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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure if this should be in the Breastfeeding forum or here...

DS is 5 1/2 months old. I've tried pumping a few times. This morning I pumped for 15 minutes (and produced for the first time...) and produced 1 ounce.... wth? That't can't be right.

I get very emotional when I try to pump - today I was literally bawling through the session (I know its ridiculous. I know.) I tried bfing DS while pumping but he was too interested in the tubes and sounds etc to eat.

I know I'm not the only one out there struggling to produce via pump... what to do?

Help please!

Any advice at all...

DH sat with me and rubbed my shoulders gently to relax me while I pumped, but really folks, we can't be turning a pumping session into such an ordeal.

Women do this all the time, regularly! What's my deal? (or is this just an initial battle everyone has to win?)

I would love to overcome the emotional/physical discomfort so my man and I can get out for a little bit without an 1 1/2 hour time crunch...

Thank you for reading,
 

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Yikes. Pumping sucks. I pumped A LOT when DS was a babe (non-successful breastfeeding venture) and quite a bit for a few weeks when I had to work when DD was 3-4 months. She's about the same age (6 months next week). I honestly can't do it anymore. I have a freezer stash, so DH & I went on a date last weekend. I tried to pump (to cover a missed feeding & not use frozen) and just couldn't. I haven't actually pumped since the day I stopped working (June 1). I hate, hate, hate it. And I think now that I know emotionally I don't NEED to - because I don't have to leave DD to work - I just can't. I think that's how all those other moms are doing it everyday... They know that's what they have to do to provide for their babe.

So if/when I need to express milk, I just use my hands. It hurts a lot less, physically and emotionally, and for me, it's much simpler/easier. Just clean your hands, gently massage your breast, and then squeeze from outward in, sort of following the lines of your major milk ducts with some pressure from your thumbs. I think there are some instructions on kellymom too.. Anyway I just express into a cup & pour it into a breastmilk freezer bag to save. For me, it has been so much less taxing. I get the same amount in less time. And now I have like 30 oz saved in my freezer... so if I really need to get out, or even if something happens, DD is set.

If you do stick to pumping, you will produce more. I think I got 1/2 ounce after 20 minutes the first time, and when I was working full swing I could get 5 oz in 10 minutes. Your body will do what you ask.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you anjsmama,

I pumped again an hour ago while DS was napping.

3 ounces in 20 minutes. Oy.

I think I'm a little confused on when is a good time to pump/express too...I'll definitely check out kellymom for instructions - expressing seems a little more bearable for me right now.

Thanks again for the advice,

Your babe is almost 6 months!!
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My DD is 7.5 months and I've been working and pumping since she was 7 weeks. I still get weepy sometimes when I pump. It's not that I'm thinking sad thoughts, but I just get an overall feeling of sadness. I am sure it is hormonal, but I don't like feeling that way.

The amount I pump will go up and down depending on how much water I drank the prior day and also my diet. I try to eat oatmeal most mornings. It might be a wive's tale, but it does seem to help my milk supply. I also take More Milk Plus when I remember. I pump for 15 minutes at 11am and 4pm and usually get 6 ounces each time if I'm keeping up with my water, oatmeal and More Milk.

Good luck. I hope you can strike a balance where pumping can give you some freedom but not become a way of life like it is for me, LOL. I am out of freezer milk, so I have to pump religiously or my DD won't have breastmilk when I'm working. Going out without her in the evenings or weekends isn't an option since I have no backup milk any more. I just pray I don't get sick or something, because I don't want to introduce formula.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cassaba, I salute you.

This experience has opened to my eyes to what so many mothers have to go through on a regular basis. You pumping, working women are so damn strong, I'm in awe of your resilience.

The sadness really is something - I think you're onto something about it being hormonal... do we secrete the same amount of hormones when pumping? I'd love to find out what our hormonal responses are and how they differ to when we're bfing.
 

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DeepFeet- HUGS! Just to let you know 3 oz is really good! Are you using a double electric pump? Are you doing breast compressions while pumping? I have to pretty much squeeze my breasts hard the whole 20 minutes or not much comes out. It really helps.

I've been exclusively pumping (unfortunately) since DD was 1 month old. She's now almost 9 months. I used to pump 8 x day and at 2am, even thought DD slept through the night regularly, up until she was 6 months old. Even now, after 8 months, I only get 1 oz/hour. So now I only pump every 4 hours and get 4 oz. at each session and 8 oz in the morning after not pumping for 9 hours, and that's with taking Domperidone to increase my supply. So, I want to pat you on the back for nursing AND still getting 3 oz! That's great and should be enough to leave for a bottle while you and DH go out. Or if you do that twice, then you can be gone for quite a bit of time. When DD was that age, she drank a bottle every 2.5-3 hours. (bottles of milk are more filling than nursing. A lot of babies nurse off and on and "snack" since they can control the flow of milk. With bottles the milk drips out continuously and they drink more at a time and it keeps them fuller longer- that's one of the bad things about bottle-feeding. I recommend only using the slow flow newborn nipples on the bottles because that is at least closer to the harder sucking and slower flow of nursing. Or you can get the breast-flow bottles that is supposed to be the closest thing out there to nursing. I know you didn't ask for this info. Just throwing it out there).

I second the high water intake and oatmeal (steel cut oats are best). There's also mothers milk tea and fenugreek that can help.

I don't have any advice about the weeping. Do you think it's because you don't want to be pumping and feel stressed about producing enough? I know that the ability to produce for the pump is very much tied to emotions and stress. Relaxing, picturing water falls of milk or a fire hose spraying milk helps a lot. I thought it was silly, but it works. Also, I really recommend making your own hands-free pumping bra if you don't already have one. Just cut nipple holes out of a stretchy sleep bra. Voila! Then take the pumping time to read a good book, or catch up on MDC and just relax. It really helps.

About going back to work- There is a ton of info on the kellymom (the forums, not just the info site) about how to build a stash for returning to work and the weeping. Those women are SO helpful and you'll probably find your exact situation already discussed there. Since I EP, I don't know the logistics on when to pump and when to nurse, sorry. But I do know that your babe is much more efficient at getting the milk out than the pump and will most likely drink less during the day and nurse a lot more at night. So, you'd be pumping while at work (I would do every 2-3 hours) and then those bottles are for the next day and you nurse all evening (and night, probably). Make sense? Like I said, I don't know the logistics of that, but I know it's definitely doable. Hang in there!
 

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In the beginning, I'd get emotional while pumping because nursing was such a peaceful time to connect with DS and because it is frustrating at first. The more you pump, the easier it gets. I've been pumping 10 ounces a day since DS was 11 weeks. I definitely get a lot more out when I use a hands free nursing bra and spend the pump time reading, looking through this forum, or doing something enjoyable. Its the only personal time I take each day so I try to make it positive in that way. Good luck- you can do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
jruck - thank you for the kind words : )

All of you pumping moms have overcome an emotional hurdle that I didn't even know existed! - I applaud you.

Alas, I returned the pump (we were renting it).

However, we're taking a 15 hr drive to visit the ILs in a month - I think I will pump and save a little for that drive. I'm lucky that I don't HAVE to pump. I'll take my time with the whole process for now...

Breasfeeding after my little pumping experience, is so much more rewarding. I treasure every moment we have now
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Just a thought for your upcoming trip. Even if you are smaller busted (I am), you might be able to "car nurse." It helped us out a lot on a recent 8-hour trip! I just had to loosen my seatbelt some to get in the right position. I tried not to worry about passing trucks...oh well!

PM'd you also.

ETA: You might want to cross post in Breastfeeding...can't hurt to get more responses. Also BTW, I was unable to get almost any milk when I pumped with DS1, but had lots this my second son. I definitely had a better pump. Whether that's what made the difference or not, I don't know...but boy, was there a difference. Also, do you have access to a LLL leader or a lactation consultant? They were both extremely helpful to me with my many different issues about breastfeeding. DS2 is now 16 months and we have a lovely BFing relationship...but it sure was hard at first. I am fortunate to have had access to that assistance.
 
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