These are ideas I have gathered. Use what works for you. These are possible alternatives to pumping at 6,9,12,3,6,9 12, 3 for 15 minutes each time
Babies vary how they suck throughout the day; be willing to vary how you pump.
Are you thirsty, hungry, need to use the bathroom? Do that first or it could slow or prevent a good let-down (ILD) of milk.
Cluster pump 4-7 minutes, leave your pump set up. Repeat every ½ hour for 2 hours or 4-5 times to replace one pumping session /day.
Do something enjoyable while pumping: listen/think about jokes, find something to laugh about, look at pictures of your baby, view computer slide-show of loved ones, sing favorite songs, smell your baby’s clothes, etc. Love chocolate or ? Reward yourself every time you pump.
Use a hands-free set-up and do something: talk on phone, read/answer e-mails, watch favorite movie. Don’t think about the pumping, make sure you are comfortable, and let the pump run longer than usual, 45 min.-one hour. Limit to 1x/day.
If you are starting to keep track of minutes or start thinking desperately “when will this be over” STOP PUMPING. You are not likely to get much milk right then. Take a break and come back to it when you are in a better frame of mind.
Turn up the suction until it starts to be uncomfortable and then BACK DOWN. Pumping should be comfortable and pain-free. You will not get out more milk just by having it at the highest settings, nor by keeping it lower than what is right for you, and this can vary at each session. Lubricate the inside of the flanges with olive oil or lanolin nipple cream.
Nipple should move freely in the tube and not cause a large white, pink or red compression stripe where the angle meets the tube. Breast/areola should have some space to bump up against the angled area of the flange with each suction pull.
Hand-express some milk before and after using a pump.
You have been pumping for several minutes and noticed you are down to slow drips: increase speed for 1-2 minutes, or stop, stretch, shrug your shoulders, massage breast then pump again. Try leaning forward while you pump for a short time. Gently massage your breasts while you pump.
Pumping more often (10-12x/24hours) for 10-15 minutes generally brings more milk than fewer pumping sessions that are longer(30minutes). If you are getting about 1 drip per second, it is time to stop or do 1 of the hints above to facilitate another let-down.
Keep in mind that let-downs are to the breast as something mouth-watering is to saliva flow. It needs the right trigger, but it is never dry.
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