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Thread: No letdown

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    23

    Default No letdown

    Sometimes when I pump, I get no let down at all. Even if I keep at it for twenty minutes or more, I don't get one single let down, and I get hardly any milk. Other times, though, I'll get three let downs in 20 minutes and pump 2 oz total (my LO is a month old). Any suggestions? I try breast compression and get a few sprays, but even those stop within 15 seconds.

    Edited to add: I'm using a Medela Symphony, on rental.
    Last edited by @llli*mrsredhead; July 28th, 2013 at 02:10 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,142

    Default Re: No letdown

    Are the shields properly sized? Is pumping comfortable?

    Also, do you find that there's a particular time of day when you're not seeing letdowns? I found that my evening pumping sessions were less likely to produce a good letdown than my morning ones.
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: No letdown

    I had an IBCLC look at the sizes, and she suggested getting one size smaller for one of my breasts, but said that it looks like I have the correct size for the other breast (size difference due to surgery). I have ordered the smaller size from amazon, should be coming early next week.

    Pumping is comfortable for the most part. It starts to get a little painful at the end, so I turn down the power.

    It's mainly afternoons and evenings when I notice it - like you said, my morning sessions are pretty good.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,142

    Default Re: No letdown

    And you're pumping in addition to nursing, not instead of nursing, right?
    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
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: No letdown

    Yeah, I am nursing and pumping. I only pump two or three times a day, just to make sure my breasts get fully emptied and to stimulate production as much as possible, due to my surgery.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,142

    Default Re: No letdown

    Okay, if you're pumping in addition to nursing rather than instead of nursing, it's to be expected that sometimes you will not get much, if anything. Also, you're not pumping very often, and maybe at irregular time intervals (?)- those factors could also explain why you're not seeing much at certain times.
    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!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: No letdown

    Okay. I want to build up a supply of pumped milk, since I'll be going back to work for a few hours Monday-Thursday in three weeks. If I start pumping more often will that most likely help me see more let downs while pumping?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,609

    Default Re: No letdown

    I would suggest trying adding to pumping things like hand expression, breast compressions, relaxation techniques, changing up how you use the pump settings etc. Of course you could pump more often, but since stress may exacerbate slow letdown, and you are already stressed with slow weight gain concerns, and you are nursing your baby regularly, it may not help to increase pumping sessions if doing so may cause more stress...

    Maybe try to set up a regular pumping time(s) per day, perhaps that will correlate to times you will be pumping while at work? I think that is more what mommal was getting at...that some moms need to kind of 'train' their bodies to respond well to pumping.

    I think it depends a bit on what the main goal is-to express as much milk as possible each time you pump, or increase milk production overall. It’s a fine point, of course any pumping both gives you expressed milk and increases production. But the general strategy for each is a bit different. To increase the volume you get when you pump, pump when you get the most-and many moms find they get more when they pump in the morning. So that part sounds very is normal.

    For building overall milk production, pumping after nursing sessions is an old tried and true technique. As of course is pumping more often overall. But not to the point of exhaustion!

    How many hours each day will you be separated from baby?

    Kellymom.com has several excellent articles on pumping.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: No letdown

    I will try those strategies. I have tried breast compression, and it helps for a few seconds, but then even with compression the streams stop. Relaxation techniques would definitely be helpful, I think, since stress is a major issue for me right now. As you know, I'm stressing about my whole breastfeeding situation, so relaxation techniques probably with help me in general.

    Since I have the Symphony, I don't really have many settings to change. I can only change the strength and switch between let-down mode and regular mode. Going into let-down mode doesn't seem to help, but again that could be due to stressing and obsessing over it.

    I will be away from baby for about two or three hours Monday thru Thursday (I am a high-school teacher and will only be teaching one class period this year, but also have my prep time and drive time). I will only need to pump once, and may be able to get away with nursing right before I leave for work and then right when I get home. But my little guy eats more often than every three hours, so I feel like he will probably end up needing some pumped milk while I am gone.

    I do want to boost my supply - but as you said, I don't want it to become just another cause of stress and frustration for me. Maybe I'll try pumping after two or three nursing sessions, but not every single session, and pumping in the morning during the time I will be working.

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