I need a little help from the breast feeding experts out there...
Dd is four weeks old and im starting to think about expressing milk and introducing a bottle so that dh can be involved in feeding etc etc.
I have no idea how to go about it..
When is the best time to pump? (just got a hand me down manual at the moment, any recommendations for an electric?) How much is a 'portion' for a 4 week old? How do I store the milk?ive seen special bags online and have heard of ice cube trays being used. What kind of bottle is best to use to enable us to carry on breast feeding too? What impact will it have on my supply? Do you re heat the milk or use it at room temperature?
Thank in advance for any advice. Sorry for typos, on iphone and feeding dd!
For a 4 week old I would start with just 1 or 2 oz and see how she goes. You can pump a little more each day to build up your supply. I used to express in the mornings and DH used to give it to my DS in a bottle last thing at night. After a while I was able to express 8oz in one go - 3 from the side I had fed him from and 5 from the other side. The downside of this though was that I was very full in the mornings - uncomfortably so - and looking back I'm not sure I would do this again as it became a real pain (took about 20mins each morning, not ideal when you also have a 3 year old to get out to nursery).
A manual pump is fine, but electric ones are quicker. It depends how often you think you will want to express. Manual is fine for just occasional use (makes your hand ache though!). I had a Medela Swing electric pump and it worked fine for me. Don't buy second hand though, in case of contamination.
You can buy special sealable bags, I think this is the best option if you are freezing as I'm not sure how easy it would be to keep the milk sterile in ice cube trays. We used Tommee Tippee bottles as supposedly they are more breast-like, don't know how true that is though.
You can warm up the milk by submerging the bottle in a jug of hot water. Don't heat it in the microwave.
Hope it goes well for you, and congrats on your DD!
Oh, and I should also say, you may not get much milk at first when you first start expressing. Don't worry this is normal. It takes a while for your body to learn to "let down" to the pump. It helps to have the baby near you whilst you express, or even better feed the baby from one side and pump from the other (although this is tricky without help). The important thing to remember is relax!
I only express 2/3 times per week (dd is 12 weeks). I get about 100ml at a time. I'd probably get more if I expressed more frequently but I don't need to yet.
Express first thing in the morning (take sterilized pump to bed with you so you're ready to go) Pump at same time as feeding your baby and the milk will flow out (latch baby on balanced on pillows then use two hands to hold the mamual pump in place and pump it).
Just to give you a different perspective, I didn't go down this route. I thought about it but then read that under 6 weeks introducing a bottle is not recommended as it can damage bf. So I carried on eb feeding myself and got DH to do other things to bond with DS. He did the following:
Baths Evening nappy changes Rocking him when he was windy
I also went on a mums and dads baby massage course so DH had some baby massage moves to do with DS - he loves meeting other dads at the course and it gave him something nice to do with DS.
Im going to buy the medela mini electric pump and see how I go.. I plan to start off small and work my way up. I dont want to get to the point where she refuses a bottle as I will be returning to part time work before she is weaned (in France, only get 16 weeks maternity).