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Very slow let down & expressing is hard - electric pump?

(14 Posts)
JFly Fri 01-Aug-08 20:54:27

19 week old feeds perfectly well, I just want to be able to leave the house without him occassionally. grin I would like to be able to express more, but have a hard time with my Avent hand pump. I get maybe 3oz total from both breasts even first thing in the morning, and that takes at least 30-45 minutes. Have only been able to get more in less time when boobs are absolutely bursting, and that rarely happens these days.

I think part of the problem may be that my let down is very, very slow. I have never leaked and can't get anything out by hand expressing. Would an electric pump help? Also, is it weird to buy a pump second hand? Just wondering about how to sterilise it sufficiently, etc.

girliefriend Fri 01-Aug-08 21:34:05

she says very quietly

formula? Please don't stone me too death mumsnetters! But if it is for the odd occasion that you want to go out for a bit then you might find it less stressful, less time consuming, less money (if you are about to buy an electric pump!) to give the odd bottle of formula. I gave up trying to express as was finding after hours of trying I was having very little to show for it and my dd had a very occasional bottle of formula if I was going out for a couple of hours. This made life so much eaiser and I don't think did either of us any harm!
Obviously though totally up to you! I didn't find the electric pumps any better than the hand held ones XxX

ajm200 Fri 01-Aug-08 21:43:39

I had loads of milk when I was BF'ing my son but found it almost impossible to express any even with an electric pump.

The only thing that worked for me was to feed him on one boob while expressing from the other. It worked fine with a manual pump.

Depending on your child you might get away with an odd bottle of formula but some babies decide after just one bottle that they prefer it to BF'ing and become very difficult/fussy during BF'ing.

JFly Fri 01-Aug-08 22:53:08

Thanks for your thoughts and I see where you're coming from, girlie, but I'd prefer to give him breast milk since I'm able to. For me, convenience isn't a good enough reason to go for formula. I may just carry on expressing on the day I need it. Not always ideal, but unless I can get more out I don't think there's a better option.

I can't imagine the logistics of expressing and feeding at the same time! I'm not that coordinated. wink

Anyone with any other experience of electric pumps v. manual??

ajm200 Sat 02-Aug-08 07:36:40

I used to put my son in the football hold, lying under my arm propped up on cushions and use the other hand to work the pump.

It was awkward, but I got the hang of it after a few attempts. I used to be able to fill the little bottle that came with the pump using this method. Just pumping would only get an ounce or so

Bumperlicious Sat 02-Aug-08 08:09:05

I second expressing while feeding. Hard to get used to but the baby gets the letdown so you don't have to.

Just try not to trap your child's finger in the pumping mechanism when they inevitably start fiddling with it blush

kiskidee Sat 02-Aug-08 08:18:10

expressing at this age needs you to be committed to a routine. Are you attempting to express every morning, same time, whether or not you 'need' to make up a feed? This way your body learns to make a feed for the pump.

With pumps some women will feed from one breast while expressing from the other because the baby then stimulates the letdown rather than the pump. I have never tried to be that dexterous myself.

no it is not weird to buy a pump 2nd hand. Ebay. I've used the Ameda Lactaline it is fantastic. I went back to work when dd was 20 wks and used it till she was 18mos old. If the idea is still squeamish to you, you can buy the pump used but go to and buy the bits that come in contact with your body and milk brand new quite reasonably.

kiskidee Sat 02-Aug-08 08:21:16

oh after i used a leccy pump i never tried to use a manual again. I could express with a manual but time and ease (besides how much i expressed) made it more than worth it to me.

JFly Sun 03-Aug-08 14:42:34

Thanks everyone. I can understand the benefits of expressing while feeding, but I generally need both hands to feed as LO is wriggly and often I have to put him back on the boob. Would imagine I'd find it too fiddly.
Getting replacement parts for a pump solves my issues with getting a second hand one. Will have a look on those websites, and see if an electric pump improves results.

ruty Sun 03-Aug-08 14:46:34

the only pumps that i have ever managed to get a proper flow from are the hospital pump, and now the Ameda Lactaline pump. It is great. But about 75 quid. I have had real problems breastfeeding this time around and it has been a lifesaver for my supply.

ruty Sun 03-Aug-08 14:47:29

oh i see kiskidee has already suggested it!

KristinaM Sun 03-Aug-08 14:50:33

i have an electric pump too and expressing doesnt really work for me at all. last time i tried a got less than one teaspoonful!!!! like you i have never leaked ( except for the first few weeks after first baby was born) and cant hand express. in fact the only proof i have ANY milk at all is my ENORMOUS child

i am VERY impressed that you get 3oz

Dh ( who is an real expert on bf hmm) recently told me that DS2 was only just sucking for comfort and probably wasn't getting any milk. until DSs was was ill in July and didnt take anything except Bm and water for a week. And he was fine. so the elusive milk must be in there somewhere......grin

turtle23 Sun 03-Aug-08 20:14:54

Hi J!
Hey, you're only round the corner from me, really. If it's not too weird, you cn try my electric one and see? Be nice to see youand G anyway. If that sounds like a maybe, email me on facebook?

MrsTicklemouse Sun 03-Aug-08 20:46:13

ditto girliefriend, if it just the odd occasion i would go with those readymade cartons of aptamil, i had a very tough time feeding DS2, had to express to top up for two months whilst he got the hang of latching properly after being tube fed, now that he is feeding byhimsel without any tops i can safely say i never want to see another breast pump again!! if i go out i leave a carton!!

i can definetly recommend the Ameda Lactaline and Medela swing though!!

ps i had the avent hand pump when i had DS1 used it once..took an hour to get 1oz!!!

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