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srgh! help with expressing!

(65 Posts)
starlover Thu 28-Apr-05 11:01:41

something terrible has happened
I am just getting over my second bout of thrush. It was so painful that I started mixed feeding, and was expressing milk for ds.
despite this my milk supply has rapidly dwindled. I have gone from expressing over 100ml at a time to not even 50!
DS refused to latch on now because the milk just isn't there.

I have just been expressing and NOTHING is coming out, and yet when I squeeze with my hand it comes out in a spurt!
I am using a medela mini electric pump, and can only assume that it just isn't doing the job, hence my diminishing milk supply. My manual breastpump isn't working!

What should I do? What is the best pump? I really, really want to get my supply back up, but can't face sitting here and squeezing my boobs by hand all day long!

starlover Thu 28-Apr-05 11:11:17

please? Im at the end of my tether

Nik72 Thu 28-Apr-05 11:12:15

Hi Starlover,
Our BF experience seems to be identical..I gave up BF last week after what I presume was a recurrance of thrush. Whatever it was the pain was indescibable and have been expressing ever since with one formula feed at night.
I use a medela electric pump and have found you have to fiddle a bit with the suction strength as that can affect the amount I get. I also have to make sure not to press the pump against the breast so I don't obstruct the flow.
Could you try expressing every 2 hours to stimulate the supply, mimicking a baby's growth spurt?
I've built it up so I can get 5-7oz per expression, a bit of a faff but BF was so bad anything's preferable. Hope that's some help, even if it's just I know what it's like and send my sympathy.

norash40 Thu 28-Apr-05 11:14:53

Starlover you still there?

MissChief Thu 28-Apr-05 11:16:50

hi - rather distant memory for me now, but managed to express successfully with manual pump. Had to build up supply though- doing regularly every 2 hrs or so, soon got better. Try to relax if you can, maybe the worry if stopping yr milk when you use the pump seeing as you can do it by hand? Eat lots, drinks lots, rest lots and see if it works. If not, no guilt in going onto f/f if you can't/don't want to b/f instead.

starlover Thu 28-Apr-05 11:18:18

yeah i'm still here...

nik, I have been expressing every 2 hours yesterday, and every hour this mroning! I'm crying now cos I don't want to give up BF completely but I don't know what to do.

I have my mini medela electric pump on full strength and nothing comes out! But when I squeeze boob with my hand it comes out! SO, I think that the breastpump just isn't right,

Having said that, I hired a big medela pump when I first had DS and that was fab... assumed the mini one would do the job just as well.

starlover Thu 28-Apr-05 11:18:19

yeah i'm still here...

nik, I have been expressing every 2 hours yesterday, and every hour this mroning! I'm crying now cos I don't want to give up BF completely but I don't know what to do.

I have my mini medela electric pump on full strength and nothing comes out! But when I squeeze boob with my hand it comes out! SO, I think that the breastpump just isn't right,

Having said that, I hired a big medela pump when I first had DS and that was fab... assumed the mini one would do the job just as well.

norash40 Thu 28-Apr-05 11:18:29

I gave up on any type of pump.

I just express using my hand it is so much more easier and I get a lot more milk this way. Try it.

Hope all goes well for you and that it all gets easier.

norash40 Thu 28-Apr-05 11:18:37

I gave up on any type of pump.

I just express using my hand it is so much more easier and I get a lot more milk this way. Try it.

Hope all goes well for you and that it all gets easier.

chipmonkey Thu 28-Apr-05 11:20:45

Starlover, I know everyone here won't agree with me but I found the Avent Isis much better than any of the Medela pumps, much more natural suction. I would think you should be expressing at least every 3 hours to build up a supply. This worked for me when ds3 was in Special Care in hospital. Maybe you could hand-express instead seeing as you're getting more when you squeeze it out by hand?

MissChief Thu 28-Apr-05 11:21:37

starlover - every hr sounds too much! you must be a nervous wreck by now! can't you take a break from it, and later try by hand if it works for you or try getting a new manual pump (i found them much better than the electric ones).

starlover Thu 28-Apr-05 11:22:12

chipmonkey... am expressing more often than that!
is the avent pump a manual one?
worth me going and buying perhaps>?

Kelly1978 Thu 28-Apr-05 11:23:27

I don't know if it would help, but I've managed to build up my supply again using an avent isis. I went down from producing 200mls+ to abt 100mls after mastitis, but have managed to get it back. A manual pump might be better as you might have more control over it.

MissChief Thu 28-Apr-05 11:23:39

avent manual was what i used too - with no problems.

bakedpotato Thu 28-Apr-05 11:24:12

starlover, are you sure the pump is working ok? i had a scary moment when nothing came out and i realised the suction was off... fixed the white plastic seal thing on more firmly and it worked again
sorry if you've already tried this

chipmonkey Thu 28-Apr-05 11:24:47

Sorry starlover, crossed posts. Could the valve be faulty on your pump? Sometimes thats why they don't work. Also, sometimes when it comes to suction, less is more. Maybe you might do better to reduce the suction a little. You poor thing, you really have been through the mill with the b/f.

chipmonkey Thu 28-Apr-05 11:26:20

Starlover, I LOVE the Avent pump. I have expressed for 3 babies with it and fed ds1 and ds2 for a year on the strength of it!

starlover Thu 28-Apr-05 11:27:12

my tommee tippee manual pump I have taken to pieces and put back together several times to no avail! I think there might be a little hole in it, preventing the suction from building up.

The electric pump is working fine.. just can't seem to get anything out with it.

I think I may go out and purchase an avent one today an see if I have more luck with that

Nik72 Thu 28-Apr-05 11:27:19

If i have it on full it doesn't work either, have to turn suction down. Could you borrow a different pump from anywhere like a breast feeding clinic? The hspital pumps do seem better for some people. This sounds horrible for you.

chipmonkey Thu 28-Apr-05 11:27:45

And the white plastic thing bakedpotato is talking about is the valve, I think!

norash40 Thu 28-Apr-05 11:28:15

I have the avent manual pump and it did not work for me.

I would try and do it by hand if that is what works for you.

starlover Thu 28-Apr-05 11:30:08

normally what i do is start of with it on low and then gradually build up...
will have another go before I splash out on a new pump.

I just am terrified of my supply drying up completely.
As some of you know.. I've had a godawful time with b/f and I really wanna make it work!

chipmonkey Thu 28-Apr-05 11:30:17

Here in Ireland you can hire the Medela hospital grade pump for about 70 euros per month. There must be places where you can do the same in the UK?

chipmonkey Thu 28-Apr-05 11:37:15

tbh, starlover, there's no pump as good as a baby! Hopefully when the thrush clears up you can latch him on again and get the milk flowing. Also, if you're giving him formula at the moment you might want to leave it longer before putting him on the breast as formula makes them feel fuller and he may not be that hungry, hence the reluctance to latch on.

Nik72 Thu 28-Apr-05 11:42:52

hats off to you for persisting so long through all the problems.

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