Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Talk To Me - Pumping (I Need Advice!!!)

At the moment I am exclusively pumping to feed Henry and every couple days I will actually nurse him. And while I was producing just enough milk for him with no extra, it seems like after I am done pumping my boobs are never empty and that there is more milk that I could be pumping.  The boy just started eating more and I just don’t think I can keep up with what he needs, but I am frustrated because I know more milk is in there.

Now I know that you will never be able to pump out milk as well as what your baby can nurse, but because I am working and because we are still having issues with nursing is just not an option unless he is cranky and wants it.  So I need to figure out how to get all this milk out of my boobs without his help.

I have tried heat (which helps a little, but not completely and is not convenient at work), I have tried pumping twice as long and/or pumping more frequently (which is hard to do all the evenings I am home alone with Henry), I have tried compressions, I have tried speeding up and slowing down the cycles and yet I still feel like there is milk in there!

I am not sure if it is my pump as I got the pump from a friend (get your panties out of a bind; I bought all new parts for it) and it is the Ameda Purely Yours pump.  Not sure if the pump is just worn down and therefore not pumping efficiently…it is ridiculously loud and makes strange noises but the suctions seems good.

Is it my settings?  What settings do you keep yours on if you are double pumping?  I have the suction fairly high because I double pump and the cycles just under halfway. (If that makes sense)  I don’t mess with the cylces once I start pumping so that is why I keep it at a medium pace.

I will let the pump do its thang, would have squeezed my boobs while pumping and will not get a drop of milk for 5 minutes and then I take the pump off and manually express milk, you know like you would do to Old Bessy, and I get milk. Uh, ?????

I have been trying to increase my supply, but it doesn’t matter much when I can’t get all the milk out anyways.  I just ALWAYS feel full…but not hard full where I am leaking or like I do in the morning, just heavy.   

And on top of that I may have a clogged milk duct.  I am not sure if it is a cyst that is causing the clog (I have had a cyst in the same boob before and it feels very similar) or if it is just a badly clogged duct that even if I massage and add heat to won’t come out.  When I nurse my boobs feel great and the clog/cyst does go down to a marble size, but typically it pretty huge.

So, to all those moms who also pump….please give me some suggestions! 

Is there something I can do to help?  Do I need a new pump? (which I would like to avoid is possible because I am only pumping a few more months) Should a readjust my settings?  Is there a better technique I just don’t know of?!?!  Is my supply just really that low and that is why I am not get more milk out?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated by me, Henry and my boobies.


  1. We need to get Nadja over here. She is the pumping QUEEN.

    I don't think you're doing anything wrong.


    Here's what I would suggest, and it might sound nutty.

    RELAX first and foremost. I know that whenever I would start worrying about my supply and wigging out about it, I would not be able to relax enough to get the milk out. Attempt to relax and think about Henry.

    Next, crank up your pump if you can stand it. I keep mine on the highest setting. No, not overwhelmingly comfortable, but hey - what are you going to do?

    Do you feel like you need to make MORE milk? I know that even when my uptop is empty, it still feels "heavy". But if you're still full after pumping, you need to turn the suction up.

    Let's email about this, if you so desire.

  2. Kylee, I have a VERY hard time relaxing when I pump. It is uncomfortable to begin with but if I am at work I am worried someone will see me out the window or I wonder if I locked the door. When I am at home I am usually trying to pump when I am alone with Henry and he isn't always pleasant in the evenings :(

    I will turn up the suction...and the cycle too?

    I do feel like I need to make more milk. Maybe it is a supply thing instead of a pumping thing...not sure. I just know they feel different when I nurse compared to when I pump.

    I will email you, and probably Nadja as well if that is cool!

  3. um, i want to be in on this email train. i found that i did best when i could a- relax. (impossible, i know) b- do compressions, for example if you're using a handfree holder you can kind of self express AND pump at the same time. big help. c- i kept my pump turned up way high, but i also tried to work up a second let down at the end. it's not foolproof but worth it.

  4. I doubt you need a new pump. I used a hand-me-down Purely Yours for 3 or 4 years.

    Definitely turn up the setting. I had it as high as it would go.

    Massage and squeeze the whole time you're pumping and try to do it until nothing comes out.

    A LOT of times I would finish it off with an Avent manual pump. It applied pressure and suction in different places and I could move it around. This is helpful in getting more out AND getting rid of clogged ducts. They aren't expensive at ALL. I bought a brand new sealed one off of eBay.

    As far as clogged ducts go: NO UNDERWIRE! Underwire is EVIL in creating clogged ducts. It took me a long time to figure out the connection, but I NEVER get them anymore.

    More questions, PLEASE email me. I know pumping.