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Thread: The milk is there...but not much is coming out w pump

  1. #1

    Default The milk is there...but not much is coming out w pump

    Hello!

    I work 40 hours a week and pump twice a day, for roughly 20 minutes a time, during the work week. I bought the Medela Freestyle double pump when I came back to work from maternity leave, my son was two months old then. So I have been using the pump for about 5 months now. However, while I had no problem pumping when I first started, there has been a significant drop in how much I am pumping a day. I was getting damn near 2 bottles (10oz.) out a day and that kept the fridge stocked, but now I'm lucky if I can get out 1 bottle (5oz.) I mean, I'm having a very rough time keeping the fridge stocked with enough milk! My son just turned 7 months, and he started taking solid food pretty good at around 6 months, and that helps...but other then making him eat more solid food, I'm starting to think my only option is formula for when I'm not with him...

    I know there is milk there, because my breasts still feel full after a 20 minute pumping session, and if I try to hand express afterwards I spray milk everywhere...I even got the replacement parts kit to see if that would make a difference, but it hasn't.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I DO NOT want to make him start taking formula unless its absolutely necessary. ~Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,562

    Default Re: The milk is there...but not much is coming out w pump

    Have you tried hand expressing into the bottle after you are done pumping? And why 20 minutes? Can you pump longer? Could you add another pumping session in during the day?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: The milk is there...but not much is coming out w pump

    I've used both the Medela Freestyle and the Medela pump in style advanced quite extensively. I honestly think the Freestyle is just not a great pump (though I loved the fact that it was so light and portable, which is why I kept using it at the time). My average pumping times with the Freestyle were at least twice as long as with the PISA. It sounds like you are not drained after twenty minutes of pumping. So you may very well have to increase your times, as PP suggests, and/or add another session. But if you're constrained on time you might want to consider upgrading your pump.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,360

    Default Re: The milk is there...but not much is coming out w pump

    My prime suspect would also be the pump. They do tend to wear down after months of heavy use. Start by replacing any replaceable parts- membranes, valves- and if that doesn't work, upgrading to a better pump is a very reasonable option.

    Adding another pumping session during the day will also be helpful. A lot of moms have to add in more sessions as the year goes on, and some even have to pump after nursing when they're at home with their babies in order to get enough milk for the next day.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,912

    Default Re: The milk is there...but not much is coming out w pump

    I know there is milk there, because my breasts still feel full after a 20 minute pumping session, and if I try to hand express afterwards I spray milk everywhere...I even got the replacement parts kit to see if that would make a difference, but it hasn't.
    It sounds like something is interfering with letdown. Are you tense, rushed, more than before? Is pumping painful at all? Or maybe you just need to pump longer, hand express or massage prior to pumping, or hand express after.

    But I agree, old worn out or just plain malfunctioning pumps are often the problem! Since trouble shooting the pump did not help, it may be time to consider getting a new pump. How much longer are you going to be pumping at work? I wonder if it might be cost effective to rent a hospital grade pump. Or rent one short term to see if it makes a difference before investing in a new pump.

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