This has been a bit of an eye opener and an amazing insight into the milk I personally produced over 24 hours. Now this obviously can’t be extrapolated to everyday, and there are many things that can influence milk supply on a daily basis, however I thought I would share with you my results below. This was calculated by weighing before and after each feed. Dash’s overall milk intake was roughly 587mL over that 24 hour period.


Milk Intake Breastfeeding (mL) Jessica Population
Left 366  Average  Range
Right 221
Total 587 798 479 – 1298

Milk production and breast storage capacity are estimated by analysing fat content of breastmilk. Milk production refers to the volume of milk your breasts are able to produce. During this study I was asked to express a small amount (less than 2mL) before and after each feed. The storage capacity and milk removed was calculated by analysing these samples. Speaking with Anna, the brains behind this study, she tells me: “On average babies only remove 67% of the available milk in the breast. This will vary from feed to feed as babies only take what they need. Sometimes they drain the breast completely and sometimes take only a little bit.”

Jessica Population
Storage Capacity (mL)  Average  Range
Left 141 179 74 – 382
Right 88
Production (mL) Average Range
Left 343
Right 211
Total 554 798 478 – 1298

More interesting facts from Anna: “Fat content and intake – we estimate that through the analysis.  Fat content of your milk changes across a feed. So before feed your milk would have lower fat content. As your baby feeds, fat content of your milk increases.”

Jessica Population
Fat Content (g/L) 24 hour breastfeeding data only  Average Range
Left 44 41 22 – 62
Right 24
Total Fat Intake (g/day)  Average  Range
Left 15 35 15 – 50
Right 5
Total 20

It is worth noting here that Dash’s intake was slightly greater than what was estimated my breasts could produce. Generally speaking, breasts produce milk according to the needs of your baby. In this case it would appear that he completely, technically, drained the breast, however as he was still suckling it seems they produced more for him. Clever breasts! Potentially also a reason I need a little help to produce enough milk for him.

As with adults, babies feed in various volumes, are you a regular snacker or a square three meals a day kinda gal? On average breastfed babies take 75mls per feed, but every baby is different. Turns out my right boob is a dud… Well compared to my left anyway. On average 73mLs was taken from the left and just 44mLs from the right.

Jessica Population
Number of Breastfeeds Average Range
Left 5
Right 5
Total 10 11 6 – 18
Average Breastfeed (mL)    
Left 73 75 30-135
Right 44

In the same token so babies drink and have short feeds, while others take their time and include comfort sucking.

Average Breastfeed Duration (mins) Jessica Population
Left 15 16 5 – 37
Right 14

Dash was 3.5 months at the time of this study. The babies analysed were all fully breastfed, with the exception of no more than one bottle per day of formula. And not yet having any solids. The Study was conducted by Anna Cannon, PhD Candidate Principal Investigator: A/Prof Donna Geddes and Sharon Perrella IBCLC

The milk collection and analysis formed only part of the study. Dash was also first assessed for tounge and lip ties, and his breathing rate, saturations and suck pressure was measured. His swallow was also seen on ultrasound.


Are you interested in having your milk analysed? Anna and other wonderful PhD candidates are looking for more volunteers for their studies to help the future of breastfeeding research. Please contact Hartmann Human Lacation Research Group


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