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Thread: Any suggestions for increasing pump output at work?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Any suggestions for increasing pump output at work?

    I have been battling my pump for some time now with the same issues. I also have a similar schedule (gone 10+ hours with a nasty public-transit commute). Here are a few things I have figured out through trial and error that have been helping:
    **Buy a hand pump. Pump while you are watching TV, checking email, whatever, at home when you are relaxed. Not only is the hand pump more comfortable, but I am able to get another 4 oz a day doing this. Pump while the babe nurses. Pump a little, put it down, pump a little more later. Mine lives on my coffee table. I KNOW it sucks having to pump or think about pumping all the time, but...well... :-/
    **Pumpin' Pals are nice to have, too...They are flanges that are tilted so you can pump while leaning back. A little pricey, but it's been nice to snuggle on the couch and pump a little during Mad Men.
    **While pumping at work, stop the pump for 5 minutes at some point, and start it up again with the stimulation cycle. This is the only way I can get another let-down...and I'm convinced that nipples become overstimulated and just uncomfortable...totally counter-productive.
    **Set a time that you are willing to sit and pump, and stick to it even if you only get a little bit. This is good for sanity. Don't measure your success in ounces, measure it in minutes. Commit to pumping for 30 minutes, 3-4 times a day, and come what will. Stop the pump at 30 minutes no matter what, (ok maybe I would go another few minutes if I had some sort of huge let-down happening) and try again next time. I know it may be 'bad for supply' but I find that breasts on the verge of engorgement pump a lot easier. Cover your bottles up with your shirt so you are not tempted to count the ounces. Take the pressure off a bit.
    **Pictures and video of your little one could be a big help, but I find taking my mind off of it altogether is the only way to go (hence why I'm here right now!)
    **"Treat" yourself while you are pumping. If you have an office with a computer, browse the internet, read a book or a magazine, do a little online shopping, have a little leisure time...eat a cookie...or read the LLLI forums for support.
    ** If you are lucky enough to have a caregiver that can bring your baby to you for one nursing a day, it is a huge help.
    I have just been *squeaking* by with milk for the last two weeks or so, but have made a commitment to myself to do WHAT I CAN and nothing more. I've been (or I am still in...) the exact same place you are in - so frustrating! I figured out that my anxiety about it was WAY worse for my family than the idea that my son MAY have to have a bottle of formula now and then (hasn't happened yet, but it's ok if it does). I was literally crying at every pumping session, waking up in the middle of the night (I don't know about you, but late night pumping is just not an option - I am zombie-like enough already) to pump, and FREAKING OUT and feeling totally inadequate just about every single minute. Ick. Not that I don't have my moments, but, I just had to change how I looked at it. Sorry to turn this into a rant about my experience, but what I'm trying to say is, I Get It.
    So proud to be Avery's mama 12/26/11

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Any suggestions for increasing pump output at work?

    Milkmonstermama, good suggestions! As an aside (don't mean to hijack) - can I ask which hand pump you're using?

  3. #13

    Default Re: Any suggestions for increasing pump output at work?

    Wow. Thanks everyone for your support and suggestions. Much appreciated. Some of them I do already, but I will definitely try those I hadn't thought of.

    I have considered getting a hand pump. I've never used one, but it sounds like a good idea for brief pumping sessions at home.

    I tried hand expression a couple of weeks ago, but didn't get any more volume, it took longer and my hands were sore at the end. It is a good option for those occasions when I'm out all day without a pump.

    Unfortunately, since my left breast produces very little, pumping on one side and feeding on the other doesn't work for me and I never have any leakage to catch.

    I started adding an extra pumping most nights around 10 or 10:30 pm, after I've put her to bed and eaten dinner and before I go to sleep. I don't get much then, but it's the best I can do. Middle of the night or early morning just won't work with my sleep requirements. And I've always found it near impossible to pump while she's awake because I need to be available to take care of her.

    On a positive note, I just pumped 4 ounces while writing this post, which is more than I've gotten in a long while!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Any suggestions for increasing pump output at work?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lsl View Post
    On a positive note, I just pumped 4 ounces while writing this post, which is more than I've gotten in a long while!
    Four oz - that is awesome! Good job!!

    As others have said on this forum - I have taken to thinking that every single ounce is another ounce my baby gets. It's a helpful reminder when I stress about my output!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Any suggestions for increasing pump output at work?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lilpats-mama View Post
    Milkmonstermama, good suggestions! As an aside (don't mean to hijack) - can I ask which hand pump you're using?
    Using the Medela Harmony - it's so much more comfortable than an electric pump!
    So proud to be Avery's mama 12/26/11

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Any suggestions for increasing pump output at work?

    Great to know - thank you!

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