Question

When I pump there is little or no milk (while I do feel suction from the pump) What can I do?

Answer

Ensure the pump is correctly assembled and that suction is created. When you do feel suction but no or little milk is being expressed, remember that using a breast pump takes practice. You may need to make several attempts before you succeed.

Some hints to help you succeed expressing milk:

1. Choose a quiet time when you're not in a rush and unlikely to be disturbed.
2. Having your baby or a photograph of your baby nearby can help encourage your milk flow.
3. Warmth and relaxation can help so you might like to try expressing after a warm bath or shower.
4. Placing a warm flannel on your breasts or massaging your breast for a few minutes before you start pumping can also encourage your milk flow and soothe painful breasts.
5. Try expressing from one breast while your baby is feeding from the other, or continue expressing just after a feed. It could help pumping first thing in the morning.
6. Wait for at least one hour after feeding before you express milk.
7. Repositioning the pump on your breast from time to time can help stimulate your milk ducts.

Do not continue pumping for more than 5 minutes at a time if NO result is achieved. Try expressing at another time during the day. If expressing becomes painful, stop and consult your breastfeeding advisor or healthcare professional.

Note: Just after birth the quantity of milk production is still very low. This is normal and should not be worrying as your baby will also need small amounts . If you feel insecure, discuss this with your midwife, family doctor, lactation specialist or breastfeeding adviser.

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