Pumpers unite!

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Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by Kunzite » January 30th, 2011, 6:47 pm
Written by Lanie » January 30th, 2011, 6:28 pm:You could also power pump in the beginning. I don't know exactly what it is (someone chime in!) but it's something along the lines of pumping for 10 min every hour for awhile. Or something like that....??? Anyway, it helps supply.

Power pumping is when you pump for 10 minutes, rest for 10 minutes, repeat for one hour.
Observation: I can't see a thing
Conclusion: Dinosaurs
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by Logan Sapphire » January 30th, 2011, 8:03 pm
Written by Miscka » January 29th, 2011, 4:56 pm:Guys can I ask some newbie qs? I have really enjoyed following this thread, since, again, I am going back to work at about 6 weeks and so am going to try my darndest to be a good pumper.

DH and I got in a long and blind-leading-blind convo today ab storage. I know this is probably stupid but how the heck does this work?? Like do I pump into bags or bottles? Bags seem like they would be hard to store? Then I when I want to use it, I thaw? And pour into bottle? I have a medela freestyle, do I need some kind of adapter?

Also a sort of related-but-not question, how do you clean your bottles? Do you hand wash? dishwasher? one of those sterilizers?

Sorry to interrupt the convo, I just have no idea how to find out this stuff! I looked around Kellymom but didnt really find what I was looking for, esp about the actual process of storing.

Here is my system for storage:

For my 4.30am pump, I use a hospital-rented Ameda Elite and pump into Medela bottles. DS only likes Dr. Brown nipples so I combine the 2 Medela bottles into one Dr. Brown's bottle. Before when I would get 12-14oz at my morning pump, I'd have to use 2 Dr. Brown's bottles. DS either eats this bottle when he gets up, or if he refuses it, it goes to daycare so they have a freshly pumped bottle to try with him. For my 3pm pump, I use my Freestyle and cap the bottles, storing them in the little cooler bag with the freezer pack. That is then transferred into another Dr. Brown's bottle at home for either his bedtime bottle or for the next day. Medela has those storage bags you can pump directly into but they're not compatible for the Freestyle. I've actually managed to jury-rig it to the pump, but it's a precarious situation all around and I wouldn't feel comfy doing that on a regular basis.

When I was pumping more and getting more, at night, I would make all his bottles for daycare the next day, then freeze what was leftover from that day's pumping sessions. I use the Lansinoh bags and lay them flat to freeze. The next night, I'd transfer them to the our deep freezers and store them in gallon ziplock bags with the month written on the outside. It's probably not the best method of storage, but oh well. People really like the gift bag storage tip, which apparently makes it a lot easier to store according to dates: http://greenlitebites.com/BreastMilk/.. Personally, when I was freezing up to 20oz a day, this wasn't the easiest way so I don't use it.

I used to handwash all the bottles, but with Dr. Brown's, that's a lot of parts, as well as two different pump parts as well. So now I put a drop or two of liquid detergent in the bottles, shake and drain them, and then put in the top rack of the dishwasher. I also put some of the bottle parts in the dishwasher too, but handwash nipples and the stem parts of the bottles. I use the Medela sterilizer bags for the pump parts and nipples each night...as I figure the nipples have been sitting out at daycare all day and could stand to be sterilized.

I also keep a set of my Freestyle spare parts at work, as well as extra bottles and a hand pump. I've forgotten pump parts once, and it was super helpful to have the spare parts at work b/c I have an hour commute to work and can't exactly turn around and go back home easily. And, having just lost power for 24 hours, I was grateful to have brought my Freestyle home from work, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to use my hospital one. I think a hand pump is a great backup plan.
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by AllieLuv83 » January 30th, 2011, 8:15 pm
Written by Loves Vintage » January 30th, 2011, 4:38 pm:Thanks everyone for your supportive comments/feedback! Exactly what I needed to hear. Guess I will be getting up around 4 this morning. I think part of the reason why it's been so easy for me to stay in bed, when I *know* I should get up to pump, is that I've felt a little "beaten up" since her birth, and I felt like I needed to recover too. There were times that I really felt so much pain even to go pick her up out of the co-sleeper. Maybe that's normal, but I am feeling a lot stronger each day, and today's been the best day yet.

Cara - I am more or less exclusively pumping at this point due to a latching issue. S will sometimes latch appropriately, but always slips down to nipple only. Feeding was extremely painful at the hospital -- nurses saw what started as a good latch, then left me with her to feed, and she would for sometimes 40 mins at a time on one side. It felt really awful, but one of the nurses said that I just needed to get used to it, and that I'd toughen up. It wasn't until the lactation consultant at the hospital saw what was happening that she told me to STOP! Now, I am seeing a private lc. She advises to pump, pump, pump and try bf'g so long as we are both comfortable. I am not very comfortable, because she continues to slip. I have another appointment this week. The lc said something like we may need to wait until her latch matures. I am not exactly sure what that means, but it will be my primary question at my next appointment. The lc at the hospital thought her latching issue might have been due to the long birth, perhaps resulting in soreness in her jaw.

LV have you tried to unlatch and relatch when this happens? Charlie had a very SHALLOW latch around week 2-3. I would constantly be unlatching, squeezing my nipple and trying to relatch. Eventually, his latch improved and my nipples got tougher.
<3 We got the Gold! <3
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by drk » January 30th, 2011, 9:07 pm
Freestyle spare parts kits are different from the PIS one. I bought mine via Amazon. I have 4 sets, but 2 would have been enough. I put mine in a ziploc bag in the fridge at work, and keep them in the fridge at home, and so only have to wash up once a day. Never had a problem.

LV - I think I was told to pump evey 2-3h during the day and no less than every 4h at night at the beginning. The more you pump, te more will come in. You should keep up the brutal schedule for a good 12 weeks to establish your supply. I ended up on fenugreek, blessed thistle, and domperidone to help mine.

5 days left till I start cutting back on the pumping!!!
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by icekid » January 31st, 2011, 1:24 pm
Well, I decided not to post an update until my official two months was up- and my little man has his monthday yesterday.

The candida infection is not gone, I do not believe, but it is much better and tolerable for now. My nipples are still super pink and inflamed looking, but the stabbing pain is gone. So we soldier on! I am just not ready to give up yet. My only concern at the moment is getting ready to go back to work in three weeks. I need to have some milk stashed before that happens, but still cannot freeze since it is not eradicated. I may send another email to Jack Newman and see if he has any suggestions, though he was rather less than helpful last time. Hmm.

OH, and I have added another fun step to my regimen! Salt water soaks, because the yeast caused some horrific ulcerations and fissures in my nipples. I have FOUR one cm long fissures at the base of the nipple where it meets the areola. Let me tell you, sticking your boob in a cup of salt water is not a good look and only serves as fodder for a husband who likes a good laugh :cheeky:
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by Loves Vintage » February 1st, 2011, 8:13 am
Allie, Yes, that is essentially what the LC instructed. I wonder though, when will her latch improve? It is helpful to know that you've been through the same thing, and it's all worked out for you.

DRK, Thanks for chiming in! Congrats on reaching your goal!

Icekid, I feel for you. I can't imagine how bad it is. I feel bad complaining when my pain must be minimal compared to yours. I admire your perseverance.


I'd like to thank everyone for their encouragement. I have started to try feeding directly again, and it's been going ok. It's still hard to get the latch just right. I've been pumping more too, and already see a bit of an improvement in supply, so off to pump again!
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by puppmom » February 1st, 2011, 8:35 am
Icekid, what a visual! I've seen my body go through lots of *interesting* things since nursing but dipping the girls in salt water? Sheesh! I think you owe yourself a little something in the form of jewelry! :bigsmile:

LV, it sounds like your issues were/are particularly painful. I had some latch pain early on but I think it was more along the lines of normal. With that said, I think it’s normal for it take a while to get a *comfortable* latch. I would say I thought about quitting on and off for the first 6-8 weeks due to frustration and/or pain. Hang in there!
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by AllieLuv83 » February 1st, 2011, 1:16 pm
LV-I would say his latch was shallow and odd from about 2-4 weeks maybe a bit longer. It was only shallow when he would latch onto my left breast, the right was fine. I have no clue why all of the sudden it changed but I have to say that it did hurt, my nipples turned very pink, and sore (though knock on wood, no cracks or bleeding). I think they were both sore because I would prefer to nurse him on the right since it was easier, but I soon figured out that I could not just maintain him with nursing on one side so...I would latch him on the left by squeezing my nipple flat like a sandwich, I would stroke his lip up and down to get him to open up and then when I thought it was the widest I would latch him on. If it was too shallow I would unlatch and try again, sometimes this process repeated like 6-7 times in a nursing session but there is light at the end of the tunnel because as weirdly as it changed, it changed back again after a few weeks of latching and unlatching the poor guy.
ETA: I would also make sure that my nipple pointed to the roof of his mouth and that the bottom of the nipple was resting on his chin.
<3 We got the Gold! <3
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by Logan Sapphire » February 1st, 2011, 2:05 pm
LV- I'm sure your LCs checked, but are you sure your little one isn't tongue-tied? Mine is and nursing was simply not going to happen without a frenotomy, which we chose not to do.
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by drk » February 5th, 2011, 11:08 am
Last night was my first non-breastfeeding or pumping night in over 10.5 months. Sweet! The girls weren't overly distressed by going 9 hours either, when my usual absolute max is 6. Now I'm going to be down to three pumps a day and will see how that goes.
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by drk » February 18th, 2011, 8:46 am
So how's everyone doing? Icekid?

I'm down to twice a day now. Production is slowing slowly, but I still haven't had to break into the rest of my freezer stash. I'm kind of surprised how well production has been holding up. I'm also weaning off my domperidone now. I was on 4 tabs 4 times a day, then went to 3 tabs 4 times a day the last 2 days, and now I'm going to 2 tabs 4 times a day for the next couple days. I'm hoping to be done pumping before we go visit my brother in 2 weeks, but I guess it depends how quickly the supply drops. I'm still pumping 40-45min a session, so I'll probably start cutting back the time soon. I tend to be a little engorged in the evening after going almost 14 hours without pumping. Had my first ever major leaky boobs a couple nights ago when I was particularly engorged for some reason and was dumb enough to poke the one side to see how lumpy things were, and then the other side got a little squished when I picked up DD.

Hope you're all doing well!
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by Lanie » February 18th, 2011, 9:15 am
Thanks for bumping the thread drk! I love this thread!!!

drk -- did you take any ibuprofen or anything to help with the pain. Or did you have any pain at all? You are the greatest pumper I have ever "known"!

icekid -- I was wondering about you as well!

AFM: I'm getting so sick of pumping! I'm starting to nurse more bc I'm just sick of it, then I remember how my baby attacks my nipples, so I go back and forth. I still have a dairy cow supply, and I hate the feeling of engorgement. UGH. I don't know if I'll ever be able to drop pumps. I'm getting a lot of clogs lately too, so I put on a hot pad over a cloth with castor oil and that works like a charm.

Is it normal to feel this weird, "electric" feeling in your boobs after pumping/nursing? I can't explain it, but it doesn't hurt, it just feels super weird. And I never read anyone else ask about it. I always thought maybe it was thrush, but both baby and me have been checked out for it. Almost an itchy feeling. And I'm not talking about letdown either. Having this feeling all of the time, plus super sore nipples is making me want to quit!!!!
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by puppmom » February 18th, 2011, 11:01 am
Lanie, I have that tingly feeling after pumping sometimes too.

Drk, leaking? After all of those things to get your supply up you're leaking now that you're trying to wean? Not cool!

AFM- I had to visit my client yesterday. I pumped on an Amtrak train in the bathroom. That was pleasant...not! I felt like I was going to yak the whole time! I also had to pump at their office. Just when I got all set up, the fire alarm went off! :errrr: I dumped the milk since it was in the cooler for too long to keep IMO. I'm still pumping 1.5-2x what N needs so all was good. Oh, and when I was leaving the meeting to pump someone said, "Ooh! Where are you going? Can I come?"
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by drk » February 18th, 2011, 1:46 pm
I don't make enough for it to be truly uncomfortable, so no meds needed here for pain, at least not so far.

Pupp - wish I'd had your supply! I've never pumped in a bathroom stall, just in the little sitting area in the bathroom at a couple conferences I went to. When it takes me 30-40min to pump, I'd feel too guilty taking up a stall for so long. Boo for the nosy person wanting to follow you though.

Lanie - the sore nipples are a constant thing here. I don't know if mine will ever get back to normal. I've still got little blood blisters on each side, and they are just red. Yuck. And the nipples are so stretched out now that they have to fold over sideways under my bra. I wonder if they'll get smaller again at some point? I don't envy you the clogs and painful engorgement. I'd think a couple days of dealing with the pain would let your body figure out to make less. How many pumps a day are you at now?
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by Logan Sapphire » February 18th, 2011, 7:13 pm
Today is my first day dropping to one pump. The momentous occasion was supposed to happen yesterday but I ended up (maybe coincidentally) getting a clog, so I actually pumped my left boob 4 times. I'm going to keep my 4.30 pump for as long as my supply will let me, though I'm having issues deciding how much output is worth the effort. With the 2 pumps, I was getting between 5-7oz a pump, so total of 10-14oz a day. Not sure what 1 pump will bring me...

Feb. 16 was my 10 month pumping anniversary. I feel guilty and sad, but at the same time, I'm going to have stop pumping at some point. I have a big work trip to Chicago right after DS turns 1 in April and I'd like to be done with pumping by then. I have enough in the freezer to get him to one year. I need to return my hospital pump by Monday and wavered with whether I wanted to keep it and keep going at 2 pumps, but I know I'll have to stop pumping at some point and might as well be now. I've paid my dues, right??

Lanie, I guess everyone is different, but my sore nipples went away eventually. They're still not back at 100% but probably at 90%, if that gives you any hope. I did notice that my boobs have definitely gotten smaller, which is sad b/c I was enjoying being a B for once :bigsmile:
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by drk » February 19th, 2011, 1:39 pm
LS - let me know how it goes going from 2 to 1. I'm thinking I need to wait till my production goes down more before I drop to 1 pump. I'm slowly dropping the amount of time I pump and my domperidone dose to see if that'll help me make less so I can finally go to one pump a day before stopping altogether in less than 2 weeks.
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by icekid » February 19th, 2011, 2:50 pm
Thanks for asking after me, ladies. I appreciate the thoughts!

We are still hanging in there- almost three months now. Unfortunately, the infection is also still hanging in. Meh. I have given up any hope that it will go away while I am still breast feeding and the yeast has a ready supply of sugary milk for food. The one good thing is that pumping hurts a lot less than feeding from the tap.

And on that pumping note, I am going back to work on Monday ;( ;( Totally dreading it. I've been really stressed about how pumping at work will go, if I can pump enough for him. I do not have an oversupply by any stretch and feel like I make just enough to keep Jumper well-fed, so it remains to be seen if I can pump enough since the babe is obviously more efficient than the pump. Plus my job is such that my pumping times will be variable and in general, we only get two breaks during each 12ish hour workday :knockout: So to get an afternoon pump in, I'll have to ask my (usually older male) attending everyday for an extra break so I can pump. Awkward! But don't really think they can say no. So I am hopeful, but a little worried. My new goal is 6 months, I think. Halfway there already, what's another few months.......
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by drk » February 19th, 2011, 9:16 pm
Icekid - I'm still amazed that you've made it this far with the infection and the pain. Hope work goes well and you get enough breaks to keep going if you want to. What area are you in again? I can't believe I got past 11 months, given all the struggles I have had with supply and trouble with pumping at work. At least I really feel like I achieved something amazing.
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by geri » February 19th, 2011, 11:04 pm
Hi everyone

I was hoping to ask some advice from you pumping ladies. I have a 3 and half week old and I have been pumping exclusively for the last couple of days because breastfeeding was so painful (due to a combination of poor latch possibly caused by mild tongue tie and nipple vasospasm which caused nipple pain and stabbing pain through my entire breast during and after feeding). But despite pumping at each feed (including in the middle of the night), I can't seem to express a lot and am barely keeping one feed ahead at the moment. I can barely get anything from the left breast, maybe an ounce each time, and the right breast seems to be dwindling too. My breasts still feel heavy after expressing so I'm assuming there is more milk that I am just not getting but despite pumping on each side more than once, the flow seems to stop and not restart. Any tips on how to stimulate the let-down when pumping/generally increase supply? I know stress doesn't help but I am so close to supplementing with formula but I suspect once I do that, my inclination to breastfeed or pump is likely to decline and that will be the end of the breastmilk. I swore I wasn't going to buy into the mother guilt about breastfeeding/formula but I have and am quite stressed by all of it. I'm so impressed by those of you who have kept pumping despite real difficulties and would really appreciate any suggestions.

Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by AllieLuv83 » February 20th, 2011, 8:20 am
GERI- how long are you pumping for? I used to pump for 20-30 minutes in the beginning, now I can empty the breast in 15 minutes. Are you massaging your breasts while pumping sometimes this can help. Also when the milk stops flowing are you hitting the let down button to get a second letdown? It will take a few minutes but usually the milk will start to flow again. In the beginning I would pump, take a break massage my boobs (starting at the armpit and then working my way down) and then pump again. I would not get much at first, but eventually at around 6 weeks my supply shot up because I was nursing and pumping. I hope that you can get it straightened out.
<3 We got the Gold! <3
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by drk » February 20th, 2011, 10:27 am
Geri - Massaging while pumping defintely helps me get more out. I pumped about 30min each session when I was pumping every 2-3 hours. I also ended up on domperidone 40mg 4 times a day, plus fenugreek and blessed thistle about 3 caps three times a day to help my pitiful supply. I think some people say to put heat on your breasts before pumping. Distracting myself with TV or internet helped. I usually hit the letdown button once in the middle of the pump.
Though one feed ahead is all you need to be at this point, I know the stress will go down if you can get a little more stored in the fridge. You're still early on and your supply is still being established, so that can still come.
If you still feel full after pumping, some people swear by manually expressing afterwards to empty fully. http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeeding/HandExpression.html shows you how to do it. I was never very good at it, but others have had good success.

Good luck!
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by turtledazzle » February 20th, 2011, 1:29 pm
Hi Geri,

You've already been given some great advice. What pump are you using? Are you pumping double-sided or only one side at a time? If you still feel full, I wonder if your pump isn't doing a good job. A lactation consultant I know recommended only using pumps made by companies that specialize in pumps -- that pretty much means Ameda or Medela. You may also want to consider renting a hospital-grade pump if you haven't already.
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by AllieLuv83 » February 20th, 2011, 3:19 pm
Oh yes I definitely get more and let down faster when I pump both sides at once rather than one side at a time. When DS eats just one side sometimes I sit for 5 minutes waiting for the other boob to let down.
<3 We got the Gold! <3
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by Lanie » February 20th, 2011, 4:39 pm
geri -- I started pumping exclusively when A was about 2 weeks old and I didn't get a lot of milk in the beginning either. It takes awhile but it should increase. Good luck! I hate that you have to pump (assuming you would rather nurse). I was extremely sad that I had to resort to it, HATED it at first, then started not minding it, then I tried nursing more, and he nurses way better. And now I'm back to disliking it. If you want, keep trying to nurse every once in awhile to see if she gets "better" at it.

icekid -- I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. I go back March 7th, and I'm getting sadder and sadder as the days fly by. I'm in the same boat with the work situation...I have 2 breaks from classes that would work great for 2 pumping sessions IF (and that's a big IF) I don't have a meeting or have to make copies or run around the building getting things during those times. I don't know what will happen if I miss a pump...will I explode? :cheeky: I'm sure I'll just be super uncomfortable. And I'm like you, I don't want to tell someone to postpone a meeting by 20 minutes bc I have to pump.

So question for you ladies...I give Anderson 3.5 ounces every 2 to 3 hours, and I've been doing this for awhile now. How do I know when to give him more ounces and less bottles a day? Do I just gradually increase by .5 ounces and see how it goes? I give him 4 ounce bottles at night to tide him over, which has been working really well.
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by geri » February 21st, 2011, 12:43 am
Thanks everyone for your advice. I really appreciate it. I have been using a Medela swing single pump (wasn't expecting to be exclusively pumping) but hired a hospital Medela symphony double pump today. Unfortunately, the left breast just doesn't want to work so the double pump didn't make much difference - I pumped both breasts for about 20 mins and got a measly 20 mls from the left breast. I just don't get any let-down. I got about 100 mls from the right so just enough for one feed with a little leftover, although she seems to need this as a top-up in the late night feeds so there is not a lot of back-up. Because the symphony isn't hands free, I had to go back to single pumping, massaging and hand expressing at the end and only got another 20 mls. So time consuming for not a lot of output. I will try nursing her again tonight and see what happens.
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by *Lindsey* » February 21st, 2011, 8:15 am
Hi geri, I just wanted to share that your experience as far as one breast having way better output is totally common. My right breast supplies my son's entire feed (and has since he was born) while my left breast usually produces about an ounce -- sometimes more if it's been a long time since I've pumped or fed from that side. So depending on how long it's been since I've fed Andrew or pumped I'll get anywhere from 3-7 ounces from the right side! My son is 9 months and it is totally possible to feed from one side. I wouldn't give up on that one breast, keep pumping and see how it does. But I just wanted to let you know that even if it never comes around, it's no big deal. I used to freak about this! I also had a ton of other issues in the beginning, I pretty much cried every day for the first 8 weeks. After that things got much, much easier. Everyone told me that it would get better, but I had no idea how -- it did. Good luck geri, just wanted to offer support!
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by *Lindsey* » February 21st, 2011, 8:16 am
Oh, and if you'll be using the hospital double pump for a while and like hands free, this is a very popular option:

Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by Logan Sapphire » February 21st, 2011, 7:40 pm
Written by drk » February 19th, 2011, 1:39 pm:LS - let me know how it goes going from 2 to 1. I'm thinking I need to wait till my production goes down more before I drop to 1 pump. I'm slowly dropping the amount of time I pump and my domperidone dose to see if that'll help me make less so I can finally go to one pump a day before stopping altogether in less than 2 weeks.

Drk, I've successfully been on one pump now for 3 days. The first two days, I was really engorged and leaking a lot a few hours before 4.30am. But, I still didn't get that much considering I was so engorged- I think I got 6 or 7oz total each time. This morning was fine- I wasn't engorged and didn't feel particularly full; I only got 5 oz. I don't think it will be long before my supply totally tanks and I'll stop pumping completely. I had hoped to see how long I could go on one pump, but given my supply now, I think it's over soon. I returned my hospital pump today which felt odd. That pump and I have had a very intimate relationship for quite some time.

Geri, maybe your flange size is incorrect? I know that output can be affected by the proper fit of the flanges.
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by icekid » February 21st, 2011, 8:32 pm
I survived my first day pumping at work. It was kind of stressful, as I had to rush around to pump and every spare minute including lunch went to pumping. Most likely it will become a routine like everything else but it feels so time consuming right now. On the plus side, the girls gave me 18 or 19 ounces over my 12 hours which more than covered what he ate. Sigh. I hated being away from him for so long and it is only going to get worse.
Re: Pumpers unite!

Post by puppmom » February 22nd, 2011, 8:55 am
Icekid, it'll definitely get easier. Pumping was so stressful for me at first and now it's just part of my routing. I do work an office job though which probably makes a difference.

Do you always work 12 hour shifts? Are you close to home?

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