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Thread: Let Down Issues?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    9

    Default Let Down Issues?

    I am pumping at work 3 times a day using a PIS Advanced. I keep reading that I should pump for 15-20 minutes a session, but I stop releasing milk after 8-10 minutes. I don't get a second letdown even if I continue to pump for an additional 20 minutes. I've tried looking at photos of my LO, calling his dad so I can hear LO in the background, visual imagery... nothing prompts that 2nd letdown.

    Is there anything else I can do or is the 8-10 minute session enough? I'm getting about 3 ozs total from the session- 2 to 2 1/2 oz. from one breast and 1 from the other (I had surgery on that one that severed some milk ducts).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,211

    Default Re: Let Down Issues?

    How long have you been doing the longer sessions for? From your other thread, your pump output is within the expected range of 1 - 1.5 oz/hour, but on the lower end of that, so I wouldn't want to see you having a decrease from there, especially with your history of breast surgery that may be impairing your output on that side. "Pumping dry" (ie, continuing to pump after the milk is no longer coming out) can help maintain or increase output, even if you don't get that second letdown - and you may find that if you continue with the longer sessions, you will start to have that second letdown, or increase your pump output even without the second letdown. I think of 10 minutes as a bare minimum time for a mama with robust supply and good pump output, in your case I would shoot for longer.

    ETA: Also, are you trying hand compressions? Basically massaging your breasts to try to squeeze the milk out of any hidden corners. You can either do hand compressions while still hooked up to the pump, or alternate pump-compressions-pump.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Let Down Issues?

    I do compressions. I had mastitis with my first LO, and I don't want to repeat that experience so I'm very careful to completely empty both breasts.

    I'll hang in there with the pumping dry, but what you brought up about me being on the lower end of the output scale is what has me worried. I'm on fenugreek, but I'm just not pumping at the volumes others seem to be. My LO is healthy and gaining weight well. He's satisfied when he nurses and I can feel the multiple letdowns when I'm actually with him. I just dont' get much from pumping and I'm afraid I won't be able to keep him exclusively on breast milk if my supply reduces any further.

    ETA: I do the compressions while pumping. The last 1/2 ounce or so usually comes when I'm compressing my right breast. I get very little from compressing my left one, but that's the side I had mastitis on and the one that has the severed ducts. I had trouble with a blocked duct in that breast about a week after delivery so I am very cautious about not generating even more problems than I've already had.
    Last edited by @llli*1happymomof2boys; January 18th, 2013 at 12:20 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,211

    Default Re: Let Down Issues?

    It sounds like everything is going well from what you say. The pump is usually not as good as nursing at extracting milk, overall it sounds like your supply is fine. And from your other thread, you are actually keeping up with his daytime milk intake. Breastfed babies do not need more milk over time, so if he continues to drink the same amount while you're at work, and you continue to pump the same amount, you don't have a problem, right? The ONLY reason I suggested not cutting your pumping times short is because I don't want you to jeopardize your supply, not because I think that you currently have a problem. You're doing great!

    ETA: Also, pumping output varies wildly from one mother to another. How much you pump compared to another mother is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is whether you're meeting the needs of your baby.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Let Down Issues?

    Thanks. My husband keeps telling me to stop stressing over feeding, but I'm insecure because of the deficit in the one breast.

    I really appreciate the reassurance.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,211

    Default Re: Let Down Issues?

    There are mothers who breastfeed with only one breast (breast cancer survivors for example), including some who are on these forums. So you really don't even need the underperforming breast!

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