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Breast Feeding

Pumping problems

06/20/2006

Question:

I had my son about two months ago. He had jaundice so the first couple of days were rough. I would try to pump but only pumped out a few drops they would give him that little bit and then give him some formula while he was in scu. Once we got home I only breastfed and there has not been a problem with him latching and drinking. My problem is I have been trying to pump since day one and I need to store enough especially when I go back to work. I find it very discouraging because I can only seem to pump the most 2oz everytime. After pumping straight for almost two weeks I seem to have saved enough for two work days. I have been pumping right after a feeding and in between. I dont know if my body is just not producing enough milk when I am trying to pump. When the baby drinks directly from the breast it comes out perfect he eats and is satisfied. Is this normal to only pump 1-2oz???

Answer:

Pumping is often times a very frustrating experience! A mechanical pump is not nearly as effective as your son is at emptying the breast. So it is not unusual to get small amounts of milk. Your body has responded to the amount of milk that your son need, and makes just that amount.

In order to pump and save for work, you will need to work hard. (which you are already doing!) Many times your milk supply is greatest in the morning, so try to pump in the morning. Pumping one or tow hours after a feeding. You could also try pumping at the same time the baby is nursing at the breast. That way the baby would empty one breast and you would be able to save the milk from the other breast.

Some ways to decrease the amount of stored milk needed is to nurse the baby at childcare site just before leaving and immediately on arriving at the end of the day. You could also go to nurse at noon time.

Since returning to work is stressful, and very tiring, if at all possible try to start work on a Wednesday, or Thursday. That will give you time to recover your strength, and plan some new strategies.

Good luck!

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Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati