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Can't pump any milk

(6 Posts)
JackieOLantern Tue 02-Dec-14 20:45:07

My DD is 4 weeks old and so far EBF. She feeds every 2 hours, at most 3 hours, and so I would like to express some milk to get some more sleep soon and get out of the house hmm... I have a 3-year old and so I really can't just sit in the house feeding her for the next 6 months!

Unfortunately just like with my DS who ended up being mixed fed and then fully FF as my supply disappeared, I can't seem to pump any milk. I have a Medela hand pump and the most I have every been able to get out was 2 fluid oz and that was just in the first week or so when my breasts were very engorged. Now the engorgement has reduced and my supply is more in balance and I can't express more than a few drops at a time, barely 1 fl oz from both breasts. My supply is fine, and DD is gaining weight and feeding well so I know milk is in there but it's not coming out with the pump!

Last time around I bought an expensive Medela electric pump and sold it after 2 weeks because it just didn't work at all, worse than the hand pump. The pumping also stretches and chafes my nipples badly, even with Lansinoh applied.

So if I can't pump at all, I've decided I will have to supplement with formula. I would rather not though. Any suggestions? Are there better pumps I can use? I have tried pumping this morning after a hot shower and using a warm compress but it made no difference... sad

Riceball Tue 02-Dec-14 20:51:36

You're doing really well if she's putting on weight.

I was told that what you pump is no indication of supply. I couldn't get much out either.

What helped was:
Pumping when the baby was on the other side.
Pumping in the morning
Pumping after a glass of winewink

TiredandGrumpy2014 Tue 02-Dec-14 20:58:04

I fed dd for a year and was never able to pump more than 1 oz at a time- but I managed to feed her fine and in fact had lots of problems with oversupply- I just couldn't get it out with a pump!

I tried the avent manual and electric but not much joy with either.

I decided early on I was happy to give formula occasionally- and I ended up mix feeding from about 6 months. But if you don't want to do that you might just need to pump little and often- and a friend of mine found that the more she 'practiced' pumping the more milk she got- so perhaps that would happen for you?

Good luck whatever you decide

CoolCat2014 Tue 02-Dec-14 21:46:08

I found at the start using a hot compress helped, and just trying until it came, find it easy now!

JackieOLantern Tue 02-Dec-14 22:29:31

OK, thanks for your advice, guys. I will keep trying. Am struggling to find the time though since DD's feeding is every 2 hours, sometimes every hour as she cluster feeds in the evenings.

You sound similar to me TiredandGrumpy - if anything I have oversupply and my breasts still feel hard and engorged at times even after 4 weeks. The problem is that it's just not coming out with the pump! Also the pain / chafing is much worse with the pump than when DD feeds so that puts me off trying as I don't want to crack the skin or chafe too much and then find it painful to feed her.

squizita Wed 03-Dec-14 09:40:05

I found a hit shower and starting by hand expressing to get going helped. smile
Also it took a few weeks to get larger amounts.

I use a lansinoh pump from mothercarE.

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