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Thread: Empty breasts after Pumping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Empty breasts after Pumping

    I'm not sure what's going on, so I'm hoping someone can help.

    For the last few days, after I pump, my 6 mos. DS wants to nurse and unfortunately, my breasts seem empty. He fusses and nothing seems to come out. So, then I wind up feeding him my pumped milk! How am I supposed to build up a supply?! Also I feel like I have to wait before I pump after nursing. When I've pumped 10 mins after nursing, I pump hardly anything (1-2 oz vs. 4-5 oz).

    I do BF him at night and when home from work. Pump schedule: 6:30 am, 11:30 am, 3:30 pm, and once more at night. (I know I should probably pump more.)

    What's going on here?! I thought the breasts were always supposed to have BM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    East Tennessee

    Default Re: Empty breasts after Pumping

    I can't help you here as I went through the same thing yesterday morning. Just wanted to let you know you're not the only one with this problem. I pumped after he went to bed to try to start a stash and only got 1.5 oz and this was after an hour past nursing. I know supply is lower at night but I don't know when else to pump.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Empty breasts after Pumping

    Your breasts always do have milk in them, but that doesn't mean it's always possible for the pump to get it out, or for the baby to access it if he's feeling impatient and unwilling to work for it.

    So, when you're pumping at home, it's just for that 1 nighttime session? If so, you might want to change your routine a bit, maybe pumping immediately after your baby goes down for the night. It does sound like adding in more sessions would be helpful to you- you're pumping every 4 hours and moving to every 3 hours might yield significantly more milk over time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Empty breasts after Pumping

    Something I did when Lilah was small was nurse her on one side and pump on the other. Have you tried that? I used to get quite a bit out that way.

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Empty breasts after Pumping

    Your breasts are never empty, like a glass would be empty, but there is a period of time after you nurse or you pump where you really can't get out much more than drops, and baby can't either. Most babies, when pretty hungry, won't wait.

    try pumping one side and feeding the other
    try pumping an hour after a feeding
    pumping, even though you get nothing, for 5-10 minutes after a feeding. This increases demand, and you'll get some extra milk eventually.
    pump every 3 hours while away from baby. Yes, more work, but in the end, it yields more milk
    Try car pumping on your way to work. Most mothers have more milk in the morning, so pumping, even though you may have dropped baby off a few minutes ago, usually gets you an ounce or so.

    Why do you need a stash? If you are pumping what baby needs for the next day, you are fine Just be careful to not spill it!
    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!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Re: Empty breasts after Pumping

    I don't want to build a large supply-just enough so that I don't always feel like I'm playing catch up. I really appreciate all of your help!

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