Is it worth expressing??

(17 Posts)
Mummabubbles Tue 21-May-13 14:18:26

Not sure if I should express or not. Dd is 8 weeks old and feeding is going well. I have no immediate plans to introduce a bottle but would probably like to offer breastmilk from a bottle at around 4-5 months (just for odd feeds not all the time).I have a good supply and often leak. Is it worth using breast shells to collect this milk and store it for possible future use?? Also if I express milk to freeze will my supply be greatly affected? I don't want to do anything that will have an adverse effect on feeding as it is going so well....

Beatrixpotty Tue 21-May-13 17:01:56

If you have established bf and it is going well you probably can get some more to freeze through expressing.I found an electric pump best and had more milk first thing in the morning.But having done it for my first son I didn't think it was worth the effort with the other 2 and if they had the odd bottle I used a carton of formula.Once they are weaned at 6m they have all sorts of things so I felt the occasional carton at 4-5m wouldn't be a big deal as apart from that they were EBF.It's a very personal thing though.

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 21-May-13 17:59:32

If you are know you are going to need to be away from him at times you can start expressing, which will ultimately increase your milk production - you can pump after he's just fed and start with just one very short session of say a few minutes, so you don't decrease the milk available to your baby too much. I expressed because I needed to leave DS while i went into hospital to have surgery and it was fine once I got into the swing of it!

I decided I didn't want my DS to have any formula before 6 months after reading that the gut wall seals around that age, but is leaky before that. Ebf to 6 months reduces the risk of infections and allergies - nice to know smile

Breast shells are apparently falling out of favour a bit among lactation consultants as there is a concern that they may actually encourage more leaking - can't find any stats to back that up, though.

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 21-May-13 17:59:55

Sorry, just seek you said dd not DS blush

tricksybaby200 Tue 21-May-13 18:21:04

I would express and introduce a bottle for one on the feeds on a regular basis. Didn't with my first son and he would NEVER take a bottle. I had to use a beaker when he was old enough.
With second Ds I had one bottle feed of expressed milk a day so no issues when I went back to work.
I only mention as you said your planning to introduce a bottle at 4 months.. My plan with Ds 1. It did not go well.

Having some milk in the freezer is always handy just in case anyway.

KatAndKit Tue 21-May-13 18:36:52

I agree with tricksybaby - friends of mine who have tried to introduce bottles later on have found this to be very problematic. I might just have been lucky but my DS had a bottle sometimes from earlier on and it did mean I knew he would accept a bottle from someone else if needs be. At the stage you are at now DP gave him a late evening bottle feed a few times a week while I went to bed early. This worked quite well.

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 21-May-13 19:39:39

According to LLL the late bottle introduction meaning refusing is a myth - because there is no control group you have no way of knowing whether those particular babies would have refused whenever the bottle was introduced.

Giving bottles early is no guarantee for being able to give bottles later either as babies can take bottles fine early on and then refuse.

My DS had no expressed milk until my surgery was planned (around 6 months) and he took the milk fine.

There is a genuine risk that bottles can undermine bf too, even if introduced after the really critical window of the first few weeks. Many babies manage to take both bottles and breast absolutely fine, but some babies can develop a preference for the bottle and refuse the breast. This is a really good reason for leaving bottle introduction as late as possible.

My DS had no problems at all drinking ebm when I went back to work.

BumbleBee2011 Tue 21-May-13 19:53:21

I expressed once a week from about 8-10 weeks with DD, as I'd be leaving her with DH for a couple of hours a week for a volunteer role. It didn't affect my supply, and also meant I always had a bottle "just in case"...not that I ever had unplanned absences from her.

I don't know about refusal but the milk can come out more easily from a bottle and in fact DH used to say she seemed like she was struggling a bit til we got some Medela Calma bottles/teats, these are supposed to make the baby work harder to get the milk out, so gives them more control. I've never bottle fed her though so have no idea if she preferred breast or bottle as far as packaging! grin

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 21-May-13 20:34:35

Bumble - very interesting about your dd and the flow. Some babies can develop a 'flow preference' where they actually prefer the faster flow from the bottle and with some babies it seems to be the feeling of the firmer artificial teat they come to prefer (known as nipple confusion).

Mummabubbles Tue 21-May-13 20:51:28

I don't need to be away from my baby, not going back to work so just wanted to introduce a bottle so she doesn't become a refuser but it seems there are no guarantees that she will take a bottle whenever I try to introduce it. I don't want to start yet for various reasons so I think I may just stick to breastfeeding until she is old enough to take a sippy cup.
I don't fancy the faff of sterilising, freezing etc anyway. I am definitely a huge fan of the laziness of breastfeeding wink

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 21-May-13 20:55:09

Sounds like a good plan and my DS was an expert at downing ebm in a sippy cup smile

I know what you mean about the lovely laziness - I loved not having to give any other food or drink for the first 6 months and then just being able to let him take his time starting solids at his own pace, knowing that the bm was there for him to take the nutrients he needed.

Mummabubbles Tue 21-May-13 21:06:59

Did you do baby led weaning?? It is an alien concept to me! My other 2 children were weaned the old fashioned way! I'm looking forward to giving it a go though....

Mummabubbles Tue 21-May-13 21:09:01

1st 2 babies were not breastfed so this is new to me too.

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 21-May-13 21:09:36

Yes and it worked amazingly well - he was perfect weight for height and birth centile at his one year check and has loved it!!

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 21-May-13 21:10:13

New or not it sounds as though the bf is all going brilliantly smile

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 21-May-13 21:14:46

Ps if you have bf questions ever or want support you might want to see if you have a local LLL group - mine has just been amazing whenever there was anything I wasn't sure about. Their book is good too - the womanly art of bf - has a section for each different stage - first 2 weeks, first 4 months, next 4 months, starting solids etc.

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 21-May-13 21:17:21

I started expressing in hospital because DS was in SCBU. It was really helpful to have BM in the freezer for a couple of occasions eg when I was ill for 24 hours, and expressing can up your milk production, so when DS was going through growth spurts I was already producing enough and just didn't express on those days.

Having said that, I was definitely a lazy feeder wink so never gave a bottle on a regular basis and ended up donating most of my frozen supplies to the hospital.

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