body not responding to pump — The Bump

body not responding to pump

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edited December 2013 in Breastfeeding
DS just turned 8 months old. He has been EBF and I pump at work for bottles. My job is very hectic and I haven't been able to pump more than twice during 9 hours there which I know has been my biggest problem. I was pumping two other times a day though, right before bed and first thing in the morning, and was just barely making enough for 12 oz for daycare.

Now though, I am getting less and less and had to start supplementing with formula. It just seems like my body isn't responding as well to the pump. This morning I only got an ounce from the side he didn't nurse from, and had to turn the suction up. My milk seems to be fine when I nurse so I don't think it is a supply issue.

I use the medela freestyle and had 2 sets of parts that I rotate. Should I try replacing parts to see if that helps? I always pump while plugged in to the ac adaptor, I have been focusing on drinking more water, tried power pumping, fenugreek, oatmeal, flaxseed, lactation cookies.

I don't mind supplementing, just worried I will lose my supply completely I am not ready to give up nursing.

Re: body not responding to pump

  • Thanks, I will give them a call today. It is over 2 years old but I replaced all the parts when DS was born, maybe they can help troubleshoot though

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  • Have you recently replaced with little white circle membranes?  Those are "supposed" to be replace every month or two?  Or more often if you rip a hole in them.

    Also as others have said, it's pretty common to see a supply drop around 8-9 months.  Keep up with the water and oatmeal.  Add flaxseed to your diet.  Remember it can take a good week to increase your supply. 

    Also when you power pumped what did you do, and how long did you do it?  For me power pumping was successful when I did it for three days in a row at around the same time each day.  

    Could your nips have changed sizes and you need bigger or smaller flanges?  Mine changed around 6 months PP and I had to get bigger flanges.  

    Finally, make sure you are really getting relaxed before you pump.  I found that I was stressing about how much milk I wasn't getting and that was making me no get a good letdown.  So I would drink some hot tea or cidar, take some deep breaths and look at pics of LO before I pumped.  Then I'd so something relaxing like read a magazine or play a game on my phone while pumping instead of reading work emails or working.  That made a big difference.  So did doing breast compressions and stopping mid-pump for a few seconds to a minute to massage and shake my breasts a bit before continuing to pump.  That helped me get a second letdown. 

    Good luck! 
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  • Great tips! Thank you ladies. I only power pumped for an hour last night, but will try the next two nights too

  • I think replacing the membranes would be a good idea if you haven't in the last few months. Also, not pumping enough at work is probably your culprit. You are telling your body there isn't much of a demand, so it's cutting back.
    Chad and Fawn

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  • Pump more at work and make sure to replace the white membranes. You will be amazed how much those little flaps affect the suction of the pump.

    Besides relaxing before you pump, are you massaging your breasts while you pump? I EPed hands free for a year and found massaging after a let down allowed more milk to come out. I equated it to wringing my breasts of the milk.

    DS #1 born January 2010. DS #2 due June 2014.

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