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Q&A: Solving pumping problems?

I’m having a hard time pumping -- how do I get the milk to come out? What’s the best time for me to do it?

Re: I’m having a hard time pumping -- how do I get the milk to come out? What’s the best time for me to do it?

The Bump Expert

The best time to pump your breasts is early in the morning. This is because a breastfeeding mother’s milk supply peaks between 1 and 5 a.m. Breastfeed baby in the morning and then wait approximately 30 to 45 minutes before you begin pumping. It’s normal not to express large amounts of milk after a feeding session. By pumping your breasts at the same time each day you’re creating a routine for your breasts and, within a few days, your milk supply will increase.

It may take a few minutes of no milk coming out before your milk finally releases. If nothing is happening after a few minutes, you can turn the suction dial up an increment higher -- give yourself a full few minutes at the higher suction before turning it higher again. You can also try turning the pump off and repositioning your breast. Remember to make sure the breast shield on the pump is the correct size -- if your nipple rubs against the funnel of the shield, you may need to go up one size.

Pump both breasts for approximately 7 minutes, then turn the pump off, and massage your breasts for a minute or so (massage from the armpit down toward the nipple). This basically allows the breasts to reset. Continue pumping again another 5 minutes until the flow of milk has decreased.

Carole Arsenault

re: Q: Pumping problems?

I struggled with learning to pump. I bought the Avent and it came with an 800 phone number for assistance. When I called, they were really nice and talked me through things.The one tip that comletely helped was trying to get the milk flowing. She said to make short quick pumps for the first couple of minutes. This process would impersonate the baby anxiously trying to get milk. She said that after a baby realizes that milk is already flowing, they instinctively slow down the suckling and do slow, long sucks for drinking (to fill their mouth), pretty much the same rate as how adults drink liquids out of a glass. I couldn't believe this step in the instruction process because it sounded silly to me as a first-time mom.I had nothing else to try. Sure enough, it worked. When I started my next pump session after that phone call, I started out in manual mode to control the quick, short/gentle pumps for about 2-3 minutes. Next thing I knew, milk started flowing. And then I did slow, long manual pumps and then set the pump machine on autopump. I was so shocked to have gotten 3 ounces!!!...way more than the several drops I got before. And it didn't hurt this time around (since in the past I was doing everything painfully to get milk to flow).Good luck!

monjes |

re: Q: Pumping problems?

I too had a difficult timepumping with my first child. I found it helpful to pump one breast while nursing on the other. Nursing helped to get milk flowing from both breasts. Then I would switch during the next feeding.

Nakiaa21 |

Q&A: Solving pumping problems?

Nakiaa21's suggestion is quite helpful! As silly as it sounds, i never thought about pumping one breast while nursing on the other! It elimintaes the 20 minute pumping sessions after the 30 minute nursing sessions. Now that i am expecting my 2nd child, i will definately give it a try!

Lilywildcat |