How Do I Get A Let-Down When Pumping?
While I was pumping at work, it dawned on me that I should write a post about it since I have been getting quite a few questions about it lately. Mainly about having a let down while pumping. Let me first say that I do not like to pump at work, nor do I like to pump when I am not at work. It is nowhere near as enjoyable as nursing my child directly. It just feels so impersonal and honestly I feel a little like a cow with the two automatic plastic shields on my breasts. However, I want to give my daughter as much breast milk as I can, therefore I pump.
Here is an answer to one of the most frequently asked questions that I get…”How do you have a let down every time you pump?” Mind you I am NOT a doctor or a lactation consultant, these are just things that I have found that worked for me and for a couple people I know.
How do I get a let down?
I often hear that women have problems letting down when they pump,and why wouldn’t you? You are alone and the pump is not comforting or enjoyable. Here are some things I do:
• Pump both breasts at the same time – for some reason this works great for me, and I let down a lot easier than if I pump only one breast at a time.
• Use the “let down function” – a wise woman mentioned this to me and I had no clue what she was talking about. I was desperately looking for a button that said “let down” on it somewhere, but it doesn’t exist. It simply means turn the pump off for a couple seconds and turn it back on while you are pumping. This does help sometimes but it doesn’t always work for me.
• Twirl your nipple between your thumb and pointer finger – sometimes this takes a little bit, but it usually works for me. I keep the pump going on one side, remove the other side and twirl my nipple and this usually helps. when I feel a let down, I put the shield and bottle back on to keep pumping.
• Look at a picture or think about your baby – Sometimes it is mind over matter! I have also heard that something that smells like your baby works well too. Try a baby lotion or a baby blanket that your baby sleeps with.