Ask Judy: Is It Me Or My Pump?

Dear Judy, I am having trouble getting a let down with my pump. Even when I am all alone. Is it me or could it be my pump?

Lots of mothers have difficulty responding to a breastpump vs. nursing their baby. If you have normally been able to pump efficiently in the past, and are experiencing difficulties now, then it is most likely a problem with your pump. The first thing you should do is to make sure you are getting a good suction with your pump. Make sure there isn’t any condensation in your tubing and make sure your parts are in good working order. Most breastpump manufacturers recommend replacing your breastpump parts (tubing, diaphrams, valves, connectors) every 3 months. Just like you change your oil on your car on a regular basis, you also need to change the parts on your pump for optimal performance.

I remember one time not getting a good let down with my pump and it turned out that my tubing was loose on one side, so I wasn’t getting a good enough suction to stimulate my letdown. Once I figured out the problem and replaced the tubing, everything worked great!

Take a look around at your situation as well. Has anything changed? Are you undergoing more stress than is typical? Are you in a different environment? All of these things can effect your milk output.

If you have replaced all of your parts and evaluated your environment and you are still having difficulties, then it is time to call the manufacturer of your pump and see if they have any trouble shooting exercises to walk you through. There may be something wrong that requires more than just replacing spare parts.

Did you ever have a problem with your pump? How did you solve it? Do you have any tips for a mom who is having difficulties letting down with her pump? Please leave a comment to share your advice.

4 comments to Ask Judy: Is It Me Or My Pump?

  • …And, just to say it for the record, sometimes it is “you.”

    I’ve never been able to pump more than a dribble, although I am now nursing my third child into toddlerhood.
    .-= Tiffany (As For My House)´s last blog ..Come Join the Carnival! =-.

  • What do you think of Ameda’s Flexishield Areola Stimulator that is supposed to stimulate a let-down? I’ve been curious about that product for a while now, and I’ve seen a few other brands advertise a similar concept.

    I had a similar experience pumping. I was at a conference 3,000 miles from home with my breast pump. I hadn’t brought spare parts. It took 10 minutes to get a let-down and I only got 1 ounce. It took me a long time to figure it out, since everything was connected and assembled properly. It turned out the white membrane (on the Medela pump) had a tiny tear in it that was only visible when I tugged on it. Fortunately my baby was staying with my mom at the hotel near the conference center, so I just took extra-long breaks each day to walk back during my breaks to breastfeed him! Now I always bring spare parts when I travel!
    .-= christina´s last blog ..Breastfeeding, blogging, and balance =-.

  • I have read that the average woman only pumps 2-3 ounces when she pumps. Ever. Even when she is able to sustain her baby with more than that. I really think that some women have much better experiences with pumping than others. I have never been able to pump more than 2 ounces myself. That might not be helpful but I feel your pain. It is definitely a difficult road.
    .-= Tricia (Once A Month Mom)´s last blog ..Garlic Pork Roast =-.

  • Make sure you own a high quality pump and get instructions with a full demonstration (on you) from a lactation consultant or a working, breastfeeding mom you know who you feel very, very comfortable around. Suction, fit, posture, and practice all come into play. Only a little milk will dribble out based on the machine’s pull. Remember, the machine does not pull the milk out, the machine stimulates you brain to tell your breast to spray the milk out. Only then, 3-5 minutes after you started (8-10 min. sometimes) will you feel the tingle/burn of let down and the majority of the milk you’ll pump in that session all comes out in 1-2 minutes. Don’t expect more than 2-3 oz total every 3-4 hrs. Good luck! I will probably add a few more things and make this into a post. Hope it helps.
    .-= Heather King´s last blog ..How To Become A Public Nursing Ninja =-.

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge