Post # 16
I spent a lot of my son’s first 2 months alternating EP’ing and trying to breastfeed while we worked on a terribly painful latch. He’s now 14 months old and we’re still going strong with nursing, and I recently stopped pumping at work. So, before I offer any advice, let me just say you are SuperMom for EP’ing, I know how tough it is.
A good lactation consultant should support your pumping if that is what you prefer to do, and not pressure you into breastfeeding if you choose not to. A good LC will have a lot of helpful thoughts about pumping. Talk to the person before you make an appointment and feel out whether they will respect your wishes.
I used coconut oil to lubricate the flanges. I stopped doing this maybe around 4-5 months. You really do adapt. Do NOT use lanolin while pumping, nope nope nope, too sticky much pain. Lanolin has its uses and helped me heal from several bouts of cracked nipples but I do like the Earth Mama stuff or just plain coconut oil much better.
I did not feel letdown for the longest time, maybe the first 3 months? It takes a while for all this equipment to get coordinated, lol.
Pumping length: my LC taught me 30 min per session OR until the milk flow stops. Whichever comes first. If I got to 30 min, I would just pack it up and wait until the next time. My nipples were already a wreck from the challenges of also trying to establish nursing, so I could not tolerate any more than that anyway. As I hung in there with the days and weeks, pumping got faster and more efficient for me, just like PPs said. I would typically get a first letdown and then a second one around 12 minutes, and by 15-20, I could reasonably stop. But it took a while for that consistent pattern to establish.
Have you been reading the stuff on Kellymom? Lots of ideas there about pumping, supply, etc.
Post # 17
I would see a lactation consultant. (an IBCLC). Are you opposed to try getting your baby to latch again? I personally found breastfeeding from the boob way easier than pumping.
Do you hands on pump? AKA massage the breast while pumping? IS there a letdown button you can press after a few minutes to try and stimulate another let down. I agree with a PP that an hour per pumping session seems way too long.
Post # 18
I haven’t read through all the responses, so I apologize if I’m repeating things but here are my thoughts
Prior to pumping, put lanolin all around your nipples to lubricate. As you start pumping, take a minute to try to relax and let your mind go. Then maybe look through some pictures/video of your baby or, if you’re in the same room, just think about baby. Once milk starts flowing, use lots of hand compressions. It makes a huge difference for me.
I am also an extremely slow pumper. When I was pumping three times a day at work it took about 30 minutes each and now that I’m down to one pump per day it can take 45-50 minutes. Part of that is because I overproduce and make a lot of milk. Which has its pros and cons. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve found that it’s acutally sometimes faster to manually express milk. Literally just squeezing your boobs and sliding your fingers out toward your nipple to get milk out. It seems so counterintuitive with all these fancy pumps, but I’ve got a Spectra at home and a Symphony at work and I spend a similar amount of time using either or doing it manually. However, with the pump I’m more able to surf facebook in the beginning! And my hands get tired with doing it manually, but I think they’ve gotten stronger over the last year!
Overall, you sound like you’re doing a great job. EPing is rough and I have huge respect for anyone who does it!
Post # 19
Post # 20
I’m glad it worked for you and I hope it works for OP. I found that lanolin (same brand) was great for a lot of things but was way too tacky for use with the pump. I needed something that would glide better, and coconut oil did the trick. Full disclosure, I also had badly cracked nipples from latch issues so I imagine I was more sensitive than the average bear.
Post # 21
I found breastfeeding to be more painful than labor! My nipples have always been super sensitive…like I avoid touching them at all costs. I’ve been shocked I have even been able to pump. I used to massage while I pumped before I got my hands free pumping bras, now I just get on my phone. A PP mentioned hands on pumping too. I will start incorporating it again. I have spent too much time on Facebook while I have been on maternity leave anyway