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Thread: HELP! EP pumps and questions

  1. #1

    Default HELP! EP pumps and questions

    Hi ladies!

    My 2nd daughter is in the NICU and it is unclear at this point if she will be able to nurse . I nursed #1 DD for 3 years, so I'd really like #2 to do it too- but if she is physically unable, then I'd like to make sure she gets enough of mommy's milk. Does anyone have experience with exclusive pumping? I am currently using the hospital's Medela Lactina (free of charge while in NICU) and haven't had much luck. It is really starting to hurt to pump, met with hospital lacation consultants and they weren't very helpful. Changed all the breast shield sizes and the nipples are still "popping" when I pump .

    In addition, I am not pumping a large volume. She was born June 10 and I'm still only getting maybe 30ccs (if lucky) at each pumping- 8/9 times, 15-20mins a day, every 4 hours at night . I'm not really experiencing any letdown, probably b/c I'm pretty stressed..... I started fenugreek and blessed thistle a few days ago and Mother's Milk Tea yesterday. Anyway- hopefully she will be out of the NICU in a few weeks I am very nervous I won't have any milk for her! Also at that time I think I will need to buy my own pump since in the long-run i think it will be cheaper? Any suggestions for pumps that won't rip me up and would survive daily use?

    I'd also appreciate any suggestions or links for exclusive pumping help! I think I manual pumped maybe 5 times with DD#1, so I have no idea how this works.

    Daria

  2. #2
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    Default Re: HELP! EP pumps and questions

    Just wanted to bump this thread.

    There are lots of moms here who have EP'd who can give you some advice.


    I'm Laura, mamma of 2

    5-27-06

    8-30-08

    We love and

    We have been nursing for over 2 years now!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: HELP! EP pumps and questions

    Hi mama. Congratulations on your LO.

    How old is your LO? At what gestation was she born? How often do you see her? Do you get to hold her yet?

    When my LO was born, I started pumping right away. At first I used the Ameda SMB hospital pump, then I got the Lactina as well. I pumped all the time. I took pieces of cloth to the hospital and put in his incubator and then I brought them home to smell when I pumped. We were at the hospital a lot and I pumped there too. I pumped every 3 hours (sometimes more) regardless. I got up in the middle of the night to do it too. It does make for a tired mommy, but if you can pump more then every 4 hours I would recommend it.

    And fwiw, don't give in to thinking that you will be resigned to EP'ing just yet. It took my LO a full two months (right around his due date) before he understood how to latch, and we made it back to solely BF. It is a little more difficult and it takes a lot of work, but it can be done.

    Good luck mama. You can do it!
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth ~ Albert Einstein
    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Looking for more information about vaccines?

  4. #4

    Default Re: HELP! EP pumps and questions

    Hi. Thanks for the encouragement. I'm teetering on the edge of just giving up here. My milk supply is really low, pumping every 2-3 hours hurts too. My husband says just do the formula but I think every time I were to make it I would just cry. So sad, I really don't want her to have formula.

    Little one was born full term on June 10th, but small and with some developmental issues. She still isn't feeding well even with a bottle. I haven't tried nursing her in a few days- it is quite frustrating. If she is awake she latches well, but if she is sleepy then it is a lost cause. Also- I just can't get in the NICU as much as want b/c I have to take care of my 3 year old. But definitely make it for at least 2 hours a day (URGH). I think I might start just driving in there late at night while #1 is sleeping...Also seem to have problems pumping with 3 year old b/c she is always interrupting.

    I think I might just be having problems with the Lactina pump. It seems when I use my manual pump it doesn't hurt as much and i get the same results. But i will not be able to manual pump EP or even more than a few times a day. Does anyone know if the Pump in Style or Freestyle is basically the same thing as the Symphony? The hospital lactation consultant said the only difference was that the Symphony was for multiple users- is this correct?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: HELP! EP pumps and questions

    I tried using the Pump In Style after about 5 months, and I had a lot pf problems with plugs and mastitis. I know they say it is just like a hospital grade, but I think that the suction on an actual hospital grade (like the lactina) just can't be beat.

    As far as the pain...could you maybe have some thrush on the surface of your nipples? Do you have any cracks or anything? Does it only hurt when you are pumping or does it hurt other times as well?

    How high do you turn up the suction when you are pumping? That could make a difference too. And do you have the right size shields? I had to go bigger because my nipples were too big for the 24mm standard shields.

    Can you hold your LO yet? We did kangaroo care all the time. Any time I was there I was holding him on my chest. I think that closeness helped a lot with supply too. Maybe you could try that?
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth ~ Albert Einstein
    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Looking for more information about vaccines?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: HELP! EP pumps and questions

    Hillary is more of an expert on EP, but I would like you to elaborate on what you mean by your nipples "popping" when you pump. That seems to be the big issue and maybe we can troubleshoot.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: HELP! EP pumps and questions

    Sounds like you have a lot of stress going on and I wish you all the best. I have a 3 yr. old also, and a one month old and I know it's rough for me and I'm just at home and don't have to and have never been to a NICU. So, I want to give you some hugs and I'll be thinking of you and your family and hoping that you find your groove and that your little one overcomes the issues and can be a nursing champ just like your first.

    link on pumping when baby is not nursing
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/ma...pply-pump.html

    I recall another mom who had a NICU baby, jenniebean5 mentioning in this thread http://forums.llli.org/showthread.php?t=70308
    that for her, her Pump In Style gave her more milk than the hospital grade pump.

    I had a PSIA that I had used for 2 years when I was working. Today, if I had a reason to buy another pump, I'd opt for the freestyle because of the convenience, lightweight nature, and battery pack option. When I pumped at work, thinking of milk flowing like waterfalls seemed to help me. Also, the baby smell things and a picture, deep relaxing breaths etc. seemed to help. Also, supply was generally greatest in the morning. And, sometimes I'd pump for like 45-60 min and try to get more than one let down. Be well hydrated, try eating lots of oatmeal may help also. http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/milks...actagogue.html

  8. #8
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    Default Re: HELP! EP pumps and questions

    Have you tried Medela's soft breast shields? I wonder if those may help with the "popping"?

    http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com...stshield-2pack

    I *think* they might have them at Babies R Us stores, possibly Target.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Default Re: HELP! EP pumps and questions

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mochinto View Post
    I think I might just be having problems with the Lactina pump. It seems when I use my manual pump it doesn't hurt as much and i get the same results. But i will not be able to manual pump EP or even more than a few times a day. Does anyone know if the Pump in Style or Freestyle is basically the same thing as the Symphony? The hospital lactation consultant said the only difference was that the Symphony was for multiple users- is this correct?
    I have also heard that the Lactina is the same as the PIS, just for multiple users, and the Symphony is the same as the Freestyle. I have a Freestyle and I'm actually waiting for my Symphony rental to get here so I can tell you my experience in a few days.

    I understand what you mean with the nipple soreness. I also have an Avent IQ Duo and for some reason it's really hurting my nips-like they're being pulled on and pinched despite having the correct size shields and very low suction. My Freestyle on the other hand is very gentle and I hardly feel it (more like a nursing baby.) The only problem is the Freestyle takes 2-3 times as long to empty my breasts but the Avent only takes like 10 minutes. I really hope the Symphony will be gentle like the Freestyle but do the job faster!

    There is a message board for EPers at ivillage where you might find some more EP related help: http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv...e=ivl,searchmb There's a really great "guide to EPing" posted on there that has a ton of great information.

    As for pumps, some people will tell you that you have to have a hospital grade to EP, but a lot of moms EP with a professional grade pump (i.e. PIS, Ameda Purely Yours...) There is a new pump on the market that I'm interested in (but I do NOT need to buy another pump!) It's a closed system (FDA approved for multiple users) and they allow you to return it within the first 3 weeks if it's not working for you which no other pro-grade pump allows you to do. http://www.lactationconnection.com/h...eastpumps.aspx I haven't found any reviews on it yet, I just think it's cool that you can use it and return it if you don't like it. I wish all pumps were like that since what works fabulously for one mom doesn't work at all for another.

    Your supply should continue to increase as you keep pumping. It takes the first 6-8 weeks to establish your supply. You should be pumping for at least 120 minutes per day. Keep pumping for 5 minutes after your milk stops flowing to tell your body that it needs to make more milk. Also, if you can add a "power pumping" session in once a day. Power pumping is pumping for 10 minutes on with 10 minutes off for one hour (so you are pumping for 30 minutes total.) During the 10 minutes off, massage and shake/jiggle your breasts to encourage more milk to come out. Do this once a day for at least 3 days and you should see an increase.

    Nutrition is a huge part in your supply. Try to make sure you are eating enough (I'm sure with a toddler and a baby in the NICU and trying to EP this might not be a priority right now.) Every ounce of breast milk takes 20 calories to produce, so make sure you are eating plently of good calories. I like to keep whole, natural almonds with me to snack on throughout the day as they're a "good" fat and I've read that they help increase supply. Eating oatmeal (steel cut, not instant) 3 days a week is suppose to help boost supply. Drinking enough water cannot be emphasized enough! At the very least you need 64 oz a day. This article: http://www.mobimotherhood.org/MM/article-diet.aspx has more info about foods and herbs that are suppose to increase your supply.

    Try not to be over stressed about your supply. Every drop of breast milk you can provide your LO is wonderful. Have you looked into finding a milk donor? I totally understand you not wanting to give your LO formula, I would probably cry too if it were me. Maybe if you can find a milk donor to help supplement what you're pumping it will take some of the stress and pressure off of you and you can actually enjoy pumping more. Milk Share can help you connect with a donor.
    Trish~homebirthing mom and surro mom to DD Kaelie (5/03) surro son Aidan (2/08) & surro daughter Ellyss Anne 6/09; Proud to EP!!

  10. #10

    Default Re: HELP! EP pumps and questions

    I would strongly caution against moving off of a hospital grade pump to a personal user pump, until your supply is established. If you can get your hands on the older Classic or SMB models, that would be great, otherwise I would suggest the Symphony from a comfort perspective.

    The freestyle is not a good option at this stage in your pumping, as I'm hearing more and more from lactation consultants that it is not as effective (especially for initiation of lactation) as the PIS (which isn't even a hospital-grade pump). And I would definitely stay away from the Purely Yours at this stage as it simply does not have the suction profiles of the hospital grade pumps or even the PIS.

    Are you using any lanolin/nipple cream before pumping?

    Keep at it - you're doing the right thing...it will get better!

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