Trouble pumping... need advice

Becky - posted on 01/14/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Hi, I am thankfully still exclusively breastfeeding my 9 month old son (he gets 3 small baby food/cereal meals a day).My mother cares for him on 10 hours during the day on Fridays , and I watch him exclusively the rest of the time. During those ten hours away from him, I will pump for 40 min to an hour at a time about 3 or 4 times... the most i can ever get out during those 10 hours is about 6 ounces total. Why is it so hard to get anything out? does that mean he isn't getting enough during the day?

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Kendra - posted on 01/18/2011

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Pumping is much less effective than your baby sucking. I tried to pump many times when my son was younger. Your supply is probably fine! My son will be 2 in March, and we are still breastfeeding! Don't let pumping smaller amounts deter you from anything.

Karrie - posted on 01/18/2011

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As far as the amount of time you are spending pumping are you getting milk that whole time? If not you don't need to pump that long you will just make your nipples really sore, the LC @ the hospital told me that it takes about 15 min. of pumping if milk is still coming then pump until it stops and then continue to pump for and additional 5 min. this will keep your milk production up. Also get a "good" pump if you can rent a hospital grade pump it will work so much better than a store bought pump and if possible get a pump that you can have double expressing from that will help increase the amount you get out. I have pumped with both of my children and used a medela lactina select it is hospital grade dual pump and works great I am expressing around 6-8 oz every two-three hours with that pump. But like the others have pointed out the pump is no indication of how much milk you are producing your baby is much more efficient But my biggest advice expecially if you are going to be doing this every week for a long time is to get that good pump you can rent them for about $35/mo and it will be worth your time.

Tyrae - posted on 01/15/2011

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have you tried breast compressions while pumping? It may help a bit, also relaxing will also help. As with regular milk let down while you are nursing, being relaxed will help a lot.

Celeste - posted on 01/15/2011

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I agree with the others. Pumping is NOT an indication of supply. Many women don't respond well with the pump. Plus, the average output is 1/2 to 2 oz *total*!

FTR, I nursed twins with no problem and could only express a few drops..

Jennifer - posted on 01/14/2011

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some women just don't respond as well to the pump as others...as Danielle mentioned, babies are WAY more efficient at getting milk out. to help keep up your stash of expressed milk, to send with your daughter when she's away i really recommend hand expressing after you pump. i would cut down the length of time you pump down to 20 minutes (pumping longer doesn't really help, you just want to make sure you go 5 minutes past when your milk stops flowing), then hand express after. hand expression is kind of an art so it definitely will take practice but you will be amazed at how much you can get out once you get a technique!

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Babies are just much better at it then you. Pumping is not the same. You can try re-adjusting the pump on you or maybe try helping the milk with hand compressions while you pump or applying heat.

Don't worry, your baby I'm sure is getting just enough or he would be fussy and angry that he was still hungry. If he's eating like he always did and he's happy and wetting diapers then I'm sure he's fine.

I don't pump because I can't be bothered to. It's just too much work for me. I'll probably be switching over to formula soon, but not going to enjoy the whole bottle thing with making them, cleaning them and heating them up for baby...boob is just much easier, faster and the perfect temp.

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