If you are considering purchasing the Willow, you may be wondering how much does the Willow pump hold? The good news is that the pump can accommodate the milk supply that most moms produce when they are pumping for their baby.
So, How Much Does Willow Pump Hold?
The Willow pump holds 4 ounces of milk per side, for a total of 8 ounces if you are double-pumping. This is the limit for the 3rd Generation Willow milk bags and for the containers. There are a few techniques to continue using the pump if you pump more milk than this in one pumping session.
You can also double-check the limits on the Willow milk bags and containers by clicking here.
What Is The Average Milk Supply?
A normal amount of milk in a pumping session is to pump anywhere from 1 – 1.5 ounces per hour. Most of the time, this will mean pumping a total of 3 to 4.5 ounces every 3 hours during the day.
This means that the number of ounces of milk the Willow holds should be more than enough for most moms.
However, this can vary widely between moms and even with the same mom depending on the time of day and fluctuating hormone levels.
For example, it is common to pump a larger amount of milk in the morning and less milk at night.
I found that the maximum amount of milk I would pump in a single pumping session was 8 ounces. I would only ever be able to pump that large of an amount in the morning.
I go into more detail on this in this article: Easy Tips To Increase Milk Supply At Night.
Does Willow Work For Large Breasts?
Yes, Willow works for large breasts. The pump really is flexible enough to accommodate any breast size. The most important thing is to ensure that you are using the correct flange size and an appropriate fitting nursing bra while pumping.
This is my favorite nursing bra to use with the Willow pump.
That being said, a larger breast size does not necessarily mean that you have a larger milk supply. Many moms have a similar number of milk ducts to produce milk, regardless of breast size.
How To Use Willow To Hold More Than Four Ounces Per Side
There are a few techniques you can try if you need the Willow to hold more than four ounces per side.
Technique 1: Pumping With Milk Bags
When the pump senses that it has filled four ounces on a side there will be a solid white light on the pump. You will also get an “All Full” notification in the app.
If you think you will pump more than 4 ounces per side but less than 8 ounces per side, have a new set of flanges, flex tubes, and a 3rd milk bag ready to go. Wait 2 seconds before re-attaching the second set of milk bags.
You will pump into this 3rd bag on one side. Then, when you have reached about 2 ounces, you can switch to pumping on the other side with the same bag.
Remember that it is only ok to pump into the same bag during the same pumping session.
It is not sanitary to pump into one bag, refrigerate it for several hours, and then pump into the same bag later in the day. This is because it can introduce bacteria growth due to the changing temperature of the milk.
You can learn more about why you should not mix cold and warm breast milk here.
Technique 2: Pumping With Willow Containers
You can use a similar technique when pumping with Willow containers. If you have an extra set (or at least 1 extra Willow container), have it ready to go at the beginning of your pumping session.
When you get the “All Full” notification in the app, unlatch the pump and container. Wait 2 seconds. Latch the third container and re-attach the pump. When you have reached about 2 ounces, switch this container and pump to the other side.
If you do not have an extra set of containers, you can carefully empty the container into a bottle and then start pumping again into your original set of Willow containers.
This will take a little bit longer than the first option because you have the extra time to carefully pour the milk into a storage bottle.
Again, this is only safe to do if you are pumping during the same pumping session and not mixing cold milk with warm or freshly pumped milk.
More Pumping Tips
If you are looking for the best deal on the Willow pump, click here to see the current promotions.
NEXT, check out these articles for more info on the Willow:
- Is the Willow Pump Worth It? (All the Pros and Cons)
- Can You Lay Down And Pump With Willow?
- 11 EASY Tips to Pump More With Willow
- 5 Tips And Hacks For the Willow Pump