pumping — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months


This is my second child, she's almost 5 weeks old. I've been successfully breast feeding since birth. She did have jaundice and had to have photo therapy at the hospital, but otherwise healthy. I've started pumping at home. My first attempt was pump on one side while she's eating on the other. I got 2.5 ounces, yay. The second attempt switched sides and barely got 1 ounce. I manually expressed and got it up to 1.25 ounces. My daughter seemed very upset like she was still hungry, gave her the side I pumped. Still fussy but calmed down. My third attempt I switched sides again and pumped while my daughter was sleeping. Barely got 0.5 ounce. I pumped both sides, repeating the original side and got 1.3 ounces combined. She's now eating. Am I doing something wrong? I don't think my supply should drop so much. The pump I'm using is Ameda. My insurance company provided. I had similar problem with my first daughter and gave up. But I'm going back to work in 3 weeks and want to stick with it this time. I would solely breast feed if I could, please help.

Re: pumping

  • I've been pumping daily since my LO was 3 weeks old and typically only get anywhere from a half and ounce to an ounce and a half per breast. It's my understanding that it's perfectly typical to not get much more than 2 ounces total when breast feeding full time. I usually pump once a day after a longer time between feelings, but only after my little guy has been fully fed to not interfere with his schedule. I hope that helps a little bit!
  • Were all your attempts in one day? Women generally have more milk in the morning, so that could be why you saw such a drop. I would try feeding LO when ready in the morning and then pump after, for the greatest outcome. Also, is your pump only a single? I would look into getting a double, if possible. Feed LO until full then pump both sides.
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  • I do have a double. It works better when you use it as a single. She slept all night, had a dry diaper. That was a first. At like a champ. I got 1 ounce total after she ate. Maybe I need to give it more time?
  • Yes all my attempts were in one day. Trying to build up my supply for when I go back to work. I'm worried I won't produce enough when I go back to work and have to go to formula. Which is fine but not what I want.
  • Your better off to wait an hour or 2 after nursing to pump, it will up your supply as your body will think there is more demand, then LO will want to nurse a while after that and your body should start producing more milk, also have you tried all the suggestions to increase milk supply? Fenugreek? Mothers milk tea? I can pump up to 5oz sometimes but I never pump while she is nursing, it's usually morning an hour or 2 after she's fed
  • I will try pushing of my pumping an hour after and see if that helps. She feeds every 2-3 hours and having a toddler makes it hard to find the time to pump in between. I've been able to get an ounce each time today. So will see what happens.
  • Unfortunately the pump will just never be as efficient as baby. Also if you haven't been pumping for long, it can take your body some time to learn to let down well for the pump. Is your pump a 2 stage? Meaning it has quicker shorter pumps for the first 2 minutes it so? I know the medela does. If so, you can try using the quick speed for 2 minutes, then regular for 5 minutes, then back to the quick speed and so on. This should encourage your body to let down more milk. I've had luck doing this method. I would also suggest playing with the pump intensity settings. The highest suction isn't always the best, not to mention painful! Try and pick the intensity that matches your baby's suck. Hope that helps! It can take trial and error to see what works best.
  • The ameda pump has two dials. One for suction and one for speed. I think my milk is starting to increase. I started pumping an hour after feeding and think it's helping. Was able to get a little over 2 ounces this morning. I did notice a decrease at the end of the day last night but I heard that's normal. I also got busy and didn't drink as much water as I should have.
  • Fenugreek is awesome!
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