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Thread: Help from moms who use the Medela PIS Advanced!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Default Help from moms who use the Medela PIS Advanced!

    I have had a significant amount of difficulty pumping the last week or so, to the point where I simply could not let down for my pump this morning at all--but hand expressed 4 ounces easily, and I am a terrible hand expresser! I am thinking I need to replace valves and membranes, but here's my issue: they look fine to me, and I have only been back to work for two months. When should I expect to have to replace them on average, and aside from having issues pumping, are there noticeable signs that they have worn out?

    Thanks for any input!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help from moms who use the Medela PIS Advanced!

    Change the membranes, yes, but also consider that you breast may have changed over the last few months and your shield size may need to be adjusted, too.

    I don't think there is a set time to change out membranes, it really depends on how long and often you pump. I only went through 3 sets in my 9+ months of pumping but some moms change them out way more often than that. Sometimes they will get small tears around the edges, but that isn't always the case.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    April 2014

  3. #3
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Help from moms who use the Medela PIS Advanced!

    I agree. I'm like sassypants, I did not do a lot of changes (basically only when I lost one down the drain by accident when washing), but some people change them out every month (the membranes at least, maybe not the valves). Definitely worth a try if you're having problems. What about the pump itself, is it also only 2 months old, or did you or someone else use it before? Also, are you feeling particularly stressed at the moment? That can affect letdown too.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help from moms who use the Medela PIS Advanced!

    Pump is only two months old, yes. I also own a Freestyle, and grabbed that out of desperation today, but I pump more milk with the PIS Advanced. No new stress, and I didn't have any trouble letting down when I hand expressed or used the Freestyle--just with the PIS today. Last week, I would say I had a daily drop in output of about 4 oz. a day, and I definitely felt the milk still stuck in there, as opposed to just having a drop in supply. I do pump a lot--4 times a day five days a week to keep up.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help from moms who use the Medela PIS Advanced!

    Yeah, it does sound like a pump issue. I've also used the Freestyle and the PISA and definitely prefer the PISA - I started having similar issues as you're having now when I was using the Freestyle. Also, consider whether you need a different flange size - sometimes breast size changes as things go along and you may need a smaller or bigger size. If changing things out doesn't help, you can give a call to Medela and see if they can help you troubleshoot whether there is something wrong with the actual motor.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Help from moms who use the Medela PIS Advanced!

    Also remember to set the suction on how it feels, not on what the dial says. As time goes on you may need to apply a higher suction setting to get your let down. Every once in a while I would tinker with my settings by slowly dialing it up until it became uncomfortable then taking it down to just below that point.

    There were some days where I would be trying to multi-task during my pump break and the time would run out on the let down setting but I would notice that I didn't get a proper let down and have to hit the button to start that over again. My point being, if my mind was somewhere else it might take me two tries to get a let down.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    April 2014

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help from moms who use the Medela PIS Advanced!

    I have a larger and a smaller set of flanges at home. I definitely do not need the smaller set, but it is possible I need to go up a size again! Though I do have a comfortably moving nipple in the size I am using at the moment.

    I hit the letdown button frequently over the course of my pumping if I am not flowing properly, which has always helped. I am not a particularly good pumper--I have to realllllllly fight for my 12-14 oz a day, but I am hoping this is just a valve/membrane issue! My husband's picking me up a new set tonight, and hopefully that's the ticket. I just can't believe they'd wear out so fast, but hopefully it is that and not the motor. And hopefully it isn't me just getting even more pump-resistant, ugh!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help from moms who use the Medela PIS Advanced!

    I think the rule of thumb is to replace membranes *at least* every three months. However that's going to vary based on individual pump session length and frequency, since three months for one mom will not have the exact same wear & tear on a pump as another person's three months of use. I have never been able to "see" with the naked eye that a membrane is worn out, but then when I replace it, I'm more responsive to the pump again.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help from moms who use the Medela PIS Advanced!

    Okay, that's good to know as a general rule of thumb. I was wondering if there was something to see, or if it just sort of stops working. I would rather just swap out the parts every so many months before getting to the point of a pumping issue, but if there isn't any good way to see it...ah, well. My backup stash is fairly small, and I do NOT want to dip into it for anything other than spilled milk emergencies!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Help from moms who use the Medela PIS Advanced!

    It seems as though the valves and membranes were the ticket--pumping is back to the usual output range for me today! Thanks, all.

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