Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Pumping problems

I have been breastfeeding my son for about 5 weeks now. I had a rough start at breastfeeding him, but we are doing great now. I notice that when I breastfeed I experience letdown and he gets enough food. When I use a breastpump it doesn't happen and I will pump for 15 minutes on each breast and I get maybe an ounce, which is not anywhere near enough for a feeding and I can't sit around all day and pump and breastfeed. It wouldn't be an issue if I didn't have to go back to work this week.

Does anyone else have the same problem or any suggestions on what to do. I have been supplementing with formula when I cannot be around and it would make like easier if I didn't need to.

Answer Question

Asked by kristinmj at 9:38 PM on Jan. 3, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 1 (0 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • Have you tried the warm compress or self expressing first then the pump?

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:48 PM on Jan. 3, 2010

  • Pumping is not nearly as efficient as a baby's mouth. A lot of women can successfully bf a baby but not pump near enough to sustain the baby when they aren't around. I could occasionally get 5 oz from both breasts combined, but normally couldn't get an ounce from each. If you know he's getting plenty when he's latched on, imagine that feeling when you're pumping - close your eyes, have a blankie or something of his on your shoulder so you can smell him, a picture of him taped to your pump, etc, things to help you relax - close your eyes and breathe deep the smell from his blankie or whatever, and just relax. GL momma!

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:49 PM on Jan. 3, 2010

  • Have you tried pumping at the same time baby is nursing? I have heard that helps with let down - although I never did it because I'm just not that coordinated. But that's an idea at least.
    Have you joined the Breastfeeding group here on CM - it's a great group with lots of advice.
    Good luck and congrats!

    Answer by Katt709 at 10:21 PM on Jan. 3, 2010

  • It is completely normal for moms to only be able to pump 1-2 ounces at a time. The PP had some good suggestions for improving, and you can also try pumping one side while you nurse on the other toKeadvantage of the let down. You'll want to have appx. 1 ounce ready to go for every hour that you'll be apart, but make sure to store them in small quantities, because once they are heated, they cannot be reheated if baby didn't finish it all the first time around (and we all hate wasting pumped milk!!!) You can also try hand expressing the milk after a warm shower or warm compress - sometimes our hands do a better job of stimluating a let down than the pump.
    I would suggest having a few days worth ready when you start work so that if you are unable to pump enough during the day for the next day, you have some reserve. And if you don't have quite enough - have no fear. Your baby will nurse like crazy when you get back , , , , ,

    Answer by TiffanyMarie80 at 10:24 PM on Jan. 3, 2010

  • . . . . to make up for the difference.
    Good luck!!!!!

    Answer by TiffanyMarie80 at 10:24 PM on Jan. 3, 2010

  • Here is what works for me: Pump in the morning between 4am and 8am as that is when milk production has peaked. Pump on one side as baby nurses the other to take advanage of baby letdown (I always get more this way) Massage the breast while pumping (I have a one handed electric medlea that allows me to feed baby and massage with my thumb while pumping) to encourage supply you should pump between feeds. Check out this site also for tips to maximize pumping time:


    Answer by amileegirl at 10:54 PM on Jan. 3, 2010

  • Oh, if you are working more than part time, you may need a very good double pump to keep up check out :   too


    Answer by amileegirl at 10:57 PM on Jan. 3, 2010

  • Look at your baby while you pump or a picture of baby. Think about nursing your is remarkable how much it can help with let down (some pumps even come with cases that have a place for a photo for baby).

    Answer by ANGIE409 at 11:03 PM on Jan. 3, 2010

  • thanks amileegirl, that video actually helped a lot!

    Answer by kristinmj at 2:42 PM on Jan. 4, 2010

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.