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Thread: Need HELP - Manual AVENT works, Pump in Style does not

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    6

    Unhappy Need HELP - Manual AVENT works, Pump in Style does not

    I invested in a new Medela Pump-in-Style but I could never get more than two ounces from both breasts with it, in spite of the fact that I've practised extensively!!! I went back to work yesterday, my dd is now 4 months old, and I need to pump 18 ounces daily for her... It's impossible to keep up and I am ready to buy formula (though I don't want to!!).
    My manual pump, an AVENT, works great, on the other hand. I see the milk flowing, sometimes up to 6 different sprays... I try to switch to the Medela but that doesn't work either... The problem is that I don't have the time to pump with the manual three times a day!! Please, help me... Is this normal? Could it be that the Pump-in-Style doesn't work for me? Should I keep on practising? I've done it everyday for more than 15 days... Usually I get drops from the left breast and 1-2 ounces from the right one, after 30 minutes of pumping at full speed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    100

    Default Re: Need HELP - Manual AVENT works, Pump in Style does not

    Do you get any suction from the PIS? If not, try jiggling the faceplate. Also try replacing the white star membranes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    6

    Default Re: Need HELP - Manual AVENT works, Pump in Style does not

    I do get suction from the PIS, but somehow the Avent membrane seems to create a vacuum and suction much better from my breast... I had heard that the PIS was the best thing for working mothers, but it doesn't work at all for me and now I really can't afford buying an Avent Isis IQ to see if that works better... :-(

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    4

    Smile Re: Need HELP - Manual AVENT works, Pump in Style does not

    Hey!

    First of all relax.

    First, how long are you at work each day? How many times do you nurse in the evening. Sometimes we think we need to pump more that we really do.

    Second, it may take some time to really get accostomed to the pump, no matter how much "practice" you have had.

    What do you do while you are pumping. Make sure to have something to trink and something to keep your mind off those bottles! Some pumpers believe that a warm drink,(maybe some mothers milk tea or fennell tea...harmless but can aid let down).

    Day to day pumping may not always be the same and don't let that make you think you will not be able to "keep up" with baby, you need to average over a couple of weeks as you really get used to pumping.

    You can also pump for slightly less time. but more often of a week or two, especially if you find you are "dry pumping" after a period of time

    Here is a link for another bf'ing support board where they have compiled information about pumping:

    http://www.breastfeeding.com/ubb/ult...c;f=4;t=001217

    I love both sites, but there are alot of very experienced pumpers over there.

    Feel free to email me if you need additional support.( Relax, though...worrying will kill your supply like nothing else.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Need HELP - Manual AVENT works, Pump in Style does not

    Dear Jen,

    Thanks a lot for your reply. I sure need to relax. I am always staring at the pump to see how much milk I've got, and I see nothing...

    I have to pump in the bathroom because I work in an open newsroom and there's no room left for anything else. Even the meeting room is taken much of the day...

    Today I'll try to put a chair in the disabled bathroom and see if that works better, because sitting in the WC I cannot even recline my back and it's very uncomfortable.

    I work about 9 or 9 1/2 hours a day, plus a 45' commute each way, so it's about 11 hours without my baby girl. Yesterday she took 12 oz. during that time, and I am guessing she would need a little bit more, like 18 oz. while I am away (she is 4 months and weighs 15,15 pounds).

    The problem is I have to get in and out of the office the whole day and I have a deadline to write my stories, so that makes everything much more complicated. Sometimes I have to choose between pumping and eating lunch (no, I can't do both at the same time even though I bought a hands-free bra!).

    I'll keep on trying with the PIS... It just kills me to lose all that time dry pumping and getting maybe one ounce in 30 minutes, knowing that if I use the manual pump I could get REAL milk, about 4 ounces in that same period of time.

    My frozen stack is dwindling. After today, I have nothing left...

    I can't believe that after all the obstacles I surmounted regarding breastfeeding (HORRIBLE engorgement for several weeks, the baby would sleep at the breast when she was born, she lost a lot of weight, I had to feed her with a syringe day and night), I have to stop because I have to work...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,900

    Default Re: Need HELP - Manual AVENT works, Pump in Style does not

    Hello JuJu! Welcome to the board!

    I can see that you're feeling frustrated. You should know that there are still several things you can try. Don't give up yet!

    Do you think the breastshield for your pump in style might not be fitting you properly? This link might help:
    http://www.medela.com/NewFiles/faq/b...hield_fit.html

    I've heard of some mothers taking the petal insert from the Isis and using it with the PIS with good result. Maybe doing so makes the pump more familiar? However, I wouldn't recommend doing this if you suspect your breastsheild might be too tight. If you should need a different breastshield size, try that first.

    Once you've know whether or not your breastshield is a good fit, the next thing I would recommend is fiddling with the vacuum and the speed of the pump. I'm sure you'll find a setting that is closer to what you experience when using the Isis. Or at minimum, something that will help you express more milk.

    If the above doesn't fix the issue with your pump, please put in a call to Medela. They will help you troubleshoot. 1-800-tellyou

    If after all of that, the PIS just isn't working for you, you could consider buying another Isis and double pumping that way. Yes, I'm serious! You could even use your hands free bra to help you keep the pumps in place.

    If after all this, you're simply not able to pump enough while you're at work, you can consider combination feeding. Your baby will recieve supplements of formula in addition to your milk. The supplement could be offered while you're at work, and you can still nurse on demand when you're home as well as pump as much as possible when at work. So, you see, breastfeeding doesn't have to be all or nothing. You don't have to give up!

    Good luck, and keep us updated!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Need HELP - Manual AVENT works, Pump in Style does not

    Dear Jen and Jolie,
    I appreciate your help very much. I will try to get bigger shields (I am a C-D cup, but the standard shields are not painful) and maybe that'll work. I will also call the 1800 number at Medela... Today I dried pump for 25 minutes at work and I arrived home horribly engorged after 9 hours without breastfeeding or pumping any milk. At home I tried again to pump from the breast my daughter did not take and I got only 2 ounces in 45 minutes after fidgeting with the vacuum strenght and speed... I am happy, though. 2 oz. is better than nothing at all, even if it took almost an hour to get it...
    THANKS AGAIN for your support and advice!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: Need HELP - Manual AVENT works, Pump in Style does not

    Hi JuJu,

    Sorry you're having such trouble. I had a similar problem when I first started pumping. I had a cheapo manual pump that worked great, though it took forever. I bought the pump in style after I figured out the reason my manual one worked well is that I could control the speed of the pumping. For me, I get a let down after a few seconds to a minute of fast pumping, then long, slow pumps after that. The pump in style I bought has a speed control. I keep the vacuum turned up all the way, and at first run it at full speed. Then when I feel a let down, I turn it down to the lowest speed and I can get much more that way. Does your pump in style have a speed control? If so, maybe that'll help. Also, though pumping in the bathroom doesn't sound very comfortable, try to get as cozy as you can. I find the more I can let myself relax, the more I get. I also look at photos of my DD when I pump, that also seems to help stimulate a let down.

    Good luck! If the pump in style is really not working for you, can you afford to try another type? I've heard of people who had terrible luck with one pump, and then another style worked great. I've never used it, but the Whisper Wear pump is supposed to be great (you wear it under your bra) and is truly hands-free so you can get work done while using it. I hear it makes you look stacked, though, so maybe you don't want to go parading around the office wearing it!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Need HELP - Manual AVENT works, Pump in Style does not

    I'm sorry you're having such troubles. It can be really demoralizing to have problems pumping when you're separated from baby. I wanted to offer a few more ideas to see if you thought these might help. These are relevant no matter what pump you end up using (I did have the same idea Jolie had, that is to get a second Isis and double manual pump. Double pumping produces more prolactin, which is the milk-making hormone. When working and separated from child, this can be key.)

    - Get as comfortable as you can in the location you'll be pumping - a chair is a good idea, as is a note on the door to avoid interruptions, maybe even headphones with relaxing music to drown out other noises?
    - Bring an item of baby's clothing with you, something that smells like her. Smell can be a powerful trigger.
    - Bring a photo of baby
    - Some moms even find listening to a tape of the baby can help
    - warm compresses applied to the breasts before pumping - some moms use disposable diapers, they aren't as wet and leaky as a warm washcloth might be. Alternatively, there are gel packs that can work for this as well.
    - using the baby item, picture, tape of baby sounds, etc. - really try to visualize her and think of nursing together, think how easily milk flows, the sounds she makes when she swallows, in short - anything that will help you get into a nursing mindset.

    I hope some of these ideas help. You've gotten some great information here. Best wishes, and let us know how it goes.

    Warmly,
    Karen Smith
    LLL Leader, IL

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    100

    Default Re: Need HELP - Manual AVENT works, Pump in Style does not

    Just one or two more ideas that might help.

    I started pumping after being away from it for 4mo and like you got maybe 1-2oz maximum in 30min. Someone suggested pumping before DB eats in the early am. The first time I tried it (4:30-5:00am) I got 6oz in 10min. (Holy cow! I thought). DB woke an hour later and he was fine with whatever he got from my breasts.

    Second helpful hint. Are you driving on your commute or during the day? The PIS has a car adapter, so you could try multi-tasking and pump while driving. It would give you a little breathing room during the day for lunch, etc.

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