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Pump no longer effective?? breasts engorged

(7 Posts)
FluffMacDuff Tue 13-Oct-09 11:57:20

DD is 18 weeks old and have been mixed feeding her successfully for 4 weeks. Formula twice a day and expressing the rest of the time, 3-4 times a day, using a Medela Swing pump. The pump worked brilliantly and I was getting off 100-150ml each side.

Problem is yesterday I started pumping as usual but only got around 50ml total (ie both sides). Tried again a few hours later and got 20ml. It seems to me that the pump isn't working as well, it isn't 'sucking' the nipple as powerfully even when it is on maximum, although it still sounds the same (loud). Has anyone else had the same experience? Pump is connected to mains so not a battery issue.

To start with I was worried my supplied had suddenly dried up but now am convinced it's in there are they are now hard in places. Have tried hand expressing but not sure of how to do it properly.

Grateful for any advice!

thenameiwantedwastaken Tue 13-Oct-09 12:53:10

Oh no! You must be in pain, sorry to hear pump isn't working!

Did you steam-sterilise the part that goes on your boob? I have the same pump and steamed the boob sucking part before reading on the instructions that this would damage it. Now it doesn't feel quite the same but I do still manage to get suction! Also, just check for air leaks anywhere else - any cracks/kinks in the tube going from bottle to sucking machine bit?

If you're engorged it doesn't sound like it's your boobs! So I'd say return machine to where you bought it. Are there any friends whose pumps you could borrow in this emergency? Or could you use one at your local hospital through their bf support people?

JustAnotherManicMummy Tue 13-Oct-09 13:01:55

I had a medala swing I used once a day in the early days. And for the first few weeks DH got the pump ready and brought it to me.

The first time I assembled it myself I was in tears because it wasn't working. I had left the little component that goes in the pump in the steriliser.

It's not something as simple as that?

Or have you been doing extra feeding? DS had a massive growth spurt at about the same age and lived on the boob. I did notice I got less off the pump then.

FluffMacDuff Tue 13-Oct-09 18:40:14

THANKS for the suggestions.

DD won't feed from the breast now without a struggle, even with nipple shields, which is why I have been expressing so much so that she does still get some breast milk....

There is plenty in there now so it has to be a problem with the equpiment. Having scrutinised everything the pump is definitely put together right, but I did steam sterilise the boob bit. Oh dear, didn't realise that was a no-no, as I have done it every day now for ages! It is now does look puckered so maybe that's why there is no suction now. hmm.

Have bought a cheap hand pump but it's a pita / no substitute really so I am hoping to beg or borrow another swing pump this week...

Hangingbellyofbabylon Tue 13-Oct-09 18:54:35

hi fluff, have you checked the little white 'membrane' bit, hard to describe, like a little white flappy bit. If this has even a minute tear in it the pump loses suction. There's a thread here with some other ideas too. I really feel for you as I had this for my first baby who I was exclusively pumping for and you can get very uncomfortable very quickly. I am now doing the same with my 6 week old dd3, trying to get her back on the breast but not much hope. Luckily doing well with expressing so far and managing to get more than she is drinking. I know how hard it is and it sounds like you're doing a brilliant job, I hope you get the pump sorted out quickly.

JustAnotherManicMummy Tue 13-Oct-09 20:22:24

Yes it was the membraney bit I forgot to put in... couldn't think before.

You can get replacement pump parts. I sterilised the boob funnel bit and it puckered and eventually wore a hole in it. It still worked ok though until the tear.

Have you tried it again since you got the hand-pump?

As an aside, have you tried lying down to feed with difficult to latch on baby? We have to feed like that when DS is over-tired or he'll scream blue murder and refuse to latch.

Anyhoo, hope you get it sorted out smile

StillinMyPJs Sat 17-Oct-09 08:39:43

How's it going FluffMacDuff?
Well done for expressing all this time!
I had the same problem with my Medela Swing and spent a whole weekend worried sick about my milk supply disappearing. I had sterilised the breast shield too. I went out and bought a Medela hand pump just for the breast shield as they are interchangeable (I was desperate!)This made no difference and I finally noticed that the end of the tubing was not plugged in fully. Sleep deprivation, I suppose!

Anyway, now you have a hand pump too, it is possible to pump both sides at the same time. I always got so much more that way!

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