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Thread: Pump or hand express?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Pump or hand express?

    Which matters more... the stimulation from pumping or the amount of milk you actually get? I can pump for 15 min on each side and not even cover the bottom of the bottle. But I can hand express for a little more than 5 mins on each side and get about the same amount (or more)... and this is after ds nursing! Should I continue pumping, even though I'm not getting much, just for the stimulation? I'm doing everything I can think of and I don't really see a difference yet, but it's only been a week. I just didn't think it would be this hard since we weren't off track that long. I think it was no more than a week since I had felt a let-down that I started really working on getting my supply back...and he only went one full day w/out nursing after that. Granted, my supply was low to begin with. Why am I having such problems when I've NEVER had supply problems before...even when I was pregnant! The only positive thing right now is that he will nurse to sleep (sometimes) and I can get him to nurse for almost an hour after he falls asleep. I would have thought that would have made at least some difference in supply since he's been doing that for a week now. Any tips on what else I can do? I'm still working on getting the domperidone. I missed the call from the lc this morning... I'm about to call her back. But experience is always the best teacher

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: Pump or hand express?

    Well I'm not an expert but I did get alot of one on one from a LC when I went to relactate and I never BF. But from what I understand to up your supply it is more about how much milk you remove that will increase your supply not just stimulation alone.

    I found that when I rented a hospital pump that worked very well but I also responded to manual expressing better. My goal was to remove as much milk as possible. So I would pump and pump on a 3 hour schedule and do power pumps in the evening after DD went to bed. All throughout the day though I would hand express, in the shower mostly just to try and get in some extra milk removal. I didn't save the manual milk as I just wanted to remove as much milk as I could.

    Have you tried fenugreek? That helps with milk supply. I would nurse and when he's done I would pump as much out as possible to clue your body into this. Has your period returned? That could cause a temp decrease in milk. The dom definately worked for me in increasing. Try doing the extra pumps and a power pump in the evening to get that body in gear. It may take a few days, but you have to remove the milk to make more of it.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Swartz Creek, MI

    Default Re: Pump or hand express?

    I also had good amounts hand expressing, BUT, I would spray EVERYWHERE and I couldn't catch it all.

    It's late so if I am off here forgive me. You are puming to increase supply right? then i would say skip the pump and hand express. THe more you remove, the more your body will make...

    If you want to continue to use the pump, here are some things to do it increase flow..

    make sure you are relax, stressing and pumping don't work
    massage breast before attaching pump
    drink something warm, being cold and pumping don't work either
    Focus on baby (look at baby or pic, smell an article of clothing)
    keep massaging breast while pumping.

    Married mama with 4 kiddos...2 girls (11 & 6) and 2 boys (21mo & 3mo)

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