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Poor pumping output

(26 Posts)
Lioncub12 Tue 10-Sep-19 15:31:05

Supply for 3 month old is more than enough but I can't get out anything substantial when pumping. My morning pump is my best chance, and sometimes that's only an oz.

Any tips on increasing pumping output? Really trying to build up a supply for the freezer!!!

kittlesticks Tue 10-Sep-19 15:32:24

I have the same problem so watching with interest.

butteryellow Tue 10-Sep-19 15:46:27

I never managed it with my first, just didn't produce for the machine.

Then I did with my second a bit, thinking it would be useful, but he wouldn't take a bottle, and it seemed ridiculous to make special porridge or whatever, so I ended up just binning it.

Decided if I had a third I wouldn't bother even trying - all the extra effort and no significant benefit for me (I might just have awkward kids).

Corbby1 Wed 11-Sep-19 12:48:10

Are you using an electric or manual pump? With my first I tried all sorts of electric pumps and could barely get an ounce. With baby 2 I bought a manual one and bizarrely I get loads. I've heard other people having the same experience, might be worth a shot smile

Spam88 Wed 11-Sep-19 12:55:10

Pumping whilst feeding from the other breast was the only way I ever got a decent amount (and actually using a Hakka type pump was just as good as an electric or manual).

DownWentTheFlag Wed 11-Sep-19 12:57:52

In all honesty I’d just give the odd bottle of formula.
But otherwise I can recommend the Ardo Calypso electric pump. And I’ve heard good things about the Hakka (sp?) manual pump. Watching a video of your baby whilst pumping is good - with baby making noise if possible. Having a blanket from their cot or yesterday’s vest to smell might help.

theyvegotme Wed 11-Sep-19 13:00:27

Smaller funnel?

BeardofZeus Wed 11-Sep-19 13:00:57

Sorry to say I was the same, tried manually, manual and electric pumps, tried pumping whilst feeding, looking at photos, early morning/midmorning/late morning/afternoon/evening.. I used to get 20-30ml in total... sometimes i managed 3oz from both. Was so stressful. In the end we introduced one bottle of ready made formula a day so that if DD needed feeding and I wasn’t around she could have that. and then later on when I went away overnight, she would be fed formula until I got back to breastfeed (and i would attempt to pump or express the excess away). We did that from 3 months until I gave up breastfeeding when DD was just over 1YO and switched to cows milk smile

modge Wed 11-Sep-19 13:01:01

Some things that might be worth trying:

1. Pump for 5-10 min following a feed
2. Make sure you're hydrated enough
3. Check the pump is the right size/fitted to you properly
4. Hand expressing - this worked better for me than a pump
5. Try to stay as relaxed as possible, don't worry/focus on the amount
6. If you pump 1oz after each feed, you can add them together to freeze as long as the milk is stored in the fridge. Alternatively I used to freeze in 2-3oz amounts and then combine when defrosted to use. This is fine to do.

I only ever managed to express 2-3oz at a time, and built up to this over time from 1oz amounts. I used to express during the first two naps of the day, which gave enough milk for either a bottle feed at night or one stash for the freezer. Even adding 3oz a day builds up over time if you don't need to use it regularly (I saved it for specific occasions when I was out for a few hours).

INeedNewShoes Wed 11-Sep-19 13:04:52

I was similar. The only thing that made a noticeable difference was to drink loads of water. Even then, and on a good day, it required two pumping sessions for me to get a bottle worth for DD.

The only really good pumping sessions were if DD had missed a feed.

StressyDressyHeels Wed 11-Sep-19 13:05:55

Ive struggled to pump “extra” since DS was 3 months, if he misses a feed I can pump. I went to a BFing group and was told it’s likely my supply has stabilised. I can only get about 1-1.5oz each time I pump and given he takes 5 in a feed I have resorted to keeping some readymade formula in for the odd occasion when I’m out and DH gives him a bottle. I beat myself up about giving formula but glad I did as have a bit of freedom without planning weeks in advance to collect 1.5oz a day!

MilkLady02 Wed 11-Sep-19 13:07:20

It’s interesting to know how much people are expecting to get. I’ve been EBFing 7 mths old and been back at work FT for past 2 months. So without him feeding from 7.30am til I pump at 1pm, I get about 4-5 oz (total from both sides) If I pump at home (so while feeding him/just before I feed) I’ll typically get 1-2oz at a time. I assumed this was normal as he’s been in FT day care for past 2 months with what I express the day before and seems fine! According to sites like KellyMom they need to drink 1oz per hour, so you won’t be able to pump gallons. I think the container sizes can be a bit misleading! They are huge compared to what a BF baby would typically drink!

MilkLady02 Wed 11-Sep-19 13:15:27

Also it’s much easier for them to drink from a bottle teat than a breast, so they can guzzle down more than they would from breast feeding. I bought some extra slow flow tests to help slow DS down and make his bottle feeds last more than 30 seconds!

Lioncub12 Wed 11-Sep-19 13:17:54

If baby misses a feed, I too can get a good 2/3oz out. But it's rare that he does.

I have an electric pump - the elvie.
It was expensive! So I really want it to work.

Baby is a milk monster so not a lot of milk accumulates between feeds anyway. I had high hopes of being able to pump plenty of milk but I understand my boobs produce what is needed for baby. Anything more is extra. He's a big lad and will down a good 5/6oz of formula at any time... So in my head I'm trying to pump that amount each day to replace the bottle of formula he has at night with other half while I get a head start at sleeping. It just isn't happening!

This breastfeeding business isn't always easy confused

MilkLady02 Wed 11-Sep-19 13:18:25


MilkLady02 Wed 11-Sep-19 13:22:51

I’ve never pumped that much in one go Lioncub. Some of the advice websites are so casual as well aren’t they, ‘you can express so that Dad can do the night feeds!’ Er.... when exactly am I expressing all this extra milk?! It’s not that easy but unfortunately getting stressed is the worst as it messes with oxytocin and supply, making things worse! I have to remind myself of this every day and try to breathe deep and relax! (While attached to a pump!) 🤣

Lioncub12 Wed 11-Sep-19 13:26:49

I also made the mistake of reading blogs about pumping, and some women claim they get out 7oz of a morning! Ugh go away lol

StressyDressyHeels Wed 11-Sep-19 13:28:52


Exactly! sterilise the pumping equipment, collect milk, store milk, sterilise the bottle to feed, pass bottle of pumped milk to dad and do it all again.

So much effort and my baby won’t take a bottle in the night from his dad! Easier just to do it myself!

hormonesorDHbeingadick Wed 11-Sep-19 13:31:21

According to the Kellymom website that’s normal.

MilkLady02 Wed 11-Sep-19 14:56:08

I think the 7oz ladies must be the ultra marathon runners of the breastfeeding world or exaggerating!

rosydreams Wed 11-Sep-19 17:09:10

i didn't realise making 9 oz in a morning was weird ,well between both breasts.I found my avent electric pump works well.I got it for £5 second hand on ebay

i was worried i wasn't making enough to exclusively pump =p

I pump 3 times a day i find waiting a good number of hours between pumping helps.So 6 am 1pm and 10pm

I find my best out put after eating fatty pork, fruit and isotonic sports drink along with plenty water.I also take multi vits.I massage my breast wile pumping and most importantly relax.I find i make next to no milk when i feel stressed or keep checking the bottle.So i make a cup of tea and watch a old tv series with lots of episodes online to get my mind off it.I pump 30mins one side then 30mins the other then switch back and pump 15 mins on first and 15 mins again on other.

i also use this thing it saves a fortune on breastpads and collects milk from other side wile your pumping the other.

MilkLady02 Wed 11-Sep-19 18:56:17

Ooh rosy I’ve got milk envy!

rosydreams Wed 11-Sep-19 20:07:32

i think another reason i get more is the pump i use has gentle suction i was using spectra 3.But it was impossible to keep clean and i noticed when i went back to my spare pump the avent i got a lot more

this the pump

MilkLady02 Wed 11-Sep-19 21:16:53

I’ve got the electric avent, might try a manual one!

hormonesorDHbeingadick Wed 11-Sep-19 21:55:16

StressyDressyHeels there is no need to sterilise for breast milk.

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