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Breastfeeding Challenges > major pumping difficulties
aem22's Avatar aem22 02:15 AM 02-21-2010
Hello,

I work from 6:30-3 and my baby (2 months old) nurses every 2 hours when I'm home (including throughout the night... man, I need some sleep) and I nurse her on my lunch break. So she nurses about 9 or 10 times per day, and then while I'm at work she drinks one bottle in the morning and one in the afternoon (about 4 oz. each). I pump 4 times at work (about every 90 minutes) for 15-20 minutes each time, and I am only able to get 1 oz. total each time. So throughout the whole day, I only make enough milk for one bottle for the next day. Then her second bottle is formula (we went through our whole freezer stash in my first two weeks back at work). I have tried a manual pump (Lansinoh), two double electric pumps (Ameda and Lansinoh), and a rented Medela Symphony from the hospital. I am able to get the most milk from the manual, although it takes longer and my hand gets tired, so I usually use the Lansinoh double electric. I also do use breast compression and massage, and I usually have two let-downs within the 15 minutes (when I have pumped longer, up to 30 minutes, I have never had a third let-down, so I think I'm pretty much done at 15 min). I have tried pumping between nursings on the weekend, but since she eats every 2 hours, it's hard to squeeze them in and even when I do, I get like a quarter ounce, max. I have also tried Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle, Mother's Milk Tea (gross!!!) and Oatmeal.

So my question is: is there anything else I can try to get more milk for my little girl so we can do away with supplementing with formula? I really cannot pump any more often (including clean-up time, I spend almost 2 hours of my work day pumping! This is insane!) I had this same problem with my first daughter (I used a PISA, which was completely useless) and I ended up supplementing with formula for every bottle while I was at work and eventually giving up on breastfeeding entirely at 6 months. I really don't want to go down this path again, but I am really at the end of my rope! Pumping is so much work and so unpleasant, so doing it faithfully and still getting no results is really disappointing. Help!

elizaMM's Avatar elizaMM 12:12 PM 02-21-2010
wow. you are such a dedicated mom. the only things I can think of that you haven't mentioned is: have you tried using different sizes of the the part of the pump that goes around your nipple? have you tried visualization (like imagining that your baby is right there)? You might also be able to teach your body to let down (stronger?) to an auditory cue or something else. You know, like the Pavlov dog salivating at the sound of a bell? You could ring a bell (or drink some ice water through a straw, like someone I know did) every time you let down at home when you are nursing and then your body might start letting down (better/stronger?) on the sound of that bell (or other stimulus), w/o needing your lo's mouth? good luck!
zwitterion's Avatar zwitterion 01:23 PM 02-21-2010
I agree 100% with PP (including how dedicated you are!). Another suggestion might be to do what I've heard called "5-1-5-1-5 pumping". To do this, you pump for 5 minutes, then turn off the pump for a minute. When that minute is up, pump for 5 minutes, and you get the idea from there. This triggers your body to produce more prolactin, IIRC, because of the greater number of initiations.

Also, I am not familiar with the Lansinoh pump, but with the PISA that I've used, there are little white membranes that need to be changed every few months because they develop little microtears and cause the pump to lose suction (and usually Mom discovers this by noting that she just can't get the milk she used to get while pumping). Is there something similar with the Lansinoh pump?

Good luck, mama!
penquinmom's Avatar penquinmom 01:32 PM 02-21-2010
I agree with the different size parts-I had horrible pumping problems the first time around and I never realized that there were different sizes-when I switched them out it made a huge difference.
Also I found that the more I got stressed about my baby having to have formula, the less I was able to pump. I know it's easier said than done, but the obvious "relax" and "let go" really did help me more-and visualization of my snuggly baby in bed with me in the morning helped too.
aem22's Avatar aem22 02:41 PM 02-21-2010
I just ordered some larger flanges (and I'm going to switch out my valves tomorrow, just in case that's the problem). I will definitely try visualization, too. I had never thought of that! (Although I do keep a picture of my baby with me when I pump already). My husband actually had another idea that we will try this week: he made a recording of my baby cooing and sent it to my cell phone so I can listen to it while I pump. Thanks for all the suggestions. Hopefully something will work!
Latte Mama's Avatar Latte Mama 04:40 PM 02-21-2010
I also had the Lansinoh pump and the PISA and still had to supplement w/formula. I was a poor pump responder and ended up taking domperidone which greatly increased my supply. Some women just don't respond well to the pump no matter how many tricks we try.

If nothing else works and you think you might want to try galactologues, look into fenugreek, blessed thistle, and domperidone. The first 2 didn't work for me but Dom was a lifesaver.
blessedwithboys's Avatar blessedwithboys 04:48 PM 02-21-2010
you are an awesome mom, and how sweet of your hubby to make the recording for you!

have you tried pumping one breast while the baby nursed on the other?
olien's Avatar olien 09:11 PM 03-05-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Latte Mama View Post
I also had the Lansinoh pump and the PISA and still had to supplement w/formula. I was a poor pump responder and ended up taking domperidone which greatly increased my supply. Some women just don't respond well to the pump no matter how many tricks we try.

If nothing else works and you think you might want to try galactologues, look into fenugreek, blessed thistle, and domperidone. The first 2 didn't work for me but Dom was a lifesaver.
What is Domperidone? Is it an herb/ OTC / Prescription?
groovyem's Avatar groovyem 10:54 PM 03-05-2010
For a time saver - someone once posted on this site somewhere that she doesn't wash her pumping supplies during the day, just puts them in the fridge, makes sense, milk doesn't go bad in the fridge. Wash when you get home and ready for the next day! I now do this when I go to someone's house and have to pump, I keep everything a heavy duty ziploc bag and just wash the bag well and reuse! HUGE time saver! BTW - I'm an EPer, I will do this if I am sick and just too tired to do anything! Good luck to you!
texmati's Avatar texmati 01:33 AM 03-06-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by groovyem View Post
For a time saver - someone once posted on this site somewhere that she doesn't wash her pumping supplies during the day, just puts them in the fridge, makes sense, milk doesn't go bad in the fridge. Wash when you get home and ready for the next day! I now do this when I go to someone's house and have to pump, I keep everything a heavy duty ziploc bag and just wash the bag well and reuse! HUGE time saver! BTW - I'm an EPer, I will do this if I am sick and just too tired to do anything! Good luck to you!

I do this, and it works great! I would wash/sterilize if my kiddo was ill or I was worried about his immune system for some reason.

this video helped me a lot with increasing my pumping output. http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastf...roduction.html
leoheart's Avatar leoheart 06:07 AM 03-06-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post
have you tried pumping one breast while the baby nursed on the other?
This. It worked really well for me (with a manual pump) - a time saver and way more milk (especially first thing in the mornings).

You are awesome! Don't get discouraged!!
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