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Exclusive Pumpers Tribe - Page 8

post #141 of 1785
Just thought I would share a bit more of my story...


Here is how I increased my supply...
I had supply problems right from the beginning. I was told not to pump or BF since I was having soooo much pain for 2 days to let my nipples just "rest" when I was only 3 days pp. As you can tell that was very bad advice!!! I was so engorged I sware they were going to burst! By the time I got some good advise my supply was almost non existant! (Which did not help the BFing relationship!!!! I pumped and pumped and pumped and managed to get my supply up to 15-18 oz but it just sat there for weeks! I was getting frustrated and more pumping did not seem to be the answer and was not working anyway. So I began upgrading pumps. I went from a Ameda hospital grade duel electric to a Medela Lactina and now I have settled on a Symphony. My supply increased substanially everytime I changed pumps. That was the only thing I changed! My theory is (in laymens terms) that each pump stimulates the nipple differently and that difference just told my brain that something new was going on and it should respond with more milk! I think I just got de-sensitised to each pump.

I was steadly increasing in supply since I got the symphony and was creaping into the 40oz/day range when I began to have consistent trouble with plugged ducts. I have since caped my supply at around 35oz since I found if I go over that I have to pump alot more frequently or I get stining nipples and plugged ducts. :

Currently I am 6.5 months pp and am working on dropping pumps. I am down to 5/day with a slight drop in supply. I never night pump unless my daugher wakes and I do not pump to a set schedule. I just listen to my body and pump when I can fit it in, within reason. I always keep track of my output and the time I pumped so I can aim for the time for my next pump, but most of the time I am within an hr each way of my goal time. Also never pump a certain amount of time, I just pump until my breasts feel totally empty. So sometime it takes 15min and sometimes 45. Oh and I almost forgot to say that I always use compressions to empty my breasts or else I am plugged up like CRAZY!! Also I really never look at the clock or it makes me insane!

Andrea :
post #142 of 1785
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakerALM
So I began upgrading pumps. I went from a Ameda hospital grade duel electric to a Medela Lactina and now I have settled on a Symphony. My supply increased substanially everytime I changed pumps. That was the only thing I changed! My theory is (in laymens terms) that each pump stimulates the nipple differently and that difference just told my brain that something new was going on and it should respond with more milk! I think I just got de-sensitised to each pump.

I was steadly increasing in supply since I got the symphony and was creaping into the 40oz/day range when I began to have consistent trouble with plugged ducts. I have since caped my supply at around 35oz since I found if I go over that I have to pump alot more frequently or I get stining nipples and plugged ducts. :
Hmmm....I wonder if that would make a difference. I started with the Lactina out of the hospital, then switched to a Symphony after 1 week, then gave up the Symphony at 1 month because DD started BFing. Then she started refusing at 4 months and I used the PIS. Then to try to get my supply up, I rented a Symphony and pumped 9x/day (was pumping 6x). It didn't make a difference. I wonder if the 2 pumps are too similar? I don't know. I am getting close enough to a year that I plan to start dropping pumps. I just can't do this forever. I will pump 1-2x/day after a year and the rest will have to be formula. Unfortunately she isn't too into solids.
post #143 of 1785
Just wanted to add a note about the pump switching I mentioned above..

my supply increased at first dramtically (a few oz) then slowly after that over weeks. Then I would change pumps again when the increase stopped totally.

Andrea
post #144 of 1785
Hello mammas!

I am new to bfing and already have challenges...

I havent had a chance to read everything yet, but i do have a question.

Is it normal to pump different amounts?
For example, i just pumped 3 oz from the left and 1 ounce from the right- in the same amount of time.
I almost always get more from the left than the right.
I am just afraid something is wrong with righty.

thanks!


Amy
post #145 of 1785
Quote:
Originally Posted by amybw

I am new to bfing and already have challenges...
Hi Amy,

I see your new babe was born just about 2 weeks ago, CONGRADULATIONS!!!.
I want to just add quickly that you really DON'T want to join our tribe unless you ABSOLUTELY HAVE to! TRUST ME it totally sucks! But if it is your absolutly last resort we will be here to help and support you completely!


Quote:
Originally Posted by amybw

Is it normal to pump different amounts?
For example, i just pumped 3 oz from the left and 1 ounce from the right- in the same amount of time.
I almost always get more from the left than the right.
I am just afraid something is wrong with righty.
As for normal it really depends upon your body. My output is completely even on both sides but inorder to get the same amount I sometimes have to pump longer on my left. It has issues; takes longer to let down, needs extream compressions to empty complelely and is prone to pluged ducts. Each breast has a completly different dynamic for flow.

I think each woman is different. The importain part is that each breast is draining completely else you could end up with problems with supply and/or plugged ducts/mastitis.

Get a Good LC (if you don't already have one) if you are having BFing problems at such an early stage!

Best of luck,
Andrea
post #146 of 1785
Hi Amy!!

Congratulations on having a baby! It is very normal to have different amounts of milk come out of each breast. Mine were never equal. My right breast has always been slightly larger than the left. My right breast has always made SIGNIFICANTLY more milk than the left side. Its been like this for the last 10 months. Try to do some manual expression after pumping on your lesser producing side just to make sure there isn't anymore milk in there. Also feel it to make sure it is soft like the other side. If you don't get anymore milk by manual expression and it is soft, it just may be normal for you.

I agree with the pp you REALLY DON'T want to be joining this tribe yet. (hopefully never! Its not that we don't want you, we just want to see you have that BFing relationship we are missing out on, and we want your life to be easier than ours.) If your baby is only 2 weeks old its not too late to get them to the breast! You have a decent chance until they are around 2 months old. Its possible even until 3 months, and I heard of a 4 month old getting it. By then babies are pretty set in their ways, and its the same time many moms become exhausted with EPing. Its a long hard road! Keep in mind your baby will become mobile and sleeping less in a few months, which adds challanges to keeping them safe while pumping. PLEASE see one or two LC's and go to a LLL meeting before going down this path of EPing. Its very tiring and should be a last resort.

My baby and I had some major BFing issues, (she was a few weeks early, low birth weight, jaundiced and very difficult to wake to feed) and I screwed things up. I didn't realize what I was in for with pumping long term. I wish I could go back! Feel free to PM me if you would like to hear how I screwed things up and I would be happy to let you know what I should/shouldn't have done to avoid EPing.

Congrats again on becoming a mama!
post #147 of 1785
Uggh, ladies - my boobs have been so sore lately. It is making it mentally difficult to continue pumping. I am hoping it is a temporary thing, but am curious if anyone might know why this would happen all of a sudden after so many months. When the pump starts on my nipples, even at a low setting, it just hurts terribly! I also feel full more often, as if my breasts are not emptying in the 20 minutes I have during the daytime pumps. (I am going to change the membranes today to see if that helps with that particular problem).

Boy, I was so hoping I could get this baby to transition to the breast by now
post #148 of 1785
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swirly
Uggh, ladies - my boobs have been so sore lately. It is making it mentally difficult to continue pumping. I am hoping it is a temporary thing, but am curious if anyone might know why this would happen all of a sudden after so many months. When the pump starts on my nipples, even at a low setting, it just hurts terribly! I also feel full more often, as if my breasts are not emptying in the 20 minutes I have during the daytime pumps. (I am going to change the membranes today to see if that helps with that particular problem).

Boy, I was so hoping I could get this baby to transition to the breast by now
Changing the membranes and tubing would be a good idea. Even a microscopic tear can cause problems. Do you feel lumpy at all? Maybe you have plugged ducts? Is the pain localized? If changing the membranes and tubing doesn't help, maybe switch pumps. Some people develop pump resistance after several months. Good luck and keep us informed!
post #149 of 1785
I hate to say this Swirly, but maybe it's AF. My breasts/nipples hurt for about a week before AF comes. I also notice a drop in supply and pop fenugreek for the last half of my cycle.

Gooey- How's it going? Did you get up the guts to try spreading out your evening pumpings? And, I've been meaning to ask you what area you worked in when you were working as an RN?
post #150 of 1785
I'm going to be buying some Fenugreek today. My output suddenly dropped a few days ago and hasn't gone back up.
Actually, I'm still making the same amount 20/day, but I have to pump more and longer to get there, it's really annoying because I was happy and comfortable at 4x per day. My breasts are no longer full in the morning, (I always sleep at least 9 hrs), and I'm down about an ounce total if I pump the normal duration. I really hope the Fenugreek works, because at 13 months I'm just not about to start Reglan or Dom, don't have the $$ for it anyways. I'm also going to make some oatmeal cookies today, thankfully the weather is cold enough to bake!
post #151 of 1785
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamanurse

Gooey- How's it going? Did you get up the guts to try spreading out your evening pumpings? And, I've been meaning to ask you what area you worked in when you were working as an RN?
I spread out a little... About 10-11 pumps a day instead of 12. But I am still dropping in supply. And I am having problems again with milk not wanting to come out. That happens whenever I fall asleep pumping.

My last job was in med/surg. It was a general floor for all ages. (no seperate peds unit or anything. Three week old babies sharing a room with a 98 year old sometimes) It was a small rural hospital. Before there I worked in a large psych hospital primarily in either the adolescent or childrens units, but I voluntarily floated to all of the other adult units as well. I left there shortly after I moved and got married. I loved that job, I could have retired from there. Before then I was an LPN and worked LTC.

Mamanurse- What area do you work?
post #152 of 1785
Quote:
Originally Posted by GooeyRN
I spread out a little... About 10-11 pumps a day instead of 12. But I am still dropping in supply. And I am having problems again with milk not wanting to come out. That happens whenever I fall asleep pumping.
I have the same problem with the milk not comming out unless I use compressions. Just to be clear I basically squeese the milk out of my left breast otherwise I am lumpy and totally underproducing. In the end it leads to plugged ducts in that breast. Even with STRONG compressions it takes about twice as long to empty as my right. Because of that I cannot sleep while I pump.

Here is my method of strong compressions that works best for me..
I hold the horn between my poiner and middle finger (like you would a cigarette) and I cup the breast and horn with the rest of my hand. Then I move around the breast and squeese the milk out like you would toothpaste , sliding from the chest wall out using my pinky, ring and espeically my thumb to squeese the respecive breast. When I find I lump I work that area. It works best when you are in the middle of a let down. Also I find that with this method on each breast I have a ton of let downs, I would say at least 10 or more in 30 mins. This method I found also works well to clear a plugged duct.

Best of luck! Would love to hear how it goes.

Andrea
Eping since Feb 2006
post #153 of 1785
Gooey- Is it kinda like you're not getting a let down? I don't know how to stimulate one if that's the case. Sorry you're dropping in supply. I suppose you're trying all the usual suspects (fenugreek, oatmeal, etc...)

I'm currently going for my BSN right now and hope to work in end-of-life care. I have been on a ped. floor and a renal/general med-surg floor. We'll see where I can land a job with daytime hours in January
post #154 of 1785
Thread Starter 
So, dropping pumps. . . how do you do it? Do you try to keep your remaining sessions pretty much evenly spaced? Or do you just leave a gap where the session was?

I've decided to drop pumps even though I know supply will suffer. I can't keep up 8x day, and was planning to quit altogether when he's 12 mos (10 mos of eping). But then I thought if I cut my pumping in half, and supplement by choice, I can keep that up for a while. Some mm is better than none.

So, here's where I am now: pumping at approximately 8, 10:30, 1, 3:15, 6:15, 8:45, 10:45, 3:45.

I think I'd like to get to something like 8:30, 1, 6:15, 10. How long do I stay at each number of sessions before dropping another?
post #155 of 1785
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama-a-llama
So, dropping pumps. . . how do you do it? Do you try to keep your remaining sessions pretty much evenly spaced? Or do you just leave a gap where the session was?

I've decided to drop pumps even though I know supply will suffer. I can't keep up 8x day, and was planning to quit altogether when he's 12 mos (10 mos of eping). But then I thought if I cut my pumping in half, and supplement by choice, I can keep that up for a while. Some mm is better than none.

So, here's where I am now: pumping at approximately 8, 10:30, 1, 3:15, 6:15, 8:45, 10:45, 3:45.

I think I'd like to get to something like 8:30, 1, 6:15, 10. How long do I stay at each number of sessions before dropping another?
People have different ways of doing it and I don't have any experience, but if it were me, I would increase the spacings between pumpings so that one drops out. SO you are mostly pumping every 2.5 hours except for your middle of the night pump, so I would immediately go to every 3 hours. So pump at 8am, 11, 2pm, 5, 8, 11 and 4 am. Then you would be at 7 sessions. Then I would increase to every 3.5 hours, but leave the 11 pm and 4am pumps as is. Then increase to every 4 hours, still leaving the 11pm and 4am pumps as is. Keep doing that until the 8 pm pump is nearly merged with the 11 pm pump and "drops". Then you would be at 6 pumps. You should give your body a few days to adjust, especially if you are susceptible to plugged ducts. Then try dropping other sessions in a similar manner.
post #156 of 1785
I have about 2 minutes before my babies wake up, but I wanted to say hello and I just read this whole thread while pumping! I am so excited to find other EPers on MDC, though I wish none of us had to have that title.

My quick story is my twin girls were born at 29 weeks on January 10th - 1 vaginal, 1 c-section. One (Kate) was intubated, one (Lilly) was on CPAP, and they worked their way off, with Lilly coming home at 63 days scott-free and Kate coming home on Oxygen 2 days later. I pumped throughout the NICU stay, and they nursed a little, but not very effectively. When they came home I was overwhelmed, thrushy, exhausted, the victim of painful latches and teeny tiny mouths, plus I would literally run out of time in the day to nurse them both sequentially (they weren't good enough at it to tandem) and then pump, and then feed myself a little before starting all over. I dropped like 20 pounds in 2-3 weeks. I had a really lovely LC but I just couldn't manage it so I have been EPing since then. THe girls are big (15 pounds 13 ounces and 15 pounds 7 ounces) and strong and healthy! Kate has been off oxygen since May. I am persistently sad about losing the BFing relationship, but I treasure the memories I have of BFing my teeny girlies in the NICU, at least.

Anyway, nice to meet you all, and I hope we can keep this thread alive (but wish we didn't have to...)
post #157 of 1785
I'm glad you found us. Congratulations on the birth of your girls!
post #158 of 1785
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama-a-llama
So, dropping pumps. . . how do you do it? Do you try to keep your remaining sessions pretty much evenly spaced? Or do you just leave a gap where the session was?

I've decided to drop pumps even though I know supply will suffer. I can't keep up 8x day, and was planning to quit altogether when he's 12 mos (10 mos of eping). But then I thought if I cut my pumping in half, and supplement by choice, I can keep that up for a while. Some mm is better than none.

So, here's where I am now: pumping at approximately 8, 10:30, 1, 3:15, 6:15, 8:45, 10:45, 3:45.

I think I'd like to get to something like 8:30, 1, 6:15, 10. How long do I stay at each number of sessions before dropping another?
I am so interested in hearing how to do this! You go mama for sticking with 8 pumps a day! I'm a low supply mama and EPer for 5 months and I pump 7x/day. I would really like to drop my 11pm pump ( I usually only get about 2 ozs at that time of night) and hope to not decrease my supply much. So tia for all of the advice!
post #159 of 1785
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama-a-llama
So, dropping pumps. . . how do you do it? Do you try to keep your remaining sessions pretty much evenly spaced? Or do you just leave a gap where the session was?

So, here's where I am now: pumping at approximately 8, 10:30, 1, 3:15, 6:15, 8:45, 10:45, 3:45.

I think I'd like to get to something like 8:30, 1, 6:15, 10. How long do I stay at each number of sessions before dropping another?
Hi Mama-a-llama!

I just did this, well actually I am in the middle of transitioning from 5-4 pumps/day. I went up to 8/day for about a months to increase supply so I had a bit of a surplus (approx. 3-5oz/day extra) just to give me a bit of a buffer and start a small freezer stock. Then I began dropping pumps.

Here is how I did it...

My schedule is never rigid. I have a goal time and usually get the pump in either 1 hr before or after the goal. Since life is so crazy this works best for me. So keeping that in mind I just started spacing all my pumps out, not dropping one pump but spreading them all out a bit. So in your case I would say try this schedule...
8, 11, 2, 5,8,11,3:45
During the day this schedule is approximatly 3hr between pumps with one waking at night at your normal time. After say 2 weeks or so, only once you see your supply stablizing for atleast a few days (and you are happy with the new level) then spread out the day pumps again. Say to this new schedule.
8, 11:30, 3, 6:30, 10, 3:45
And wait a few weeks.

Next, If I was you I would want to loose the 3:45am pump ASAP! So you might want to try dropping it during the next cycle. If I was you I would try to move it slowly over say 2 weeks closer to the 8am pump so that you can see if you are in a ton of pain, if you get plugged ducts from staying too full for too long or if you take a huge cut in supply. (On a side note, I noticed the total of my midnight pump plus the morning pump was less than when i only pumped in the morning. Anyone know why this is so?)

You just continue spreading out the pumps thoughout the day until you get to a schedule that works best for you and your body.

As for me I am hovering between 4-5 pumps and no night pumps unless my daughter wakes. I just listen to my body, for example if my breasts start to tingle and are feeling uncomfortably full and it is not yet time to pump I will pump then and then spread the rest of the day out accordingly. I never really pump to a schedule I just listen to my body and pump when it tells me to pump. This had worked very well now that I know the signals to look for.

OH, one more very importaint thing! My supply initally dropped each time i dropped a pump and then by the end of the 2 weeks was back up to the orignal level (or higher)! The way that I found to keep the supply while dropping pumps is to pump longer at each session. Since my breasts are a lot fuller it take longer to drain, I cant tell you how long since I never look at the clock while pumping (it makes me insane to watch the minutes pass) so I just pump until my breasts are REALLY REALLY empty.

Also keep track of your total output, how much you pump at each session and what time you pump so you can track your progress.

Not to take you away from Mothering but if you are looking for a great forum only for EPers check out my signature.)

Best of luck!
I would love to hear how it goes!

Andrea EPing for Lola since Feb 06
post #160 of 1785
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I did post on EPers too, but strangely only got one answer. Maybe my title wasn't interesting enough
I've tried just cutting one session. I've kind of cheated and not cut the same session every day though. I want to cut the 10:30 am one first, which I did yesterday, but on Sat cut the 6 pm to go to a wedding, and today am cutting the 3 pm so I can got out with family. After today I'm hoping to settle into a routine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakerALM
So in your case I would say try this schedule...
8, 11, 2, 5,8,11,3:45
My problem is that since ds has tube feeds at 9, 12, 3, 6, I like to pump during his feeding (with the exception of the morning/lunchtime ones where I'm usually eating while he eats). It's nice to have us both tied to a pump at the same time so that we're free to do whatever the rest of the time. And we are usually still eating dinner at 8.
Once I got to this:

Quote:
8, 11:30, 3, 6:30, 10, 3:45
it would be okay. If I don't like the results of just cutting, I might try this approach.

Quote:
Next, If I was you I would want to loose the 3:45am pump ASAP!
I do want to. But I'm kind of afraid that will really kill my supply. I would probably try to loose the 10/11 pm next, so I can get more sleep before getting up. As it is, I tend to not get to bed before midnight--but a lot of that is hanging on MDC after I'm done pumping
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