Breastfeeding nightmare! (xp)

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Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454
Breastfeeding nightmare! (xp)

So yesterday I pumped three times at work and only got 3oz out... total (I use the Medela Harmony manual pump)! I was so upset about it, and freaked out that I wasn't going to be able to pump enough out for him when I'm here at work that I went straight over to the hospital to rent an electric pump. I spent an hour talking with the LC about which model would be best and she showed me how to do everything. I spent $60 on what she told me was the "Cadillac" of breast pumps (this was to rent it for just one week just to try it out... $17 for the week and $45 for the breast kit with the bottles and pumping needs), used it twice last night, and only got DROPS out!!! I'm so unbelievably frustrated I don't know what to do. I had it up on the highest possible setting and NOTHING! I get more out of my manual pump! How is that possible? Am I drying up already? Thank God I'm getting off early today and am off tomorrow so that I can pump like a maniac (probably with my manual!) for when I have to work on Monday, and then Tuesday on my day off I can take that dumb machine down there and let them show me what I'm doing wrong. I went and bought some fenugreek thinking that maybe my supply is dwindling... Any thoughts?

wobbs's picture
Joined: 05/27/10
Posts: 1502

Some people just don't respond well to a pump, no matter what (I'm one of them, even from fully engorged, I'm lucky to get 2oz from both sides). Higher suction doesn't work at getting your milk out better, play around with settings until you find the strength that gets the milk out the best for you.

I know it's hard, but the more relaxed you stay while pumping, the more you can pump in a session - if you're stressed, you really inhibit the let-down reflex. Have pictures of your lo, something he's worn, just try to focus on anything excpet the pump.

DrakePlusOne's picture
Joined: 06/29/09
Posts: 1889

Hi, just wanted to say, what the PP said I completely agree with. My son had issues BFing in the beginning and I had to pump (manually) for a few days straight. I couldn't get much out at first and was freaking out! What helped me 'let down' was looking at a pic of him and close my eyes and pretend he was nursing. Also, babies suck fast at first and then slow/long sucks. So I would try and mimic that pattern when pumping. I also set my alarm and pumped at night to up the ante. You can pump after he's done nursing too. Fenugreek pills, mother's milk tea, and oatmeal were all on my list too.

Just remember, if things don't continue, YOU DID YOUR BEST!!!! (((hugs))) HTH

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

Thank you girls so much for the support and advice! Things have gotten a little better... I've been taking fenugreek and pumping while I feed Trystan to get more out... and it's working! Let's just hope this continues!

DrakePlusOne's picture
Joined: 06/29/09
Posts: 1889

Yay! I'm so glad to read it's working out! Pumping at work can be challenging in itself without throwing let-down issues in the mix. With my first, I pumped in the bathroom stall (icky) until my boss let me use her office. I hope you have a decent place to pump!

wobbs's picture
Joined: 05/27/10
Posts: 1502

Glad to hear that you've had some improvements - hope things continue to get better.

tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

I'm another mom that doesn't respond well to a pump. I found doing another relaxing activity (reading a book etc.) while pumping helped me relax a bit. Good luck!!!

Joined: 12/21/10
Posts: 529

I cannot use a pump and have to do it by hand. You might try that. It is a pain b/c you cannot do anything else at the same time but I get much better results.