Babies: 0 - 3 Months

Odd and frustrating Pumping Problem

I'm baffled and need a solution here because I have milk, even though it's low supply, it's there. I need to pump frequently to increase it but here's the weird thing. I get nothing out of my breast using the pump. NOTHING. But I can take the pump off and use my hand to squeeze and literally milk comes squirting out like crazy!!! Why won't the pump extract my milk? I even tried different size flanges, I replaced the tubing, got new valves, etc... WTF????


Anyone else encounter this or have any ideas for solutions? I want to be able to pump for supply reasons but also to have some sotred milk too and it's pretty hard to squeeze my boob into a bottle when it squirts 3 different directions! LOL 

Re: Odd and frustrating Pumping Problem

  • and you're using the pump on the highest level? i used to have to massage my boobs while the pump was going. it always seemed like i could squeeze out more than the pump was doing. i think this is a pretty common occurrence
  • Yes and it is very normal. It goes back to the whole thing about, nature cannot be completed imitated. The technique behind self expressing is different than what the pump does. Also, the baby suckling is far more efficient than the pump as well. Do not let anyone tell you any different. Sure, the pump is a good gauge to figure out how much your LO is receiving but your baby can truly take in 3-4oz's in 5 minutes while it might take the pump 10min! Don't obsess over the pump, and don't worry. Just nurse as much as possible, your supply will build up quite quickly. Also, while your LO nurses, self express as well.
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  • I had the same problem with my middle daughter. I could not pump anything but I could hand express very well--although as u said it is difficult to get it all in a bottle. messy!

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  • I've heard this before. Some people's breasts just don't respond to a pump. My LLL leader had this problem, so she just hand expressed when she could. It might help to try to catch it in a bowl rather than a bottle.

    I get milk when I pump, but my baby was much better at getting my supply to go up -- that and drinking a ton of water every day. 

  • I EP.  Unless my breasts are painfully full, like if I forget to set my alarm over night and it's been 6-7 hrs accidently, I have to massage to get a letdown.  My LC wanted me to get a double electric to save me time in pumping, but as she witnessed at one of our appts, it doen't work for me because I have to have my hands free to massage.  I also have to individually free up each duct to get it flowing.  If I miss an area, it clogs within 1-2 pump sessions.  Maybe you're just unlucky like me.  The LC said I'm a medical oddity (but she said it with a smile, so it was ok).  :)  GL.
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  • I had *so* much more luck with a manual Avent breastpump. Sure, it sucks a little that you have to squeeze the handle but for some reason it worked on me way better than electric variations. Plus, it's pretty cheap to try out and if it doesn't work- no big deal. I got the Avent On-the-Go system  (or something to that degree), which includes a pump, 2 5oz bottles/lids/nipples and 2 9oz (I think?) bottles/lids/nipples with two freezer packs and a case for $60. 

    I love it and recommend it to whoever. 

    Also for low supply drink tons, eat oatmeal, etc. Those worked for me.  

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