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would an electric pump be quicker?

(29 Posts)
WellieMum Mon 13-Dec-04 02:02:48

Hi all

I'm new and this is my first post!

Have dd age 3 months and I'm trying to express as much as possible. I have a medela hand pump which is fine but it takes me ages to get a pathetic amount of milk and Velcro Child here gets cross if I put her down for more than 5 minutes at a time...

Would an electric pump be quicker/ easier? Or is it just me that's slow, in which case I guess I'll just stick to the hand pump.

I tried hand expressing which is great from the sterilising pt of view, but not really quicker and the milk goes everywhere except in the bottle... sigh.

Anyone used both hand and electric pumps and able to comment?


pixiefish Mon 13-Dec-04 08:41:10

\link{ a look here} sorry i've no experience of electric pumps but use the avent hand pump. it gets easier as you practice and i found that first thing in the morning was more productive. if you express at the same time every day you'll increase your supply as well

pixiefish Mon 13-Dec-04 08:41:46

have a look here buggered that link up -woops

throckenrobin Mon 13-Dec-04 08:46:12

electric pumps are quicker because you can do both sides at the same time. But they are not usually any better actually getting the letdown started. Try massaging the breasts before and during expressing. And try and find a relaxing place and time - and something to take your mind off what you are doing - read a book, watch tv, surf the net - in my experience successful expressing is a lot to do with being in the right frame of mind - if you worry too much about how little you are getting you get less (not fair !). If you can forget about it then you may be surprised how much you get.

If you are using a hand pump try and do 5 mins on each side, then 3 mins, then 2 mins then 1 min which adds up to 20 mins in total. Also try and mimic the babies sucking pattern - shallow and fast to begin with until the letdown starts then slower and deeper. Try not to pump too hard.

tiktok Mon 13-Dec-04 09:46:07

You can only do both sides at the same time if you have two attachments for the electric pump, though....also best not to go by the clock, but to look at what's happening with the milk. No point in stopping after x mins if the flow is abundant. The time to stop is when that flow turns to a trickle - and then, as you saay, switch to the other side, and go back and forth like this.

saintlysecur Mon 13-Dec-04 10:02:36

I found expressing one side whilst feeding from the other helped to get letdown on its way (difficult to coordinte thouh-one hand for baby, obe to pump!)

WigWamBam Mon 13-Dec-04 10:17:23

If you wanted to continue hand expressing, I wouldn't recommend to do it directly into a bottle, express into a bowl - more room for error, so to speak.

I didn't actually find an electric pump was any quicker than my hand pump, but I found expressing quick and easy anyway. If you want to try an electric pump without committing to the expense of buying one, you could always hire one from the NCT and see how you get on.

emz31 Mon 13-Dec-04 10:50:29

Hi, i used the avent hand pump for ages, but got a really sore hand and it took me hours to get even 3 ozs. i bought a medela electric pump and although it still takes about the smae amount of time, you just stick it on and off it goes, leaving you with a free hand to do whatever you want (mine, was normally eat chocolate and read a mag). i do find it much easier.

WellieMum Mon 13-Dec-04 13:27:08

Thanks all, this is really helpful.

I think I see the problem now. dd likes to feed, have a little doze on my lap, wake up and chat a bit, feed some more, spend time in the front pack, feed etc... so at the moment I hardly have 5 minutes to myself.

This is only a problem for me of course - not her! - but it does make expressing difficult and I'm always in a hurry, just doing 5 minutes at a time. I can see (from what eg tiktok and throckenrobin are saying) that the clockwatching itself could be hampering things.

Might in any case try hiring an electric 1 just to see what happens. (dp notes that there is a dairy milking machine for sale in the clssifieds, and is offering to build me a little stall )

saintlysecur, how DO you co-ordinate feeding and expressing at the same time?! dd is v. wriggly and ideally I would use 3 hands just to bf...

Thanks again for comments

PS Pls excuse any typos - typing 1 handed and it's the middle of the night here - dd unexpectedly hungry, eek.

skiingawhitexmas Mon 13-Dec-04 13:55:00

Hi Welliemum,
Just wanted to add that like Saintlysecur I also found expressing easiest when DS was feeding off the other side!! I used to have lots of pillows under DS to support him and was then able to express (using an electric medela pump) on the other side. It did take a little bit of getting used to but was the only time my letdown reflex would work to express enough to be worth bothering about! It was also helpful to have a little table close by to put all the bits and bobs on when I'd finished.

I think hiring an electric machine is a good idea, I bought mine, but am thinking of trying a hand pump this time round as the electric pump can be can I put this... a little fierce if you're not careful with the dial .

Good luck!!

saintlysecur Mon 13-Dec-04 14:15:01

I usually prop myself up on lots of pillows so dd can kind of lie vbeside me with my arm around her o stop herself launching off in the other directon, then I kind of lean over her and express behind her back-it's not too complicated and is at least comfortable! Other times I wait till she is quite quiet and less likly to wriggle (just before a sleep). Still it is no mean feat!!

saintlysecur Mon 13-Dec-04 14:15:55

ps, I use the avent hand pump which I find is fine if I get the letdown thing sorted out first!

saintlysecur Mon 13-Dec-04 20:05:40

electric pump for sale here

moondog Mon 13-Dec-04 20:14:50

Ems31 mirrors my experience exactly.

Love the comment about the little stall.

One of my friends (an ABM counselor) runs a dairy farm with her husband and each cow's milk is tested and analysed each week. One time, for a laugh they sent off a sample of her milk and got it back complete with breakdown of fat, protein etc, obviously completely different to the cows but lab didn't comment!

BTW this same woman does a lot of b/f promotion in schools and makes the point that a cows/ milk is actually v. different to a human's and that actually, a weasel's milk is closest to it (!)
Anyway, after doing one workship, kids (14 or 15) were filling in a Q & A sheet and one question, for the lads, was 'How would you be able to help your partner if she was b/feeding?' One bright spark had written
'Buy a weasel so that she can take the odd break'

I digress but thought you might enjoy it!

throckenrobin Mon 13-Dec-04 20:56:16

how do you get milk from a weasel to test it ?

moondog Mon 13-Dec-04 20:58:23

I'll ask her!

pixiefish Mon 13-Dec-04 21:09:15


WellieMum Mon 13-Dec-04 22:43:18

Move over Cow & Gate..... Weasel Milk is here!

Yes, how on earth do you get milk from a weasel? And what sort of person goes around milking weasels anyway???

moondog Mon 13-Dec-04 22:46:59

You're obviously intrigued by the weasel milk!
According to my friend, research was done where many different animals' milk was tested and this was the result.
I don't think it would be too hard to get a weasel milk sample actually, especially if you had access to a tame one. Can't be that different to milking anything else!

throckenrobin Tue 14-Dec-04 10:38:28

can't imagine it is easy to milk anything apart from domesticated animals such as cows, sheep and goats. Anything would surely put up a fight

skiingawhitexmas Tue 14-Dec-04 11:57:10

pmsl moondog!

Got an image of a string of animals all queuing up and waiting patiently to be milked by the lab!

moondog Tue 14-Dec-04 15:08:51

This is getting very surreal..
Y'know, when she told me this, it didn't strike me as odd!
She has a very snazzy folding display with pictures of different animals on it and little footnotes about the make-up of their milk, the point being that out of about 6 animals, cows'milk is the LEAST similar to humans, yet culturally it is acceptable to give it to babies.

Better stop myself, feel another breastfeeding lecture come on!

moondog Tue 14-Dec-04 15:10:39

'put up a fight' pmsl

(Images of an indignant weasel struggling whilst yelling 'No! I don't want to be milked!')

WellieMum Wed 15-Dec-04 20:59:42

(boringly drags thread kicking and screaming back on topic...)

I did it! Managed to feed on 1 side and express on the other! Carefully followed the instructions on this thread and eventually managed to get self, dd, cushions and pump all in order and the right way up... the milk flow was good, but it was hard work so I'm keen to try with electric pump.

Thanks for link to pump saintlysecure - sorry, I forgot to mention that I'm in NZ so will look for one closer to me. No NCT here but the Plunket organisation seems to have a similar setup - am going to make enquiries today.

Bfeeding still painful at 3 months , have tried everything, incl battalions of midwives (and lactation consultant) lining up to inspect position/latch on - all agree that it looks fine ... but clearly, it isn't.

So am keen to express lots which will be nicer for me (less pain!) and for dd (more efficient milk delivery).

Might also give me more "2 hands time" - this 1 handed typing is wearing me out!

moondog Thu 16-Dec-04 12:26:04

Glad you've had some success Welliemum!!
Sorry my fault for veering off course-boring personal anecdotes. Please excuse me-not many people to talk to at the moment apart from dd,ds and dh!!

I really think that now you've got this, you will find an electric even easier.

Wonder why it's still hurting 3 months later? Not Thrush is it?

Is your b/feeding support and rate as good as Australia.

Good for you!!

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