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Thread: Having trouble pumping - need help/suggestions!

  1. #1
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    Default Having trouble pumping - need help/suggestions!

    Hi there,

    I just had my second baby 2 weeks ago and I am BFing, like I did with my first child. BFing is going very well, no issues there. Unfortunately, I have had no luck pumping this time around. I have tried about 4 different times since she was born and I cannot achieve a "let down" with the pump. I pumped when I had my son and I am using the same pump - Medela pump in style advanced. I had trouble pumping enough for him when I went back to work but I had pumped enough before going back to work that it wasnt a problem. I never had a problem achieving a "let down" when pumping last time around like I am this time. Does anyone have any suggestions? I am desparate not to have to buy/use formula just so I can be away from my little one but I dont know what other option I will have if I cant make this work.

    Any suggestions/help anyone may have is appreciated!

    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Having trouble pumping - need help/suggestions!

    Most likely, since you're using the same pump as you used with your first child, your pump is simply too old and the motor has worn out and doesn't give as good suction anymore, and that's why you can't get a let-down. Best bet is to replace your pump (expensive, I know, sorry, but cheaper over the long run than formula!). If you haven't yet tried this, one potential cheap solution is to replace the replaceable parts of your pump, especially the little yellow pieces and the white membranes. Those wear out more quickly than the rest of the pump parts and should be replaced every couple months to keep your pump in good working order. So try that before buying a new pump, but if that doesn't work, you probably just need a new pump. The Medela pumps are only designed to last for about a year of average use, so if you used it for about a year with your first child, it's probably just worn out and in need of replacement.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Having trouble pumping - need help/suggestions!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*joshuas.mommy View Post
    The Medela pumps are only designed to last for about a year of average use.
    Where did you get this information? I've never heard this and it hasn't been my experience.

    I really doubt you need a new pump, unless you pumped exclusively with your first baby and totally wore out the motor. But definitely try replacing the membranes and maybe tubing to see if that helps with suction. That's something you should do every so often anyway, and especially between babies.

    I'd also give yourself a bit more time to get used to pumping before you assume there is a problem. It could just be your body needs to a)get used to nursing again and/or b)get used to responding to the pump again.

    Is it necessary for you to be pumping this soon? It's generally best to wait until 5-6 weeks to start pumping if you can- to avoid pumping yourself into an oversupply problem. Your supply is so sensitive to stimulation in those early weeks.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Having trouble pumping - need help/suggestions!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*still.here View Post
    Where did you get this information? I've never heard this and it hasn't been my experience.

    I really doubt you need a new pump, unless you pumped exclusively with your first baby and totally wore out the motor. But definitely try replacing the membranes and maybe tubing to see if that helps with suction. That's something you should do every so often anyway, and especially between babies.
    Another poster who used to be on here a lot more, AprilsMagic, used to say that all the time about the Medela pumps wearing out after one year. She had three kids she BF'd and one she EP'd for for 18 months so I assumed she knew what she was talking about. I've heard other posters say it on here, too, that single-user pumps are really only meant to last for about a year of typical use. I don't have any primary source to back that up, though personally I've noticed a decline in the efficiency of my pump now that I'm past the one-year mark and I assumed it was due to the normal process of the pump wearing out Maybe someone else out there knows more and can either confirm or refute pumps wearing out after a year?
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Having trouble pumping - need help/suggestions!

    Here's some info about breast pumps possibly wearing out after a year:

    http://www.blisstree.com/2009/12/28/...-has-worn-out/

    It looks like it's not always a problem with every pump, but it certainly can be.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Having trouble pumping - need help/suggestions!

    Ah, I got you. I was wondering if it came from the medela website. It kind of sounds like something a pump manufacturer would say to get you to buy a new pump.

    I used a medela PISA that I borrowed from a friend who'd used it a little over a year and I never had any problems with it. And she's since lent it to another friend and I haven't heard of any problems (though granted, I might not necessarily hear about it). Susan was EPing so using her pump a lot more than your average pumping-at-work mom would be. Maybe that's why she said that. I don't know, I figure if you're spending that much money on something it darn well better last longer than one baby! I think most of the time changing out the expendable parts will refresh most pumps unless there's just a problem with that particular one.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Having trouble pumping - need help/suggestions!

    Hmmm, well that would be nice if you could use the pump for more than one baby...I was just figuring I'd need to buy another one for the next baby, or maybe even for this baby if I don't pump wean soon, since I feel like mine just doesn't 'empty' me effectively anymore. I should probably follow my own advice about replacing the membranes and yellow parts first, though, and see if that does the trick at myself for not trying the easy thing first!
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Having trouble pumping - need help/suggestions!

    For what it's worth, I pumped with my PISA through my first baby's first year, sporadically with my second baby (I was mostly using a Freestyle at that time, not sure why since I've since decided it's inferior to the PISA!) and am now eight months into pumping with the same PISA again. At-work pumping, not EP'ing. No problems so far. I've also heard that this type of pump is only good for a year but that hasn't been my experience.

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