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Thread: Pumping for Dummies

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    69

    Default Pumping for Dummies

    Can someone please give me a step by step of their pumping sessions? I want to make sure I'm doing this right. I have a Medela Pump in Style Advanced. This is what I have found so far...

    It takes about 30 -45 seconds for my left breast to respond, and a minute plus for the right.

    Once I start pumping, I'm dry by ten minutes, so I have been switching back between phases at that point...I only get a few drops more...

    Hand expression yields a few drops...

    I can only pump 5 times max right now between work and school, plus my schedule is different everyday, so I am fitting in five sessions at different times everyday.

    I clean parts after each session, bought the proper horns, and sterilize at night.

    I only get 1/2 oz to 3/4oz. TOTAL at each session.

    I drink H2O throughout the day, I drink 3 cups of Mother's Milk Tea throughout the day, eat oatmeal....I have major stomach issues, so Fenugreek side effects intimidate me from taking them.

    My goal has always been six months, but if I can make this work, I would definitely pump an unlimited amount of time.

    On top of this, my family thinks I'm nuts for doing this. My Husband walked through yesterday and he said, "only three more weeks and your finished" I would have whacked him upside the head had I not been hooked up to my Farm equipment. My Mom also thinks I'm crazy. When people ask ME about breastfeeding, SHE always blurts out, "I never had that luxury!" AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HH


    New Mommy to Michael 4-5-08
    and and new to the world of

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pumping for Dummies

    I so know your pain! My husband doesn't get the breastfeeding thing. He isn't against pumping, only breastfeeding. He doesn't see the purpose or the need. His mom didn't breastfeed (he has a sister 12 years younger than him, so he bases his childrearing techniques on what did and did not work for her). How long have you been pumping? I have only pumped 4-5 times a day for two months. I have a 8 week old. It works for us. I used to obsess about the amount I pumped, and to be honest, I still do to an extent. I mean I used to chart how much I pumped per day and how often I pumped. Then I read that when you get to 25-30 oz a day you are pretty set. And I also read that if you can keep up with your lo, you are pumping enough. I pump more than my boy eats and now have about 600 oz in the deep freeze. I have found that even though I have a PIS, I get better results by pumping one breast at a time for 20-30 minutes. My girls are kinda large, so it is easier for me too. I can give them the proper "support". If you lift the boob, it might help. Meaning lifting up and away. Like you are 16 again... You know, when they pointed in the right direction in the first place! Unless you are lucky enough to still have this. Then curses on you! If you are dry in ten minutes, I would still continue to do what you are doing by still pumping. I would not do it more than 30 minutes total pumping time though. Eventually you WILL get more. HTH
    Last edited by @llli*ruby08; September 6th, 2008 at 07:45 PM. Reason: Signature says how old the baby is.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pumping for Dummies

    Don't worry about how much you pump and don't compare yourselves to others! Every one is different and every one responds to the pump different. I have a friend who can pump 10 ounces from each breast per pumping session. I used to get bummed because I can only pump 2-4 ounces total per pumping session and then I talked with the lactation consultant at our hospital and I felt much better. At least you are pumping! If you are relatively new to pumping, don't worry. Your breasts will get used to it. I have a 9 month old and have been pumping for about four months and I still only get 2-4 ounces total per session. That's fine. Let me tell you what I do.

    In the morning when I get up or the baby gets up and wants to nurse, I put her on one breast while I pump the other breast. If we cosleep at night, I sort of favor one breast for most of the night and then save the other for that morning pump. The baby's suctioning on the one side increases your let down and produces more milk.

    During the day when I pump three times, I double pump which has the same effect - when you get a let down on one side the other side also lets down providing more milk. Again, double pumping -- although a pain in the butt -- gives you more milk. Then once nothing else is coming out I pump a bit on each side individually to make sure they are drained (massaging the milk out).

    At night when the baby goes to bed I pump again. This was crucial when we hit about 8 months cause my milk was going down (goes along with introduction of food). This gets me just 2 ounces but that's half a bottle. I've now added something new once or twice a week during that nighttime pump - I power pump (which I read about in a LLL magazine). I find an hour long show, set my pump up, and pump during commercials for that hour (even if nothing comes out I do the entire commercials). This helps boost your milk supply.

    On weekends, it is crucial that you pump in the morning and in the evening (again would be good in the morning if you put your baby on one side). This will help with your milk supply and also keep you used to the pump so you don't sort of start all over again at the beginning of the week getting used to the pump.

    You are drinking Mothers Milk Tea. You really need to boost that up to about 5-6 glasses each day. Consider making it an iced tea which may be easier to get down. If you aren't consistent with 5-6 glasses it doesn't really work. Sounds like you're drinking water. You should also make sure you are eating and drinking lots of protein (whole milk, etc...).

    Finally, what kind of pump do you have? That makes a big difference. Some women can have a little cheap thing and get tons of milk, while others need more of a hospital grade pump (I am the latter). I have a Pump In Style that I keep at home and I rented a Medela Lactina that I keep at work. The difference between the cheapies and the hospital grade ones is the power and suctioning per minute. Makes a big difference with how much milk you can get.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,738

    Default Re: Pumping for Dummies

    I don't have much experience nursing but just wanted to give you a for having to deal with unsupportive family members.
    Mama to my Rubies
    C '07
    A '09
    And my Christmas Eve baby
    L '12
    I will carry you all my life
    And I will praise the one who's chosen me to carry you
    W Apr '11
    R Nov '11
    The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart. *Helen Kellar*

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: Pumping for Dummies

    I've been pumping for 11 months, so here goes:
    I have a PISA also. I nurse in the morning before work. I drop DS off at DCP at 7:30am
    I pump fpr 10-15 min at 9am, 12, and 3pm. I then nurse again right when I pick DS up at about 5:30PM. I take the 3 bags of milk and give to the DC so they are always rotaiting the supply. I then nurse all evening and night on demand.

    MY DS eats solids so it will be a little different, I found that for the first 7 months or so I could get about 6oz total per session and that was great b/c that's usually what DS drinks; however after about 8 months my supply has dropped considerably and I've really had a hard time keeping up with his demand at DC. I've gone down to 2-4 oz per session and have recently added a 10pm pump to try to make up. I've also eated oatmeal, Mothers Milk tea, etc. I think after solids and many months my body just doesn't respond to the pump. He'll be one in a few weeks so I can add cow's milk so I've hoping to make it until then

    But back to your question, I do not wash between sessions each day, BM is good at room temp. for 8 hours so the horns are fine to wait to be washed at night. I wash them every night and sterelize every Sunday night. I also have 3 sets so I can rotat e them. I buy new valves and membranes every 6 weeks because they willlose suction I've found.

    As a pp said, don't compair output with anyone else, it has no bearing on production, baby is the best pump and as long as ypu make enough so LO is healthy happy and output is fine (6-8 wet diapers per day) you're fine.

    Keep up the good work mama, and ignore MIL...75% are wack jobs anyway
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Pumping for Dummies

    This is the 1st I've been able to get on in two days....

    Ok...I have been pumping for four weeks now with a Medela PISA. What I thought was a nursing strike has developed into a full out resignation!!! We were doing so well after so many problems, and my hubby suggested food and the Ped. said ok...long story short, that same day was the last time I got the baby to latch. So, we adapted and now I EP. He is five months old this week The down-side is that my milk leveled off a long time ago, so I'm hanging on by a very thin thread... I cannot imagine 600oz!!!! That is so wonderful...I must say, I'm a bit envious of that!
    Question??? Do you massage the breast prior, during, after a session??

    I had no idea that my milk would go down once he started foods...I am taking serious mental notes for next time, if I'm lucky enough to have another
    I am excited to try the power pump thing. I will do that on Wed and Fridays. I hope it helps. I also put the Mother's milk tea in my water bottles that I drink throughout the day. That way, I can get the 5-6 servings...

    I will have to check my parts to make sure everything is in working order...

    Thank you ladies for the great advice! Please let me know if you have any other suggestions...


    New Mommy to Michael 4-5-08
    and and new to the world of

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,467

    Default Re: Pumping for Dummies

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*milkedmama View Post
    This is the 1st I've been able to get on in two days....

    Ok...I have been pumping for four weeks now with a Medela PISA. What I thought was a nursing strike has developed into a full out resignation!!! We were doing so well after so many problems, and my hubby suggested food and the Ped. said ok...long story short, that same day was the last time I got the baby to latch. So, we adapted and now I EP. He is five months old this week The down-side is that my milk leveled off a long time ago, so I'm hanging on by a very thin thread... I cannot imagine 600oz!!!! That is so wonderful...I must say, I'm a bit envious of that!
    Question??? Do you massage the breast prior, during, after a session??

    I had no idea that my milk would go down once he started foods...I am taking serious mental notes for next time, if I'm lucky enough to have another
    I am excited to try the power pump thing. I will do that on Wed and Fridays. I hope it helps. I also put the Mother's milk tea in my water bottles that I drink throughout the day. That way, I can get the 5-6 servings...

    I will have to check my parts to make sure everything is in working order...

    Thank you ladies for the great advice! Please let me know if you have any other suggestions...
    What do you mean by the bolded portion? Are you giving DS solids? IMHO 5 months is to early. If you think that he needs nore nutrition, then anything he would eat is far less nutrious than breast milk, when they start to replace a BM meal with a meal of solids, you are taking a superior food (BM) and replacing it with a far inferior one (rice cereal, bananas, etc).

    If you continue to do this I would for sure only give solids AFTER he is full on BM. I would continue to try to get him to latch on. Can you take a day or two and take him to bed with you all day? Do skin-to-skin and see if he will latch then. Also sometimes when a baby is sleepy he will accept the breast easier than when he's wide awake.

    Good Luck...also I massage befor and during and do a lot of visualizations.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Pumping for Dummies

    I have never been able to pump a lot of milk at one time, even when I EP before my LO could latch on. I've found that if I only pump 1/2 - 3/4 ounces at a session, my milk has not let down. Can you feel it let down? Some women cannot ever feel a let-down, but perhaps you're missing the let down. I've run into the issue of not being able to get a let-down sometimes when I pump. I am always able to get the most milk in the middle of the night, maybe because I'm more relaxed. I also get a lot more milk if I do compressions while pumping.

    Keep trying and ignore all of the negative talk. You are doing what's best for your baby.
    Stay at home mom to my 2 boys:
    R - born 4/20/08, nursed for 20 months
    G - born 8/6/11, EPd for 4 months, until he refused the bottle!
    Loving CDing this time around!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Pumping for Dummies

    I'm not sure why that is in bold I was trying to type quickly before school this morning, so I must have hit something by mistake...

    Gerber 1st foods is what I meant...Like I've said in a previous post, I've made some poor decisions through lack of prior research. This forum is really my only connection of support, so everything I heard from friends/family is that he was ready. I can't dwell on that though, or I'll drive myself crazy.

    I pump as much as possible, and he always gets bm 1st. I always mix bm in with his cereal as well.

    I would love to just stay home and work on this full time, but I am working and going to school right now. I spend every second with him when I get home. I have been taking him to bed with me and doing skin to skin. He almost latched last night, so I haven't given up hope...

    Thanks for all the kind words of support ladies


    New Mommy to Michael 4-5-08
    and and new to the world of

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Pumping for Dummies

    I forgot to add....I have never felt let down. I have never experienced it...Maybe that's part of the problem


    New Mommy to Michael 4-5-08
    and and new to the world of

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