Help, Do I need a new pump?

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nori_garsi's picture
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Help, Do I need a new pump?

The last two weeks have been rough for me as far as pumping goes. I had mastitis and the antibiotics gave me thrush. So I had my pp check and the doctor did a breast exam to make sure the mastitis and thrush were all cleared up. He said my right breast was fine but that my left breast had an area that felt full where there was a plugged duct. It hurt a lot when he pushed on it and I had been noticing a huge decrease in pumping output on that side. It took me about 6 hours of pumping, massage, and warm compresses but I unclogged it (I tried to latch baby but he wanted nothing to do with it). Well that night the other one suddenly developed massive plugged ducts and the area became hard and swollen. It took me almost two days to unclog it. Well after that I noticed that my pumping output on both sides was still way decreased. Last night the left breast again developed a plug and is now rock hard on one side. I'm super frustrated because I know I'm not emptying my breasts when I'm pumping.

I'm using a pump-in-style advanced that I purchased when I had Brandon in 2007. I only used it a handful of times so I thought it would be ok. The pump worked fine the first 4 weeks, I had no issues. Now, it feels like it just can't get the milk out. My output is decreased by at least half and I have milk leaking out the bottom of the flanges. So far I've tried going up a flange side, and I've replaced the tubes, membranes, valves, breast shields, and connectors. It does have suction but I'm not sure if it's weakened or not. I want to pump for at least 6 months so renting would end up costing more than buying a new pump. I would hate to buy another $300 pump only to find out that it wasn't the pump, but with all the plugged duct problems and engorgement issues it has to be the pump, right?

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Can you rent a pump to see if it is a pump problem? My local hospital rents pumps on a weekly basis for like $25.

jonibug's picture
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Can you bring it to a LC and have them watch while you pump to see if it is working properly?

I would also put in a call to Medela and see what they say.

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I read a lot of things that say you shouldn't use those pumps beyond what you would for one child, because they get old and don't work as efficiently as they should after time.

I rented a hospital pump from my lactation consultant this time around, and it's so so much better than the PIS I used with my last baby. I'm using the Ameda elite.
It's a huge thing - but I recommend it. It's $45 a month.

toothy35's picture
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**LURKER**
i used the same PIS with my last 3 ....i went up a size in horns with every kid..YIKES>>>
they come in different sizes, and i also would recommend buying new membranes asap(you can get those at target)
here is a good website.....
http://www.nurturecenter.com/index.php?l=product_list&c=50&gclid=CKWCmY7uyKwCFQ1x5QodszUEpw

just a thought......sorry about all the issues....((((((HUGS)))))))

bamsmom's picture
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I would think the pump is fine. I would massage your breasts prior to pumping and then during. This helped me alot.

nori_garsi's picture
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I called around and found a boutique where I was able to rent a Symphony for the month. They also said I could bring my PIS back and they would check it, plus I can make an appt. with one of their LCs to get some help.

The ducts are all unclogged but my supply took a hit so I have to build it back up again.

bamsmom's picture
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Sounds like a good plan! I will be interested to hear the outcome. Biggrin

heatherliz2002's picture
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Hope you can figure out what the problem is quickly! Sounds like troubleshooting and eliminating possibilities (which is obviously what you're doing) is the only way to figure it out. I'm glad that you found a place that can help you out with this. It must be so frustrating! Hugs!