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Thread: Pump not working on one side!

  1. #1

    Default Pump not working on one side!

    I have been pumping effectively for the past 4 weeks. I usually pump in the morning after i feed my 2 month old. I have been getting a couple of ounces each morning. All of a sudden the pump is not extracting milk from one side. I tried doing it with full breasts and got 4 ounces from one side and barely any from the other. That breast also gets less engorged than the other. It seems like the baby is able to nurse from it but now I am not sure. Has anyone else heard of this? I have to go back to work soon and really need to be able to pump effectively!

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

    Default Re: Pump not working on one side!

    What kind of pump are you using? Will you be working full time? If you have a double pump, are you pumping both sides at the same time?
    Little SW, Aug '09
    Miss MW, Jan '11
    Sir RW, Oct '12
    3 kids in 38 mos

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Pump not working on one side!

    Is everything hooked up as it should be? Holes in any valves? Tubes OK?
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    381

    Default Re: Pump not working on one side!

    This happenEd to me, and I don't think you'll like the end result -

    I am mostly a one-boobed nurser. :hangsheadinshame

    My dd really preferred the easy pumping boob though. So if yours is fine with both hopefully you'll be different. From what I can tell the low pumping boob
    A) has a slower let down, both taking longer to start and fewer jets;
    B) needs much longer on the pump than the good boob;
    C) does best with MUCH higher suction levels;
    D) simply has a smaller storage capacity- maybe 2 oz tops, whereas good boob can store 7 or more oz;
    E) is more prone to clogged ducts.

    It's a chicken and egg question, whether my dd's strong preference of good boob and our increasing reliance led to this. But I DO think some of these issues, especially the lower capacity, "tougher" let down, and propensity for clogged ducts existed from day 1.

    Tricks I used when I was still trying really hard to pump bad boob included expressing some milk by hand before pumping, or having my dd nurse (when she would cooperate) on that side for a bit to get a let down going before I hooked up. When I was still trying to do this at work with my double pump set up, I would double pump for 20 min and then unhook good boob(which had usually filled a bottle at that point), switch to single pumping mode, and then crank up the suction for another 20 min on bad boob. Doing this helped but still, I was eventually only getting like 10-12oz per workday from good boob and 1-2 oz from bad boob
    Mom to Taiga born 6/2010

    Pocket cloth diapers. Baby led solids. Full-time working mom. I my DH, DD, kitty Dr. Benway, and my working border collie Odin!
    BF for 1 year and she and I still love it !!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    381

    Lightbulb Re: Pump not working on one side!

    Sorry phone freaked out. To continue, like I said I ended up putting in TONS of work to pump ANYTHING out of bad boob, but that I think is because by then my dd literally refused to nurse from that side. However, all the nipple stimulation kept me making milk and so I was getting a lot of clogged ducts on that side. I got tired of this and eventually just gave up. I am lopsided but at least I don't get the clogged ducts anymore. And I have no problem making enough for her with one boob. So instead of double pumping I just pumped the one side. Easier to set up and to clean fewer parts.

    I never completely stopped making milk on the bad side and would occasionally hand express in the shower for comfort.

    Lately though, she is starting to be ok with the other side again I just go with it and follow her lead. It is responding by making more milk again, but I haven't begun pumping it again yet. If I start getting uncomfy at work, I will.

    Hope you fare better. Sometimes our bodies are asymmetrical, and a baby's preference will make that a lot worse. But maybe some of my pumping strategies will help you, ESPECIALLY if your baby continues to nurse well on that side. Good luck!
    Last edited by @llli*ooky; March 5th, 2011 at 08:18 PM. Reason: Typos
    Mom to Taiga born 6/2010

    Pocket cloth diapers. Baby led solids. Full-time working mom. I my DH, DD, kitty Dr. Benway, and my working border collie Odin!
    BF for 1 year and she and I still love it !!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1,056

    Default Re: Pump not working on one side!

    Can I just say that I love that you call one of your boobs "bad boob?". I can just picture you (not that I know what you look like, but you KWIM) looking at your boob, shaking your finger at it, and saying "bad boob!" like it's a dog or something.
    Little SW, Aug '09
    Miss MW, Jan '11
    Sir RW, Oct '12
    3 kids in 38 mos

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: Pump not working on one side!

    I do! Bad boob is BAAD.

    Mom to Taiga born 6/2010

    Pocket cloth diapers. Baby led solids. Full-time working mom. I my DH, DD, kitty Dr. Benway, and my working border collie Odin!
    BF for 1 year and she and I still love it !!!!

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