Mothering Forum banner

Pumping question

498 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  dove
I bf my 51/2 month old exclusively, and I stay at home with her so my breast is always readily available. Well, I tried to pump (w/ medela pis) several times, and each time I'm only getting like 6 drops out! My reason for pumping is that people are pressuring me to get out of the house and leave dd with someone for awhile (which I don't really want to do anyway).

But I am wondering why I'm not getting any milk. It kind of concerns me about how much dd is getting (she's 14lbs, chunking up, plenty of pee pee dipes although not too many poo poo). What's the deal?
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
I've not been in that situation but I have known other mamas who have, and I have heard my excellent LC tell people that it's normal. Your body needs to get used to the pump, so I think you would just continue to pump for 10-15 minutes even though nothing is coming and, eventually, it will respond. I pumped to bring in my supply, so I guess my body was always used to pumping.
I agree w/ the above. but you may never ever get as much from the pump as the baby does. I think the pump sucks along different streams of milk (can't think of the scientific way to describe this- reservoirs?) than the baby does, and it just doesn't respond the same way.

but to your other issue- don't let people pressure you to leave your baby. my dd is almost 9 months old and I've never left her with a sitter simply because I don't feel like it. she's YOUR baby so you do what you want!
sounds like you aren't even getting let you think that's true?

couple things--
i agree with pp....keep pumping even when nothing is coming will let your body know to start making more.

some women just do not respond to the pump but are making PLENTY for their know that your breasts need to let down and doing it artificially, well maybe your breasts are too smart for that...they know it's not a realy baby at the other end! give it time

have you tried the advice in books like: looking at a picture of your baby or keeping him/her near, relaxing to get let down to happen, pumping both sides at the same time really helps too, I even find that I pump better when the nipples are lubed with a little lansinoh.

lastly, if YOU are not ready to leave your babe maybe you are psychologically keeping your body from pumping well, and thereby keeping yourself from "having" to leave your baby. If you don't have to, don't pressure yourself. And who knows, maybe once you feel less pressure you may pump better
good luck!
See less See more
Dear Fiveblessings,

I totally admire your commitment to your children.

I think the real issue is the people pressuring you, not the pumping. If you're not ready to leave you're baby, that's okay and completely healthy. Just be honest with them.

As plagio mentioned, pumping is a learned skill that improves with practice. Just think of your attempts thus far as practice sessions and congratulate yourself for those precious drops of milk!

Most pumping problems happen because you're not triggering a let-down, not because you have a supply issue. Since pumping is not the same as nursing your baby, you may need to coax your let-down a little. Express somewhere comfortable and familiar, minimize distractions, think about the baby, try to relax, breath slowly and deeply. If your pump is a single, switch sides when the flow lessens and alternate between sides several times each session for a total of 20-30 minutes, rather than 10-15 minutes per breast.

If your baby has plenty of wet diapers, you are probably making plenty of milk. After six weeks, look for for 5-6 heavy wet cloth diapers or 4-5 heavy wet disposables. Beyond six weeks of age, less frequent bowel movements may be completely normal. Even one bm per 7-10 days is considered normal if baby is otherwise healthy and gaining normally. Normal weight gain at four to six months is considered 4 to 5 oz per week.

I hope this helps. (Most of this info comes from The Breastfeeding Answer Book.) Good luck!
See less See more
I find that since I really don't want to leave my baby and go out, my pumping has not been all that successful or regular. It does, however, take practice to pump. I have a PIS and I am able now to get a good amount of milk only after I have a let down (i.e. right after ds nurses). Every once in a while, I can have a let down using the pump but not often. I know that I couldn't get anything but a few drops with the Avent hand pump but others have done better with that than the PIS so it might just be that some pumps are better suited to some than others. Anyway, good luck and don't let anyone pressure you into doing something you don't want to do!
Thank you so much for the advice and kind words!

I think you're right, I'm not letting down for the pump. When dd starts crying, it starts to drip from both sides, so I guess they're just not "trained" for the pump. But I think I'll take your advice though, and not worry about the pump. I'll just stay close to my babe since that's what comes naturally.
See less See more
pumping is not the same as took me several weeks of pumping to get 2-6 oz at a time Your baby is just better at. It is hard to pump if you are only needing it for brief moments!
I found that even though I make a TON of milk, I can't get a whole lot out with a pump (avent isis handheld) unless I am nursing ds on the other side while pumping. Then I can pump off up to 6 ounces. My milk just doesn't let down well with just the pump. It is tricky to learn to prop baby and pump at the same time, but once I got the hang of it, it was fine.

do what you want to do, don't let others pressure you when it comes to your nursing relationship. My standard line was "I'm doing what's best for me and my baby". That seems to squelch well meaning but poorly thought out comments ppl make.

ps - ds is 15 mos. and I've only left him once, with grandpa, for 1.5 hours!
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.