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Thread: Pumping help ... an i doing this completely wrong?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    85

    Default Pumping help ... an i doing this completely wrong?

    Hi,

    My baby just turned 4 weeks yesterday. I'm a first time mommy.
    I've been exclusively BF for over 2 weeks (the first 2 weeks, we did some formula supplementing b/c baby had jaundice).

    He is getting enough poopy and wet diapers. I nurse him 10-12 times per day. His weight gain is "okay" (went to our first month check up today) but not on the high end or anything... I think just under a lb in these 4 weeks.

    My question: Am I using my pump incorrectly?
    I have the Medela Freestyle. I got the pumping pal flanges.
    After I nurse, I pump and I only get about 0.5 ounces. I don't know that I feel a let down when I nurse and I definitely don't see a let down when I pump. The freestyle has a pre-set 2 min "let down" and then goes into the expression phase. I tried increasing the let down phase all the way to 6 mins and I still don't see anything happening. I think the 0.5 ounce I get is from my baby's let down from when he nursed???

    So, I pump for about 15-20 mins... This is what I see.
    During the let down phase, I see some drops of BM. Then when the expression phase starts, I see a duct or two spraying a super thin line of milk for about 10-25 seconds, then it stops. I see this happen maybe 3-4 times during the entire session. I also see drops of BM (very little since both breast is adding up to only be 0.5 ounce). I see the level 6-8.

    Am I supposed to use the let down phase until I see a let down (i.e. major spraying or dropping)??? I feel like I am doing this completely wrong. I know that after one nurses, pumping results won't be huge, but only 0.5 ounces?

    Help/advice please. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,056

    Default Re: Pumping help ... an i doing this completely wrong?

    I personally didn't have as much success w/ the Freestyle. It just never "worked" for me the way the PISA did. Also, I HATED those soft-fit breast shields. I bought some of the plain personal fit ones to replace them.

    Okay.

    I always let the let-down phase run all the way to the 2 minutes, but I've been told that you can switch to the expression phase as soon as you see milk. I posted about that here many months ago, and there was no real consensus.

    Getting 0.5 oz AFTER a feeding is probably pretty good right now. I would save all those 1/2 ozs up; you can add chilled EBM to already frozen, keeping track of the oldest date on there for expiration purposes. You will likely get more milk after one of your morning feeds (6AM-10AM) than one of your evening feeds. If your baby is already 4 weeks old, you COULD consider letting your DH/partner giving a bottle of the EBM you've saved up (once you've saved 2-3 oz of those small amounts) and then pumping instead of nursing @ that feed. Keep in mind that your baby is likely MUCH more efficient than your pump, so the amount you pump isn't necessarily the amount he's getting; you may pump only 1-2 oz.

    A pound over his birth weight by 4 weeks of age? That's pretty stinking good. Sounds to me as though things are going exactly the way they should. on sticking with it through all that jaundice!
    Little SW, Aug '09
    Miss MW, Jan '11
    Sir RW, Oct '12
    3 kids in 38 mos

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pumping help ... an i doing this completely wrong?

    This may or may not help, but I also have the Freestyle and I ALSO only pump 1/2 oz after BF, and I also don't really feel the let down phase. Basically eveything you are describing is what I also see. I'm using the pump the same way it sounds like you are and I'm even going up to level 8 or 9 in both phases, but I still get the same results. I understand my baby (who is 8 weeks) will suck more than I can pump, but I also thought the pump or I should produce more.
    Everything I read says to just keep pumping and the body will produce more (the whole supply and demand approach here). Yet I still only get the same small amount and it can be VERY defeating. I'm now trying to take extra herbal pills and the Milkmaid tea to see if that helps seeing as I need to go back to work.
    The last thought I have is to possibly call Medela and speak with someone in their customer service. I'm also going to see a local lactarion consultant for assistance.
    Again, may not have been helpful but it's good to know someone else is going through the same issue. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Pumping help ... an i doing this completely wrong?

    gabrielsnewmom - thanks, your post does help.

    I think I'll give medela a call on Monday. I have two friends who are also using the freestyle and they seem to love it. Although, I know everyone is different.
    Seems like the "Pump in Style" has better results/reviews... but I "thought" the freestyle was the best medela out there after the hospital grade one.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,106

    Default Re: Pumping help ... an i doing this completely wrong?

    I never got much at all if I pumped after nursing either. Once you go back to work and pump instead of nursing you will get more. Remember you only need enough milk to feed LO while you are gone that first day. Then the milk you pump while you are at work will feed the baby the next day. If you want to have a small freezer stash that's good too just in case you forget to put your milk in the fridge and leave it on the counter all night long or spill an entire feeding worth of milk down your leg while juggling your bottles, freezer bags and baby at the kitchen counter.

    I made th mistake of creating this HUGE freezer stash and didn't realize that I would never need any of it until it was too late to donate most of it. Throwing out over 300 ounces of liquid gold is heartbreaking!

    I would suggest having a maximum of one weeks worth of feedings in the freezer. Anymore than that will likely not be used. I only say one week just in case you have to be away from the baby for some odd reason for a few days.
    Michelle

    Wife to Donnie , my best friend
    Mom to Trenton 1/9/97, Dillan 11/22/01, Ashton 6/19/09

    All boys, weaned at 15 months, at home with Ashton

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Pumping help ... an i doing this completely wrong?

    awe 4 weeks your baby is still very young yet...
    are you returning to work soon?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Pumping help ... an i doing this completely wrong?

    @llli*andrea.wolford - I go back to work in 4 months, so not soon.

    Can anyone tell me if I am pumping wrong, i.e. should I not have the pump under "express" mode until I see a let down? (I normally don't know if I feel a let down when I nurse)

    If so, what does the let down look like? spraying or lots of drops???

    I'm pumping b/c I want to start getting use to my pump (practicing for before I go back to work) and also bottle feed baby once per night so my husband can help with feeding and/or when we go out, some places, its easier to give him a bottle.

    Thanks in advance...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    18,063

    Default Re: Pumping help ... an i doing this completely wrong?

    maybe this will help?

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/b...umps.html#tips

    follow the link to pumping tips...
    your baby is so young yet I wouldn't worry to much just yet and start to try and over pump, you don't want oversupply problems.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Pumping help ... an i doing this completely wrong?

    @llli*jeno - so, you used the freestyle and then got a Pump in style after the freestyle wasn't working too well for you?

    I was reading the link in the last post by @llli*andrea.wolford (Thanks, by the way, so far very good reads in that link) - and the link suggests the pump in style as well.

    I go back to work in 4 months, but want to pump while at work. My goal is to nurse/pump for at least 6 months, but ideally, a year.

    I read in the link that I may not be getting a let down when I pump, so the small amount (0.5 oz in total) that I get is just the "left over" milk from the previous let down.....

    The freestyle was pricey as it is,.... should I go out and get a pump in style too? Is it worth trying.....the PIS isn't cheap either..... but does it provide for a better let down stimulation than the freestyle?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,106

    Default Re: Pumping help ... an i doing this completely wrong?

    I have never used the freestyle but I love my PISA. It was the first thing I bought for my little guy and well worth every penny. I pumped Monday thru Friday until LO was 15 months and never had to replace a single part, didn't lose suction or any other problem.

    I don't know if it's the pump though. Your body has to get used to pumping. I couldn't pump hardly anything until ds was older. Even though I felt like my breasts were constantly at the point they would explode pumping would only produce drops. Have you tried hand expression? Sometimes one pump will work for one mom but won't for another. It's unfortunate because they are pricey but it's all trial and error to see what works best for you. Some moms swear by hand expression and some moms can't get anything that way.
    Michelle

    Wife to Donnie , my best friend
    Mom to Trenton 1/9/97, Dillan 11/22/01, Ashton 6/19/09

    All boys, weaned at 15 months, at home with Ashton

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