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how long can you pump for?

(14 Posts)
trian Sat 06-Feb-16 10:55:21

i pump for 15 mins as this is what it said on a manual breast pump i had.

is it bad for your breasts/supply to pump for longer?
is there a maximum amount of time?
thanks in advance for any advice :-)

tiktok Sat 06-Feb-16 11:40:08

Don't go by the clock. Go by what your breasts are doing. Pump until the stream you get slows to a trickle or drops. Switch sides. Do the same on side two. You can even switch back again.

This is prob a session of up to 30 mins but it can be a lot less for some.

Hope this helps.

trian Sat 06-Feb-16 13:42:54

thanks tiktok, I only ever get a trickle or drops anyway so i'll stick with 15mins

tiktok Sat 06-Feb-16 15:24:42

If you don't get a stream then either

* your milk has not come in yet


* you need a better pump

trian Sat 06-Feb-16 15:40:12

I've hired a medela symphony, i think that's the best pump?

My baby is over 2 months so my milk has definitely come in (i remember waking up with massive boobs on day 3 i think it was)

the problem is that after a while i couldn't feed from one side because it was so damaged and infected, so i was using a manual pump but eventually that breast stopped filling up cos i couldn't find time to pump enough (I've got more stuff on my plate than the average single mum). I still got about an ounce but only generally had time to pump once a day.

with the medela symphony i manage to pump twice a day but still only getting about an ounce. I'm hoping the infection has cleared up after these new meds so maybe getting baby back on it at every feed will increase my supply?

dunno if a supplementary nursing system would help?

tiktok Sat 06-Feb-16 17:17:44

I don't know about relative merits of pumps, sorry, but if you are not getting more than trickles or drops you are not getting a let-down, and the pumping is therefore ineffective. For whatever reason.

If you are only pumping twice a day and the baby is not BF direct, and so the breast is only being stimulated twice a day, then the reason for the lack of effect is lack of supply.

I am assuming your baby is feeding ok on the 'good' side. If so, then that's fine smile

It's perfectly possible for babies to feed one sided and for the supply on the other side to disappear. If you want it back you're gonna need to up the frequency of expressing.

trian Sat 06-Feb-16 20:29:04

I get about an ounce after 15mins of pumping, I don't watch the flow much but I have noticed that one time I got quite a bit at the start and then not much at all in the second half of the session.

do you perhaps mean that the reason for lack of effect is lack of demand?

my baby feeds ok on the good side (latch is ok but could be better, but I don't have scope to work on that aspect at the mo) but after a while gets agitated and comes off and goes on again a few times for short bursts of a few seconds. I was told from the start that I wasn't producing enough milk and she does seem to behave as if the milk has run out but she wants more (she was hitting my breast today) so she still gets most of her nourishment from formula that I give her at the end of a session.

thanks for your advice so far tiktok, I really appreciate it. I'm single so don't get as much chance to express as i'd like, I'm hoping to increase it as the rest of my "to do" list decreases

tiktok Sat 06-Feb-16 23:01:01

No, I mean lack of supply of milk - and that comes from lack of demand. Twice in 24 hours just won't create or maintain a supply.

Who told you, and when, and why, there was a problem with supply at the start? What formula does your dd have? What is her weight?

Lots of q's, sorry. Hope things can be made better.

NickyEds Sat 06-Feb-16 23:39:22

Sorry, i just posted on your other thread- I hadn't read this one.

Topsy34 Sun 07-Feb-16 08:08:06

i never got along with medela, never got much milk. Ameda and lansinoh seem to suit me better

trian Sun 07-Feb-16 10:42:19

thanks. I managed 3 times yesterday.

one of the midwives told me I didn't make enough milk. I remember one time in the first week or 10 days that I fed her for half an hour on each side, so an hour in total, and she still took about 3 ounces of formula immediately after. That and the fact that even from when i first started pumping (around the same time) I would sometimes only get 1 ounce (although often 2, but that hasn't happened for weeks now)
her weight is 11pounds 4 ounces
she's on Aptamil
I strongly suspect that if i'd been given the support I needed at the start, any issues with supply could have been dealt with.

topsy omg, i'm not sure I've got the resources to start trying different breast pumps :-(

trian Sun 07-Feb-16 10:50:20

what's the most frequently you can pump? every hour?

tiktok Sun 07-Feb-16 12:42:12

Trian, I would wonder, like you, if better info and support at the start would have avoided problems now. A three ounce top up of formula is a lot for a week old baby...can def set you off down the road of formula rather than BF and the sad thing is you wanted to BF.

If you Google relactation, you can see what you might need to do to retrieve things. You don't need to express every hour - nothing like that.

But eight times in 24 hours is prob what you need to do, if you can, to rescue things.

trian Sun 07-Feb-16 13:58:35

thanks again tiktok, I will see what I can do to get towards 8 times a day.

the stats on breastfeeding are terrible, half of those that start in hospital have given up by a week later. I'm sure most of them want to bf to some extent so a large part of that figure is due to not getting enough help.
I was wrong about the top ups at that stage, it was 2 ounce bottles she was getting, it's still quite a lot tho.

i'm off to express now, thanks again, I think my HV should have said what you said about the 8 times a day, but then again, I've only just found out that HVs and midwives aren't trained in bf issues!!!!

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