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Thread: Problem pumping heavy breasts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Problem pumping heavy breasts


    I have an 11 week old baby boy. I exclusively breastfed him for 7 weeks.

    My son used to vomit a lot before. Just for a change, I started pumping and fed him through bottle. He is doing lot better with the bottle than with my breast. So, I decided to pump exclusively. I am using Lansinoh Double electric breast pump. For the first 1-2 weeks I was able to pump 4oz (each breast) in 15-20 mins. Now my pumping process is consuming lot of time. It is taking almost an hour to get 3oz (each breast) at one sitting (and my breasts are not emptied fully after 1 hr). These long sittings are causing severe back pain. So, I reduced my sittings at pump and have been giving him formula in between. I am frustrated and don’t want stop breastfeeding. I also suffered with mastitis 4 times.

    I think I might have a let-down problem. Because when I tried to feed my baby on one breast and pump the other breast at same time, I was able to finish pumping (3-4oz) in 20 mins. I tried massaging my breasts, drinking water before feeding and taking warm showers before pumping.

    Can some one help me in this issue???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Problem pumping heavy breasts

    I went through the exact same situation as you! I ebf DD for 9 weeks and suffered through thrush, bleeding nipples, and mastitis (4 times) before switching to ep'ing. My DD has reflux so bf'ing made it worse! Since ep'ing I have mastitis 2 more times (but definitely less frequently than before). DD is now 24 weeks old, so I have been pumping for 15 weeks. Have you had mastitis recently? I ask because it usually took at least a week to get my supply back to "normal" afterwards. As well, I personally noticed a difference in pumping/supply around the 12 week PP mark - your hormones will be shifting and your milk supply will be more "demand" driven rather than "hormone" driven.

    How often do you pump? It is better to pump more often for smaller amounts than to go longer to get larger amounts. I know nothing about your particular pump, but try thoroughly checking all parts to ensure they're working properly. Try zoning out of the tv/magazine etc and take deep breaths. Watching the pump only makes it worse! Thinking about baby always helps me.

    Baby will always be better at drawing milk out of the breasts, so it is sometimes difficult for your body to let-down to a pump. Maybe it's just me, but I try to lean forward a few times while pumping to use gravity to my advantage HTH!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Problem pumping heavy breasts


    I exclusively pumped for my ds and now am doing so with my dd. The first time I had one problem after another: plugged ducts, mastitis, very low supply, cracked nipples--the works! When I started pumping again this time the pain immediately came back and I didn't know if I would be able to go through it again. Then the woman who rents me my pump asked to measure my nipples/areolas and said that I may need bigger breast shields. I didn't even know they existed. I thought they were one-size-fits-all. I also have smallish nipples, but tried the larger pump shields as a last resort. Guess what? No more pain or problems and my supply is up! I only wish I knew this last time; I probably would've pumped longer. For your info, the pumps/shields I use are medela, they have a standard size med. shields that come with their pumps; additional sizes are about $7. You may be able to order them online if you can find them.

    Hope this helps!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Problem pumping heavy breasts

    Just wanted to second the larger shields suggestion -- I didn't get mine until I'd been pumping for almost three weeks and wow, what a difference! You might also try using a heating pad while pumping (I put mine across the tops of my breasts), and also (I know this sounds weird) try rubbing Vicks Vaporub on your breasts -- NOT on the areola/nipple, just the breast. If you have a clogged duct(s), that'll help. HTH!

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