pumping question

Shandy - posted on 04/11/2009 ( 29 moms have responded )

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Ok so I tried fenugreek, didn't work. Got a new breast pump, didn't work. Any other suggestions? I just can't pump enough to feed my baby while I'm gone. She eats 3 1/2 - 4 1/2oz.. every2 1/2 - 3hrs. When I pump every 3 - 4hrs, I get 1-2 oz. I really want to breast feed, someone please help!

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Chona - posted on 04/20/2009

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Have you tried Domperidone? You could also try to pump 10 min then 10 min off 10 min on repeat for a hour, for three days. See if you notice an increase. Eat more, try a bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon around 3pm. Google "low milk supply"

Jennifer - posted on 04/20/2009

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Make good use of your natural letdown when your baby feds and pump whichever breast she is not using at the same time. I had to return to work at five weeks and everytime I closed my door to pump, somebody started knocking, so it took awhile to get everything functioning right. As soon as I get home in the evenings, I take my daughter and feed her in our bedroom and pump at the same time. She and I get a few moments alone and I am able to either make another 3-4 oz bottle for daycare the next day, or one to freeze.

Keturah - posted on 04/20/2009

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hey drink lots of fluid this will increase the flow while he feeds..it worked for me

[deleted account]

Quoting Keturah:



i have an 8 week old and i'm returning to work monday. i'm having the same problem- i'm only pumping 2-3 ozs total. i'm worried this won't be enough and i really dont want to use formula.... my baby is always satisfyed after nursingboth sides- do you think he'll be satisfyed with what i'm pumping??? also, one breast yeilds much more than the other- is this normal? what can i do to get this breast to produce more?.... thanks for your help!






Just make sure that you pump 3 times a day at work, for at least 10 min. for both sides.  My right breast is sometimes double that of my left, so when I feed I make sure to start her out on the left so that way she is forsure emptying it and it will fill a little more next time.  Also make sure that when you are with your little one always breast feed it will help, and if dad wants to feed make sure you pump while you're feeding.  I just don't let anyone feed her while I'm around and it seems to be working.  My little one is 3 1/2 months.

[deleted account]

Quoting Shandy:

I use the medela pump n style, I think its getting better. I got 4 1/2oz combined!! YAY!



That's the pump I have and I love it

Keturah - posted on 04/15/2009

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i have an 8 week old and i'm returning to work monday. i'm having the same problem- i'm only pumping 2-3 ozs total. i'm worried this won't be enough and i really dont want to use formula.... my baby is always satisfyed after nursingboth sides- do you think he'll be satisfyed with what i'm pumping??? also, one breast yeilds much more than the other- is this normal? what can i do to get this breast to produce more?.... thanks for your help!

Martha - posted on 04/15/2009

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I would think about my baby until the milk started flowing, and then I would read a book or magazine. I think it worked because I wasn't staring at the bottle waiting for it to fill up so I relaxed more.

Shandy - posted on 04/15/2009

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I use the medela pump n style, I think its getting better. I got 4 1/2oz combined!! YAY!

Jennifer - posted on 04/14/2009

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Are you using a hospital grade double pump?Those work great.Try thinking about your baby or looking at a pic of her while you pump.

Shannon - posted on 04/14/2009

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I have actually stopped pumping and express manually... I get more this way. I have had three differnt pumps... My Isis from Avent, which I had the best sucess with... and two differnt double electric.. one was Ameda and the other a Medela.. I hated them, I felt like a cow!!
Anywho... I drink 64 to 72 ounces of water a day.... plus take 6 fenugreek capsules and eat oatmeal for breakfast. WIth all this and manual expression... I now get about 3 ounces at a time every 3 hours.. so an ounce an hour basically. Sometimes I get more, but very rarely. It isn't enough for my son, so I mix all the bottles that he gets with half mine and half formula... but it works for us.

Good luck to you... try not to stress over it either, or it will make it more difficult!

Kerrie - posted on 04/14/2009

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Hi Momma...here are a few things that have helped me.  Fenugreek 3caplets 3 times a day.  Eating steel-cut oats for breakfast everyday (you can cook a weeks batch in the crockpot, I have a recipie if you need it). Alfalfa...swear by it.  It's cheap and you can toss it on your sandwich...never fails for me.  You can also try including fennel, sweet potatoes, and lots and lots of leafy green veggies.  Also you should be pumping for 15 minutes, no more than 20 minutes per session.  Every 3 to 4 is good, but if the little one is eating between sessions you really won't get much milk.  You can also try pumping for five minutes after a nursing session but you may just be making more dishes for yourself.  I also would highly recommend the site www.cafemom.com  There is a a group called "Breastfeeding Moms"...they helped me in my darkest hours.  Good luck!  I know it's very frustrating when your supply is low.  (Also, do not supplement unless absolutely necessary, this will only continue to hinder your supply...nurse that baby as much as you possibly can).

[deleted account]

Quoting Shandy:

pumping question

Ok so I tried fenugreek, didn't work. Got a new breast pump, didn't work. Any other suggestions? I just can't pump enough to feed my baby while I'm gone. She eats 3 1/2 - 4 1/2oz.. every2 1/2 - 3hrs. When I pump every 3 - 4hrs, I get 1-2 oz. I really want to breast feed, someone please help!



Try feeding your daughter every two hours to get your supply up and when you pump do it about an hour after feeding.  Also, looking at her picture, and relaxing, I do deap breathing while I pump to help let down.  Also, you can pump sooner.  There is also mother's milk tea, I haven't tried it yet but am going to, try drinking more water, and taking a vitamn.

Francie - posted on 04/14/2009

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When I went back to work (my baby is now almost one), I started by pumping on the side he wasn't eating on while he was eating, and then when he'd switch sides, I'd switch the pump to the other side, then maybe pump a few minutes on both sides after he was done. I did this for a couple of days in a row, and it built my milk supply way up.

Naomi-jade - posted on 04/12/2009

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Hi, i work at a breastfeeding clinic...its important to switch pump. this means you pump 5minutes at a time on a breast and then swap to next breast do this for total of 20-30mins on each side :-)

[deleted account]

Our lactation consultant said to take 3 capsules of fenugreek 3 times a day, or until I smelled like maple syrup. I never did smell like syrup but that dosage did help. She also suggested Mother Love More Milk Plus (motherlove.com) which helped a great deal more. I've even been able to cut back on how much I take since my supply is now outpacing what Ben needs in a day. I pump 6 times a day for about 10 minutes each session and get a enough to put some in the freezer too. Hope that helps!

Lindsay - posted on 04/12/2009

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It took about 1 month of taking 6 capsules (500mg / tab) of fenugreek per day before I saw an increase in my supply. Your milk will start to smell a little bit like maple syrup once you've hit that point. From then on, I could take 2-3 capsules a day and keep my milk supply up. I also found that the pumps with the two-stage expression are much better than the ones with the single-phase expression. It mimicks a baby's feed better. How much water you drink also really affects your milk supply. I found that if I drank any less than 128 oz of water per day, I wouldn't pump as much. I know it sounds like a lot of water, but it's possible! The only other thing I found that helped with my supply was Mother's Milk Tea. You could also try pumping every hour to trick your body into producing more milk. Of course, if your baby has to nurse, do that first and then pump within 30 minutes after nursing. Good luck!

[deleted account]

Right now I'm getting 5-6 oz combined, would be so much better if it were on each side.  But the older they get and the less they nurse your body adjusts to that and only lets down so much.  Just like when they start sleeping through the nights you wake up the first week very full (and probably soaked) but eventually your body realizes that you are not feeding at that time and you wake up less full. 

Annette - posted on 04/12/2009

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Also-- I know a couple ladies already told you this, but when my little one was younger sometimes I would pump 10-12 mins. and there was hardly anything, and finally like 17-18 mins. in It would finally really let down and I would get another 3-ish ounces. I was one that had(has) to keep my fluid intake really up too.. drinking lots and lots of water so you feel like a fish!

Annette - posted on 04/12/2009

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Hey! I am Breastfeeding my 1 year old, and 4 months pregnant and had the same problem. My doctor gave me an anti-nasua med. called "Metoclopramide" 10 mg with a protocol to go with it to increase my supply...and it worked! Try asking your doctor if they know about this protocol for increasing yours. After the 3rd day my milk doubled. Good luck and Best wishes!

Joanne - posted on 04/12/2009

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There was a recipe in another post for lactation cookies with heaps of yeast and oats in them. They seemed to work a treat and tasted really good.

Emily - posted on 04/12/2009

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Great advice from everyone! How about trying to pump more often? What kind of pump are you using?

Kate - posted on 04/11/2009

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I haven't ad any problems with my supply but afew women at my mothers group have and they have been drinking stout, its a type of beer. I know your not ment to drink alcohol while breast feeding and i wasn't sure about this at the start but it is recomended by breast feeding consultants and even their doctors have said that it is safe. They only drink 1/2 or 1 stout a night and their milk supply has increased dramatically. I hope this helps. If you dont want to try that then maybe try to express just using your hand. It will take longer but i know my mum could never use a pump so that may help. Also drink loads of water and eat healthy as that will build it up too.

Bailey - posted on 04/11/2009

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Also, Camomile tea, it can make you sleepy so i would only do it at night time, but its very relaxing and thats a big issue with many women not getting enough milk.

Bailey - posted on 04/11/2009

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try having a relaxing warm bath while pumping ( not if your pump is pluged into the wall tho, that wouldnt be good) i have a manual pump and i find this works great.



I dont do it but ive also heard a glass of wine or a beer, some sort of drink that isnt too strong, helps with the letdown.



Ive also been told that if you have a letdown setting on your pump start with that then go ahaead with your regular pumping, then once you have no more milk coming out or very little, try putting it on the letdown setting again. My friend told me about it and it seemed to work the few times tht ive done it.

Johnny - posted on 04/11/2009

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Fenugreek often works best when combined with Blessed Thistle.  You also need to take enough so that you'll smell a bit like maple syrup.  Apparently, that is when it should become effective.  Also, the herb fennel in capsule form can speed up your letdown which make make pumping more effective.  Fenugreek didn't work at all for me until I added the Blessed Thistle & Fennel.  Also try breast compressions when you are pumping, to make sure all the milk is being squeezed out.  It can increase the amount of milk you pump in the long run.  I went from pumping barely 1 oz between both breasts when I started, and now my daughter is 8 months and I usually get out about 8-9 oz. Here is a link to a video from a Stanford Medical NICU on how to use compressions:  http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeedi...



Good luck!

Jennifer - posted on 04/11/2009

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Make sure you drink enough water. Also, try using all senses to help your milk let down. Have a picture or pictures of your baby, a blanket or other item with your baby's smell. Hearing any baby cry makes my milk let down. Try to relax as much as you can while pumpin. You can try pumping after a warm shower and after massaging your breasts. Mornings also tend to be best for pumping. I do notice my supply is much lower in the afternoons or evenings relative to the mornings. I also heard that the rule is that you pump for the feedings that you would otherwise miss. So if your baby is eating every 2-1/2 - 3 hours, can you pump as often? I tended to have too much supply and so I had to be careful to find a balance between emptying them enough but not sending a message that I needed enough for twins or triplets. I don't think there is a "normal" amount per pumping session. When I started pumping, I was pumping 13-15 ounces at a time but I know other mothers who have all they can do to get an ounce. Good for you for being so committed to your baby.

Shandy - posted on 04/11/2009

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I'm pumping about 5 - 10 minutes maybe. So I'll try longer, good idea! When you pump do you get 5-6oz per breast or combined? My daughter is 14 weeks, I usually feed on demand, but I'm going back to work sooner than I thought and can't build up enough.

[deleted account]

How long are you pumping for??  They say at least 15 minutes.  Once the flow starts it may stop in 5 minutes but there is usually another flow so the full 15 is good.  My son is 5 months old and his feedings are more spaced out now and when I pump at work I usually get 5-6 oz, and when he was 6 weeks old i was getting 8-10 oz in one session.  Which is hard because he's eating 5 oz each feeding.  So i feel like i'm scrambling to make a bottle, which gets frustrating.  Just make sure your drinking lots of fluids through out the day to keep a good supply.  I don't know how old your daughter is, but your milk supply is set in the first couple of weeks.  So if you were not nursing a lot right away i think it's harder to build it back up (that's just what i've read in the booklets i recieved from my doctors office about breasfeeding anyway)

Melissa - posted on 04/11/2009

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maybe u could try alternating a feed of breastmilk and a feed of formula, i know lots of people who have done it and its great, let me know.

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