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Thread: Can't manage a let-down when pumping

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    321

    Default Re: Can't manage a let-down when pumping

    Can you try manual expression. If you can get yourself to let down that way the pump may be able to do the rest.
    the little monster 4/22/11
    squealy piggy 7/1/13
    CDing baby-wearing coffee addicted mama!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Can't manage a let-down when pumping

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*luckypixie View Post
    Thank you for everybody's feedback. My pump is brand new and properly assembled because there were two times when I managed to get a let-down and got 2 ounces of milk.

    Unfortunately I can't seem to be able to do that again. I'm at my wit's ends...
    When did that happen? Because it is possible to mess up a pump.

    Any way you could try out a hospital grade, just to see if you can let down?

    Manual expression might work for you, or get it starred that way.

    Try pumping one side while nursing to get used to it then start double pumping after a week or so.

    It is stressful. I had a really had time when I had to start pumping for my fourth baby. I had milk, but it just would not come out. So frustrating.

    But it does NOT mean you have to wean. Not at all. If you are one of the mamas who can't pump, you can nurse when with baby, and if you have to use donor milk or formula, well, you use it, when you aren't with baby.
    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!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Can't manage a let-down when pumping

    Thanks again for everybody's advice. I've tried pumping one side when nursing on the other and was able to collect a bit over an ounce in two pumping sessions, which is A LOT better than zero ounces before.

    How many times a day should I do this to condition myself to respond to the pump alone? Is once a day for a few weeks enough or should I do more? It's turning nursing into quite a production: baby is hungry, ok, gotta get the pump, set it all up, etc. Not to mention washing all the parts after each nursing/pumping session.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Can't manage a let-down when pumping

    I'd just do it once or twice a day, myself. That way you can collect enough for a few days.

    Leave the pump set up somewhere near where you nurse

    And yep, pumping is a production. This is why it boggles me when moms say oh, I'll just pump.
    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!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Can't manage a let-down when pumping

    So it's been 10 days and the results are not great: I'm starting to feel desperate.

    I have been pumping one side when nursing the baby on the other side at least once every day with great results: I usually get at least an ounce in the morning that way. Unfortunately I still cannot let-down to the pump without the baby. I've tried manual hand-expression and I don't get a let-down that way either. I've also tried massage during pumping to increase output, but because my breasts are so small, whenever I try to massage them, it immediately breaks the suction with the shields.

    Today I was able to get an half an once using a combination of pumping and long and laborious hand-expression session (and the breast still felt heavy and fairly full afterward, so it didn't remove enough milk). This took well over 30 minutes and I'm just not going to have this kind of time once I'm back to work.

    What am I missing? This is really stressful

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Can't manage a let-down when pumping



    There is a small percentage of mothers who simply do not respond to a pump. You could try a hospital grade pump and see if that makes a difference. But I read a blog where the mom can't pump -- she has tried and tried, and she is on her second kid now with the same results -- but has to work She supplements at work and nurses FT at home.

    It might be once you get to work and don't have to also care for baby at the same time you can pump I'm grasping at straws on this.

    Does hand expression work for you? Like if you abandoned the electric pump? Some moms find that works better, and with practice, is just as fast.

    Have you been sized? I would still take the whole,thing to an IBCLC and make sure your pump is OK. Yes, I know it worked a few times, but maybe there is a bad connection that isn't working right most of the time.
    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!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Can't manage a let-down when pumping

    Thanks again for the advice and encouragement. Another day - another attempt to pump without the baby ended up in 3 meager drops. And I got an ounce and a half in the morning when nursing the baby on the other side. So depressing

    I've contacted my local LLL leader and a lactation consultant I had worked with previously for more hands-on advice. Heading off to a working moms LLL meeting first thing tomorrow (at least I'm lucky there's one in my area so soon!)

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Can't manage a let-down when pumping

    So I'm back to work as of today. Have pumped twice already and got about 2 ounces each time (total 4 ounces). I hand-expressed and used hands-on pumping, but that's all I managed to get out. Breasts felt much softer after each pumping session but nowhere near the "totally empty" feeling I get when she nurses directly. I'm using pumpin pals and symphony medela pump (hospital grade).

    One of the issues is that I only managed to get one let-down during each pumping session (I tried looking at her pictures and a video of her nursing, but to no avail). I'm really worried that at this rate I won't be able to pump enough for her.

    Any advice?

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Can't manage a let-down when pumping

    Practice, practice, practice. it's a learned response.

    I often only get one letdown a session too
    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!

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: Can't manage a let-down when pumping

    This will be much easier said than done, but what about relaxation. When I was first nursing the LC I saw kept saying over and over that I had to relax to let down. I must have looked really tense . Maybe some chair yoga or deep breathing right before or during might help. I've noticed that when I'm working and not paying attention to the pump at all I tend to get more from that session and feel more empty. I dunno just a thought.
    Married to the best husband ever since Nov 2009
    DS born 1/7/12 at 36 wks after PROM and Gestational diabetes happy and healthy ~

    Taking it one day at a time.

    Currently and !!!

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