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Thread: Buy pump or not?

  1. #1

    Default Buy pump or not?

    Hi there, I currently use an Avent manual pump every night but only get about 40ml (1.3 Oz). I often get about 60ml (2 oz) if hand express. I need to significantly increase this to top up my baby (exclusively breast fed) as I need to fatten him up and would eventually like to build a freezer stash. I've used a Medela mini with even less success, night bigger flanges but got nothing. Is it worth buying a better pump, or will my body just respond the same?

    Note I've tried warm packs, breast massage, photos and videos of baby, having baby with me, pumping different times of day...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Buy pump or not?

    Hi ftmum. Most moms who need to pump more than just occasionally, like a mom who is separated from baby for work, seem to do better with a personal use double sided electric pump. Electric pump typically shortens the pump session, and tends to lead to better milk extraction. This helps protect your milk production going forward and also means more milk extracted each session. But quite possibly not "significantly" more than 1-2 ounces. 1- 2 ounces is actually fairly typical pump output when mom is pumping here and there while also exclusively nursing. When a mom returns to work and is pumping instead of nursing, she might see per session output of 2-4 ounces as a typical amount- if she has the right pump for the job. Some do manage with a hand pump, but if you are getting better results with hand expression, then I would suggest hand express. (Not sure if you mean hand expression with the pumping or alone gets the better output.)

    If a baby requires supplements in order to gain normally, (and there is no medical issue that causes poor gain) that means that either baby does not nurse effectively or mom has low milk production- or possibly both. In that situation, where a baby requires supplements of moms milk or formula to gain normally, a mom may need a rented hospital grade pump in order to protect or increase her production and she might want to pump after most nursing sessions as that is an effective way to increase overall production.

    Manual pumps are made for occasional pumping, usually by moms who intend to exclusively nurse but need a little expressed milk here and there for occasional outings. While some moms find they respond well to a manual pump, these types of pumps are likely to lead to low milk production if used in situations where a double electric or rented hospital grade pump is preferable.

    And some moms are just really good at hand expression and can use that instead of pumping.

    So I am curious if the freezer stash is needed for a return to work, or for some other separation, or for some other reason. Also curious if baby is gaining normally or not, as some babies are just naturally thin and do not need to be fattened up as long as they are gaining normally. Why mom is pumping changes the answer of what type of pump is best suited, in other words.

    Good article on pumping: http://kellymom.com/hot-topics/pumping_decrease/
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; May 19th, 2016 at 11:06 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Buy pump or not?

    Hi @Maddieb, thank you for your reply!

    He is not gaining well but I've posted on here before about his weight gain. He needs fattening up before our next appointment otherwise we'll be strongly recommended to introduce calorific foods early and supplement with formula - both of which I don't want to do unless absolutely necessary, I'd much prefer to do this first! I just need to figure out whether investing in a pump is the best way to go or just stick it out with what I've got.

    In terms of hand express, I've been doing this in combination with the manual pump. I do find a few problems with hand expression, it takes a long time, after while it hurts my nipples a bit and I'd just plain old prefer to have my hands a bit more free. Needless to say I'd rather use a pump

    Reason for the freezer stash, so hubby and I can go out in future for a night occasion and not have to worry and also to add to his food when we look at eventually introducing solids.

    We're going to need a lot more than the small amounts I'm getting at the moment and I think as you said pumping after each session could be a good idea to boost supply. The cost to rent a hospital grade pump would end up costing more than what it would cost to buy. Am thinking buying would be a good option.

    Do you think over time I might be able to pump more after using an electric?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Buy pump or not?

    I am afraid it is impossible to predict how much milk you are likely to get out each time you pump. It might help to know what you are expecting, exactly, in terms of pump out put. As I said, what you are pumping right now is considered within the normal range for pump output. I know it is frustrating to do all that work and not see much, but if your baby is gaining poorly, it is possible you have low production as well, which would also lower pump output.

    A hospital rented pump is supposed to be a temporary solution for a temporary problem. Now I have not priced pumps in a long time, but when I last did, it was definitely cheaper to rent a pump for a month or two than to buy a good electric pump. But if a personal use pump makes more sense financially then of course that is probably the direction you wish to go.

    Some insurers provide pumps or funds for pumps.
    WIC may be able to provide you with a pump (if you qualify for WIC)

    for milk for a sitter, all you would need to leave 3-6 ounces- enough for a bottle or two, unless by night out you mean the whole night.

    An excellent resource when baby is not gaining well is the book Making More Milk.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Buy pump or not?

    That sounds like a good read, will need to hunt it down. I'm in NZ so not sure we'd qualify for insurance for a pump.

    OK good to know regarding sitter, would only be for a dinner not a whole night out - those days are well over haha!

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