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Why can’t I express?

(17 Posts)
singsong Tue 04-Jan-05 12:23:03

I used to be able to express with the Avent isis breast pump easily but now I’m struggling to get a few mls out. I feel the let-down when ds feeds but I can’t get let-down with the pump anymore.

mckenzie Tue 04-Jan-05 12:24:21

is your pump definitely working properly, ie the valve in the right way round etc?

singsong Tue 04-Jan-05 12:29:15

Pump is working. Using it the same as I ever did and have tried it with a replacement valve too. Also I have recently bought a medela mini-electric and can’t get any joy with that either.

Tickle Tue 04-Jan-05 12:30:16

is ds around when you express? if so, try looking at him, or a photo if he is not there. try to just think of him... not about the shopping list etc. And have a sniff of his bedclothes if you are at work take something of his with you.

i think it gets harder as the breasts adjust to on demand feeding - IME let down is as much mental as physical.
good luck

singsong Tue 04-Jan-05 14:28:22

Ds is around when I express, not back at work yet.

pixiefish Tue 04-Jan-05 14:30:13

massage your breast. i always start on the right side then swap to the left and then back to the right side as tyhe right side is slow. I also have to massage/press my breast to get the milk (bit like milking a cow really)

Pidge Tue 04-Jan-05 14:34:25

singsong - I think it just takes practice for some people - your breasts get used to triggering the let down when your baby feeds, and it's almost like they have to learn how to do it for the pump. I found my success rate was really haphazard until I was back at work for a few weeks and got into a good routine of pumping twice daily. Even then, some days I could get the let-down straight away and others it just didn't happen.

If it's just not working, I found the best thing was to give it a break for 15-30 minutes then have another go.

bongobum Tue 04-Jan-05 14:36:28

Have to agree with tickle. Didn't know what was wrong with me as I have no joy at all using a hand pump but I hired one from the NCT, used to express in him nursery with one of him blankets on my shoulders and couldn't believe the difference. Have you tried taking a nice warm shower before???that helped me. Good luck

hunkermunker Tue 04-Jan-05 14:39:44

When are you expressing? Try first thing when your boobs will be fullest (if you're not feeding in the night). Also try massaging, hot flannels (drape over the boob for a couple of mins before expressing) and shaking your boobs (I find this stimulates letdown, but wouldn't do it with the curtains open and the lights on ).

I have found that as DS has got older, I've been able to express less. WHen I started doing it, he was about 15 weeks old and I could easily get 9oz in one go. But now I get 2 if I'm lucky, but a lot more when I'm at work as he's not fed from me.

I think as they get older, you make more milk as they feed (is this right?!) - which is why you don't get as engorged. Now I'm typing this, I'm not sure it's right, but it does make sense!

PrettyCandles Tue 04-Jan-05 14:44:18

I was never any good with expressing, but a few things that helped me were:

Getting the baby to trigger the let-down, so, start baby on, say, left side, then swap him to right side and express left side while baby is feeding on right side.

Expressing if it's a feed-time but the baby is still asleep or contented and not asking.

Hand-expressing in the bath - can be a bit tricky to keep everyhting sterile, but might be useful to get you 'back into the swing of things'.

Expressing to music - Abba really worked for me .

I found photos of the bayb more helpful than the baby itself.


TheDragon Tue 04-Jan-05 14:44:46

I could not express at all if DSs were around or if I could hear them. I used to get the best results when doing something else at the same time like browsing web sites!!

singsong Tue 04-Jan-05 18:30:10

Luckily I live down a country lane with nothing but field full of cows in front and behind my house so if I forgot to shut the curtains wouldn’t be too

Allyco Tue 04-Jan-05 20:52:04

hunkermunker also gave me good advice about pre-expressing boob shaking and it WORKS!!at least it has for me. Also I express one side while feeding DD other side, using the Avent Isis pump. I can't get much out in one go though so do it little and often.

blush Wed 05-Jan-05 09:50:39

i am the same singsong. tried pictures and alsorts. in the end asked dh to have a quick.... close eyes and think of baby..... only up to when feel letdown then shout STOP and get going with pump....
sorry, have changed my name just in case you find me repulsive..
'not bitty now, bitty later'

blush Wed 05-Jan-05 09:51:17

i was desperate!

beansprout Wed 05-Jan-05 09:55:28

LOL Blush - needs must!!!

singsong Wed 05-Jan-05 11:50:55

Blush, please don’t panic I don’t find you repulsive. Really find that little Britain ‘bitty’ sketch funny . I will confess that I also asked dh to have a go once, just for the experience!!!

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