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Just can't express even though milk there....

(15 Posts)
Feeltrapped Sat 20-Jun-09 22:12:14

Thought I posted this a minute ago but can't find it now, so apologies if I've duplicated it... or even more likely posted it in the DIY section or something blush

Anyway I'm going to throw the bloody pump out the window in a minute. 20 mins and about 1/2 an ounce angry

What really frustrates me is that the milk is there, it just doesn't seem to come out when I express. The first few sucks are fine and then nothing... I've tried both manual and electric pumps, doing it in the morning/afternoon/eve, when I'm feeding/with DS etc etc. Nothing seems to make much difference.

I can actually express more by hand than either the manual or electric pump - but obviously that's not hugely practical for large volumes!

I'm getting so stresses because I've got my sisters hen weekend in 4 weeks so need to stockpile as I will be away 2 nights.

Has anyone else experienced this where the milk was there but just wouldn;t come out. What can I do?

chocolatebunnies Sat 20-Jun-09 22:18:22

I sometimes have this problem as my boobs become so engorged with milk that it wont come out, I use an electric pump and massage the boob im expressing and that seems to get things moving, you may have tried it, but if not, i just gently squeeze all the way round in that same rythm as the pump.

PacificDogwood Sat 20-Jun-09 22:19:40

Oh, Feeltrapped, been there, done that and hated every minute of it! My sympathies.

Let down of milk is much harder with a pump, which is one of the reasons why how much you manage to pump does not say anything about how much milk there is.

Try some massaging of the breast before pumping, consciously relax, think of your baby, have something that smells of them, have a photo of baby in front of you. Have a good quality electric pump. If you are large of norkage make sure that the pump flanges (the trumpet shaped thing the boob goes into) is sufficiently large, this makes it more comfortable too. Try and pump the same time of day every day for a period of time, ideally in the morning.

How old is your baby? I am impressed that you manage to use pump whilst feeding baby; this is ment to be v good, but I never managed.

Also, even if you manage 1 oz at a time, keep freezing all those little ounces and eventually you will have enough for a weekend, non?

There is a book about expressing, I will have a look for it and link if I can find it. I found it useful when I was trying to exclusively express for preemie DS2.

Hope some of this helps a bit.

thisisyesterday Sat 20-Jun-09 22:22:04

some people can just not express! which is why how much you can express is not an indication of how much milk you're making

things that may help:

start off slowly. it can be tempting to whack an electric pump right up, but you need to start off slow and build up

try and mimic baby. so a lot of little quick sucks until you get letdown, then longer and harder

try and relax! the more uptight and stressed you feel the harder it can be to pump (well, in my experience anyway- may not be scientific lol)

I would hand express as much as you can if that's the most successful way for you. just try and make time to do it a couple of times a day if possible and i'm sure you'll soon build up a supply. once you get a fair bit stored you might feel less anxious and be able to use the pump a bit more?

PacificDogwood Sat 20-Jun-09 22:26:01

I had this on loan from my local LLL group.

stainesmassif Sat 20-Jun-09 22:33:30

Also bear in mind that the more you do it, the more you will produce. I found expressing really frustrating in the early days, 1 - 2 oz at a time. But after carrying on and doing it at the same time each day it fairly quickly built up to 6 oz at a time. definitely worth continuing, though i agree, it's boring and frustrating in the extreme. enjoy the hen do!!!

JackBauer Sat 20-Jun-09 22:45:32

I found the only way I could express enough was to wake before DD (takes some effortgrin) and express off the night's engorgement.
And I agree with stainesmassif (love the name btw) that the more you do it the more you will manage, it's just like the supply and demand from the firts few weeks after they were born all over again!

stainesmassif Sat 20-Jun-09 22:46:30

thanks jack. we're big fans of yours here in the massif.

JackBauer Sat 20-Jun-09 22:49:54


ilovemydogandmrobama Sat 20-Jun-09 22:51:07

I wasn't able to express anything with DD, but think I left it too late.

When DS was around 3 months, I would express a bit in the morning. I would do it after a feed and then around the same time.I found sitting up straight helped. I used a medela swing which seemed to be good at the let down stage.I also used a hospital pump at one stage which was great!

hanaflower Sat 20-Jun-09 22:52:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stainesmassif Sat 20-Jun-09 22:54:30

hana - i had been really worrying about having enough milk to go back to work, however now that we've introduced solids ds has pretty much weaned himself off day time feeds. so got loads to store. now if i could only wean him off the 2,4 and 5 am feeds i'd be sorted!

hanaflower Sun 21-Jun-09 09:31:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PacificDogwood Sun 21-Jun-09 15:32:00

Some babies will "reverse cycle", ie not drink any milk at all whilst separated from mum and drink lots and lots at night. In that case you'd not have to have a lot of expressed milk stored.

Feeltrapped Sun 21-Jun-09 17:45:28

Thank you all so much for your help and support .

Its actually such a relief just that you believe me that the milk is there its just a problem expressing - several lovely RL friends just don't seem to be able to accept this is the problem and keep giving me advice on increasing my milk supply!

Your suggestions all make sense and I have already started giving them a go. I decided to get up after DS's 5am feed and have a go then on the other side - I managed to get about 2oz which is a big improvement on recent attempts. I also tried again to express at the same time as feeding - not hugely comfortable but got another couple of ounces

Thank you all so much, especially PacificDogwood for the link etc - will check that book out. Have taken all your other suggestions on board and will try them all. Think I just got myself completely stressed out last night - I just find the whole expressing thing so frustrating, especially as DS feeds so well.


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