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Thread: No milk when pumping - advice?

  1. #1

    Default No milk when pumping - advice?

    Hello, I have been exclusively breastfeeding my son for 9 months. I have never been able to pump, although I have tried many, many times over the months. When I pump, I only get a miniscule amount of milk, sometimes enough to barely cover the bottom of the bottle, sometimes not even that much.

    I have only tried to pump between feedings, since I don't work outside the home.

    I have a Medela Swing pump, but I also rented a "good" pump from the hospital, to see if my pump was the problem and this did not make a difference. I have tried every size of breast shield out there and that didn't make a difference either. I am unable to express milk using manual, hand expression either. I can get a drop or two to appear on my nipple, but that's all.

    I have large breasts, I don't know if that makes pumping harder. I have always felt like I have a low milk supply. I have NEVER leaked milk, not even in the first weeks. My breasts have never felt full or engorged. I have never felt a let-down.

    I know there's milk in there because I've been feeding my baby for 9 months!! He is allergic to milk (vomiting, hives, wheezing, lethargy = scary!) as well as several other foods, so I don't want to give him formula and skip nursing sessions in order to pump.

    So, my question is: WHY CAN'T I PUMP MILK!!???? I would really, really love a night out with the girls or a movie night with my hubby or really, just any chance to be away from my baby for more than 2 hours, which I haven't had since he was born 9 months ago.

    I have tried visualization, smelling baby, holding and nursing baby on other breast, etc. It didn't help. I haven't tried any galactagouges (sp?) because my baby has always been growing and seems healthy, hitting all his milestones, enough poop and pee, etc.

    Any advice on how I could get more milk when pumping? Thank you so much in advance!
    Last edited by @llli*xyris; November 21st, 2009 at 11:31 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: No milk when pumping - advice?

    I am large breasted and I use a med shield
    Always drink a HUGE glass of water before pumping. You can try taking a hot shower, or put hot towls on your boobs. Shake them down, lean over and squeeze them down. When I pump I sit in a chair and lean forward. Just relax and make sure you are hooked up for 15 mins.
    I double pump and I will also reposition my nipples a couple times and that always brings more milk.
    Big thing is drink more water!
    Good Luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: No milk when pumping - advice?

    Some moms just don't have much success with pumping. Sometimes the issue is the make/model of pump- some moms have better luck with manual pumps, most moms have better luck with electric pumps- but sometimes the issue is just that they don't let down for any variety of pump.

    Have you tried manual expression? As the PP mentioned, sometimes warmth and water are helpful, so trying to express in the shower may help the letdowns happen.

    Since your baby is growing and meeting milestones, it certainly seems like you are having no trouble producing milk. (Not leaking or feeling letdowns are not indicators of poor supply.) So, what's your goal with pumping? Are you concerned about your milk supply? As long as you nurse on demand, there's no reason to be. Or do you want to be able to leave bottles for your baby so that a sitter can watch him? Even if you don't get anywhere with pumping, in a few short months you can give solids or cow's/goat's/soy/almond milk when you're away.

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