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Thread: Not letting down while pumping at work

  1. #1

    Default Not letting down while pumping at work

    I'm a first time mom with 6 1/2 month old and I just returned to work today. I've been gearing up for this for a while and have been pretty nervous, anxious and excited. I had been pumping previously without much issue, so I had a supply of frozen milk for the nanny to use today. I planned on pumping 3 times at work and I thought that would supply 3 bottles to make up for what the nanny used.

    o my disappointment, I could not let down when I pumped! Milk just trickled out. Then I ended up hand-expressing some because I got so frustrated. I tried to relax, look at pictures of my son and not look at the bottles, but it seemed that nothing was working.

    I am afraid. What if this keeps happening and he doesn't have enough milk? What if y milk decreases because I'm not letting down while at work? Also, it's pretty uncomfortable. I need to know I'm not alone and that there is a solution to this problem. I'm so scared that this will keep happening but I'm not even sure why it's happening in the first place.

    Thank you so much for reading. Any advice is welcome.

    (FYI I have a Medela Pump in Style that is about 5 years old (got it from co-worker). I know it's not the motor because the strength of the pull on my breast still feels the same.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Not letting down while pumping at work

    Congratulations on continuing to breastfeed while working. You can do this. I know this is easier said than done - but try not to think about letting down when you start pumpin Look at a magazine, read a book, listen to music or an audio book. Anything other than thinking about it. The more you stress about it the harder it will be...
    Blessed with DS - born 9/2/09 - nursed/pumped for 12 months
    Blessed with DD - born 3/27/12 my dreamfeeder

    903 ounces donated.
    http://www.wakemed.org/landing.cfm?id=135

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Not letting down while pumping at work

    I just had another thought. Is the room you are pumping in at work cool or cold? This can delay letdown. If this is the case, try warm compresses before pumping. I like "booby tubes."

    http://www.amazon.com/Earth-Mama-Ang...ds=booby+tubes
    Blessed with DS - born 9/2/09 - nursed/pumped for 12 months
    Blessed with DD - born 3/27/12 my dreamfeeder

    903 ounces donated.
    http://www.wakemed.org/landing.cfm?id=135

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Not letting down while pumping at work

    This happens to me too sometimes. You'll have good days and bad days at the pump but it all evens out if you keep at it.

    I do the pre-pump massage and shake (described in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding), then hook myself up, turn my music on, do some deep breaths, focusing on relaxing my shoulder muscles, and then turn my attention to my iPhone or a phone call to my sister.

    It'll happen for you. Don't worry!! I now find that it's sometimes easier to let down for the pump than for DD!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,538

    Default Re: Not letting down while pumping at work

    also check your pump parts, replace the mebranes etc...
    Autumn
    Moma to *Silas* 10-30-07

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

    Default Re: Not letting down while pumping at work

    The pumps wear out so slowly that it does feel the same. Have your pump checked.
    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. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,908

    Default Re: Not letting down while pumping at work

    I agree. this could entirely be the pump.
    When pump motors wear out they go wonky. I know moms for whom pumping was too forceful/painful due to using an old pump. Others feel the same as normal, but are not getting results. Moms never think its the pump, they always blame themselves. But this is real. There is a section in the new The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding about the risks of using old pumps due to pump failure. They are machines like any other, some go on forever and others go kaput. Certainly personal use pumps are only designed to last for about a year of typical use.

    Troubleshoot and have motor/suction checked. there is a machine that checks them I think. I suggest, if at all possible, forget the old p&s and invest in a new pump that is under warrantee and customer service. FYI There are other good pumps of that same class that are cheaper than the p&s. There are pump rating websites around.
    nothing against medela, obviously that is a very popular pump. but others are good too.

    Also some pump & style lots were recalled a bit ago- There should be something on the medela site about that. I know a mom who not only could not pump enough but lost milk production overall due to using a pump that was later recalled.

    Another inexpensive option would be to see if you can rent a hospital grade pump for a week. I just rented a medela symphony for $20.00 for a week. I *think* you can use your p&s kit (tubing, breast sheilds, etc.) with any medela-check on that, as the darn kit cost me $50.00

    Anyway, if you produce fine for the rental, you can be pretty sure the issue is the pump.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; August 11th, 2012 at 12:33 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Not letting down while pumping at work

    Thank you all so much for your input. The next time I pumped at work I distracted myself by looking at facebook on my phone and before I knew it I heard the lovely sound of let down into the bottles. I feel like I'm not producing as much milk as when my son nurses but I think that is normal. I am still going to get my pump checked like some were suggesting because I plan on using it for other children in the future, and I know I should make sure it's in good shape since it's already been used for a few years. Thanks again to you all. I feel so much better now and it really helps to have the feedback so that I know I'm not alone when I run into issues with breastfeeding.

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