Not being able to pump more than one ounce of milk .. does anyone have any suggestions that could help or know why this is?

[deleted account] ( 17 moms have responded )

I am exclusively breastfeeding my 5 week old daughter. I bought a Medela hand pump and have been trying to pump, but I can't seem to get more than an ounce out at a time. It takes about 15 mins to get that one ounce and no matter how long i keep pumping for i can't get any more milk out.
My daughter is still eating for 45 mins at a time and during the day about every hour-2hours apart. she will only eat from one breast at a time, if i try to switch her she will scream and not latch on to the other breast. so i just let her have her feed off the one and she falls off and is happy when shes done. the last feed at night she eats for an hour straight then sleeps for 5-6 hours without waking up to eat again. so im thinking if shes sleeping for that long i don't think its a lack of milk or else she would wake up sooner hungry. and when she does wake up after those 5-6 hours, shes not even crying, just making noise. so i dont understand why i cant get more than an ounce of milk out at a time while im pumping! does anyone know why this is and what i can do to help pump more at a time?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Tia Melissa - posted on 02/08/2011

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Some women are naturally pump resistant. I have an ample supply and my kids can get it out like THAT! Give me a pump and I get nothing. Unless I nurse on one side and pump on the other. All my kids have gone through infancy with the occasional sound of the pump. It was the only way I was able to build an emergency supply.

Courtney - posted on 02/14/2009

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I can never feel a letdown.  Have you tried pumping the side you are not nursing on at the same time as your other side is used for nursing or right before.  Also, it will get easier.  If you are going to be pumping pretty often, I would suggest the Medela Swing pump.  It is electric and I tried 7 pumps before this one worked.  It is wonderful.  For the first 2 months, I only got an ounce at a time, but eventually it turned to 2-4 ounces.  I have nursed 2 children and both up to a year old.  I had days even long into nursing where I only got 1 ounce.  So hang in there and good luck.

Danielle - posted on 02/12/2009

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the baby is only five weeks old. she probably only can handle an ounce at a time in her little belly. Breastfeeding is supply and demand. the more she demands to eat the more milk your body will make. if you want to increase your supply i'd wait about 30 minutes AFTER your baby nurses and pump for about 15 minutes.



But you have to rest for about 30 minutes in between pumping and feedings. So I think it's too soon to pump for a five week old. You shouldn't really pump until she's closer to three months. Just nurse her often and on her demand and you'll make more milk.



When my son was five weeks he ate an ounce every feeding. I nursed him on demand about every 45 minutes to an hour. by the time he was 3 months i was pumping and nursing 8 ounces each feeding. Just keep it up and don't give up. Your baby will bring more milk when she's hungry for it.

Janice - posted on 02/08/2011

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First of all I completely disagree with others about hand pump vs.electric. I have had both and the hand pump was just as efficient. the only difference was that with the electric one I could do both sides at once. Anyways, like others said pumping is not nearly as efficient as your baby. When my supply started to regulate at 4 mo. I was no longer able to pump more than a 1/2 ounce each side. If you are going to be at home I wouldn't stress trying to get a huge extra supply. Of course if you are going back to work soon than it is a major problem. another note (idk if anyone else responded about this) but your daughter is smart ;) to only nurse on 1 side per session. Milk changes as babies feed starting with a low calorie thin milk and progressing to a thicker high fat milk called hind milk. So although it used to be taught that you feed on bothsides per session now it is recommended to just feed on 1 side and switch for the next feeding.

Melissa - posted on 02/12/2009

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PS.I also use an electric pump, so I don't know if that has anything to do with it or not.

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17 Comments

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Shelley - posted on 10/03/2013

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I just stumbled across this from a google search and know it's years later, but our comments were really encouraging for the situation I'm going through right now, so thanks so much :)

Bethsarim Catherine - posted on 02/03/2011

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Thank you soo much for this post.. I had issues pumping with DS who is now 15 mo. and DD is 2 mo. and it's going south too.. they feed at the breast but seem to continue in low weight gain, so I must pump, I must make a stock and currently started supplementing, DD does not drink much of the supplement, doc suggested 2 oz. extra every 3 hours. So I give her that after I have given her whatever i pumped before and breast-time. But since with DS I always only pumped 1 oz. and I was utterly discouraged by the local LCs, yes there were more that one, I'm worried, already very discouraged, untill I read what courtney said... because I had come to my wits end after 2 months last time.. when LC said you will NEVER feed at the breast fully.

Liza - posted on 02/13/2009

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I have a low milk supply (and did with my first baby too).   My first boy ate for a long time, so I was surprised I wasn't producing enough milk.  With this baby, I've been taking an herbal supplement called More Milk Plus - I find it at Whole Foods.  It was recommended by my pediatrician and a lactation consultant.  Good luck!

Vanina - posted on 02/12/2009

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FROM VANINA BREH, STATEN ISLAND, NY



MY GYN SUGGESTED I DRANK ODOULLS, ( NON-ALCOHOLIC BEER) AND IT WORKED!



i DON'T DRINK IT ANY MORE.  i'M TRYING TO WEAN HER OFF (STILL BREASTFEEDING AT 20 MONTHS!)  IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT GAINING WEIGHT, DON'T DO IT.  ADD A Tablespoon  OF MOLASSES  to  a drink of your liking.  Unfortunately, pumping never worked for me. 

Melanie - posted on 02/12/2009

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I also have the Medela Pump in Style and love it. It's hospital grade and works great! If you want to try a double electric pump, you could always rent one from your local hospital for a month or two to see if you really like it and will use it. Just an idea. Congratulations on yiour new baby and good luck!!

Shannon - posted on 02/12/2009

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I have to pump in order to have the milk for my son while I work 3 days a week... and I have always had a problem getting enough for all that he actually drinks now at almost 6 months... however, I have found that if I pump about 90 minutes after his feeding ... thankfully he eats about every 3 hours... I get about 3 oz at a time now. So, I do exactly that and have lessened the amount of formula he gets now while I am away to only 2oz to every 4 oz of mine... ohh, and I do not use an elctric pump... I had a medela, I had a Ameda and I had a Avent electric... hated all of them, and got less with them. I think it is a personal choice, and whatever works best for you.

Melissa - posted on 02/12/2009

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Are you just pumping to build up a stored supply? Or to increase milk?
For me personally, I usually need 3 or 4 bottles a week for while I am in class. There are two things that I have found that work best for me.
1. After putting her to bed for the night, I wait a couple hours and then pump. My body now registers that as another feeding so I am able to pump the same amount that she normally eats. (My little one is 4 1/2 months and usually eats about 4-5 oz at a time.)
2. My supply is fullest in the morning. Most of the time,she is satisfied after nursing on one side only, so I pump the other side.

I really have a hard time getting a lot if I pump throughout the day, so I have found for me it is timing.
But if you need to have a lot of milk pumped, and not just pumping for the occasional bottle like I am, then what everyone else has recommended about pumping after each feeding should help increase your supply.
Good luck!

Suzi - posted on 02/12/2009

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Hi there all the suggestions are really good that you have had, especially about how much your baby can fit in their tummy. Your daughters tummy is know bigger than a walnut at the mo so can't actually fit much in there. Also the hand pumps aren't can't quite as good as the electric, and these are available to hire from most hospitals.  It is also worth rememberng that your body is still adjusting to feeding anad can take maybe 12 wks to get your milk up to full production and then of course your baby goes through a growth spurt and you then have to start producing more!!, but remember this is exactly why we have breasts and they are wonderful things. Speak to your health visitor  to see if there is a breast feeding support group in your area as they afre really helpful.  had trouble at first and went to my local group and now i am one of the breast feeding volunteer support persons' there. Good luck and let us know how you get on but remember to relax and get rest to help milk production xx

Jen - posted on 02/12/2009

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Aidan was born in August 2008. I didn't have enough milk for him, so I started pumping. (He now only eats from a bottle, but I still pump to give him my milk). I read to increase your milk supply, pump for 15 minutes after every nursing session. If you aren't nursing, pump for 30 minutes every 2 hours and don't go longer than 6 hours between pumping. I now get 1oz-1.5oz for every hour of the day. Good Luck!

Jennifer - posted on 02/12/2009

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First of all, have you began to have your letdowns yet? You can feel it when its happening and you may hear your baby sucking faster. I describe my letdowns as a burning feeling without the pain, just a sensation. If you haven't began letdowns you may not produce much this early. Secondly your body is getting used to your babies rhythem of eating and her stomach is changing in size again by now to more of a volume and your body is constantly changing to regulate. Thirdly, A pump is never as good as the real thing. Finally, Hand pumps are not as good as electric pumps. When I say good I mean productive. I have a double electric Medela Pump in Style and I love it. When you have a double electric it creates a hormonal surge that triggers your letdown producing more milk more quickly. My pumping sessions are around 15-30 minutes. In the begining even with my pump I didn't pump more than 2-3 oz. until my son and me became in sync. I hope this helped. Don't get frustrated it's a learing process for both of you. My son just turned a year and I almost quit and I'm so glad I stuck with him.

Good Luck...

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