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Thread: Second pumping never yields as much

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Posts
    24

    Default Second pumping never yields as much

    I pump at work twice now because I am gone 6 hours at the least and 9 at the most. When I pump the first time I get 6 or more ounces. Yay! But I need to take home double that. And on my second pumping, the problem is that I only get 4 ounces tops. It's usually half or a little bit more than half what I got the first time. What gives?

    What is going on? It has been three hours since I pumped and I'm still slow flowing.
    Breastfeeding stay-at-home mama of a 16-month-old daughter.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
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    1,885

    Default Re: Second pumping never yields as much

    4 oz is a normal pump session. you're getting lucky on the first time! most mamas produce less for the pump than they do for the baby, and most working mamas don't get enough in pumps during the day to completely compensate ... they add pumps in the morning, weekend, or extras during work. if you're at work 9 hours, in my experience you need to be pumping at least 3 times. 6 hours you might be able to get away with twice.

    overall, milk removal is what stimulates milk production, so waiting longer to "build up" the supply before pumping will actually backfire in the long run.

    sorry, i know this isn't usually good news, and pumping sucks (pun intended) ... but the solution is pretty straightforward.

    you'll also want to make sure your pump is relatively new, in good working condition, and that the membranes etc have been replaced recently.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    362

    Default Re: Second pumping never yields as much

    What audrey said. I am away from baby approx 10 hours and I pump 4 times. I try to pump every 2 hrs - but my LO eats every 2 hrs. DS1 was every 3 hrs and I pumped 3 times a day. I always find that my first pump session yields 1-2 oz more than the rest of the day and I get around 3-4 oz at each pump session. I always found that if I timed my pump sessions from the last time I fed DS and kept pretty close to that schedule I was good to go.
    FT working momma to a 9/11/10 busy boy and 11/13/12 happy little man.
    Also wife to hubs since 8/23/08, bonus momma to H (girl) -99 and G (boy)-03

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    465

    Default Re: Second pumping never yields as much

    Agree with PPs about adding a 3rd pump session. Total drag, I know (I posted just last week about how unenthusiastic I feel about the pump!), but it really will make a difference, in both your total daily yield and protecting your supply. Also, maybe it helps to know that it seems pretty normal to have a higher output in the first pump and then progressively less throughout the day. At least that's what I experience, and I have read a lot of other moms here echoing that. So there's nothing weird about that ... you just might want to experiment with your pump schedule (how many sessions and how you space them out) to see what gets you the daily amount you need.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    418

    Default Re: Second pumping never yields as much

    Yes, I think it's very normal to get more from your first morning pump session than any other. Back when I was pumping at work, in the heyday of my oversupply days, I could sometimes get 10-12 oz from the first pump session and then usually 6 from the second. Your milk supply is highest in the morning so that's probably why you get more then.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    525

    Default Re: Second pumping never yields as much

    Suggestions: hydrate hydrate hydrate and if that and a 3rd session don't get you there - or session 3 isn't feasible - I highly recommend renting a Medela Symphony. One more suggestion that is helping me get some extra ounces as its tough for make room for 3 pumps a day at work - I nurse DD before I leave for work and I try to pump on the other side. That milk goes right to the fridge as part of her supply for the day or next day.
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,211

    Default Re: Second pumping never yields as much

    If you have a commute in the car, you can also consider pumping during the commute. That gets you extra sessions without taking away time from work or baby.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Second pumping never yields as much

    IMO the reason why you get more the first time you pump is that you are also removing the milk that your LO didn't finish the last time you nursed him/her at home. I pump 20 minutes after my LO nurses in the morning and can get 4-5 ounces (also have oversupply), if I left this milk until my first morning pump at work, I'd expect to see more for that pump. I pump 3x a day at 6:20am, 10:30am and 3:30pm. Definitely drink lots of water and good luck!
    Trying to keep up with a busy 3.5 year old Morgan Alexis born 11/5/09 at 6 lbs 5 oz and proud retired 1 year EP'er!

    Nursing our new addition Jordan Catherine born 10/21/12 at 7 lbs 14 oz.

    Total donated milk so far - 1,368 ounces!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Second pumping never yields as much

    Thank you all for the advice! I pump twice, but I do like 30 minutes each, which sucks because I have to clock out each time I pump. Maybe if I added three sessions, I could cut the time shorter? How long should I pump ideally?
    Breastfeeding stay-at-home mama of a 16-month-old daughter.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,211

    Default Re: Second pumping never yields as much

    Pumping time varies from mom to mom. But it probably is preferable to try to get three sessions in, even if they are a little shorter (say 20 minutes each), than two longer sessions, if you can. That more closely mimics what baby is doing at the breast - frequent sessions.

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