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Thread: Pumping question - please help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Question Pumping question - please help!

    I am a brand new mom and this is my first post here! My baby boy is eight weeks old. I stayed home with him for eight weeks, and have now returned to work. I have a Medela pump, and I love it. My baby eats about every 2-3 hours. My problem is that I can't seem to pump as much as my baby eats every 2-3 hours. For example, my baby eats 3-4 ounces at a time from my breast, but I can't seem to pump that much when I'm at work (or at home) - the most I've ever gotten is 2.5 ounces. I've tried several things to make it easier - looking at a picture of him, smelling his clothes, relaxing, calling his caregiver right before I pump, ect., and nothing's helped. Is this common, or am I having some sort of problem?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Pumping question - please help!

    Welcome! I am new here too. I have read from many posts that for many women it is hard to get a lot of expressed milk from pumping. Here are some tips that my LC gave me- hope this helps!
    -If you want to get a little extra milk, pump after you shower
    -Use electric pumps on the lowest pressure that just pulls comfortably on the breast
    -do not watch the pump. cover it. watching can interfere with milk release.
    -hot compresses just before can help to get milk flowing.
    -relax, if you have an ipod or something similar, you can listen to your fav music, etc.
    -think of pumping as a relaxing break from your regular day.
    -don't watch the clock, just check on your milk flow now and then to make sure it is still coming out.
    -once the milk flow has slowed, if you didn't get as much as you wanted, take a little break (10-30 min if you can) and come back to pump for another 5 min or so. These two sessions count as one interuppted session.

    I hope this helps! And I look forward to seeing what others say, as I also have problems with pumping milk for later use. Good luck and keep it up!!!! You are doing awesome!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Pumping question - please help!

    What you're experiencing is VERY common. My son is 5 mths old and I am experiencing the same thing. But babies are much more efficient at getting milk out of the breast than a man made pump, so it is not unusual to get considerably less when you do pump than our babies get. Frusterating, I know, it would be nice to pump 4 or 5 oz every time, but that's just not how it works for most women.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Pumping question - please help!

    I feel your anxiety - its a common problem for us pumping mums. My DS is 6 mos now and takes 8 oz bottles and it is very hard for me to keep up with her. Sometimes i feel i am an excellent milk machine and sometimes i am in a panic. I agree with the previous posters. Some additional tips:
    1. You will begin to get more output as time goes on and your supply increases to meet baby's needs.
    2. Pump after baby eats in am when your supply is high - you can probably get a few extra oz.
    3. Once baby starts sleeping longer, pump after baby goes to bed before you go to bed. thats how i get my last few oz for the day and im not sure i would keep up if it werent for pumping at bedtime - it also helps me sleep longer comfortably.
    4. Fenugreek has helped me - i take 8-10 capsules a day - you have to take enough that your urine and sweat smell like the stuff. I do think it has helped increase my output by a few oz.
    5. make sure you have a good freezer supply that you can dip into if you have to. You probably wont need it right away, but it is so comforting to know that it is there.
    Hope that helps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Pumping question - please help!

    Here is a site on how much ebm your baby will need (not LLL but good info):

    When I first starting pumping, baby would take more from the bottle than I could pump, but after reading that site, I realized that the sitter was overfeeding--pushing dd to finish the bottle when she would have been satisfied with less. So I just filled a bottle with what I had pumped the day before and then left a little extra ebm with sitter. I told her that if dd finished the bottle and was satisfied to leave it at that. If she didn't seem satisfied, the sitter could give her a little more.

    Also, here is a site to help with increasing the amount you get from a session. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html

    I also use breast compression at the end of my session--I just use my hand to compress my breast and I do this all the way around my breast--hard to explain but if you try it you will see the milk squirt out at a higher intensity when you have hit a good spot. I leave my hand in that compression position until it starts to decrease then I move it and do the same thing. It has to be pretty firm, but not painful.

    I hope this helps!

    Wife to a grizzly
    Mama to my little deer (12/05) my loving bear cub (9/07--), and our little tiger (3/22/10)
    Born by one c-section and 2 amazing VBACs

    Miles in 2012: 350.5/900 (Actual Miles Ran: 189)
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    January Miles: 37.5/75
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    July Miles: 39.5

    227.5 miles on my new shoes
    338 miles on my old shoes

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Smile Re: Pumping question - please help!

    I was in your boat. It was hard when I first went back to work to pump. But after a few weeks I began to become more comfortable pumping and my milk increased. Let down became easier and the milk flowed. I didn't have any problems till recently. My son is 9 months old and now on a reverse cycle. Don't worry you are doing just fine.


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