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For those expressing more than 100ml at a time
tell me your secret....

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#1 1 for me

Posted 11 January 2011 - 03:34 PM


I"m hoping to get some tips on how to exp more. My DS is 4.5mths and I've been exping since he was 1wk old. I was expressing after every feed to build up supply but now my supply is good I have cut back to exping after his morning feed, last feed of the day and one extra one about 930pm. I've only ever been able to get about 70ml all up and this can take up to 45mins. I have a medela swing pump.

I read posts from people who are expressing 200ml in 10mins and wonder how you do it. Is this after a feed or instead of a feed? Also for those who exp one breast while bub is feeding from the other do you then feed bub from the exp breast or does bub just feed from one?

I am going back to work in a few months and am hoping to exp enough for bub to have BM while I'm not around.

thanks for any advice.

#2 ThatsNotMyName

Posted 11 January 2011 - 03:38 PM

I'd love to improve my expressing this time around so will be keen to see responses. Like you OP I struggled to express a decent amount though had no trouble with supply for direct feeding.

#3 Guest_Pear Juice_*

Posted 11 January 2011 - 03:38 PM

I put my toddler on one boob, and the expressor on the other original.gif he gets the let down under way and the expressor does the rest. Even after a feed I'm able to get over 100 mls.

#4 robhat

Posted 11 January 2011 - 03:46 PM

Look, I expressed 150ml in 5 minutes at the hospital a few days after DD was born... That's just how my supply is... None of the other 9 mums in my mother's group could ever express enough to leave for a feed when they went out... They'd give their bubs formula, even though they were fully breastfed the rest of the time... To some extent, it's just a personal thing as to how your own supply is really... Some women can't express at all and from what I've heard, 70mls is pretty good... But others here might have some ideas...

#5 Pretz

Posted 11 January 2011 - 03:51 PM

Hi OP,

I also had trouble getting to 100ml each time when using my Medula Swing. HIf you don't mind me asking, how often do you express/ breastfeed?

A lactation consultant I spoke to suggested that to get a better supply I should try a double pump. Does your local council offer lactation services?

My Dr. prescribed Motilium. Whilst it didn't really work for me, it had worked for others. Same goes for Milk thistle.

Goodluck with upping your milk supply: I wish I had been able to breatfeed my baby boy longer.

Edited by Pocky, 11 January 2011 - 03:52 PM.

#6 NatMummyTo2

Posted 11 January 2011 - 03:59 PM

I have a Medela Swing too but I think it was a supply issue for me rather than equipment.  Probably not the right thing to do but I left the pump on for 5 mins after empty on each breast for a few days to stimulate supply (or pop bub on there if she'll suck happily - mine won't unless there's milk!).  I just did it after the first 2 morning feeds which was when I wanted to pump.  If you want to pump nights maybe you could do it at night?  Again, not sure if either of these strategies are right but they worked for me and I BF my eldest for 14 months.

Have you tried the ABA or similar organisation? I have quite a fast let-down but don't know if there might be such a thing as a slow let down meaning there's nothing you can do. I'd check with those guys.

Edited by NatMummyTo2, 11 January 2011 - 04:01 PM.

#7 deejie

Posted 11 January 2011 - 08:13 PM

My best expressing sessions was always overnight. Does your DS still feed overnight? It can be a bit of a struggle expressing in the wee hours of the morning, but the milk volume I got was enormous- 100-150mL after the feed whereas I could do three expressing sessions through the day after feeds for a grand total of 60-70mL. So being that bit more bleary eyed was well worth it!

Remember you can express at your normal feed times while you are at work as well. If you are not feeding through the day the volume you yield should higher.

#8 millej13

Posted 12 January 2011 - 06:21 AM

Supply unfortunately will drop as you drop pumping sessions - there needs to be a perceived need by the body to produce more milk which can only be acheived by fooling it into thinking you have a very hungry baby!

I have been exclusively pumping for my son since birth, and the only way I could build up my supply was to spend the first 4 months pumping every 2 hours, whether day or night, ten minutes on each side (20 mins total)

I have now dropped to two pumps per day, and have maybe lost 30-40% of my output due to this, so I am supplementing with frozen EBM.

I'm afraid you may need to increase the pumping sessions again if you want to express more milk

#9 WeeBoab

Posted 12 January 2011 - 06:46 AM

As someone else said, it really varies so much woman to woman... I would try not to compare your amounts to others you hear about. Warning about the following advice - I have a good supply and can express easily - in fact I've had to learn some tactics to help DS cope with oversupply this time.

Once you go back to work and are expressing instead of a feed I think you should find that you will get a LOT more than you are now. I went back full time at 7mths last time and was easily expressing 350mls a day in 2x15min sessions (though as I mentioned I am lucky enough to be able to express easily).

My suggestion in your situation now would be to wait about an hour after a feed, then express as much as you can - doing that regularly should get you some large amounts eventually as your body will think bubs is having an extra feed. Although, remember if you don't/can't do it one day you may get a bit of engorgement or you bub might struggle with the extra milk.

Really, as long as you'll be able to express once or twice a day once you're back at work you will be fine. You need some in store as back up, but you'll be expressing everyday to replace what is used everyday. Don't stress about trying to have litres and litres in the freezer. My daughter, and others I know of, actually found she preferred to only have a tiny bit during the day and save up for some really good feeds early morning/straight after work. She adjusted her feeding pattern rather than take EBM.

#10 sandy_1985

Posted 12 January 2011 - 08:41 AM

Not sure if my situation can be applied to yours.  
Bubs was in NICU following his birth, so I expressed. I expressed for 15 mins each side every 3 hours, even over night. First few days I was getting very little until my milk came in. After a few weeks I had to starting throwing away milk for the fact that we didn’t have enough storage for it all. I was getting about 200ml a side!

I’ll admit now that was excessive and perhaps a little silly. Not sure you really want to be up overnight if you are working the next day!

I read in a book that suggested you express in the morning after bubs has his feed because apparently your production is the highest then. But this was coming from two book hated with a passion on EB (SOS and C.L.B.) I've never had a reason to try it.

ABA is always there to help!

#11 thorneth

Posted 12 January 2011 - 06:35 PM

I was back at work for the first time today, I'd never expressed huge amounts before but I'd never really tried. I don't think I would get a lot of milk after bub had had a feed, but expressing at work when he would have been feeding (roughly every 4 hours - so I expressed twice today) I got ~100 ml per breast. So that's ~400 ml for the day. It took me about 10-15 minutes per session.
Things that help me are having a picture of bub to look at, having a worn piece of his clothing to smell and imagining the milk starting to flow. I also find that if I don't concentrate on the milk too much, but do something else like read emails etc. that it makes the milk flow better. I'm using a dual pump (Ameda Purely Yours), which I've heard can help you get more milk as well.
I've heard that warm compresses and massage can also help - it's all about getting the letdown reflex happening and making sure to re-trigger it several times within the expressing session.
For about a month before I went back to work I would express a small amount (~30 mls) once a day after a feed to store for my first day back at work. This was recommended at an ABA course I went to and worked well for me.
Really, as long as you'll be able to express once or twice a day once you're back at work you will be fine. You need some in store as back up, but you'll be expressing everyday to replace what is used everyday. Don't stress about trying to have litres and litres in the freezer. My daughter, and others I know of, actually found she preferred to only have a tiny bit during the day and save up for some really good feeds early morning/straight after work. She adjusted her feeding pattern rather than take EBM.

This is what I'm finding so far too!

ETA: I should add that I've always had a good supply (sometimes too good!) and have found expressing easy with my current electric pump. However, previously I used a manual hand pump and could hardly get anything out - even when my breasts were very engorged I could still only get about 10-20 mls. So maybe try a different pump - although I've heard the Medela Swing is good

Edited by Susil, 12 January 2011 - 07:06 PM.

#12 -Moxie-

Posted 13 January 2011 - 12:10 AM

Without breast massage, my expressing was painful and not worth the effort. I used a manual Avent isis without the letdown petal. (found it very irritating). Was able to better mimic natural sucking pattern. ie start with short quick pumps then moved to slower and longer pumps.

#13 1 for me

Posted 15 January 2011 - 09:39 AM

Thanks everyone for your replies. You have given me some good tips and ideas. I've still got a few months before I return to work so I will increase my pumping throughout the day again. DS has been sleeping through the night for a while now so I'm not too keen to wake up to pump through the night again (I do love my sleep).

Thank you for the tips about having a pic of bub or piece of clothing with me when I pump, that is a great idea. I do wonder how to get multiple let downs during a pumping session though. I get the first let down but then it just tends to drip. I have tried turning the pump off and starting again with the stimlate mode etc but it doesn't seem to make any difference. Any ideas on how to bring on another let down.

I'll also give the ABA a call as suggested.


#14 babatjie

Posted 15 January 2011 - 09:46 AM

I can't express much after DS has had a feed. He can drain a breast completely in about 5 minutes.  If I need to express, I have most success after a night sleep and early in the morning before he feeds.  I then get about 150ml per side.  DS can still get milk after I express that my pump can't manage to do.  I use a Medela Swing Electric (I think).  Good luck.

#15 Sockergris

Posted 15 January 2011 - 10:02 AM

I exclusively pumped for DD1 for over 12mths.  DD2 is exclusively BF but started on EBM until she was bigger.  I have noticed that there is a big difference in the amount I can pump between only pumping and pumping while BFing.  My morning pump with no BFing is about 600mL.  While BFing it is only 100mL in total off both breasts after feeding.  Sometimes I may only get 30mL.  I guess it depends on how hungry DD was before the pump!
If you are interested in how pumping works and how to increase the amount you pump I highly recommend visiting ivillage's Exclusively Pumping community.  They have fact sheets that are very informative and you don't have to join to read them.
To cut a long story short.  Here's what helped me;
MASSAGE.  Gently massage your breast towards the nipple while pumping
COMPRESSION.  Perhaps TMI but I found using a double pump with pumping bra and squeezing my boobs together doubled my output.
Get a good pump, preferably a double pump.  I found the Medela Pump in Style to be best but everyone is different.
Pumping to schedule in the beginning, every 3 hours during the day, last at 11 before sleeping and one during the night as this helps to increase supply.

Good luck!

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