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?