Pumping until milk stops flowing

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2014
Pumping until milk stops flowing
Mon, 04-28-2014 - 6:42pm

In talking to a lactation consultant, she said rather than pump for a specific amount of time (say 15-20 minutes) I should pump until 2 minutes after the milk stops flowing. My milk doesn't stop flowing as far as I can tell. I haven't gone for longer than 30 minutes at a time, but I'm afraid if I do my nipples will become sore. The milk flow definitely slows down, just drops at a time, but it keeps dripping (sometimes even after I take off the pump). 

Do any of you have this problem? What do you recommend? My supply is currently a little low so I've been doing power pumping sessions, taking fenugreek, etc. If waiting until the milk stops flowing is actually my problem I'm happy to keep pumping, but I'm not really conviced it will ever stop flowing :)

My baby is 6 weeks old and I just started exclusively pumping. He is eating about 30 oz/day and I'm pumping about 22 oz (give or take depending on the day). I'm pumping at least 8 times, some days more, as close to every two hours as I can. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2013
Wed, 04-30-2014 - 1:56pm

Hi!  It sounds like you are doing all the right things!  As for me, I base my sessions off of time.  However, if I have already gone the full session time and I am very slowly still dripping, I usually will stop. Anything quicker than that, I will give it another 5 minutes. Have you tried increasing the dial on your pump?  A higher "pull" may help extract more milk.  Having said that, do not turn it up if it is  too painful! Hope that helped....

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2013
Wed, 05-07-2014 - 4:13pm

Have you tried breast massage while you pump? That helps me to completely empty. I generally pump 20 minutes, but no more than 30 minutes, even if I am still dripping a bit. I agree, anything longer than 30 minutes may just make your nipples sore. And you need to protect them! :) But yes, it does sound like you are doing everything right, including your pumping frequency. Keep up the good work! It is not easy!