5 Reasons Your Breast Pump is Losing Suction

By: Amy Peterson, BS, IBCLC of BreastandBottlefeeding.com Friday, 07 May 2021 07:00 AM Breast Pump Losing Suction

Do you want to guess how many times I have answered this question? So, so many times. Which means you are in good company if you have this same question!

Breast pumps are complicated. They have lots of pieces. They must be put together correctly for the pump to work properly.

Breast pumps are operated by humans. Tired humans. And humans who sometimes feel like they need an extra hand (or two or three) to pump effectively.

In this blog, I am specifically addressing causes of decreased suction with the Evenflo Feeding Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump.

This is where I start when I’m helping a mom, like you, figure out why her pump isn’t sucking:

  1. Tubing Adapter Connection
    Plug your pump motor into the outlet and turn it on. Place your finger over the hole that the tubing adapter plugs into. You should feel suction.
  2. Tubing
    Plug your tubing adapter into the pump motor. If you are pumping on one breast, you MUST cap off one side of the adapter or your pump will have no suction. To cap off one side, pull the tubing off of the adapter on the side closest to the cap, then insert the cap.
  3. Diaphragm
    When you turn the pump on, the diaphragm should squeeze and release. If you find only one diaphragm squeezes and releases, set up pump for single pumping (see #2 above) until we can assist you in person.
  4. Valve membrane
    The valve and membrane should be firmly attached to the bottom of the flange. Without the valve and membrane, your pump will have no suction.
  5. The flange needs to form a complete seal on your breast. While you are learning to use your pump, please remove your nursing pads and take off your bra. It is very common for your bra or nursing pad to sneak between your breast and the flange on the underside of your breast, where you can’t see. This will cause your pump to have no suction. Removing your bra and nursing pads prevents this problem.

Nine times out of ten, the breast pump will suck correctly by addressing one of the above items.

If you’ve gone through this list and the suction still seems off to you, reach out for support. We have a whole team of helpers to get you back on track.

Related Articles
How to Adjust Your Breast Pump Settings to Get More Milk Research shows that adjusting the speed and suction of your pump to mimic how your baby breastfeeds can help your body respond to the pump and release breast milk.
How to Measure Your Nipples to Find the Best Flange Fit One way to find the best flange size to use while pumping is to measure your nipples. This is particularly helpful if you need to purchase better fitting flanges.
Combining Pumped Milk Sometimes you might express enough for a full feeding, while other times it might only be enough for a partial feeding. No worries—you can combine smaller amounts of milk expressed at different times to make a full feeding.
Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump The newly designed quiet “hush” motor allows for discreet pumping anywhere.