expressing and only getting a teaspoon full after ten mins...what am I doing wrong?

(51 Posts)
MostlyCake Tue 30-Jul-13 14:33:59

Combining bf on demand with expressing after each feed on mw advice to stimulate production. DS is 12 days old and as I had a problem with the latch my milk was slow to come through. According to Google, I should only express for ten mins but at the end of the time I literally have a teaspoon full if im lucky.

What am I doing wrong? Why have I got so little milk? I have until Thursday when the mw comes back to have a decent supply or I exoect ger to start pushing formula (ds nit putting on weight) - all advice welcome!

Thanks in advance

Simply, the pump isn't giving you the same stimulation as your baby gives you. Have you tried expressing one side while feeding on the other?

If you're feeding on demand you shouldn't need to express as well. Have you sought advice from a BF specialist rather than your MW, who may not know as much as you hope?

CaptainJamesTKirk Tue 30-Jul-13 14:57:30

I doubt you're doing anything wrong. I breastfed my DS for over 2 years and yet when I expressed I never ever got more than 15ml. That's a tablespoon. Ridiculous. I tried 2 different pumps (one highly recommended) and them gave up.

Twirlyhot Tue 30-Jul-13 14:59:06

How much comes out when you pump has no relation to how much is in there! There are women who breast feed for 9 months+ who never manage to express much at all.

Twirlyhot Tue 30-Jul-13 14:59:34

X post grin. See ^

Expressing is a bit of a learned skill.

Your baby is 12 days old - how much poo are you getting per 24 hour period? Only count the ones that are as big as a two pound coin.

How is his latch now? How often is he feeding per twenty-four hour period? Lots of feeding, lots of skin to skin, and maybe some breast compression, might all help ...

PurplePidjin Tue 30-Jul-13 15:00:14

You most likely have plenty of milk - i get no more than 1oz unless i skip a feed and ds is 8 months, sil went to 15 months and 2 years with hers and got barely a drop.

Expressing won't necessarily up your supply. Take to your sofa with your baby for lots of skin to skin contact. Eat lots and lots of healthy food, especially oats like porridge and flapjacks and drink lots and lots of water. If you live off microwaved jacket potatoes, bananas and salad sandwiches for a week, that's fine. But rest, eat and drink.

Is he generally content with plenty of wet nappies? Have you contacted La Leche League, Breastfeeding Network or a peer supporter through your midwife?

Congratulations thanks

Lagoonablue Tue 30-Jul-13 15:00:56

It is hard at first but it eventually works. You need to get a let down so keep your baby near when you do it.

FWIW and am no expert, just letting baby feed on demand can be more sucessful and less stressful.

FrussoHathor Tue 30-Jul-13 15:02:28

Are you expressing by hand or pump?

FrussoHathor Tue 30-Jul-13 15:06:04

Also expressing between 1-4am produces hormones the stimulate milk production, but can take a day or 2 to up your supply.
Eating oats works with me, and making sure you are drinking plenty of water.

mistlethrush Tue 30-Jul-13 15:10:35

I found that if I really wanted to express I didn't get any. However, if I was expressing just because I needed to (eg out all day away from DS) I got loads. Generally the less stressed about it I was the better. However, getting proper suction from the pump was also quite critical.

ChunkyPickle Tue 30-Jul-13 15:14:01

Best way to get the supply up is to just let the baby at it..

like Kirk, I BF for 2.5 years, yet never could get anything worth having out when expressing (tried all the standard stuff - different times of day, while DS was feeding on the other side, before, after, different types and sizes of attachement etc.)

All I got for my expressing trouble when trying to use it to express enough to supplement feed was bruised nipples (and DP getting cross, saying what a silly idea pumping and syringe feeding after BFing was, and that I should just sit on my bum for a couple of days, he'd keep me stocked with snacks, and we'd get the milk up the old fashioned way!)

mrsmartin1984 Tue 30-Jul-13 15:32:55

I only get a teaspoon unless I tandem feed. And the best way to stimulate supply is with your baby

Lioninthesun Tue 30-Jul-13 15:46:10

Try a hand hld pump if using an electric one too - my medela did nothing yet others swear by them. It is easier to do it while baby feeds too smile

MostlyCake Tue 30-Jul-13 15:51:29

Thanks for the responses!

Latch seems to be sorted except when he's tired - so more of a palaver at 3am when we're both knackered.

Im getting conflicting advice from the mw - have seen three different ones over the last ten days - one is adamant expressing is the only way to up my supply, one says not to bother and the third came on a day I was dead on my feet so said to leave it for a few days...then mw one came back and it was back to expressing!

Haven't tried tandem feefing/expressing was told to express only from the boob he last fed from. Also it makes a right racket so not very relaxing!

Im using an avent electric pump - not getting anything beyond a few drops by hand.

I had hoped that eventually I'd be able to express enough to let dh take one feed, is this unlikely?

Lioninthesun Tue 30-Jul-13 16:04:44

OP if you pm me I can send you my hand pump if you like - only tried it 3 times (single mum so not much use of expressing into bottles without a babysitter!) but it worked better for me --still took well over an hour to fill one bottle though!). It's Boots own brand so not expensive but suction was much much stronger. Shout if you want it!

Lioninthesun Tue 30-Jul-13 16:05:37

Apologies for strikeout fail and bracket forgetfulness there! Oops!

MostlyCake Wed 31-Jul-13 18:50:43

MW came again today and he's put on 30g. Still not up to birth weight after 14 days so advice was to add one or two formula feeds.

Lion, thanks so much for the offer but if it took you over an hour to get a bottle that would kill me at the moment! Any spare time is spent sleeping...!

FrussoHathor Wed 31-Jul-13 22:32:51

I find I have to start off by hand until a few drops have come out before the pump has any chance.

magpieC Wed 31-Jul-13 22:49:01

I had similar issues - DS took 5 weeks to regain birth weight and it was suggested I try expressing after a feed to help supply and to use as a top up - I was barely able to cover the bottom of a bottle. Even when things were well established and I was expressing so DP could give him a bottle I was lucky to get more than 40ml.

However, I would say check, check and recheck your latch - we had a posterior tongue tie diagnosed at 10 weeks which I definitely think contributed to our problems. Latch sometimes seemed ok and sometimes not so it took me a while to figure out that things weren't quite right!

Splatt34 Thu 01-Aug-13 07:26:29

With DD1 I spent weeks 4-6 of her life in a constant round of feeding, trying to express and giving it back. It was physically & emotionally draining. At 6 weeks she still only weighed 8lb (up 5oz from birth). We started giving formula top ups and she gained 21oz in 6 days & became a happy baby I could enjoy.

At 2 weeks DD2 weighed 8lb 3, not bad until you know she was 8lb 15 at birth! Have been combi feeding ever since (now 9 weeks).

You must work out your own priorities but combi feeding is a real option, it just doesn't get talked about very much

wokeupwithasmile Thu 01-Aug-13 08:04:32

Don't give up. I was in the same situation, just did not come out. Was using a medela pump, I thought it was me...I thought it was the pump...I kept trying periodically with no result, until one day it just worked. Now I express 150ml in 15 mins. I know it does not help you now, but perhaps you can keep it in the back of your mind.
Expressing after the feed does not work for me, it takes ages.i do it in the morning when they are full. If I can help you with my experience feel free to pm me.

ShoeWhore England Thu 01-Aug-13 08:22:06

Glad to hear you have some weight gain. If you want to continue to increase your supply then I would carry on always offering the breast on demand - replacing bfs with formula will have the opp effect. (You could offer a ff top up instead in the short term?)

Milk production hormones are highest at night so bf as much as you can then.

When you express how are you doing it if you don't mind me asking? I had best results by mimicking the way a baby sucks - so quickly to start with and then a longer slower more powerful action once the milk starts to come out iyswim? I would expect you not to get so much to start with if your baby has already fed from that breast tbh.

Is your latch comfortable? Any sign if discomfort is a good indicator that something isn't right no matter what the mws say and in that case pls do get advice from a bfing counsellor.

Good luck OP - I struggled to get ds1 to feed at all but persevered and we did manage to sort out my supply (once he started latching on properly it increased massively) and I bfd him for just over a year in the end.

maja00 Thu 01-Aug-13 08:25:35

Not regaining birth weight in 14 days is quite normal isn't it?

I wouldn't start giving formula if you want to breastfeed.

Instead of expressing, have you tried switch feeding? Keep offering the other side when the baby comes off, so switch between sides 2,3,4,5 times in each feed.

CelticPromise Thu 01-Aug-13 09:23:03

MostlyCake sounds like you could do with some decent RL advice. Is there a local bf group you can go to? How many dirty nappies are you getting in a day, and how long and often is baby feeding? Adding formula can be counterproductive when you are trying to increase supply so before doing this I would get some RL support and have a feed observed.

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