Does the Pump Make a Difference?

Updated on March 03, 2008
E.G. asks from Montgomery Center, VT
6 answers

I'm currently using an evenflo dual electric pump. I'm wondering if the pump makes that much of a difference in how much milk you get. I usually get around 3 oz b/t both sides. I am looking for a job and nervous that when I go to work I wont be able to pump enough. I'm thinking I need to have at least 2-3 4oz bottles if I'm going to be away from my daughter for 8 hours. She's currently eating like a little piggy about every hour. She's just about 7 weeks old, so I'm hoping this is just a growth spurt..she's been a little cranky as well. So I'm wondering if I get one of those more expensive pumps if I would get more milk, more quickly. I recieve WIC and I think I can get one from them if I am returning to work.

Any other advice on how to keep up with pumping while away is helpful. I would really prefer to not have to supplement with formula, but if I have to then I guess I have to

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answers from New London on

I do not have experience with that kind of pump. I know that Madela pumps are very efficient. For a 7 week old, pumping 3 ounces at a session is fantastic! Do not be discouraged! Eating oatmeal increases milk supply. Relax before a pump session. Allow your body a few days of frequent feeding and pumping to be able to increase volume. If your little one is going through a growth spurt (7 weeks is on target for the first major growth spurt)be happy with any amount you pump during this time.

Many moms have found that pumping first thing in the morning is the best time to get the most milk. Have the pump all set up and ready the night before. Pump in the dark for 10-15 minutes and do not look at your bottles. Have a blanket with your babies scent near to your face. YOu could also try pumping on one side while nursing the other. Some women have letdown on the opposite side with a half an ounce to an ounce!

First and foremost- the amount that you pump is not a guage of the amount your baby takes in at a nursing session! The average baby is more efficient at emptying the breast than any pump. Relax and visualize gallons of milk pouring out while you pump. Whatever you do- keep a positive outlook.

Papoose bebe in Norwich is a wonderful resource for pumps and breastfeeding support. Give them a call or schedule a lactation appointment. Best of luck!!!- Don't forget the oatmeal!!!!!



answers from Denver on

Hi E.,
I actually switched from an electric pump to a hand pump and got more milk from each pumping. I used the advent hand pump, and found that I could control the flow better. Sometimes I think I needed a short pause during expression that I wasnt getting from the electric. It was about 30$ at target, and I bought it when my evenflo just stopped working one day. The other nice thing was its quiet! I hated the noise of the electric and often was holding my daughter while pumping, so she liked the advent one better too. Good luck!



answers from Boston on

You're doing great! My understanding (and my personal experience)is that 3oz per session is just fine for one pumping. If you are really concerned, you could pump more frequently and increase your supply. Also try 'Mother's Milk' tea or a supplement containing fenugreek and blessed thistle. Some useful websites for you:
If you are still concerned about pumping and want to try a new pump, see if you can get a pump covered by your insurance. I know that insurance companies in MA have just reduced their coverage, but it can't hurt to ask ans then write a letter if they deny you (I work with the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition and we are trying to address this problem right now).

There should be no reason why you won't be able to exclusively breastfeed your child while you are employed. Make sure you have a good support team before you go back to work. Try La Leche League or the breastfeeding coordinator at your WIC office.

Good luck. You are doing a very good job under difficult circumstances.



answers from Boston on

When I was nursing, I always had an abundance of milk...except when pumping! I could never express as much as I would have been able to nurse directly. I could only express around 3-4 oz. total and it took around 20 minutes! I think there is definitely a different response from your body. I never figured it out! Good luck! Oh, some people say if you use heat on your breasts (warm compresses?) before pumping you can express more milk, but this didn't work for me either.



answers from Boston on

I used the medela pump and found that playing with the settings made some difference also. When i returned to work i found that i pumped less milk but for me the trick was to pump as much as possible at home as well as breast feed so that my production was really high. I needed to pump multiple times a day at work which can be difficult but it's worth it. After pumping as much as i could as often as i could i was able to get 5 oz per breast. Good luck!



answers from Boston on

When I was breast feeding my son I used the Medela pump,it worked great,but I think no matter what pump you use it will take about 10-15 min on each side.Definetly use a electric or battery operated one.If I would be away from him I would pump every 2-3 hours to keep my supply up.Start pumping a week or two before you go back to work so you have a good supply on hand.Good luck and I hope this helps.Congratulations!!!

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