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Thread: How do I help my body respond to a pump?

  1. #1

    Default How do I help my body respond to a pump?

    My 6 mo. old son likes his baby oatmeal, but he'll only eat it with breastmilk, which is fine with me except I've run out of my freezer stash I'd been storing up for this time. I nurse on demand every 2-4 hours in the day, and every 3 hours through the night. I thought I'd try to start pumping again, just for his morning and nighttime bowls of cereal. The problem is, my body doesn't seem to want to respond to the pump. I've tried massaging my breasts before and while pumping, and I can only just barely get an ounce out (both sides combined). I know I have milk because the little guy is growing and is satisfied after nursing (also, I hear him swallowing, and if he pulls away there's milk dribbling down his chin). Is there a way to help my body let down for the pump? I have a really hard time hand expressing as well (I try to do some of that on and off during my pumping sessions). I've been pumping at the same time for a few days now. Is it me, or do I just need to give it more time?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern NM
    Posts
    712

    Default Re: How do I help my body respond to a pump?

    Realize that by this time your body is adjusted to producing just what your little guy needs. It will take a bit to convince your body to produce more. I would give it more time, but do pump at the same time everyday.
    I am Erin--happily married to the nerd of my dreams for 15 years
    High School Science Teacher
    Mother to: Thing 1 9/23/01, bf 15 mo, diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma 1/29/02, officially cancer free for ten years in August 2012
    Thing 2 6/6/05, bf 12 mo, obsessed with dynamite
    Glowworm 2/18/11, bf 15 months and counting

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: How do I help my body respond to a pump?

    i know it's not the normal advice, but when i was simultaneoulsy trying to build supply and a freezer stash, i would wait til almost nursing time and pump then, because i knew it would maximize my output, then nurse - because i knew DS would work for it/could get more out than the pump. that worked for us. and i put together a little slide show of pictures, with a soundtrack of him eating - easy to do in picasa. it was about 2.5 mins long, i played it twice til i got a good letdown. compressions, stretch, rub my shoulders, relax.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

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

    Default Re: How do I help my body respond to a pump?

    Try pumping one side while nursing the other.
    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. #5

    Default Re: How do I help my body respond to a pump?

    Thanks for the responses! I'll give it more time. I tried pumping while feeding him this evening, and while I didn't get much more milk, it was more than I was getting. (Just a bit tricky to do, since he thought it was a cool, new toy to play with while eating!) I didn't think to try pumping before feedings, I'd been trying to pump a bit after a couple, but I think I'll try that and see how it works for us.

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

    Default Re: How do I help my body respond to a pump?

    If you pick one time of day and pump then, like while baby is napping, you will teach your body to make more. It's a learned response, and it can take a week or more of consistent work to get there. Most moms think they should be able to pump 1-8 oz at the first time, but that is rarely the case.
    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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