When my milk came in, I had really large quantities of it. I was able to collect 250 ml (about 8 ounces) just from the nipple shells I was using, without pumping at all.
Then it seemed like my milk wasn't enough, maybe she was just going through a growth spurt, or maybe I was too stressed and it was affecting my supply, I don't know. After a few days of practically nonstop nursing plus expressing, I was able to work up my supply to where I can now express about 140 ml (4.5 ounces) in addition to what my daughter eats.
Is there a limit to how much extra I can produce? It seems to me that what I can express in a day is about one feeding for her. That doesn't seem too impressive. I'm expressing milk because next Wednesday I go back to school, which means I'll be leaving my daughter with my mother or my fiance every other Wednesday for basically 10 hours at a stretch. Which could mean as many as 10 feedings for her, if she's in one of her little piggy moods. :)
My second question is about pumps. I have an Avent Isis, but it never worked for me... with the silicone padding in the funnel part, it doesn't suck at all. if I remove it, there's milk for a few pumps, then it just hurts my nipple, but no more milk comes out. If I wipe off the funnel part, I'm good for another few pumps. It just doesn't seem worth it, so I do it by hand these days. Are there any other tricks with this pump I should try? Is pumping faster than hand expressing?