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Thread: Struggling at the pump

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    14,498

    Default Struggling at the pump

    I can't tell if my pump is giving out, if my supply is tanking or if DD is just eating so efficiently that she leaves nothing to pump. Here is my story:

    I have had an over-supply since the beginning. Never had much trouble pumping but I didn't do it often because she didn't like frozen milk or take a bottle so I only really pumped if I got a clogged duct or felt to full...or on the rare occasion that she would skip a feeding or I would be out.

    Recently she started taking the bottle and even drinking the frozen stuff! DH and I take turns overnight - he does one night, I do the next night. In the past few months when it's his night I wake up in agony, so full and engorged that I can't wait to pump or feed. I would feed her on 1 side and pump from the other and get about 4oz! Recently I was sick, then got AF (my second PP AF which took a while to get here (46 days) and was really heavy). Since then I can hardly get ANYTHING when I pump and I am fearing DD isn't satisfied either. I am trying to build my stash back up but don't want to take from her. I try to pump in the morning after she goes down for her nap. I wait about an hour after I nurse her down. This morning I barely got an ounce. Yesterday morning I was better - about 3oz but that was because DH was on that night so I missed 1 feeding. I am just struggling here! I don't even feel like my pump is strong enough but it hasn't changed since I have been using it. It's on full power and I get a good milk stream for the first 30 seconds and then nothing. When I am nursing I feel the same way - DD pops on and off until letdown and then sucks hard for 30 secs to 1 min and is popping on and off again. It's frustrating and painful!

    She is growing beautifully though so I can't imagine it's that bad. She had ALWAYS nursed that way - since birth. I think she is just very efficient/no nonsense.

    I just can't tell what is going on! I am trying to increase supply but I don't see it working. I increased water and increased nursing sessions which of course leaves me no time to pump but I am just trying to get going. AF left a few days ago. I even had 2 beers on Sunday night (not to increase my supply but it should have helped anyway lol)!

    Any tips/advice? When should I be pumping to build a stash and my supply without taking away from her?
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (20M)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    129

    Default

    I didn't want to read and not respond. I am a regular pumper (since DS was about 3 months). On the days when I don't get enough for daycare then next day, I will try to pump just before I go to bed (only get 1-2 oz) and then I try to pump before he wakes up. I know that he is more efficient than my pump and still have enough for him. I also don't pump until empty. I find that if I feed him and then immediately pump on the other side, I get a pretty good amount as well.
    For me it is stress (haven't gotten AF yet) that causes my supply to tank. I try to look at pictures of DS or do some meditation while pumping. Also, as soon as I feel a let down, I push the let down button to get more sucking power for my very short let down.


  3. #3

    Default

    Are you not pumping the nights that he feeds her? How many hours are you going without pumping/feeding?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    14,498

    Default

    Thx for the replies. I don't pump when he feeds her because I want to sleep! I will feed her when she wakes up before I go to bed - 10:30pm and then sometimes at 12:30. Otherwise I go to bed and he does a bottle around 1:30 or whenever she gets up. I skip that one. The next one I will do so either 5, 6, 7am whatever time she gets up. Last night I went from 10:30-7 without nursing. I was pretty full this morning but in as much pain as I usually am in. I fed her at 7 then had to get DD1 off to school. Then nursed a bit again to get her down for her nap at 9am. Now it's 9:30 and I will probably pump and see what I get. DH only used 1 bottle which was 4oz so if I can get that much I am even. I want to build a stash though and it's just not happening! Part of the problem is I forget to pump! But even when I do I am just not getting what I used to. She is 8 months so I guess that is not too surprising?

    Let's see what I get when I pump this morning....
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (20M)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    14,498

    Default

    Got 3oz but I had to WORK at it. Squeezing, massaging, etc. It's frustrating. I think the difference may be I used to only feed from 1 side at a time and now I don't. I don't know why I changed. I think because she seemed dissatisfied when AF was around.
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (20M)

  6. #6

    Default

    If you aren't pumping and going that long every other night, you are telling your body you don't need as much milk and it will decrease the amt you will have. As much as it is helpful and wonderful to sleep- it will ultimately hurt your supply.

  7. #7

    Default

    I used to pump, but only partially, before DS woke up if he slept through and I woke up really full. I think if I had stopped doing that I would have stopped feeling so full in the morning and supply would probably have decreased. There is one day a week I go to work before he wakes up so DH would give him a bottle, and once I knew how much he usually took in that morning bottle, I subtracted that amount from what I would get on those mornings when DS got the bottle and I would pump til I was dry. Then I would pump out about that amount before DS got up and I knew he would still have enough especially since he was more efficient than the pump.

    Also -- how old is your pump? Mine was given to me by my SIL and it was 6 yrs old... I definitely felt like the suction was lacking toward the 1 year mark but it managed to get me to where I wanted to be. This time I am getting a new pump. There are new insurance regulations this year that mandate health insurance to cover breast pumps for women -- if you haven't looked into it you might want to see if you could get a new pump covered!
    Katie (33) DH (32). DS1 Derek (2), DS2 Adam (newbie)



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    14,498

    Default

    Sorry I can't multi-quote! I do realize skipping feedings could be messing with my supply but I have been doing this for a while and it's been fine. It's not every day so I would think my body is confused enough to not think I don't need to feed overnight. Although when I was sick DH did the overnight feeding every night for a good 5 days or so. But that was a while ago...
    Quote Originally Posted by ktbelle97 View Post
    I used to pump, but only partially, before DS woke up if he slept through and I woke up really full. I think if I had stopped doing that I would have stopped feeling so full in the morning and supply would probably have decreased. There is one day a week I go to work before he wakes up so DH would give him a bottle, and once I knew how much he usually took in that morning bottle, I subtracted that amount from what I would get on those mornings when DS got the bottle and I would pump til I was dry. Then I would pump out about that amount before DS got up and I knew he would still have enough especially since he was more efficient than the pump. Also -- how old is your pump? Mine was given to me by my SIL and it was 6 yrs old... I definitely felt like the suction was lacking toward the 1 year mark but it managed to get me to where I wanted to be. This time I am getting a new pump. There are new insurance regulations this year that mandate health insurance to cover breast pumps for women -- if you haven't looked into it you might want to see if you could get a new pump covered!
    My pump is 6.5 years old! I have not noticed a difference in the pump from when I was able to pump a lot but I do kind of feel like it's not quite strong enough. I wonder if insurance would cover a pump at 8 months PP? I will look into that, thx! Although with the amount I pump I may even be ok with a hand pump....which I used to have but my kids got a hold of it and I have no idea what happened to it!
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (20M)

  9. #9

    Default

    The insurance mandate covers the rental of a hospital grade pump. Unfortunately there has to be medical necessity- premature baby, NICU, etc. I wish it was for purchases!!

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