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Thread: How do you find time to pump?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    21

    Default How do you find time to pump?

    I have stuggled for 6 months with my milk supply, and I know that my only hope of increasing it is pumping. At 2 weeks, I purchased the Medela Freestyle and found its "handsfree" function to be virtually useless, so I was stuck holding the pump and struggling to keep the flanges aligned and sealed to my breast. It took me 20-30 minutes to pump until no more milk came out, and another 5 minutes to set up. And then I would have to sterilize all the parts in preparation for the next use, which took another 10 minutes. So all together 35-45 minutes for one pumping session! A huge chunk of time with a newborn and a laudry-list of chores to be done in the house. And the "reward" after it all was about 1/2 to 3/4 oz. total breastmilk. In a typical day, I was only able to pump 2-3 times a day, and would have maybe 2 oz. of pumped milk at the end. I hated the whole process, and only pumped for less than 2 weeks.
    Then, at 5 and 1/2 months, I decided to again try pumping because I felt much more educated about the process. So I splurged for a hospital grade pump, and rented the Ameda Elite. After first use, I immediately knew that, like my Medela, the flanges were too big. So I put pumping on hold while I waited for the extra parts to come in. 3 days later I had them, and was determined to pump.
    I had already decided that due to my time constraints I would now only pump 10-15 minutes, and hopefully pump more frequently. So I sat down and started pumping. It took me 10 minutes to pump, plus 5-8 minutes adjusting suction, alignment, etc. And I was able to more quickly sterilize the parts thanks to some new tools I had discovered, so that took another 5 minutes. All in all, I was down to 20-23 minutes per session.
    I thought for sure I could get this to work, but now - 2 and 1/2 weeks later - I can tell you I have only used my expensive machine 4 times. I simply don't know how to find the time to stop and pump 8+ times a day! It seems impossible to me.
    Pumping mothers, HOW do you do it?!
    Last edited by @llli*kimberlyh; October 25th, 2011 at 10:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    419

    Default Re: How do you find time to pump?

    You don't need to sterilize every time, you can put the parts in the fridge, for at least 24 hours. Just remember the milk you pump after the first time will have particals from the first session so you treat the milk as if it was as old as the first time. Once you get used to a certain suction, you don't have to adjust every time. I have large enough breast that with the bottles attached I can balance them on my lap and be hands free. If you are smaller or can't do that, you can get hands free bras that work pretty well (I used them at first my first time pumping, until I figured out how to balance them on my lap with out the bra! lol You have to be in the right kind of chair to do that though and such, you learn kind of as you go what works for you. lol).

    ~Heather~
    Wife to
    Vincent since 2001
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    Lela 2006 EPed 2 1/2 Years
    ~Donavon & Jeremy~ 2009
    Belle 2010 Nursed over a year
    Raphael 2011 Nursing like a champ
    Raphael & Hubs

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    100

    Default Re: How do you find time to pump?

    I had to EP for a while and it was hard, especially since he was so young and wanted to be held. He really liked his bouncy seat, so I bounced him with my foot while I pumped. That saved us since I had to pump 10-12x a day. Or I pumped when he was napping or DH was available to hold him. I don't have a hands free pump or bra, but if I hadn't been able to get DS back to the breast at 3 months, I probably would have gotten one. I can also balance them on my legs to a certain extent as PP said. I always stored the parts in the fridge, saves lots of time. I still pump a time or two everyday to keep some stored up for the occasions that I am away from him, but it's not as time consuming now. When I pump now I only get about 1/2oz to 1 1/2oz total each session since I am pumping in addition to feeding at the breast. I would say it takes 10 mins or so to pump and a minute or two to set up and put milk away. I keep everything handy in the kitchen and my pump right by the chair I pump in. I don't find it to be a problem since he can keep himself happy for that long now that he's 5 months. Not sure if that helps, but that's what I do!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,949

    Default Re: How do you find time to pump?

    I EP'd for 11 months due to my son having a complete unilateral cleft lip and palate....meaning he had a hole in his face and coudnt nurse. I pumped 24/7, after he fed I pumped. I used hosp grade Medela and just pumped after he fed no matter what time he ate! I just got into a routine, and it was part of the day! I really had no issues with it...it was something I was glad to do FOR him, as he had so many cleft related issues that I had no control over. This made me fell like I was doing someting for him. BELIEVE ME, pumping is hardwork and a commitment...after sucessfully nursing DD for over 30 months and counting, I can say pumping is WAAAAAAY harder! But for my son it was the only way (in my eyes formula wasnt an option)!

    Is there a specific reason that you are pumping? Do you nurse baby at all?

    Seems that you are really trying to do the best for your baby. Dont beat yourself up over it! You are doing all that you can. Maybe back off pumping a bit?
    Mommy of 4,
    3 who I watch over, 1 who watches over all of us

    J- 8/20/05 pumped breastmilk for 11 months due to his cleft lip and palate!

    M- 10/17/07 my precious baby lives forever in her mommys heart

    M- 3/31/09 my special gift, she helps heal her mommy and daddys heart. Nursed for 4 years and 10 days, self weaned the day her baby brother was born!

    E-, new little miracle born 4/11/13, my BIG baby! Born 8.6 at 38 weeks. At 9 weeks nearly 17lbs, at 12 weeks nearly 20lbs, at 6 months nearly 23lbs, at 8 months nearly 25lbs and all from BREASTMILK


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Boring ole Michigan
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: How do you find time to pump?

    I EP'ed for a while and it is very hard to find time! I would feed DS, then pump. I didn't steralize all the parts though. I just rinsed them off in the sink and washed with soap every 2-3 pumps.

    Although I should have pumped every 2-3 hours I ended up pumping every 4-5 It was just too hard.. and my supply dropped a lot. I got it back up by getting DS to latch on with a nipple shield. The tip is hard and felt more like a bottle so DS started to take it That and oatmeal cookies made my supply normal again!

    I work now so there I pump every 3 hours but thats the only time I pump
    July 27 2011

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    255

    Default Re: How do you find time to pump?

    I BF and pump due to milk transfer issues, so I feel your pain. It just sucks

    I agree with PP that you can just stick the parts in the fridge, so that cuts back on washing/sterilizing all the time. And then if you get an extra set of those parts, you can cut back on that part of it even more.

    How about cluster pumping each night for a couple hours? Rather than having to try to remember to do it throughout the day?
    OR...just keep the parts in the fridge, grab them when you have a free second, and just pump for 5 minutes?
    Try a hands-free bra and do breast compressions to get more milk. You will probably feel like doing it more often if you get more milk out of it.
    On days when I just couldn't get a break from LO, I nursed on one breast and pumped the other at the same time.
    Lisa

    Mom to Aimee, born 8/22/11
    for 20 months!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: How do you find time to pump?

    Why are you pumping? If you don't have to, then don't. It is way, way too much work.

    Really, ALL I did was pump and feed the baby. Everything else was neglected. and that is how I pumped 8-12 times a day for the first 12 weeks of my baby's life, child #4. It was really awful. I hardly slept. We were lucky to have clean clothes. The house is still dirty, like dusty and cluttered, because even though I don't have to pump as OFTEN, I still have to pump as LONG, for a total,of 120 minutes a day, to maximize my supply.

    Hands free bra

    I don't sterilize anything

    I miss breastfeeding
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: How do you find time to pump?

    Just a little tip, I use rubber bands around the horns and attach them to the bra clamps. Makes it hands free.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: How do you find time to pump?

    It's been a busy few days for me, so I've just now had a chance to read everyone's posts. Thanks for your responses!
    First, to answer the question of why I am pumping. I have posted previously on this forum the whole story: http://forums.llli.org/showthread.ph...ble&highlight=
    I had a lot of hope about exclusively breastfeeding, but unfortunately I am pretty much at the same place as I was when I posted that first thread. My daughter still nurses about 6-8 times per day, and while her latching has improved she just doesn't ever seem satisfied after breastfeeding. After all of the weight gain and growth concerns I faced at the beginning of her little life, the last thing I want to do is leave her feeling hungry. So I give her a bottle of formula.
    Before she was born, I felt the same way about formula not being an option. I was totally ignorant of just how hard breastfeeding would be for me. I took it as a given that it was part of the natural order and would be no struggle at all.
    Pumping is perhaps more of a hassle for me because I am an A-cup, even while breastfeeding. It is next to impossible to find nursing bras in my unusual size - a 40A - and for that reason I have never purchased one. But perhaps I should try one out based on what everyone here is posting. I guess the cup size doesn't matter when you are using it "open."
    The other concern that has come up when talking to my personal physician, as well as one LC, is my enlarged thyroid. It became visibly swollen later in my pregnancy, and I never followed up on it until a month after she was born. After having a thyroid ultrasound and seeing both an ENT and endocrinologist, there is still no explanation for why I have developed this goiter. There is a possibility that a thyroid illness could be hindering my milk production, and may even have had something to do with my daughter's sudden onset of IUGR. However, I cannot be sure of these until they actually find out what is causing my goiter.
    Thanks for letting me vent, and like I said before, I will try buying a nursing bra. Nursing more at night while she's asleep is a good option, too. Very helpful!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: How do you find time to pump?

    Hands free bra for pumping will fit any size. Get a Simple Wishes.

    Your thyroid just might be the root cause. And hopefully they can treat it.

    And I realized I never got around to answering your original thread. The advice you were given there is great, and I have used a Lact-aid SNS. Very easy to use. I recommend it over the Medela one.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

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