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Not able to pump enough

(33 Posts)
Divster Fri 02-Aug-13 21:34:26

This is for my Daughter, she had her baby 10 days ago. She wanted to breastfeed, but couldnt get him to latch, he is also tongue tie. So she is pumping all feeds instead.

This was/is working very well for them, he has gained weight, but today he is drinking all she is pumping off, and then wants more but she feels she is empty.

What advice do you have? She has a breastfeeding midwife coming on Monday, but what can she do over the weekend to help?

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Fri 02-Aug-13 21:37:30

What do you mean she feels she is empty - nothing more is coming?

I think she needs to get onto one of the bf helplines like NCT or LLL.

I am not an expert. At all. But at 10 days, it may well still be possible to get back to direct feeding if she wants to and is determined. If she wants to exclusively pump, she can get advice on that from those who've been there (I think the key thing is lots and lots of pumping through the night in the early days and frequently in teh day), but it can be harder to maintain supply that way.

Divster Fri 02-Aug-13 21:39:20

Just to add, midwife that came out today, said to just carry on, and pump more, but in the meantime its ok to leave him to cry as he is gaining weight. She has tonight given him a dummy to try and settle him between feeds longer

Divster Fri 02-Aug-13 21:41:42

When I say empty, there is no more coming out. Thank you

mamamidwife Fri 02-Aug-13 21:43:24

Increase the pumping either frequency/strength/or length of time as it depends on what pattern of pumping is being done presently, as you haven't stated.
More pumping in the evening and night will also increase supply as the hormone prolactin is greater at this time pushing up supply.
It also needs the baby's tongue tie sorting ASAP, when is the baby being seen in a clinic to have it sorted?
Can the baby latch on at all?
Even if not it would still be good for skin to skin with mum and hand expressing into baby's mouth this will help baby get more milk in and will increase milk production. Maybe see you tube for hand expressing demo but beware and filter inappropriate content!

ScottishDiblet Fri 02-Aug-13 21:43:50

Ahh congratulations to you on your grandson and to your daughter. It is really hard to pump enough to satisfy a baby, in my experience. I had a really hard time getting my daughter to latch as I have massive boobs and my nipple was never erect. So I bf using nipple shields. They worked a treat and I really recommend them. Much much easier than pumping day and night. Please do get some medela nipple shields and give them to your daughter to have a try. There are videos on you tube showing you how to use them. I uses to put them in cooling boiled water to make them floppy enough to mould to my breast. I also saw a bf counsellor who helped me massively with how to hold and latch my daughter. I wish your daughter the very best of luck. Xx

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 02-Aug-13 21:44:29

Can she put him to the breast after pumping? The pump might not get any more out but a baby will.

I don't think I'd leave him to cry. If she really can't get him to latch on but she's run out of expressed milk, I'd give formula. It's only temporary.

I agree about the breastfeeding helplines. In fact she really needs proper RL help - the "breastfeeding midwife" doesn't always mean that midwife has had any extra training sad

This article may help?

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 02-Aug-13 21:45:38

Are you in a position to find a professional IBCLC and pay for her to go and see her personally?

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Fri 02-Aug-13 21:45:49

Aw, no, she shouldn't feel she should leave him to cry. If he's fed, there are lots of ways to comfort him. Has she tried a sling.

When you say she's trying to get him to settle longer, how long are we talking? Many bf babies will only go a couple of hours. And many will cluster feed in the early days, particularly in the evenings.

Without wanting to sound too personal, did you or any relatives successfully bf yourself and maybe be able to give her some tips in real life?

What has she tried to get him to latch and who has helped her?

ScottishDiblet Fri 02-Aug-13 21:46:17

Sorry just to add that I wouldn't introduce a dummy yet and definitely don't leave the baby to cry. He is only young and needs to be held and fed as much as possible. I do think the that the nipple shields could help, even with the tongue tie. X

sonlypuppyfat Fri 02-Aug-13 21:48:08

I breast feed all mine I could have fed the steet! But I couldn't express an ounce my midwife said its because you don't love a pump! Can't she try him at the breast while he's quite full and relaxed.

thisisyesterday Fri 02-Aug-13 21:48:52

has he had the tongue tie snipped? is she attempting to get him to latch on at all?

one of the big issues with exclusive pumping is that the pump is not as effective at removing milk as baby, and as such it can be difficult to pump all your baby needs. Is she pumping at least 10-12 times a day including night?? she will need to if she wants to ensure a good supply.

she really needs to see someone or at least speak to a professional ASAP. I would try giving your local LLL branch a call, she can do that now as they work 24hrs a day

she could try putting him to the breast once he has finished his bottle, it will help stimulate supply and will also hopefully calm him

KPidgeon Fri 02-Aug-13 21:54:06

I second nipple shields- they saved me. I found it really really difficult in the first few weeks. But keep cuddling him and it does help.

I managed to feed a very big baby with breast milk but I also had NO joy pumping. Didn't work for me at all.

Wishing her lots of luck- breastfeeding isn't the easy option but it does get much much easier. Hope it works out.

Divster Sat 03-Aug-13 10:09:54

She is pumping 1oz off each breast every 2 hours. We hired an electric pump from the sure start centre. Dummy has settled him through the night. Tie isnt being sorted. He gets hysterical when trying to latch. Thanks all, but not sure its going to carry on for much longer now

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Sat 03-Aug-13 10:14:30

Is that all she gets every 2 hours? Has she tried pumping in the intervals (realise that is very hard).

It's her call what she does, but if she wants to continue feeding, the tongue tie needs to be sorted. It sounds like she's been badly let down by the maternity services.

There are also options to try and get an upset baby to latch - like skin to skin and biological nurturing. Or as others have said, offering the breast right after a feed. But she needs an expert who can talk her through at least over the phone and preferably in person.

So sorry both of you are going through this.

YoniBottsBumgina Sat 03-Aug-13 10:33:52

1oz is a normal amount to get at each pumping session.

If she wants to continue then it's imperative the tongue tie gets sorted. I'm sorry it doesn't sound like she's getting the support she needs sad please reassure her that she's done fantastically to get him breastmilk, every bit they get in the beginning makes a difference smile

ChunkyChicken Sat 03-Aug-13 10:40:26

Getting the tongue tie snipped could make all the difference. I think a good website iirc is where you can get advice. She needs a referral to a lactation consultant ASAP or if she can't get that, she could get it done privately through that website.

BlueBumedFly Sat 03-Aug-13 10:43:08

I had to pump but had to have a photo of DD with me, and I had to know she was asleep or at least happy, otherwise anxiety would stop the flow. I was prescribed molitium (brand name there are other generics) from my doc as it worked on two levels, helped stopped the nausea I got when the milk can in and also is a milk production booster. I know not everyone likes taking medications but it meant I could pump for 6 feeds or part feeds a day.

I went to the GP about my sons tongue tie, I was referred and it was snipped. It was an absolute Godsend and he fed better, my milk supply improved and life was so much easier. I urge you to encourage her to do the same. I believe a lactation consultant can cut a tongue tie too?

I could never express much either. But the medela swing breast pump seemed to get the most from me.

I spent a lot of time on the kellymom website and do call La Leche for advice.

Divster Sat 03-Aug-13 11:22:30

I am treading carefully, as she is getting stressed. She is trying nipple shield at next feed, hospital told her not to use them. I am hoping the midwife that is coming on monday thats a breastfeeding specialist, is going to help.

As he went longer during the night with the dummy, she now has a few feeds of stock again, so she feels better. I know it feels awful to not have anything for the next feed

ScottishDiblet Sat 03-Aug-13 14:20:16

How did the feed with the nipple shield go? Do ignore any of the negatives about nipple shields - of course it's better not to have to use them but if they are the only way to breast feed your baby then they are a must! Good luck.

Divster Sat 03-Aug-13 20:42:23

I am back with positive news, she hasn't used the shield yet, but she now is getting 2ozs from both every 2 hours, and pumped 13 times in the last 24 hours. She is feeling much happier now that she has some 'stock' built up. Thank you everyone for your help

thisisyesterday Sat 03-Aug-13 20:43:55

agree with scottish. they aren't recommended because they can interfere with normal breastfeeding, but they've actually improved a lot, becoming much thinner and more flexible and thus less likely to confuse a baby.
and at the end of the day if your choice is stopping breastfeeding when you don't want to stop, or using nipple shields then they're absolutely the way to go!

midwife or gp can refer for tongue tie to be snipped. it's such a minor procedure too, my second son had it done and slept through it! it doesn't hurt them at all

thisisyesterday Sat 03-Aug-13 20:45:01

oh i'm glad she is feeling happier about it all. it can be SO overwhelming int he first few weeks even without feeding troubles. I really do feel for her. I had a very similar experience with my first baby and it still upsets me thinking about it now (and he is 8!!)

hope the midwife helps on monday

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Sat 03-Aug-13 20:51:29

I'm glad today went better and I hope the midwife helps. Be insistent about the tongue tie getting fixed - unfortunately too often people are brushed off.

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