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Thread: Medela Symphony Not Efficient?

  1. #1

    Angry Medela Symphony Not Efficient?

    Ok, this is boggling my mind: :confused :My hospital-grade Medela Symphony pump is hooked up properly, it definitely sucks well (my nipples are sore). I used it for over an hour, and watched the amount dripping into the little bottles not change in the last 15 minutes or so of the session. Now, I know I'm supposed to pump an extra five minutes past dry in order to get more milk next time (I'm only getting about 5 oz from both breasts put together), but here's the thing: When I took the pump off (after an hour and very tender nipples) and hand expressed, there was still a LOT of milk in my breasts even though when I replaced the device, it wouldn't express anymore. Now the last time I used my hand pump, I could get my breast dry in about 20 minutes, but my hands hurt like crazy and I only have one, so I had to do each breast separately. This will not work in the long run because I have to go back to work and my breaks are only a half hour, and I have to set up and tear down! Not to mention, I need my hands free so I can do things like eat.

    Any ideas on why my HOSPITAL GRADE PUMP seems to be less efficient in getting all the milk? Am I doing it wrong?

    * I pumped for over an hour
    * I played with the settings and how hard/fast it pumped
    * My nipple was not rubbing against any of the sides
    * I massaged as I pumped, which helped a little, but still didn't empty.
    * I've tried multiple times, to no avail.

    Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me. I need to express milk for my baby and I'm getting nervous that I won't have enough, my supply will go down, or I will end up with plugged ducts!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Medela Symphony Not Efficient?

    Sorry you didn't get better results! 5 oz of milk is actually quite a lot, but it shouldn't take you over an hour to get it. Possible explanations for the problem:
    - The shields are a poor fit. Too big is just as likely as too small, so maybe try a size down?
    - You didn't turn the suction up high enough.
    - You just don't respond particularly well to this pump's action.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Medela Symphony Not Efficient?

    You do have to become used to it, and some moms do find a different hospital grade pump works better for them.

    My thoughts are the following:
    Pumping too long
    Your shields look right but are still wrong
    You did not have a letdown
    Use compressions while pumping
    The setting wasn't quite right for you

    I have found that it can take me up to a week to get a new pump to work and work well for me as an EPer, and that is very stressful. If you are breastfeeding, nurse as much as you can to protect your supply, and try starting to pump one side while baby is nursing. That will help teach your body to letdown to the pump. I still have problems with that, and I have been EPing now for over 14 months.

    What worked best for me was to hit the button and let it do its thing. After it switched to expression mode, I inched it up all the way over about 5 minutes. Then I pumped at full strength for about 30 minutes, as that is how long it took for me to pump. I would do compressions off and on.
    I too find a hand pump easy to let down too, but it's impractical to pump with one every day several times a day at work.
    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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