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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?

WeAreSeven Wed 07-Aug-13 01:27:59

I had to pump exclusively for ds3 and for dd as they were both prem. With dd it was for 7 weeks, and then sadly she died.
I found that I had to pump every 3 hours at least in order to increase supply. If I left it to every 4 hours, for example, my supply would stay the same but not increase.
A double pump is far more effective than a single pump and it's much better if the pump is hospital grade. Having said that, I found that any Avent pump was better than any Medela pump but that varies from person to person.
If you take domperidone and a fennel supplement it can increase your supply
If you use a technique called breast compression, that can also help. Basically at the end of a pumping session, you grab your breast at the back, thumb on top, fingers underneath and massage forward. Do this a few times and you usually find you get a few more drops. I'm not sure if it was my imagination but this milk always looked a bit richer than the milk that came out first.

I think what the MW might mean about letting him cry is that it's better to spend time pumping than picking baby up as it means he'll get more milk in the end. However I think people underestimate how exhausting both pumping and caring for a baby are. With dd, it was pump, wash pump bits, sterilise, feed, change, pump wash pump bits and on and on and on. And this was 24/7. If my Mum hadn't stayed with me, then there would also have been laundry, take care of my boys, school run because dh had to work! And it's awful listening to a baby cry!

They should sort out the tongue tie as a matter of urgency really as that would save her a lot of agony.

And if it doesn't work, then tell her not to beat herself up about it, she has done fantastically well so far.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Tue 06-Aug-13 22:15:39

Is she coming soon instead?

Trying2bMindful Tue 06-Aug-13 22:15:08

Hope she gets the help she needs to get baby on the breast soon. Might be worth finding a local bf expert...,I found the LLL group local to me excellent help.

Divster Tue 06-Aug-13 22:03:08

The breastfeeding midwife didnt turn up yesterday, think the midwife said she was tired from being called into labour ward in the night, but wrote it in her diary, but then didnt book it.

But, still doing ok pumping, HV came and baby is now 7.8 from 6.14. at 10 day old

Thank you all

midori1999 Sat 03-Aug-13 23:37:51

I'm glad things are going better.

Is the pump you've hired one that can pump both breasts at once? Obviously this saves time, but will also help your DD to produce more milk too.

Your DD is very lucky to have such a supportive and helpful Mum.

ChunkyChicken Sat 03-Aug-13 23:21:48

Agree with Amanda. Whilst it might seem like a backward step, if its a choice between having a screaming miserable baby and a stressed Mummy or having a baby fed with some ebm then formula, its a no-brainer, & all the time she's pumping & still wanting to bf, then she has every chance of both of them getting there.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Sat 03-Aug-13 21:00:09

It might be worth reassuring her that lots of people who are having serious problems (as she sounds like she is) supplement with formula. With the right help, it can be a useful step in getting things back on track. I know it can seem like the beginning of the end, but with the right help and a plan it need not be, and it might make her feel less scared.

Divster Sat 03-Aug-13 20:53:07

I think it was being left with nothing to feed him with yesterday, it really upset and panicked her

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.

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

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

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

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 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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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?

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