Pump Breast Milk

Here we have some tips from moms on pumping while breastfeeding. Please feel free to leave your comments below! Other mommies can also benefit from your experiences... so leave advice too, if you think you have information that will help. 

Might Take Some Work Upfront, but it’s Worth it in the End.

by Anonymous 

"I'm typically an A cup, I was a large B cup breastfeeding. The first 4-6 wks, I had to dedicate a lot of time to nursing and pumping. 

I did have to supplement a little, but aimed for an ounce or less a day - and I did so with a friend’s breastmilk. I tried not to use bottles when supplementing, and I didn't use pacifiers at all.

My first few weeks, I was pumping every 30min to 2hrs during the day, even had a 3-4hr spurt in the evening of constant nursing - with short 15minute breaks. 

I did a lot of visualizations of milk flowing out of my breasts during those breaks, and I'd also use gravity, lean forward and shake my breasts around to get the milk flowing towards the nipples. I did massage too. 

I drank lots of fluids, especially during this 3-4hr spurt. And I made sure to have snacks around the clock. 

There were times I had to pump 8 times a day on top of my constant nursing. I had a hands free pumping bra. I would pump while driving while eating, whenever I could fit it in, but the best time is after nursing. I had my mom make lactation cookies - Google Noel Trujillo's recipe - it’s yummy!

I also put myself on bed rest for a few days and did nothing but skin time, nursing, sleeping, eating, and hydrating, etc.

I am happy to say that my hard work did pay off. I was able to stop most of my supplementing by 4wks and none after 6wks. My nursing/pumping frequency did decrease, but I still nursed on demand and pumped at work, and pumped prior to going back to work just to get a little stash - though I was never able to make a decent stash and eventually when I went back to work, was pumping for the next day. But all is well I nursed her for 21 months.

My first I pumped exclusively I had a bad start though I only needed to demand my boobs every 3hrs, and also supplemented with him. 

He didn't go for the boob very well. So, our nursing relationship ended, and I pumped exclusively by 5wks. I tried many supplements including Domperidone with little help. I didn't have thyroid issues, as that can be an issue with low supply. Pumping was exhausting, and my baby definitely got more milk out with nursing.

Anyhow, I think I had an extreme case, most people have it much easier - however even in an extreme case with lots of dedication and help up front during the first month you can successfully breastfeed. Just know you might have to demand your boobs more frequently than the 'typical recommended 3hr feedings' and as frequently as 30 minutes at times." 

Making Milk

by Mimi Pendlebury, IBCLC (Calgary,Alberta,Canada) 

"Sharing tips about making milk. It may surprise you to know that the human breast is never empty & is always making milk. While it can be tempting to imagine the breast as a glass of liquid. And imagining it full time to pump and then empty after a pumping session. We do know from abundant research that the breast is continually making milk. 

Even in a given pumping session, a new let-down can be stimulated by breaking the flange latch and then re-latching, cueing the breast glands/nerves for a fresh let-down.

Wow, I am encouraged by each of you who have already posted on this site! You are doing such a great job supplying species-specific, human milk for your human baby(s). Good job Mommy(s)!

I am sure you probably already know, the very basics of making more milk are supply & demand. The more stimulation your breasts receive by suckling, expression, pumping, the more milk you will make. So then the opposite is true. Less demand, less milk supply. But you probably already know that...so just sharing this with you as a reminder to be encouraged!

There is a lot of talk today about medications that are thought to make more milk. But what experience is showing is that when a mother takes those medications but does not remove her milk more often her body does not receive the 'signals' to make more milk. I have found, often times those moms are disappointed with the meds for not working. The key is really increasing those signals within the woman’s body to produce the right body response. 

Aside from medications, some mothers have found herbs to be helpful in stimulating more supply. Blessed Thistle and Fenugreek. Some moms have found just one of the herbs works well for them and others have seen no change until they consumed both the herbs together. The herbs seem to offer varied success for different mothers, whether they are taken singly or together and depending on how much of a dose they consume. Experience indicates that it takes 24-72 hours to see an increase in milk supply once the herbs are started in the right dose. 

Fenugreek is listed as generally recognized as a safe herbal (Hale pp.277-279). Mothers report that when they take fenugreek, they perspire more profusely and their sweat and urine smell like maple syrup. A few mothers have developed diarrhea (until they either cut down or stopped the fenugreek), and a few mothers with asthma have reported an aggravation of their symptoms. Only 2 cases of fenugreek allergy have been reported. Caution is recommended for mothers with diabetes since fenugreek lowers blood sugar.

Another resource you may find a few tidbits to help you along your journey is Diana West's website www.lowmilksupply.org. On there she has a listing of herbs which many mothers have found success with trying & using. She's got lots of great ideas for maximizing output during pumping/expressing sessions. Diana is the author, who herself, had breast reduction surgery and then decided she wanted to breastfeed her children. It's turned into a fantastic opportunity for her to share her experience and help other mothers who want to make & express as much milk as possible. Oh yes, and it was Diana's research that showed that moms can breastfeed their babe's, then pump and then hand express on average 50ml. Wow! How encouraging! Or you may like to learn from her book: Making More Milk.

Oh and I just thought of one more thing to share. Recently I came across another provider that Diana West mentions in her book called. https://www.motherlove.com/

Anyway, that is a few ideas that you may find helpful. Bravo! To each of you :D
Mimi Pendlebury, IBCLC
Serving Calgary, Alberta, Canada & the surrounding areas." 

Leave an anonymous comment

Your comment...

Join us facebook breastfeeding page

End of pump breast milk page