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Thread: Pumping Predicament

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    2

    Unhappy Pumping Predicament

    Hi Everyone,

    I have a lovely and thriving 4 month old who is in daycare full-time while i work full-time. She gets fed a bottle of my milk in the morning and one in the mid-afternoon. She gets breastfed during my lunch hour and when we're at home together.

    I pump for 20 minutes at work in the morning and mid-afternoon and also pump in the late evening after my daughter has gone to bed. I only get between 2-4 ounces of milk from both breasts combined with my Advanced Pump In Style. I've read that this can be normal, but I barely pump enough to fill her 2 - 4 ounce bottles for daycare the next day. I don't think I'm having trouble producing the milk (my breasts still feel pretty full after pumping & though she's regularly fed and I regularly pump, I still had a bout of Mastitis this weekend) and I don't have time during the workday to pump more than twice (2 hours of my work day is happily & purely dedicated to insuring my daughter is breastfed... asking for more time from work may be pushing it, even though i work for a progressive non-profit).

    Can someone tell me how I can express more milk each day without having to pump more than twice during the workday? I have no "bank" of milk. I've gone through the savings built up while on maternity leave, often to compensate for days that not enough milk was expressed. I feel like I'm living paycheck to paycheck.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    6,959

    Default Re: Pumping Predicament

    hi!
    Your levels of Prolactin ( milk producing hormone) build up during the wee hours of the night. A mothers given level will be highest at around 3-5 a.m. So its my own thinking that if you were willing to wake up early and pump, you could deff increase the amount of milk you get for your baby.
    How old is your pump? is it a double pump? You have a letdown in both breasts at the same time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Pumping Predicament

    Thanks for your suggestion! Your son is beautiful.

    I bought my double pump sometime in August after reading reviews on Amazon.com from women who expressed 6-8 ounces in 15 minutes with it (I'm still trying not to be jealous of those women). When pumping, my let down occurs around the same time in each breast and usually within the first 2 minutes of pumping. The pump I have has the "two-phase expression" setting... so if the let down doesn't occur in the first 2 minutes, I restart it. I also think I may have multiple let-downs (which change dramatically in number depending on time of day) and restart the pump when the flow of milk seems to slow down.

    I'll try pumping at 3am, but begrudgingly.

    Does anyone else have other suggestions or is (or was) feeling overwhelmed with working full-time and breastfeeding?
    Last edited by sophia; October 16th, 2007 at 08:07 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    63

    Default Re: Pumping Predicament

    Quote Originally Posted by sophia View Post
    I'll try pumping at 3am, but begrudgingly.

    Does anyone else have other suggestions or is (or was) feeling overwhelmed with working full-time and breastfeeding?
    I still feel kinda overwhelmed and he's 9 1/2 months! I hate pumping too...

    To make up for my lack of daytime production,I pump immediately after he goes to bed, and again before I go to bed. When first at work, I also pumped every 3 to 4 hours overnight and then on weekends pumped one, fed one simultaneously. It built up my supply and gave extra milk for the week. He did feed much more often on the weekends because of this.

    Next month I'm going to wean myself off the overnight pumping session so I can get a full night's sleep, I can't wait!

    Don't worry, keep at it, it's so worth it! I'm more proud of BFing and pumping than of my 2 doctorate degrees!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    1,307

    Default Re: Pumping Predicament

    It can be overwhelming at times but it is so worth it! We are at 11 months now! I only pump twice at work so I also pump once before work and again before I go to bed at night. I have in the past gotten up at around 2 or 3 to pump to. You might not always have to pump at 3 am. I just did it when I felt I wasn't getting enough milk during my other sessions.
    Mom to Lainey (11-8-06)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: Pumping Predicament

    How does your LO sleep? When my dd sleeps though the night (or a long stretch of it at the end) I can feed her off one side while I pump the other in the morning. Its slightly complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it, it works like a charm.

    I've been pumping at work since my dd was 8 weeks old, she is nine months today. I both love the pump and hate it at the same time....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Far away
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    Default Re: Pumping Predicament

    Quote Originally Posted by carpentergirl View Post
    hi!
    Your levels of Prolactin ( milk producing hormone) build up during the wee hours of the night. A mothers given level will be highest at around 3-5 a.m. So its my own thinking that if you were willing to wake up early and pump, you could deff increase the amount of milk you get for your baby.
    How old is your pump? is it a double pump? You have a letdown in both breasts at the same time.
    I've read and heard this too (although I just can't get myself up to do it.) I was told by an LLL leader to also try pumping 5 minutes after LO feeds in the am.

    Quote Originally Posted by sophia View Post
    I also think I may have multiple let-downs (which change dramatically in number depending on time of day) and restart the pump when the flow of milk seems to slow down.

    Does anyone else have other suggestions or is (or was) feeling overwhelmed with working full-time and breastfeeding?
    I definitely have multiple let-downs now and it's the later ones in a given pumping session that give me the most milk. I sometimes have to alternate breasts several times, getting a little milk from each, before the "big" letdown occurs and I actually get some milk.

    I use the Avent Isis pump - it's hand-held and I've gotten more milk from it than I have from my Medela mini-electric.

    Pumping at work is a pain in the a--. I have nowhere to go that's clean and very little time to do it. So I can commiserate with you. I am lucky that a full day's work is only 5 1/2 - 6 hours for me so I only pump 2 Xs.
    Andrea - mama to Laith 02.20.07 and Sommer 01.21.11
    'Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune.' - Noam Chomsky

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Pumping Predicament

    Massage your breasts while pumping to help empty them. Don't just sit there.

    Pull flanges off your breasts once in awhile and put them back on. Makes me let down more.

    Cluster pump to increase supply. After normal pumping, pump every 15-30 min or so for 5-10min for a few hours. I always do this until I let down. You can do this for 1 day or whenever you want.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: Pumping Predicament

    I always wait for 2 letdowns when I am pumping at work. If I think I have extra time, I will sometimes try to get a third letdown.

    After the letdown comes, and the milk flow starts to slow down a bit, I massage the breast firmly and squeeze it in various areas. Sometimes you can feel areas of milk that are reserved -massage these areas, especially. If you keep working at this, you should see an increase in milk flow when you are compressing and massaging. This works well with a hands-free bra, so you can use both hands to help massage one breast. I work with each breast until the milk stops flowing. When the next letdown comes, I repeat the process. You should feel like your breast is much less full and you should see a lot more milk in your bottles. It does take some practice, but it is worth it. Emptying your breasts as much as possible at each pumping session will also protect your supply.

    Good luck -let me know if you have questions!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    2,866

    Default Re: Pumping Predicament

    Quote Originally Posted by sophia View Post
    I don't think I'm having trouble producing the milk (my breasts still feel pretty full after pumping
    This technique could help:
    http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastf...roduction.html

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