Tips on expressing

(12 Posts)
RainDancer Thu 10-Jan-13 17:04:40

My dd is 3 weeks old. I have struggled with bf but am persevering. I would like to express so my dh can help, particularly at night. I have a Medela pump that i have tried a few times but can only express a small amount. Does anyone have any handy tips?

McBaby Thu 10-Jan-13 17:39:00

Massage and hot shower/hot water bottle before starting. Think about your baby and relax.

MB34 Thu 10-Jan-13 18:38:37

I'm not an expert but I have been expressing since DS was 3 days old and read that to increase your supply you should carry on expressing for at least 2 minutes after milk has stopped coming out - it's worked for me.

Also, if your DD only feeds from one side during a feed, express from the other side at the same time or straight after - this will keep the supply up on that side.

If it helps too, I really struggled in the first 4/5 weeks due the pain. I was expressing a lot and giving it by bottle. DS is nearly 7 weeks now and it has got so much easier in the last 2 weeks that I've almost stopped expressing altogether. Hope it gets better for you soon.

- If baby just fed from the left side, express from the right straight away. Switch for next feed.

- You'll get a lot more in the morning than at night.

- Drink a LOT of water. A glass every time baby feeds is a good idea. Keep a bottle of water on the coffee table (or wherever you normally feed) at all times.

- If expressing while baby is asleep, do 5 mins left side, 5 mins right, and so on, and continue expressing for a couple of minutes after milk has stopped.

- Didn't work for me but you can smell your baby's clothes, helps some women.

I expressed up until LO was 6/7 months old. Not on a regular basis, but generally at least once a day. Have you tried hand-expressing? Look up some youtube videos. I found a hand-pump ace (used for the first 3 or 4 months), found the Medela awful (used for about 2 weeks and then re-sold it), and then settled on using my hands until I stopped at 7 months.

Sleepybunny Thu 10-Jan-13 22:58:53

Hi I am an exclusive pumper lol

All advice given here is good and worked for me.

My midwife told me to pump 20 mins each side to begin with and to make sure that I expressed 8 times in 24 hours at least with one of those being at night. I normally do it every three hours roughly and in the early days this brought my milk supply up quickly, you should notice a difference within 3 days.

Also attempting to breast feed first before pumping stimulates your milk supply further.

This can be really hard work mind you! But stick at it for a few days and you'll notice the difference in production.

appletiser Thu 10-Jan-13 23:38:01

I have the medela electric pump ... Was expressing very little so bought a hand pump....breast milk volume isn't amazing but still better than electric

Weissdorn Fri 11-Jan-13 06:53:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MB34 Fri 11-Jan-13 08:21:42

I also have a medela swing and its great!

We did hire a medela symphony double pump for six weeks while I was trying to establish bf - it was a life saver!

McBaby Fri 11-Jan-13 08:46:04

Sorry if you have tried this .... Make sure you turn the suction up to the maximum which is comfortable as per the instructions it really makes a difference.

I hated the Medela! Could only get 0.5/2 oz from both sides within 20 minutes. Hand expressing, I could get 4oz from just one side in 20 minutes!!

ZuleikaD Fri 11-Jan-13 13:27:53

I got on ok with the Medela (both mini electric and Swing) - much better than hand or manual expressing.

I got the best results when expressing on the other side while baby was feeding - you get a letdown on both sides at once so might as well use it!

I found looking at the baby or even a picture helped with getting a letdown. You can also get several letdowns per pumping session, just as during a feed.

I usually expressed during or before the first feed of the day (don't worry that you'll be depriving your baby of milk - they're far better at getting it out of you than a pump is!)

Don't worry that you're only getting small amounts at the moment - it probably reflects the fact that your still-very-tiny-stomached baby is only taking small amounts. By about 3m I was getting 5oz per side at a time, as opposed to about 0.5oz in the early weeks.

Also agree with Visualise about drinking lots of water.

RainDancer Fri 11-Jan-13 18:09:40

Thanks everyone, that's hugely helpful - I'll keep trying!

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