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4 Bumps

Having trouble pumping breastmilk! Help please!

I cannot pump enough breast milk to save my life! I've used a few different pumps and I always get the same result! I pump less than an ounce from both breast combined! If I do it first thing in the morning then I can get about 3 ounces combined from both breast! But I have a 3 month old, so I still nurse frequently. Any suggestions? I need to be able to pump so that I can start working again, but I really would rather not give him formula since I'm able to breastfeed. (I have nothing against formula. My daughter was 1/2 breastfed & 1/2 formula fed because I couldn't produce enough milk for her.)
I make enough milk for him, I know this because he has plenty of wet & dirty diapers during the day! I just don't know why I can't pump any milk! Help please!

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Asked by wishwish at 10:42 AM on Jan. 15, 2011 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 6 (130 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • You might need to pump more often than you are pumping. My doctor told me to pump once an hour to get it started. Even if you don't have much to pump at first it will come soon. Good luck :)

    Answer by jen2774161 at 10:45 AM on Jan. 15, 2011

  • You might not be taking in enough calories for you to produce enough milk, or maybe you need more fluids. If I ate about thirty minutes before time to breastfeed, and then I got into the shower and let warm water run down my back, I would produce more milk for the baby.

    Answer by graceslove at 10:55 AM on Jan. 15, 2011

  • agree with the first two. even if you are not getting anything when you pump, keep doing it. your body will begin making more to catch up. but you need to 'train" your body first. good luck

    Answer by boobarandbell at 10:58 AM on Jan. 15, 2011

  • I had the same problem. I had the milk, but just could not let down for the pump. Try this...while you are breastfeeding you little one, pump on the other breast. When you let down for baby it may help you let down for the pump.

    Answer by amber1330 at 11:05 AM on Jan. 15, 2011

  • Some women don't respond to the pump well. It works differently than a baby's mouth so some women don't let down as much or as easily. There are a few tips.

    ~ Like pp said pump on one side while nursing on the other
    ~ Sit in a place that you can see your LO while you pump (if you're at work or not around the baby use a photo)
    ~ Make sure you have proper fitting pieces for your pump (the horns come in different sizes)
    ~ Make sure you have the pump set correctly (and that your membranes aren't damanged~ the little white plastic rubbery things)

    Also, 1 ounce is fairly typical for pumping. Keep it up and don't throw any out. Even if you only have 1/2 an ounce the next time you pump put it together (remember to only add like temp milks so fresh with fresh or refrigerated with refrigerated). It will start to add up!


    Answer by terpmama at 11:29 AM on Jan. 15, 2011

  • I definitely recommend using an electric pump. Also, when you start pumping at work, you'll notice your supply will change. When I went back to work when my DD was 3 months old, she was still nursing 7-8 times a day, at least 4 of those during my working hours. There was no way I could pump 4 times while I was at work. I pumped (and still do) twice a day and was able to get what my daughter needed.

    Answer by Journey311 at 12:27 PM on Jan. 15, 2011

  • Some women just can't pump. You can have an over-production but some just can't make it work. Have you tried hand-expressing into a clean bowl? I was always able to get more than way than with my pump!

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:33 PM on Jan. 15, 2011

  • Some women CAN NOT pump!! I coudnt make anything with the pump but I could see the milk coming out so I know it was there!

    Answer by Nienna7477 at 6:48 PM on Jan. 15, 2011

  • See a lactation consultant, they can help you a lot with this. Some things that help are compressing/massaging your breast as you pump, holding baby as you pump (as long as your baby will let you, anyway), and pumping an hour after the "breakfast" nursing session. You can pump an hour after every nursing session if you want to to help increase your pump output. You might just be like a lot of women, including myself, that just don't respond well to a pump. Have you tried pumping at a time your LO would normally nurse to see how much you get then? This can be a good measure of how much yyou would get while working if you are comfortable giving a bottle in place of that nursing.

    Answer by rhianna1708 at 9:59 PM on Jan. 15, 2011

  • Pump on one side while nursing on the other. I had a hard time letting down while only pumping and this is what i did. I worked full time and never had to supplement.
    What kind of pump are you using?

    Answer by new_mom808 at 11:10 PM on Jan. 15, 2011

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