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Thread: Problem letting down with pump

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Problem letting down with pump

    I have a seven-and-a-half-month-old son, and have been pumping since he was born. Aside from some supply trouble just before my first post-partum period, I haven't had any trouble pumping. For the last week or so, though, I haven't been able to pump much of anything (usually under an ounce) at my first pumping, which was previously when I got the most (4-5 ounces). My schedule is this:
    6 am--pump, normally 4-5 ounces

    7 am--nurse before leaving for work

    10 am (ish)--pump, normally approximately 2 ounces

    12 pm--nurse

    3 pm ish--pump 2-2.5 ounces

    5 pm--nurse (and nurse the rest of the time I'm home).

    I'm not sure what the deal is. Until today, I haven't had any trouble at my mid-morning and mid-afternoon pumping session, but this morning at 10 I didn't even get half an ounce. It doesn't seem to be a supply issue; my breasts are full, and I don't have any problem when I nurse; he gets full with no trouble. For some reason I am just not getting a letdown with the pump. I've tried stopping and restarting the pump a few minutes later, looking at pictures, etc. with no success. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Problem letting down with pump

    First things first, check the pump. A pump that is not working properly can cause problems with yeild.

    If it's not the pump, perhaps try tweaking your technique. Many mothers find the technique outlined in this video helps a lot:

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Re: Problem letting down with pump

    I'm only getting 2-3 ounces with each of my sessions, so I might not be the greatest expert. That being said, there are two things I've done to help get the yield above one ounce.

    My cell phone has the option of taking short video. I've recorded him making feeding cues, and then watch that video on my phone while I pump.

    I have the pump in style advanced pump which has the two types of pumping - a fast setting that stimulates letdown followed by a slow setting that draws the milk out. It automatically goes from fast to slow after two minutes, but if I leave it alone, I don't get much milk. So, when I see that the yield is slowing down, I switch the pump off and back on again. It goes back into the fast setting and I get a second letdown. I usually only have time to do two letdowns before I need to go back to working, so I haven't tried three.

    But I'm so happy right now when he has fallen asleep in my arm next to my breast!


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