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  • Pumping trouble xpost from AM

    So I will be going back to work soon full-time. I decided to try and pump this morning so we could work on building up a bank and so I could get used to pumping again. I haven't pumped since she was 7 weeks old, which is not that long, since she's only 4 months old now, but apparantly it was long enough. I got 1/4 ounce out of both breasts put together! Yikes! I tried to relax and look @ the baby and visualize the breast milk squirting out like it does when I have let down and took the shields off and did some breast compressions until milk came out before trying again. All of these got me just about no milk out of the right boob and the almost 1/4 ounce out of the left (my best boob). Help! Any more tips, should I just keep trying? It's really weird because when we were using the SNS and nipple shield, I used to be able to get an ounce an hour out (so if I hadn't pumped in 4 hours I would get 4 ounces). I also messed around w/ the vacuum and the speed, but didn't see anything different. I tried to relax, but must admit I'm a bit stressed about it and am VERY glad I decided to start trying now while I still don't have a job.

    Details: it's a Medela Pump in Style, I am more stressed out than usual right now because I am unemployed and our money is about run out, baby's doing great at nursing (has gained 3 lbs in last 2 months) so I don't think it's supply

    Any fabulous advice? TIA!!

  • #2
    what's probably happened is that your body has naturally adjusted to what your baby is taking in. you're right in trying to pump now, you will train your body to make more and gradually produce enough to feed both her and the pump.

    i always had the best success pumping on one side while nursing on the other. your baby can produce a stronger let-down than the machine. i also pumped first thing in the morning and as soon as i came home from work when i was most full.

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    • #3
      Thanks! I'll give that a try. I have to make sure I can pump enough by the time I go to work for her to eat! I'm also trying to not stress too much about it because that can affect let down too!

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      • #4
        I was pumping for a close mama friend of mine who was going thru some nursing troubles and I found that if I set the pump up on one breast, turned the machine on and such and made sure I was comfy and the nipple shield was on properly, THEN I'd ask my DH to hand my my 5mo old son and I'd start nursing him in the football position. If I tried starting out nursing and adding the pumping afterwards, I was too focused on getting everything set up that I wasn't getting let down. But...if stuff was set up first and then he latched on, I could just forceably relax my shoulders, visualize and I'd get letdown.

        GL Mama!

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        • #5
          I agree. Try pumping twice a day for a few days, even if it's only for 5 minutes. That can be enough to stimulate more milk. If you have one or can borrow one, try a hand pump too. Sometimes moms report a quick increase if they pump on one side while nursing on the other and this is usually easier to do with a manual pump. Keep us posted too. Good luck!

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          • #6
            Okay, I've tried this the last 2 days & while she was nursing on one boob, I pumped on the other. Yesterday I got 2 oz & today I got 3 1/2 oz just out of the one boob!!

            Thank you all for your suggestions! Just in time too, I start work on Tuesday! Eek!

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            • #7
              awesome! i'm glad it worked for you. good luck w/work!

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              • #8
                Oh good, that is what works best for me too. I pump in the morning and try to pump when my guy is already nursing on his favorite side. I have no experience with a mechanical pump, but I can say I have gotten great results with my hand pump.

                I'm glad to hear you are already having more pumping success. Best of luck to you during this transition time.

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                • #9
                  thanks for the tips

                  lost my pswd for a while and have had both hands full ... long time no see

                  this is some good info ladies!

                  i've also noticed an increase in production when i nurse the lil guy on the other side. Even after he's fallen asleep if I keep the suction going and especially if I put the other pump on the unoccupied one, it seems to have some milk momentum. ( I love my Nurture III, but it can be hard to use on the one side with squirmy DS on the other) I still am one of those folks that can only get 3 oz max usually, but if I come back in a few hours i can usually pump out a little more.
                  Still means that if I want to hand DS over to Papa for a few hours I have to plan a while ahead...
                  the whole 'trick' of it though for me is to be careful of the amount of tension and necessity I put on the amount that I pump If I am too demanding of myself or feel that I've put myself in a position where I might not be able to make enough, i wont...

                  i also use a little 'milk mantra' ( can you tell im high strung or what?)
                  ..."my body in balance will provide"
                  reminding myself i am capable when i make myself available to succeed.

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