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?!