hands free pumping?

posted 3 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
972 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Okay, let’s try to get some more info to problem solve.

  • What kind of pump are you using?
  • What flanges are you using? Sure they are the right size?
  • How often do you pump/how long per session?
  • Have you tried the usual tricks – oatmeal, fenugreek?
  • Have you tired power pumping?

Post # 5
576 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Any one can correct me if I’m wrong but power pumping is one hour pumping for ten minutes and a break for ten minutes. I suffered from poor supply, I think due to blood transfusions and exclusively pumped and supplemented. I know supplementing with formula isn’t ideal but having it there can help reduce the pressure. 

I would be curious to see what happened if you pumped after a glass of dark beer. For me beer helped me boost my supply more than anything else, with the tea working the next best. THe beer helped relax me which played a huge part in it. The less stressed I was during my pumping sessions the more I got. I also only would pump for about 20 minutes at most, they say wait about 5 minutes after you stop getting anything. 

I was able to slide the pump into my bra and just fold it down, it was incredible!!! Life with hands free!!! It sounds like you are doing a great job trying to get the most you can, kudos for making it to 6 months!!! I would try tea or dark beer, and see if it helps!!

Post # 6
972 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Okay, I am no expert but I can share what my experience is and what I think. I’ve read some pretty disappointing reviews about the Ameda. I would try out a Medela to see if it did better. Could you borrow one from a friend, or try renting a hospital grade one? Could you get your doctor to write a prescription for one? I know its more money out, but getting your supply back up is cheaper than formula!

As for flange size, the ones that came with my medela weren’t right for me. I bought the Pumpin Pals set and use the medium size, which are considerably larger than the standard small medela ones that came with my pump. I would try some oatmeal or lactation cookies (yum) to see if they help.

Power pumping is a way to get your body to think it needs to make more milk. For an hour do 10 minutes pump, 10 min rest. It mimics a baby nursing a lot. Maybe you could do that Saturday and Sunday mornings around the same time as your first pumping session and see if that helps you pump better on Monday morning?

If your baby doesn’t nurse both sides in the evening, I would try using a hand pump on the side he’s not eating while he is nursing. I always get better letdowns when my son is actively nursing.

I personally wouldn’t let my son CIO, it didn’t feel right to me. He’s 10 months and still wakes once or twice a night but we bedshare so it’s not so bad, I feel well rested most days. I would suggest that before you let your husband push for CIO you have him read the whole Ferber book so you definitely know you are doing it correctly.

Post # 7
972 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Oh and is the supply dip a recent thing? Could it be your period coming back? I had a awful dip when mine returned, I was getting up at 3am to pump to make sure I had enough for the next day, but once Aunt Flo came and went my supply bounced back.

Post # 8
953 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Could you try a manual pump? I had a Medela Pump In Style Advanced, which worked pretty well (and I would definitely recommend – it worked fine with the pumping bra and was efficient), but I was able to get almost double in the same amount of time when I used my Medela Harmony, which is a manual single pump. It’s not hands free, but it may help you get more out! A few girls from my Bee birth month group found that they did better with the manual pump, as well.

Post # 9
370 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Let me also add a couple quick tips to what PPs have said:


Make sure you are drinking water – keep a water bottle with you at all times, and just keep drinking. I also like the dark ber trick.


The standard flanges are almost always too small – the Ameda standard is 25mm – they have 28, 30, 33 and 36. Try the 30s, it may make a huge difference. Call their customer service line, they should send you a set.


Can you add another pumping session while you are at home and baby is home too? Maybe right after your last feeding of the night before he goes to bed.


Try the usual tricks of showering and breast massage prior to pumping (at home, obviously). I also cant do hands free, but I do double pump, and kind of manage to massage my breasts while holding the flanges at the same time.

Lastly – can you single pump both breasts during the work day? I know you have limited time, but try it out for one day. i.e., if you have 30 minutes 3x per day, spend 15 minutes at each session single side pumping.

Hope this helps!


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