C.N. asks from North Tonawanda, NY on September 20, 2010
Help! Breast Pump Trouble!
So here I am at work on a Monday AM starting to pump and...WTH...milk starts getting sucked into the tubing. I stopped pumping and saw that its in Both tubes. Now what do I do? My issue is that I can't pump or go home to my LO and have to work for the next 2 days... I've left a message for a lactation consultant that helped me once before but i'm not sure if she'll call back today. Has anyone else had this happen? I have a 3 yr-old Medela Pump In Style. I used it with my son for about a year and never had any issues with it before.
Also: Will this affect my milk supply to go without pumping ALL day? I'm trying not to panic but I've almost exhausted my frozen milk supply and have been drinking Mothers Milk tea to help up my production and now this happens! I only was able to pump 4 oz. over the weekend... UGH!
So What Happened?™
Thanks everyone! Perhaps I leaned too far forward at one point without realising it. Strange as this has never happened when I pumped at home... Anyway I rinsed out the tubing and set my pump up highter (before it was under my desk on the floor (which is why I think it must've been from my leaning too far forward making adjustments...) and it worked. There seems to be less suction on the left side but otherwise alright. I felt much better and was able to get 8.5 oz. between both pumping sessions. I 'm letting myself get frustrated and upset over how long it takes for so little and feeling self-conscious about pumping at work in general. I do have pictures of my daughter to look at and I play some music softly when I pump to try and relax. It's been a month since I returned to work so hopefully I will relax about this. Thanks again for everyone's help! I really needed some feedback and greatly appreciated it!
W.P. answers from New York on September 21, 2010
Call medela and explain to them the problem and they will tell you how to fix it. You can easily get the # on line. The same thing happened to me with my single pump. The problem for me was I was not separating the little white thing from the little yellow thing when washing. Haven't had a problem since.
There are instruction on how to clean out the tubing in the manual.
J.K. answers from Atlanta on September 20, 2010
I had the same, and some milk would get into tubing when I leaned over too far and suction went wonky. Try again with different angles and double-check the seals on both tubing into back and your "flapper" white piece is working OK?
Yes, self-express each hour today if none of that works and look at CraigsList for a viable replacement -- LOTS of moms now selling there for cheap.
Don't Panic, Deep Breaths, and Good luck:)
1 mom found this helpful
M.M. answers from Minneapolis on September 20, 2010
Usually with a Medela this occurs when a lady has leaned over to far forward when pumping or when you have "Leaky Membranes". It is advised not to wash tubing. Actually it can cause a bigger problem if you do. I would just take the tubing, bells, membranes, valves all apart. Rinse them and then shake the tubing and put it back together again. If you run your pump with the tubing connected and not the other parts, the air can help blow the tubing. I would then let the parts dry and try pumping again. You may need a replacement kit and then the pump should be fine. Try the above steps and let me know. As far as your milk supply, one day will not effect it besides making you uncomfortable, but 3 will!. With your milk supply issue, increase your calories (actually that is what the tea does, makes you hungry), increase your WATER intake (a min. of 8-10 8oz glasses a day) and when pumping coveryorself with a blanket and do not watch the pump. Pump for 20 minutes. Try to get 2 pumpings in when you are at work. Try to feed baby right before leaving for work and greet baby with mommy upon arrival. You should see a difference. Good Luck!
1 mom found this helpful
C.O. answers from New York on September 21, 2010
It sounds like you might need some new tubing or equipment. I just finished using my Medela Freestyle and I had to replace the cups after about 11 months of daily use. On my Medela Pump in Style that I used with my oldest style I always had to replace the valves and I think I had to get a new piece too. If you have never replaced the parts you might not be getting the suction that you need.
H.L. answers from New York on September 21, 2010
Call medela and ask them what to do sometimes they can overnight the piece to you.
R.Y. answers from New York on September 21, 2010
I used an older one of this same pump with mine. You can get most all the extra parts at Babies R Us if you need new membranes. that was usually the problem when mine was not working correctly. the other common problems were the breast not sealed to the flange so air leaked in and there was no suction and the connection between the tubing and pump motor sometimes got loose and effected the suction. Most of the time going through and checking every connection and the membranes fixed the problems for me. Also I pumped exclusively for months and my babies were never exclusively breast fed...but even one feeding per day of breastmilk seemed to help their immunities. If you have to give the occasional bottle of formula it is not the end of the world.
J.P. answers from Boise on September 20, 2010
Medela's number is 800-435-8316. Not sure why this happened, but here is what you are supposed to do with the pump (have my manual in front of me at work.)
turn off and unplug
wash tubing in soapy water, rinse in cold water
shake out droplets and hang to dry (you can also plug it in and use the pump to dry it - faster.
If you have gotten it into the machine, and not just the tubing, let me know and I can get you the instructions for that too.
Unless it has overflown to cause this, I would call medela to have them help troubleshoot the initial cause.
Don't go without pumping - if for no other reason, it will hurt. Also, if you are worried about supply, try fenugreek. It is more concentrated than the tea.
S.Y. answers from New York on September 20, 2010
Hi, that's frustrating!! Not sure how to help with the pump but can help with the boob! To avoid clogging a milk duct and to maintain your supply, I'd head over to the restroom and express as much milk by hand as you can. Once the pump is back in order, I'd continue pumping. If you want to bring your supply up, pump an extra couple of minutes during each session. My milk went up and down regularly during the 14 months I nursed my son and each time it went down I was able to bring it up by pumping for a few extra minutes each time. Good luck!!!!
L.B. answers from New York on September 21, 2010
Regarding the pump, if you ever have issues like this, I recommend calling Medela. They have wonderful customer service and would send you new membranes if that's the problem. It's not recommended to wash the tubing, but I know some people do; I believe Medela has instructions on how to do it if you to choose to do so.
Regarding your supply, one day of not pumping would probably not affect your supply much, though you would DEFINITELY need to hand-express some milk if you go a whole day without nursing just for your comfort. If supply is an issue for you, in addition to Mother's Milk tea, I definitely recommend eating a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal every day. Other ways to increase supply include beer (or take brewer's yeast -- you can find it in health food stores or Whole Foods), drinking LOTS of water and taking fenugreek.