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Medela pump cannot express milk

  1. #17
    a mum is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    mid levels

    Thanks for the advice. I bought a Medela hand pump. I got a lot more milk than the mini electric one.
    Rani, I never tried pumping while nursing. Does it flow even better? I want to save time coz I now pump first thing in the morning which takes about half an hour and baby already started crying for hunger seeing me pumping!
    In fact, I have odd size breast. My right is bigger than the left when engorged. If I pump, I get 2/3 from the right side and 1/3 from left. Any advise on how to even the size of two breasts?

  2. #18
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Pokfulam, Hong Kong

    For me I found that my let-down was better when baby was nursing than pumping alone. Also, one side produced more milk than the other. I think this is quite common. I used to drink lots of water and also eat lots of fenugreek rich foods.


    Founded GeoBaby in 2002

  3. #19
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    North Point

    a mum - I think it's just "natural" that women have breasts that are different sizes and produce different amounts of milk. This time around, I've been exclusively pumping so both sides have the exact same amount of stimulation, but like you, I pump a LOT more from the right than the left. Almost double...

    I was never coordinated enough to pump while nursing though!! At least not using a manual pump. Is that even possible??

  4. #20
    mariac is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Hong Kong

    a mum - I'm having very similar issues with my Medela Swing electric pump. I breastfeed exclusively and am suddenly finding it rather hard to pump. But my baby feeds just fine, is gaining weight and has many wet diapers. So I took the pump to the Medela store but they checked it and said it looks ok. I'm still not convinced. I know the suction used to feel different before and now, no matter how high I make it, it doesn't "feel" much different. I'm not sure what to do either but I'm pretty sure my baby is getting enough milk. It's a tough spot to be in.

  5. #21
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Oh, I wanted to add about the Medela pumps--I bought new pump parts (bottles/flanges etc.) and the suction went up a lot--they're not expensive and you can get them through Celki Medical in HK. Probably $200 HKD to replace everything. Over time, especially if you're boiling parts to disinfect them the plastic loosens up and the seal isn't as good. This is my experience.

    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  6. #22
    bonita is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    I own a medela freestyle & a medela hand pump. I use the freestyle as a double pump at work because it's much faster & as a single pump at home when I'm nursing on one side and pumping the other. Since it comes with adapter clips, the pump can be attached to your bra for hands-free pumping. I use the hand pump when traveling or when I only need to pump once during a half-day work.

  7. #23
    Lali07 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Hong Kong

    Hi there!

    I didn't read the whole thread so apologies if someone has already covered this...

    Something to be aware of, is that suction strength is not the main factor when it comes to releasing breast milk. Even the strongest pump will not extract much milk if you don't achieve a 'let down' reflex when pumping. What it will achieve is very sore nipples :(

    The 'let down' reflex is an automatic response by your breasts to release and eject milk. When your baby sucks at the breast, you have a psychological and hormonal response which triggers the breasts to release milk. Once your milk is flowing, less suction is required, your baby can simply enjoy this free flowing milk. When the baby sucks at the breast you may or may not feel this let down reflex which, depending on the length of the feed, can happen multiple times throughout. Those who do feel this reflex describe it as a crampy, tingling or tightening feeling. Note than many mothers do not feel this at all...

    Many mothers don't achieve a good let down reflex when pumping. A pump does not necessarily trigger the same psychological and hormonal response as a soft, warm and cuddly baby. Some mothers find it useful to think of their baby, look at a picture etc while pumping to get a good let down.

    A very common misconception is that "if I can't pump any milk I must not have enough". Many mothers (including myself) who have a good supply find it hard to pump. I joke that my body knows its a pump and won't give up its hard earned milk to a machine hehe!

    Good luck!

    Lali :)

  8. #24
    Gataloca's Avatar
    Gataloca is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Agree with Lali. I use the Avent manual pump, and actually the pump has a stronger suction when I use it without the massage shield. However, without the massage shield I can hardly have any letdown, so I would not get as much milk as when i pump with the massage shield on.

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