.

Oh no. And I am not alone. So many people, when they see my videos where I’m like, look, I pumped an ounce. You know, they’re like, oh my God, I’ve never seen someone pump that much and say it’s fine because I only see people pumping 15 ounces at a time. Yeah. What is that? I’m like, this algorithm sucks and maybe I should start hash tagging oversupply on my videos to get them out there more.

I don’t think it’ll help. I really don’t. I don’t know. But like, it just, I hope it makes you feel as good as it makes me feel to hear Heather say that she and I are supply sisters. Yeah. And also guys, if you only pump three ounces, total, don’t use eight-ounce bottles attached to your flanges. This is my, this is my new favorite thing, guys.

Do you know a lot of you who use Medela might be familiar with, like, they have this whole newborn system where their bottles have either one and a half or two and a half ounces? And you screw the nipple right on.

They screw into the pump. These are my favorite. And I use them with my spectra with a little Maymom adaptor because there are different bottle sizes. So when I pumped two and a half ounces into a two-and-a-half-ounce bottle, I’m like, I rock. I’m the best. Yeah. I legitimately had a patient come into my office the other day with a 12-ounce bottle with one and a half ounces in it.

And she was like, this is what I just pumped at home. And I was like, wait, who even made that bottle? And why? Like, even with formula. Is it like a toddler juice bottle, I mean like seriously? That is an adult juice bottle. What toddler even needs 12 ounces of juice? Yeah. I don’t know.

I could not wrap my head around it and she didn’t know why I was so weird about it. And I was like, I don’t mean to be weird. It’s just this is not serving you. It’s big. It’s bulky. It has nothing to do with milk, or I don’t even know what you’re supposed to put in there. Seriously. It’s for real, like, actually what I do is on my right boob, my shitty titty, I put the one-and-a-half-ounce bottle on most of the time.

For left booby, I do the two-and-a-half-ounce bottle. And then I fill them both. And I’m like, hooray for me, even though I know intellectually, it is the same amount as I put in when I use a four-ounce bottle or an eight-ounce bottle, but my feelings matter.

Your feelings do matter and your mental health matters, and it actually is a big determinant in how long you breastfeed and how successful you are at this.

Yeah. So just like hack your dopamine, you know, hack your serotonin. I don’t know which one you get when you fill a breast milk bottle, but it’s one of those. Oh, it’s, I’m going to go with both. I’m going to go with both, you know, like that matters. It matters so much.

Do what you need to do guys. And, you know, I just, if you’re a bottle company listening to this, can you please put some directional marketing on your websites for breastfed babies?

You know, like here’s the bottles for breast feeders. You will never need an eight-ounce bottle. Yeah. I mean, and if you do, okay. If you’re an over supplier listening, but your baby won’t drink it, that’s fine. Whatever. But like, but you know, y’all have the stuff that you need. There are lots of bottles that you can use.

I just want to bring in my fam of my just enoughers. Okay. Y’all my family. And I want to tell you that you should use appropriately sized bottles for how much you are pumping and you will feel so much better. Yeah. Do it. We want you to feel good. And over suppliers, don’t pump into a giant bottle. Just pump directly into a bag.

Yeah, no, absolutely. Those bag adapters are my favorite. Okay. I love glass storage bottles, but if you’re truly an over supplier, you will have to get a warehouse to hold all the glass bottles. So like get a Kiinde system or something where they’ll lay flat. There, I mean, they sell these little adapters. A couple of companies sell them that just have like little clips on the side and you clip the top of any bag into them.

What? I think I have a set in a box out there. I’ll try and show you. Once I was real ghetto and I just grabbed two sandwich bags and I held them around the bottom of the flanges with the Medela. I have rubber banded ones on before too.

No, one’s perfect you guys. I have rubber banded, also like a regular sandwich bags when I totally forgot anything that resembled a bottle or a storage bag. Our children made it. They’re alive.

They’re fine. They even love us. So, and I honestly sometimes think nothing I’ve done has really influenced that. They’re just, you know, we just muddle along guys. We’re going to get; we were just saying we need to get a parenting expert on here because we have questions. So many questions, all the questions.

All right, guys. Well, I hope that was helpful for you. I know we cut straight to the point today, so we didn’t really give you any updates, but the short update is my son has COVID. I share custody of him with his dad. So I’m not going to get to see him for let’s see, a total of like 14 days now. Super sad.

So that sucks. And I think that if you are a person that shares custody of a kid, I want to know, I want you to know that I see you. This is very stressful when this happens, and this is why, if you can have a peaceable relationship with your co-parent, these situations are what make that worth it. You know, so you can actually work through it.

And we are. So we didn’t, we weren’t always there, but we are now, and there is hope, and I’m glad that we are there because when shit hits the fan, like your kid gets COVID and you have to swap up parenting schedules, it’s very helpful to be on speaking terms and to be logical and rational about it. So I know that’s not easy.

I see you. I feel you. My son feels okay. It’s mostly just a cold at this point, but unfortunately he was on his way to go have Christmas finally from his grandma’s house and it’s like months and months away from Christmas.

So the poor guy was doing a rapid test before he went over to make sure they were all good and he lit that thing up. He was positive. So he still doesn’t have his Christmas presents. That was his biggest trauma. He was like, yeah, I’ve got COVID but even worse.

Yeah, dude just mail them to him. Why make him wait? Anyways, yeah. Well, my short update is we’re still lambing lambs. I’ll post some pictures on Instagram.

You know what I really need, Heather? So many things, but I’m guessing a drink of water? Yeah. But water gets a little boring. That’s true. It does. So I like to add just a little LiquidIV now and then. Oh man, I love LiquidIV because it’s gluten free, soy free, dairy free, non-GMO and made in the USA. Yeah.

And it’s a great tasting daily electrolyte drink mix that utilizes this like cool technology that delivers hydration to your bloodstream faster and more efficiently than just water. Plus it just kind of makes you a little bit happy. And I add a little bit of fizz to mine. I don’t know about you, but I actually add a little bit of Perrier to mine and I make it a little fancy sometimes when I’m feeling it.

I like this and they don’t just have a hydration multiplier. They’ve got a sleep mix too, which I love. And one for energy, which does not make you shaky and wacky and weird like coffee does. It just kind of gives you that extra edge that you need in your life. So if you’d like to order LiquidIV, you can use promo code MILKMINUTE for 25% off your order and free shipping. and enter promo code MlLKMINUTE for 25% off and free shipping.

Before we get outta here today, let’s give an award. Okay. I’m so excited. I think today that we are going to give an award to Trish J, right. Trish J is a member of our Breastfeeding for Busy Moms and Milk Minute Podcast Facebook group, and she has a victory post with an exclamation. These are my favorite.

Yeah. With a very cute picture, which I always appreciate. And her glowing spectra in the background, which I appreciate. She says thanks to encouragement from my little sister, husband and daughter’s pediatrician, I’ve been working on trying to nurse my girl. It’s not easy as I’m plus sized, got crazy big elastic boobs, her raging hatred of righty, my bigger boobie.

And she’s very fussy about positioning. But today we nursed on lefty for 17 minutes even after I’d already pumped it for 8. I might have a permanent crick in my spine now from the crazy position, but I figure if we keep working at it, it’ll get easier as she gets older. I’m only able to give her a four-ounce bottle of breast milk per day so I know the extra she can get from direct nursing should help with my supply and her health.

Oh, Trish. We are so happy for you. I know that it’s a big challenge to nurse when you feel like your body is working against you in a couple of ways, but this is huge victory success. Yeah, we are super, super proud of you.

Trish, I’m going to give you the Inconceivable Exercise Award, because no way did you ever think you would have to bend over sideways to feed your baby. But here you are doing it and it’s amazing. And you know what? You can slowly work toward more innovative adjustments and trying to make this more comfortable for you and baby.

I promise it can get better. It will get easier. Baby’s going to get older and you’re going to get more confident. Yeah, there is no workout that is more creative than the one you get when you have a positioning challenges with babies. So we are super proud of you and you’re incredible. And make sure you stretch that neck out afterwards. Yes, stretch that little neck of yours.

All right guys. Okay, well, thank you for listening to another episode of the Milk Minute Podcast. The way we change this big system that is not set up for lactating families, especially ones with low breast milk storage capacity is by educating ourselves, our children, and our friends. If you liked this episode or any other episode of our entire huge, amazing podcast you can support us on Patreon.

Just go to for behind-the-scenes stuff, videos, cool merch, et cetera. And if you cannot do that, just tell a friend about us, please and thank you. Yes, we love new friends and we want to hear from you. So email us and hop on our Patreon so we can play some more. Buh-bye.


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