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Thread: Back at work...super low pumping output...stressed!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Default Back at work...super low pumping output...stressed!

    Hi all

    Have posted previously in the Newborn forum and received lots of great advice and support so thought I would post again.

    Went back to work last week on Valentine's and pumping has not been going well at all. First day back, though I pumped almost every 2/3 hours (4 times!) for around 15-20 mins, I was only able to get a total of 9oz over a 14 hour stretch away from my DD. second day, supply decreased to 8oz but over a shorter timeframe (abt 12 hrs).

    However, today, I have only been able to pump 3 times total at work over a 12 hr stretch and only got 6oz.

    I am already super depressed and frustrated at having to supplement formula for when I'm away from her (I nurse as much as possible when I'm with her and on weekends) so looking for advice, support and encouragement. I understand it is not the end of the world if I have to give her formula but I was very much hoping to pump much more!

    I know me stressing out doesn't help but can't help feeling defeated after putting so much effort into finally being able to EBF.

    Just wanted to vent and seek encouragement! Thanks ladies!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: Back at work...super low pumping output...stressed!

    Welcome and congratulations on all your hard work so far. Just a few things to consider, and I'm sure others will chime in:

    1) Make sure your pump and pump parts is/are in good working order. What kind of pump are you using?
    2) You may need to pump a little longer than 15 or 20 minutes...are you seeing a 2nd phase of letdowns?
    3) To help with the stress - don't watch the milk come out! Read a book or magazine or something while pumping. Wear a nursing cover if you have to! The less you focus on the milk you are collecting, the more you will probably pump. Keep your mind occupied with something else.
    4) Hang in there. It hasn't even been a week yet since you went back to work. Once you settle into a routine and relax a little things will probably improve.
    5) Any breastmilk your baby gets it great - even if it's supplemented with formula!
    6) Is the room you are pumping in warm? For some reason this is a big thing for me. If I am cold I pump MUCH less (and, ouch!). Sometimes I even put on a coat to pump!
    7) Try some hand compressions after you're done pumping. Sometimes I can get another half ounce or even ouce this way.
    Last edited by @llli*worknpump; February 19th, 2013 at 10:57 AM. Reason: forgot something
    Blessed with DS - born 9/2/09 - nursed/pumped for 12 months
    Blessed with DD - born 3/27/12 my dreamfeeder

    903 ounces donated.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: Back at work...super low pumping output...stressed!

    What is your pumping output like at home, when you're calm and not stressed?

    I agree about not looking at the bottles! And finding something relaxing to do. When I started pumping at home to get ready for work, I would look at cute baby animals online. I know some people like pictures of their baby, but I thought that might make me too sad once I was back at work. It may sound dumb, but pics and videos of baby animals, especially with their mamas, were soothing and inspiring. There are even pics and videos out there of baby animals nursing -- belugas and dolphins can do it while both are swimming!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Default Re: Back at work...super low pumping output...stressed!

    thanks so much for te advice. am using PIS right now...tried Ameda PY but didnt seem to work too well for me...barely got 1oz.

    i have gotten a 2nd phase of letdowns but not always...i actually feel like i may have low storage capacity breasts?! is there any way to test for that? coz no matter how long i go for without nursing the abs max i have gotten from pumping is 3oz. which really isnt a whole lot.

    anyways, will definitely try to distract myself from watching the milk drip!! totally stresses me out!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Cleveland, OH

    Default Re: Back at work...super low pumping output...stressed!

    A few more things: make sure you are drinking enough water and eating a healthy diet. It can be hard once you go back to work to remember to eat and drink because things get busy.

    Also try different horns for your pump. My breasts responded differently, so one needed a large size and the other prefered the medium size. Buy some different sizes and see what happens.

    Learning how to do compressions can make a huge difference. As time goes on you will learn more about your breasts and the pump. Sometimes there will be milk ducts that simply do not want to let go with the pump, but if you press them while pumping they will empty for you. When doing compressions watch how the milk flow changes and you will eventually learn what parts of your brests need pressure to fully empty. For me, I would double-pump while playing solitare on my phone, then when the flow stopped I would individually pump each side with compressions. There were some areas, particularly on the bottom of my breast, that I would really have to press deeply to completely empty. I could get 2-3 more ounces per session this way.

    Good Luck!
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

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