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Thread: How long do I pump?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default How long do I pump?

    I am exclusively pumping and I seem to have a million questions. Most importantly, how long should I be pumping each side?

    I have been pumping 20 minutes each side. But everything I read says I should drain each breast. Here's the problem. I have a good flow for about 10 - 15 minutes and then it seems to stop. At that point my breast feels empty (not sure if I know how to tell, but it seems softer) but there is only about .25 oz of milk in the bottle. I keep pumping and around 18 minutes, the milk starts to flow again. If I stop at 20 minutes, the breast isn't drained. But if I keep going....OUCH.

    I am pumping 8 - 10 times a day (every time she eats I pump) but I am not getting enough milk to feed her. We are supplementing with formula ( ) I'm getting 11-16 oz a day and she is eating around 22.5 oz.

    So, how do I ever get my production up at this rate. I'm taking fenugreek, drinking Mother's Milk tea. I'm trying to eat well and get good rest. TRYING.

    Any thoughts or advice are oh so welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,712

    Default Re: How long do I pump?

    What kind of pump are you using? I considered exclusively pumping. I was told, if I were to do that, I would need to rent a hospital grade pump.

    Are you doing anything like breast compresions, tickling, warm compresses to help the flow?

    I am sure one of the Moms who pump more than I do will be along to help. Really, it sounds like you are doing a great job. That is alot of pumping. You are doing a great job and remember any breastmilk is good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: How long do I pump?

    I rented a Medela Symphony. It's supposed to be one of the best.

    I keep telling myself that SOME breastmilk is better than none. It's my mantra!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: How long do I pump?

    Yes, I too just started pumping. Im not sure how long to pump each side. What is the goal - the amount I want to have in the bottle? I pumped 20 minutes and only got about 1 ounce. Should I pump until I have several ounces? Or should I always stop pumping after 15-20 minutes? The pump instructions dont give any information regarding the issue.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: How long do I pump?

    Ouch! Any more than 20 minutes and it feels like my nipple is going to be sucked right into the bottle.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    40

    Smile Re: How long do I pump?

    I probably can't help much with this but I have been pumping a lot and I end up pumping for anywhere from 10-15 minutes and come away with anywhere from 2 ounces from each breast to sometimes even 3 ounces each breast. I use an Ameda Purely Yours pump and it works well. I usually stop once I reach the point where the milk has stopped coming much. I think maybe you are not achieving let down perhaps. Are you noticing a spray or flow of milk at all or just drops? When I pump after about a minute I get a full spray of milk from each breast that continues for awhile, I think that's let down.

    Not sure how to help really but I'd suggest perhaps trying to massage the breast while you pump, have baby next to you when you pump to help with let down, if you are only pumping one side at a time perhaps even hold the baby. And if all else fails, try a different pump. Hope this helps and good luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: How long do I pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by kelvis92 View Post
    I am exclusively pumping and I seem to have a million questions. Most importantly, how long should I be pumping each side?

    I have been pumping 20 minutes each side. But everything I read says I should drain each breast. Here's the problem. I have a good flow for about 10 - 15 minutes and then it seems to stop. At that point my breast feels empty (not sure if I know how to tell, but it seems softer) but there is only about .25 oz of milk in the bottle. I keep pumping and around 18 minutes, the milk starts to flow again. If I stop at 20 minutes, the breast isn't drained. But if I keep going....OUCH.
    I have exactly the same problem. I have been pumping for my 28 week preemie twins. It has been 2 months and I end up pumping for close to 25 minutes. I use the Lactina by Medela. I think because of this, my nipples have been sore since day one!! My nipples are thrashed and I just got mastitis too. I am miserable and I can't seem to get any relief. I've tried pumping more frequently, but I just end up pumping the same amount of time had I pumped at three hours.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    236

    Default Re: How long do I pump?

    Ladies I offer my story as a Mom who pumped for two years. Pumping exclusively requires perseveranance and a little bit of creativity. I double pumped for 15- 20 min every 3 hours in the beginning. Double pumping can increase the amount of milk you get at each session and also saves time. I used a hands free attatchment to allow me to tend to my DD at the same time. Another way to increase your milk output is to pump on one side after the initial let down has stopped switch and then switch again. This is signalling your body to make more milk. You are creating your own growth spurt. I found this helpful when I needed more milk. I rented a hospital grade pump for about 3 mos for the rest of the tiome I used my PIS. The rental was inexpensive. If I can be of help to anyone please post your questions or feel free to pm me.

    Pumping exclusively for two years was challenging but extremely rewarding. to all of you who are working so hard to provide for your LO

    Mama to DD Mariah 04/03 2lbs 8oz BF 2yrs 1 day!
    DS Ryan 07/06 4lbs 15 oz No solids until 18 mo's!
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world" Gandhi

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: How long do I pump?

    As an exclusive pumper did you have any problems with your nipples? My nipples are thrashed and have been that way since I started pumping.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    236

    Default Re: How long do I pump?

    Honestly the first couple of weeks my nipples were bloody and scabbed. Then I found out about double pumping. I was slowly able to turn down the pump suction and still get the same amount of milk. The best advice I can give you is to keep them exposed to air. I have joked before about never wearing a shirt but it really works.. Once they have healed you should not encounter the problem again.

    Mama to DD Mariah 04/03 2lbs 8oz BF 2yrs 1 day!
    DS Ryan 07/06 4lbs 15 oz No solids until 18 mo's!
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world" Gandhi

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