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Pump ineffective


Forum: Breastfeeding

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  #1  
September 22nd, 2008, 06:27 PM
OpheliaLoved's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,369
I just recently bought a Medela Harmony pump, and was eager to use it because there are a few events coming up that I will need to have pumped milk ready for. I've been able to express three ounces between both breasts within a fifteen minute period. I thought with the pump, I would be able to get more, or at least get the three ounces a lot faster. My breasts are always full, and squirt everywhere, even after Jonah has finished eating.

I pump throughout the day, and I've only been able to get three ounces today, and three ounces yesterday. I pump for two minutes after the milk stops coming out of the valve (as it says in the instructions) Absolutely nothing is getting pumped out of my breast at that point. Yet, if I squeeze my breast, it still squirts! I can feel that there is still milk in my breasts, but the pump just won't bring it out.

Am I doing something wrong?? I am so discouraged to only get a half an ounce every pump session, and I don't want my supply to go down because the milk is being left in my breasts! I make too much for Jonah to eat in one feeding, so I thought pumping would be a cinch. I have had an oversupply since my milk came in.

Any advice is greatly appreciated, and greatly needed. Thanks!!!
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  #2  
September 22nd, 2008, 08:30 PM
KimberlyD0
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Don't be discurraged. Pumping isn't easy. 2-3oz between the 2 boobs is average. Its not going to effect your supply negativly unless you don't feed your LO when they need it.

What you can check is what size horn is on the pump? is it to small or large?
Relax and don't watch. Hard to do, but the more relaxed you are the more milk you get. Stress effects letdown.

Are you pumping right after a feed? or between feeds?
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  #3  
September 23rd, 2008, 03:59 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Peach State
Posts: 1,608
I always pump an hour after my first feeding and pump for 15 minutes and usually get 5 ozs between both breasts. I do this on days when I am with him just for the extra milk. If your LO only takes one breast per feeding you could pump one side while nursing on the other. I usually get more milk that way because a baby is a lot more effective at getting your milk to come out and I letdown easier for my little one than I do for the pump.
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  #4  
September 23rd, 2008, 09:13 AM
OpheliaLoved's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,369
Thanks for the advice. I am pumping the most in the morning, right after he eats. He eats only from on breast, but doesn't empty it (I am always VERY full in the morning!) The lactation consultant I saw said that if he does not empty the breast, I could pump the rest out so that I will keep producing the same amount and have plenty to pump each morning. So anyway, after he eats from the one breast I pump first the breast he ate from, and then the opposite. Then I start feeling full again after about an hour, so I pump again on both sides, and the rest of the day I pump after he eats, but only on the breast he did not eat from. Make sense? I usually pump four times a day, when I only intended on pumping occasionally since I am with him almost every time he eats. I just want to have enough so that when the opportunity comes, I CAN leave him with my husband or my mom. I have a girls night out planned on Friday, and I have enough pumped for that, but then I also have an all day event on the 14th, and a wedding on the 4th, and I don't think I'll have enough pumped for all three! I thought I'd have a store built up within a week or two, since I am producing so much.

I'm wondering what the benefits are to pumping over hand expressing. I get more than twice as much when I hand express, and it doesn't take as long. The only thing I can see is comfort. Is there any other benefit to pumping?

Thanks again for your help ladies! I can't say it enough; I LOVE JM!
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  #5  
September 23rd, 2008, 09:34 AM
KimberlyD0
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If you get more from hand expressing then you could always stick with that. For some people it just works better.

Just don't pump to often or it can cause other issues too.

I pump in the AM and right before bed because DD sleeps through the night. I usually get 8-12oz a day, but I respond well to a pump. Some don't
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  #6  
September 23rd, 2008, 09:40 AM
OpheliaLoved's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,369
Quote:
Just don't pump to often or it can cause other issues too.[/b]
What kind of issues?
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  #7  
September 23rd, 2008, 06:20 PM
KimberlyD0
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Over supply for one which can lead to an inbalence in formilk and hind milk. By unbalenceing that you can end up with a VERY gassy, very crabby baby who gains to fast. It can end up like a colic situation.

Also since your body makes what you need when you need it, it can start to depend on that pumping and you end up in a cycle of not being able to stop.


Your supply wont go down because of not pumping, only for not feeding. So even though you still feel full that wont always be the case and shouldn't be. Eventually you'll start to feel like you are not full all the time, which is normal. You still have enough milk, but its more balenced and you no lomger get the engorgment, or the over full feeling.
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