Trouble pumping enough milk - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 07-10-2006, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I posted this on working moms thread, too, but it probably fits here, too. Just looking for support/ideas on pumping and storing breastmilk. Right now I'm only working 1 day per week. It takes me all week to get enough milk stored up for that one day. Now that ds is 4 mo. old last week he had to have a little formula because he drank all the milk I had stored before I could get home--and I only worked a 1/2 day last week! I pretty much have only a half hour to pump while at work if I work a full day, so I only get about 3-4 oz ahead on that day. I'm preparing for work on Wed. and have only 3 oz pumped because we were out of town this weekend. I'm really sad about having to supplement. My sister said she always had trouble getting enough milk stored for her little ones when she went back to work. Just wondering if others have had the same problems and if you had any suggestions to increase my pumping abilities! I have an electric "Pump in style". Medela. It's about 9 yrs old.
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#2 of 3 Old 07-11-2006, 12:18 AM
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[QUOTE=sdmoose I have an electric "Pump in style". Medela. It's about 9 yrs old.[/QUOTE]

This could be the problem right there- your pump is old and worn out. I only used a Medela Harmony ( manual ) pump, but even that got worn out and I used it for less than a year! I have heard other moms complain about their pumps wearing out... So it might be time for a new one.
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#3 of 3 Old 07-11-2006, 12:05 PM
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Yes the motor may not be functioning efficiently, or maybe you need some new parts. Or sometimes if you change worn out membranes (the white membranes) you get better results. (you can get them at or

The best time to pump is first thing in the morning, because during the night you have a breastmilk proudction serge. Or nurse on one breast while pumping the other.

Maybe try hand expression or buy a Avent manual pump - which is an inexpensive yet effective manual pump-to see if you get better results than your PIS. Different things work for different women.

This is from the LLI website:
The Marmet Technique of Manual Expression*
This technique has been developed by Chele Marmet, a La Leche League Leader and lactation consultant who is the Director of the Lactation Institute in West Los Angeles, USA. As with any manual skill, practice is important.

1. Position the thumb and first two fingers about l" to 1 1/2" behind the nipple. Use this measurement, which is not necessarily the outer edge of the areola, as a guide. The areola varies in size from one woman to another. Place the thumb pad above the nipple and the finger pads below to form a "C." Avoid cupping the breast.

2. Push straight into the chest wall. Avoid spreading the fingers apart. For large breasts, first lift and then push into the chest wall.

3. Roll thumb and fingers forward as if making thumb and fingerprints at the same time. The rolling motion of the thumb and fingers compresses and empties the milk reservoirs without hurting sensitive breast tissue.

4. Repeat rhythmically to drain the reservoirs. Position, push, roll; position, push, roll.

5. Rotate the thumb and finger position to milk the other reservoirs. Use both hands on each breast.

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