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Old 04-25-2009, 12:06 PM
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? About Breastfeeding and pumping

Hey, ladies! I am having a few problems with pumping. I've been fully breastfeeding since my son's birth and he's now almost 6 months old. Around 4 months, I started noticing that I would not let down with the pump. Sometimes I could, maybe if I had gone out and had a few drinks, I could pump out the bad stuff. I used to be able to sit down and pump about 3-4 oz from each boob in less than 15 minutes. Now I can sit there for 30+ minutes and get less than 1/8 of an ounce. I don't understand what is goingon there. So, I've just been nursing him all the time. But the problem is that I am about to be separated from my baby for a little over two days () and I really don't want this to stop my breastfeeding. The only way I can let down with a pump now is if he's nursing on one side and I'm pumping the other. This is extremely frustrating! I'm using an older Medela Pump In Style. Has anyone else had a problem like this, or do you have any kind of advice for me? Maybe I need a different pump? I would truly appreciate any help you all give!!
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:12 PM
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That's a tough one. As you probably know, your baby is a billion times better at emptying your milk than any pump.

The only pump that will probably even come close is a hospital-grade pump; Pump-In-Style pumps are really best for casual use rather than for complete replacement for a few days.

My best advice is to call a lactation consultant; they have all sorts of tricks up their sleeves to help moms get through these challenges.
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:18 PM
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I have the exact problem! I can barely pump any unless the baby is nursing.

I did have to take a class a few months back and used my Medela Pump in Style (also an older model). Because I was so engorged I was able to pump quite a bit of milk. I would try to pump as much as possible for now and if you have to supplement with formula while you are gone it will be fine. When I had my daughter I didn't supplement but I have since changed my mind with my son! I have only had to give him formula twice and that hasn't seemed to affect his nursing negatively. If anything he seems to want to nurse more! I think he missed me those two times! If you will only be gone for a couple of days it should be fine. You could also take warm showers and try hand expressing the milk. Good luck and I hope this information is useful.
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:31 PM
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: Thanks, ladies! I think it will be fine. Surely once I get engorged enough I'll be able to let down enough to at least keep my supply going, right? I know it'll probably decrease, but can't that be fixed with some more frequent nursing once I'm back with him? And Shi, I was going to call a lactation nurse on Monday. Hopefully she knows something! I googled the subject and all I could find was "just relax, think of your baby" - which just doesn't help at all for me. Oh well, I'm sure it will be fine and hopefully my milk won't dry up! Speaking of, I also heard that as long a you pump, even if you don't get any milk out, it will keep up your milk supply... anyone know if that's true or not?
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Old 04-25-2009, 12:42 PM
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Even if you DON'T pump at ALL, your milk will still be there. So yes, as long as there is stimulation from the pump, your supply will be stable until you come back to nurse. You will want to pump though to prevent clogged ducts, and worse, mastitis.

Once you return home, your baby will have no problem building up any lost supply. Just remember to stay very well-hydrated when pumping and while breastfeeding.
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Old 04-25-2009, 01:07 PM
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Have you tried the old hot compress trick? Its easier than taking a shower everytime you nurse. You can use hot water on a wash cloth and if you need it to be hotter than you can place the wet wash cloth in the microwave, just be careful not to burn yourself!

Good luck! And for being such a devoted breastfeeder!
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Old 04-25-2009, 02:34 PM
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agreed on all thoughts above. my babies always nursed way better than i pumped, too. so frustrating. i did best when i pumped right out of the shower (similar to warm compress idea, i think). also, if i "distracted" myself while pumping, i seemed to do better. for ex, if i sat there and watched the pump it was like watching paint dry but if i pumped and covered with my shirt and watched tv, talked to the kids, read a mag or talked on the phone (rare treats) i could get much more at pump for some reason.. for me it was a lot mental, i think! also, when i gave bottles and knew i was going to be away from babe, i tried mixing ebm (expressed breast milk) and formula (half and half) to stretch the pumped milk for the babe wheni was gone. it will all go well and in no time you will be back and nursing like achamp. i know the pumping is stressful though. i had the pump you had for all three of mine and thought it was decent. just finished weaning my 10 month old a few weeks ago! gl with your time away. he will do great and you will be back to nursing in no time!
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Old 04-25-2009, 02:58 PM
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You could try renting a hospital grade pump. I have to pump every three hours at work all week so that is what I did. It is what has made breastfeeding possible for me I believe. I had a pump in style and it did not get much milk for me, I was never able to get more than 2 oz total. With the hospital pump I doubled my puming output so that I have been able to pump enough for Mia while I am at work.
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:36 PM
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Thank you so much for your responses, ladies! I am feeling much better about being separated now... except that I'm going to miss him too much! And I'm afraid he'll miss me too! haha! But wow, maybe I should try a hospital grade pump! I didn't know it could make that much of a difference! And I'm definitely going to try the hot compress thing, too! Thanks again! :
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Old 04-26-2009, 07:02 PM
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Weleda makes a nursing tea with fenugreek to help with supply if you want to try it after being re united-just to boost it back a bit...Agreed on a hosptial grade pump for sure. Way stroner and more efficient! If your babe has trouble going back to the breast (after only 2 days, I'm sure he'll be fine) nurse him alot during the night-they're sleepy and more willing to feed then. Good luck!!!!
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:22 AM
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I 2nd the hospital grade pump suggestion. I use one at work and the suction is stronger at half strength than my Ameda on max suction.

I had a problem recently with letting down when pumping and it turns out one of the pieces on the breast shields had worn out and I was not getting adequate suction. After I changed the piece, I was able to get a let down in about 30 seconds. I don't have a Medela, but maybe you can check the tubes and pieces to make sure you don't have a hole or worn down part.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
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I 2nd the hospital grade pump suggestion. I use one at work and the suction is stronger at half strength than my Ameda on max suction.

I had a problem recently with letting down when pumping and it turns out one of the pieces on the breast shields had worn out and I was not getting adequate suction. After I changed the piece, I was able to get a let down in about 30 seconds. I don't have a Medela, but maybe you can check the tubes and pieces to make sure you don't have a hole or worn down part.
On Medela pumps you need to change the white membranes every 6 weeks.
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:22 PM
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Not much to add to this except to commiserate a bit. I had the exact same problem a couple months ago. The only thing that worked for me was putting my baby on to start me off (which obviously won't work for you if you will be separated). I remember sitting and staring at that pump and getting more and more anxious as nothing came out.
I did fenugreek too, and while it was good for increasing supply in a modest way, I didn't feel it had any impact on let-down.
I do think that missing as many feedings as you will over a 2 day period, you'll be so engorged it won't matter. You should be able to get enough off to keep yourself comfortable.
Good luck!
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:34 PM
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Thanks again, ladies, for all your contributions! I hadn't even thought about replacing the membranes in my shields!! I've had the same ones for the last 5+ months, and I used to use the pump a LOT... they're probably worn out! I guess I'll try that first! But I have no idea where to get new tubes for the pump... I don't see that anywhere? The rest I can get at target or babiesrus.

And Myra, I have done that once or twice... put him on for a minute and then take him off... but he gets SOOOO pissed!!! hahaha!! But I had to do it because I'd been drinking and I couldn't let him drink that.
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:42 PM
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^^ yeah, that's tricky. L. is such a chilled baby, that it was no problem to latch him and then 2 minutes later, slide a bottle into his mouth. It never would have worked with high-maintenance son #1 .
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:44 PM
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If you do end up calling a lactation specialist they can help you get new tubing. And FYI for any pregnant moms, the hospital will give you a new medela kit (billys you insurance of course). ALso you can order new tubing online...even ebay (NIP of course).
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:02 PM
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i could never pump either...at first i could but then a month or 2 down the road i couldn't pump at all..it would take forever to even get a little but not enough worth saving..but my son could get fully fed from nursing..i just figured i couldn't pump..AND i had the medela pump in style..go figure..lucky for me i am a stay at home mom so it wasn't as necessary for me to pump but i wished i could have..
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:41 PM
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Some thoughts

Don't know if you tried this, but when I have trouble with pumping, I find that a manual pump, is faster and manages to pump better because you can adjust the pressure by hand and work any hard lumps out. The other thing that worked for me, is to pump and reduce the suction. I find that was much better, although my instinct is to pump with a high suction. I think relaxed was the key. Although to be honest, the pump used to distress my babies, and if they were awake, I manual pumped it. New membranes did help. You can get new ones at any Babies R US or baby supply store. I'm sure you'll figure it out what works best for you. Good luck!
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:24 PM
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OK, I am guilty of necroposting here, but I have a situation and was wondering if any AF mom's were dealing with this... (I just posted in the pregnancy thread and thanks to Anne, will post in this thread.)

My daughter just turned 1 and I'm going to start to wean her (she has a pediatrician appointment tomorrow). Anyway, I wasn't initially eager to wean her (I actually like holding her and nursing her), but as of late she's started to bite me (she has eight teeth -- four top and four bottom) EVERY time she's done nursing and on both sides. It freakin' hurts and I reprimand her by screeching (unintentionally) and then telling her "no" and then refusing to nurse her. No dice though.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 06-15-2009, 02:00 PM
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^ I've never had this problem, really, but I've heard that when they bite, you should basically bring their face into the breast(sounds mean, I know), covering their nose with it so that they have to let go in order to breathe. The only time my son bit me, and same with my daughter, was pretty much when they fell asleep(and their latch broke), so it was never intentional.
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Old 06-15-2009, 04:08 PM
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^ I've never had this problem, really, but I've heard that when they bite, you should basically bring their face into the breast(sounds mean, I know), covering their nose with it so that they have to let go in order to breathe. The only time my son bit me, and same with my daughter, was pretty much when they fell asleep(and their latch broke), so it was never intentional.
OMG! Thanks for the suggestion/advice, but I don't know if I can follow through with it.

It seems as if my daughter is weaning herself...

Another question, do any of you breastfeeding moms still take Rx prenatal vitamins? I've been taking mine a year postpartum and my insurance isn't covering much of it. I'm thinking of switching to a generic OTC prenatal instead of my prescription prenatal...
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Old 06-15-2009, 04:14 PM
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^ I take OTC prenatal vitamins, and I always have.
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Old 06-15-2009, 04:25 PM
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Yup, I got a great deal on some CVS brand, they were doing BOGO free on all their brand of vitamins/supplements so I got 2-300 count bottles for the price of one. Before that, I took the Target brand. If I remember correctly, I think I took the rx ones with my son, but just told the OB/GYN that I would take the OTC with my daughter.
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dojoqueen View Post
^ I take OTC prenatal vitamins, and I always have.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aswin View Post
Yup, I got a great deal on some CVS brand, they were doing BOGO free on all their brand of vitamins/supplements so I got 2-300 count bottles for the price of one. Before that, I took the Target brand. If I remember correctly, I think I took the rx ones with my son, but just told the OB/GYN that I would take the OTC with my daughter.
Awesome! Yes, I thought I'd continue with my Rx Prenatal, but OMG it's $50 a month for vitamins! Gahhh!

I think I'll opt for the Stuart Prenatals at Target. I don't think the Rx does anything for me now, especially since I'm not even pregnant. Thanks ladies!
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Old 06-15-2009, 10:27 PM
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OK -- I may be jumping to conclusions here, but I feel as if my daughter is weaning herself. It's so sad. She's a year old, and now she refuses to nurse at night before bedtime. She nurses for 30 seconds tops, bites me and turns away and refuses to continue. She doesn't have thrush and I know she's teething, but come on...is she truly tired of it?

Anyway, I'm really heartbroken, because I thought I would be able to continue for a little longer. As a stay-at-home mom, breastfeeding is so convenient for me.

I know I'm ranting, but I'm just hurt about all this. Now I pump to keep up my supply and for breastmilk for her oatmeal...

I was wondering if anybody had similar experiences.
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