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Let down question (DarryLLL - are you out there?)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
(DarryLLL - Laila suggested you might help.)

I have a Medela Pump In Style and I do not have a great track record with letting down to the pump. I pump 5 times a day (once before work, three times at work, and one once DD goes to bed) just to get 10-12 oz at best. She takes about 15 oz a day, so I have to pump on the weekend to supplement through the week - as you can imagine, there's not a lot left in my freezer stash.

Laila mentioned that some pumps make inserts that are supposed to better stimulate a baby nursing. Have you heard of that for the PIS? And/or do you (or anyone else reading this) have any suggestions?

I have pictures of my DD around my office to look at before and during the pump. I have tried heat and drinking tea beforehand. I have the best luck massaging during the pump, but I'd love to be handsfree...


post #2 of 7
Yes, I am here.

I have a few q's for you, first, not directly related to pumping. But that might help us work on you getting more milk into your dd.

Do you work full time? 5 days/wk?

How old is your dd?

Do you co-sleep?

On working days, how many times does she nurse when you are together?

I don't know what "inserts" Laila might have been referring to. Medela makes different size flanges to better fit different nipples/areolas.

Most moms do better with all that pumping, by using a rental pump. The Medela Lactina and the new
Symphony are very efficient and comfortable. You can get a hands free kit, and a double pump kit, which will increase your relaxation and bfing hormones.

Get the book Nursing Mother Working Mother for much more abt pumping than I could say here.

Massage your breasts, then lean over and jiggle, before pumping, to stimulate and get gravity working. Apply warm wet washcloths. It should get easier to pump as you train yourself to letdown to it. Bring a worn item of baby's clothes to work with you, and sniff...!

In some cases, baby will start to sleep a lot at daycare and then want to nurse very frequently when you are reunited. Co-sleeping is a must for this.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for responding DarryLLL

My DD is nearly 6 mos. I've been back to work (5 days a week) about 3 mos.

On working days, she nurses once or twice in the morning, once or twice in the evenings and one to three times during the night. We do co-sleep. I do not mind the night nursing because it's nice time spent with her and I'm sure it helps to keep my supply up since I have such a hard time with the pump.

I have considered renting a hospital grade pump, but have been told by 3 different LCs in the area that it won't help. I guess maybe I shouldn't have given up on that alternative so easily.

I have tried Fenugreek, but it made DD very gassy. She seems to tolerate the Mother's Milk tea a lot better. I try to eat whole oat oatmeal (with flaxseeds and oat flour mixed in) at least once a day. I also drink TONS of water.

Massaging seems to help with let down, but I have to massage the entire time I pump to get anything out. I worry this is damaging to the tissue...? Maybe it's also a suction issue? I don't always feel the let down when DD nurses, maybe she just sucks better than the pump.

As for the different sized flanges, I just use the ones that came with the pump. I haven't experimented with the smaller inserts. Will tighter fitting flanges help in your opinion?
post #4 of 7
Pumping 5 times a day is a lot of pumping, huh? Some lucky moms with large storage capacity in their breasts and a fast letdown have it easy.

You know, if your dd is nursing 5-8 times/ day on working days, that is as often as some babies home with their moms full time, nurse anyway. Was that clear?

I wonder if you relaxed about pumping, and continued to offer frequently when together, if she would end up getting the same amt of milk at the end of the day anyway.

I mean, what if you cut back to only 3 pumpings/day at this point? Maybe she would just take more at night. The reverse cycling idea.

This is just a suggestion to make your life less stressful. I get you abt all the massaging your need to do. You're tired of the whole process, and frustrated with how time consuming it is and just the hard work involved.

What makes me think your milk supply is good is: when you said that the fenugreek makes her gassy. One theory abt why that happens is, it increases your milk too much, esp the foremilk, which contains a lot of lactose, which can cause the gas in lg amts.

As far as wanting a better pump, I am surprised LC's said it made no difference whether you used a Pump in Style or a Lactina. As far as I know, for long term frequent pumping, the larger pumps are recommended. (Were they IBCLC? B/c anyone can call them selves an LC, it doesn't mean they are well trained or accredited by the Int'l Board.)

Get in touch with a Medela representative, a pump rental station, with your pump and flange q's. I don't know as much abt pumps as she will. You could always rent one for a week or 2 and see if it makes a difference for you.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your advice and thoughts. I think I might give the pumping a rest for awhile and cut down to 3 xs per day and see where we end up.

I'm also thinkin about getting an Isis to see how that works (clogged duct problem), and I will also look into renting a pump.

I also ordered new horns for the PIS with the softer inserts - they're supposed to better simulate a baby nursing. We'll see!

Thanks again!

post #6 of 7
Just want to say that I had a hosp. rental for the first few months and now use a borrowed PIS. The hospital one was much better.

post #7 of 7

Wanted to let you know I have a copy of the book Working Mother, Nursing Mother that Darylll was talking about. I didn't go back to work so I won't need it. LMK if you're interested and we can work something out. Good luck
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