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Thread: Pumping-like a short straw...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Pumping-like a short straw...

    Okay, I know it sounds off but the best way I can think to describe my problem is that pumping is working like using a short straw in a tall cup. I can only pump 1/2-1 1/2 oz per sitting. That's combined from both breasts.

    My DD is a week old today, and I BF my son for 7 months. I had to stop at that point though because I kept getting mastisis and after 3 incidents in one month-barely giving me time to get over the last round-I had to call it quits. I rented a pump during that last month (Medela Lactina), but I had the same issue then. My supply was low so I assumed that was why I would only get an ounce or so. Now, with DD, I'm trying to get into the swing of pumping so that I can goto work in a few months.

    I've read and heard of woman who can pump twice a day, get over 15 oz per setting, and do wonderfully from there. But even more pratical, it seems the norm for most woman to be able to pump 4-5 times and get a good 30 or more ounces. I can only pump one feeding per day and it's done so over several attempts. Even when I skip the nursing session in exchange for the bottle, I still only can successfully pump a small amount.

    This is what I mean by the short straw thing- I'll get let down, a good flow for a minute or two, and then that's all. Even when my breasts are full, I only seem to be able to empty then to a point. I've tried warm showers, massages, pumping both at the same time and alternating, pumping one side while nursing on the other, ect. I drink plenty and I eat healthy and my supply is good. DD is gaining quite well and I certainly fill up enough times during the day.

    So, what's up? I've heard pumping can take practice as far as the body is concerned, should I just keep pumping inbetween?
    What if it's the pump style? I'm renting a lactine again for the next month-then I planed to switch to the PIS. Is there a high grade pump that has a different style then the Medela pumps? It could maybe be the rythm or suction that doesn't work for me.
    Am I the only one? Did any of you have the same problem, what did you do to fix it, how are things going now?

    My goal is to be able to nurse and pump about half the time each. So, you can imgine how this would be a bit frustrating. Thanks for any help and support you can offer!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: Pumping-like a short straw...

    I never pumped, so I dont really have any great tips, but have you tried massaging your breasts to stimulate the let down?
    also, you can try pumping one breast while your baby nurses on the other side.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,900

    Default Re: Pumping-like a short straw...

    Your baby is only a week old? On what day did your milk "come in"?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Pumping-like a short straw...

    I think it's a little early to be judging what your output will be. I started pumping when dd was a few days old, only because my milk came in with a vengance and dd couldn't latch on. I ended up with an oversupply problem and HAD to pump each morning until dd was about 6 mos old. I, too, returned to work when DD was 3 mos old. I ended up donating milk because my freezer was full!!

    Your body is adjusting to the milk that your dc needs now, so watch what you do, don't fool your body into thinking that you need more milk than you do. One feeding per day extra is plenty.

    As for pumping 15oz in a sitting . . . WOW!! I've never heard of that before. What a pain that would be, you'd have to switch bottles 3 times. I had a more than plentiful supply, and I was able to pump about 20 oz in 3 sittings while at work. Since DD only consumed 9-12 oz while I was away, I donated most of the extra, and have since started making momsicles and mixing the BM w/ cereal, etc.

    Just be careful what you wish for. An oversupply can contribute to mastits, plugged ducts, milk blebs and a host of other issues.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Pumping-like a short straw...

    I have been pumping one side while nrsing the other. But thanks anyways.

    My milk came in after the 3rd day-I was induced so I imagine that is why it took a while.

    I would rather have an over supply then an under, last time my expierience was that it was much easier to slow the flow then to speed it back up.

    I managed 4 ounces this morning after having to replace a nursing with a bottle to run some errands. But, I was able to feed my daughter directly after pumping and I know she was getting plenty because she was doing the suck-swallow-pause thing. So, even though I was able to get more and that was encouraging, I still don't see how the pump is ever going to actually empty my breasts. As I said before, I pumped for the last month or so with DS and never could fully empty them-so I don't know if practice is going to make perfect this time around. I guess I'm just being paranoid a bit, I like to know all the information I can and hopefully it all goes well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Pumping-like a short straw...

    If your main concern is that the pump doesn't empty your breasts completely, try manual expression after pumping. After some supply and letdown issues, I've 'discovered' manual expression and with some practice, I am now always able to get more out of my breasts after pumping and even after my daughter nurses.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,073

    Default Re: Pumping-like a short straw...

    Not sure if this helps at all, but I couldn't pump a thing until dd was almost 5 weeks old. Maybe you just need time?? Good luck and hang in there, I can pump with the best of them now!!

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