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Thread: pump & compress with hands

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Question pump & compress with hands

    Dear All,

    Ever since I started to pump about 4 months ago, I found I had to compress with hands while pumping. Pumping alone can only get 1/3 --1/2 out. Now my milk is getting more and more, and my hands are so painful. Also, it takes about an hour now to get all milk out. I don't know what the problem is. I didn't use the pump well or my milk ducts are not through?
    The pump is Medela pump in style. I found the low intensity works for me. The high intensity only makes more vibration, mot much more milk is taken out. So I always stay at the low around position. It is a second-hand pump from my friend. When she used it five years ago, she didn't need any help from hands.
    I do find rightafter a hot shower, it is easier to pump or compress more milk out. I doubt this is a particular problem with my breast. The nipple was inverted before.
    Really appreciate any help. Thanks a lot.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: pump & compress with hands

    Something I learned very quickly on this site is that to get maximal output you DO need to use your hands (see the famous video we're swapping back and forth: http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastf...oduction.html). However, there are quite a few other tricks you can do to get more milk out. It's better to pump more often that to pump longer. Try to limit your pumping sessions to 15-20min, and fit as many in as possible if you aren't getting enough milk. When your milk stops flowing while you're pumping, take a short break, take the flanges off and on, or at least turn the machine off and on to stimulate another let-down. I can get up to 4 let-downs this way. Use your hands to compress while you're pumping, and when you can't get anymore milk out (should be before the 20min mark if your pump is working ok), stop pumping and do the hand expression to get the last bit out. If you aren't getting enough milk, add in more pumping sessions rather than lengthening the time for a session. Often you can get much more milk in the morning before or after you nurse than you can later in the day, but this varies by woman.

    It is possible that your pump may not be working properly. Have the membranes been replaced recently? You could try renting a hospital grade pump for a month to see if that improves your output. Some women have a lot of trouble letting down for the pump, and I know for me, anytime I change my pumping situation even slightly (like pump in a different room) it affects my output. Looking at pictures or your lo, mentally relaxing your body etc may help.

    Hope this helps some!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: pump & compress with hands

    It could be that the pump is ineffective due to age. The motors on these pumps do not last forever. Could you try a different pump and see if that makes a difference?

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