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Thread: unable to pump

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default unable to pump

    I need some advice on how to actually get some milk out when pumping...My LO is 4 1/2 months now, and when I try to pump and/or hand express I can't get more then about 1/2 an oz. I was able to pump more when he was first born and the output just steadly decreased, probably from regulating to his needs... I'm a SAHM, so I don't need a lot of EBM, but I feel bad that when I've had to be away for a couple hours, I had to leave formula for him.
    btw, I have a First Years electric pump, which while isn't great, is all I can afford...
    Mommy to 2 little boys!
    DS1 11/1/07 BFed 7 months
    DS2 11/6/09 BF 2 YEARS! and counting!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: unable to pump

    I think you're very likely to be 100% correct that the reason you're not pumping as much today as you were when your baby was new is that your supply has regulated to your baby's needs.

    Tips on pumping more:
    - Increase pumping frequency/duration. Increased demand = increased supply, though it may take a while for you to notice an increase. If you want to increase through pumping when using a less effective pump, you're probably going to need to be pretty religious about using the pump.
    - Use a better pump. If you can't afford to buy, you might want to consider renting.
    - Try power pumping: pump both sides for 10 minutes, rest for 10, pump for 10, rest for 10, and then pump once more for 10 minutes for a total of 30 minutes of pumping in an one-hour period. Power pumping is supposed to mimic the way a baby feeds and boosts supply during a growth spurt.
    - Herbs: feugreek, blessed thistle, and ordinary oatmeal are all good for supply.

    The following link has some good tips: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    SW Ohio

    Default Re: unable to pump

    some women have found that they are able to express more milk through manual expression, such as the Marmet Technique, than with a pump. if anything, doing a bit of manual expression in preparation to pump will further help to stimulate your hormones.

    i agree that a better pump is a good idea and understand that cost is a problem. do you qualify for WIC? you may be eligible to receive a quality manual pump since you are a SAHM and exclusively breastfeeding. in my professional and personal experience, a quality manual pump oftentimes works better than less-costly electric breastpumps.
    JoEllen married to Jason 10-29-2005.

    Mama to Logan 12-26-2007
    Breastfed for 2 years and weaned on his own terms

    Our Lincoln 6-11-2011 to 9-12-2011
    my homebirthed-water baby, who was born with a broken heart

    And our special blessing, Leonidas 9-5-2012. A toddler who loves his "boops!"

    Come visit our blog here!

    SURPRISE!!! We caught the first PP egg and are currently baking baby BOY #4! Due to arrive late-Jan/early-Feb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Re: unable to pump

    I initially got very little milk while pumping as well, for probably the same reasons (I actually wanted to wait until my supply was regulated to start pumping, since I thought it would help avoid the hindmilk/foremilk confusion!).

    The way I built up a supply before going back to work was to take my first morning nursing session and every day for a week or so pump on one side while nursing on the other - then, when she was done on the first side, I'd go ahead and let her nurse on the other side even though I'd just pumped there. The first couple of days she would nurse for a while extra to make up the difference, but my supply for that feed bumped up fairly quickly; you can speed it up by waiting ~15-20 minutes after the feeding ends and pumping again just for ~10 minutes. After a week or two of this I had a start to a buffer, and if you keep it up, you build up a bit of a supply fairly quickly, I found.

  5. #5

    Default Re: unable to pump

    If you can afford to try another pump, I would recommend the Medela harmony. Since you only need a few oz., it could work - it is a single hand pump and I think it does a GREAT job. I pump several times per day with a pump-in-style, but when I am going somewhere I can't take it, I bring the harmony and it pumps just as much if not more. It cost about $30, I think.

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