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Pumping Problems

Posted by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 10:26 PM
  • 4 Replies

I am going back to work and would like to feed my son pumped milk. The only problem is that I don't get more than an once total from both breasts in one feeding. I experience letdown when breastfeeding, but not when I use a pump. If I don't get sizable results from pumping then I will have to switch to formula because my milk supply will eventually deplete all together with me working full time. 

Does anyone have any suggestions or been through this themselves? I've been dealing with this issue for almost a month now.

by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 10:26 PM
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Replies (1-4):
LeanneC
by on Jan. 3, 2010 at 11:46 PM

Sometimes you have to work to get a letdown.   Stare at a picture of baby, listen to a recording of them crying (no, I'm not kidding).   You may find that once you are at work, letdowns come easier... they often happen sporatically when you haven't nursed when you should have... just imagine yourself running to the pump when you feel the milk coming!  lol (sorry!).

Anyway... for the time being, have you tried pumping WHILE you are nursing?  You will catch the letdown that baby stimulates and this should help you to build a small stash in the freezer.

Next, you need to be able to figure out how much baby really needs.  Don't expect to pump 8oz per session at work... 2-3 would be typical and ideal... less would still be "normal", just not ideal.  Baby needs about an oz per hour you are gone... so, aiming for 8-9 oz.   You pump what you can, and that's what baby gets the next day.  If it's short, you can supplement formula, or baby can wait and make it up when you get home.  Your choice.

You won't dry up even if you don't pump at all during the day and only give formula (or if baby just waits for you).  You WILL stop making milk during the day... but you will make it any other time that it is being demanded.  Supply follows demand.

So... try pumping while nursing to have milk for the first few days and figure the rest out when you get there.


gdiamante
by Gina on Jan. 4, 2010 at 2:41 PM
Quoting kristinmj:

I am going back to work and would like to feed my son pumped milk. The only problem is that I don't get more than an once total from both breasts in one feeding.

That's normal output. That said, what pump and used when? Makes a HUGE difference. Still...normal output is one half to two ounces per session. Baby needs one ounce per hour of separation.

I experience letdown when breastfeeding, but not when I use a pump.

Not uncommon.

If I don't get sizable results from pumping then I will have to switch to formula because my milk supply will eventually deplete all together with me working full time. 

No, it won't. Been there done that. *IF* you need to use formula at work, you nurse at home. Supply ALWAYS adjusts. ALWAYS.

Does anyone have any suggestions or been through this themselves? I've been dealing with this issue for almost a month now.

Need answers from you to my above questions.

kristinmj
by on Jan. 4, 2010 at 2:46 PM

i use a medela single electric pump. i have tried pumping at all times of the day. i have noticed that pumping in the morning works better. i watched this video that another CM member posted and it's really helped!

http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeeding/MaxProduction.html

mrsroeh
by on Jan. 4, 2010 at 3:07 PM

You might be one of the people who just don't pump well. I had one lactation consultant who could pump an ounce but could manually express 8 ozs. Another friend had the same issue and she thought she had no milk. So that same lactation consultant tried to help her manually express and my friend shot milk at her! Turns out she just doesn't do well with a pump.


Good luck!

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