Help! Should I express and when?

(5 Posts)
Bellini28 Mon 18-Nov-13 02:41:41

My sister in law has just arrived from abroad to help out for a week. Great! I'm breastfeeding my 10 day old and short of being a bit knackered all is going well. DH and sil are telling me to take advantage while she is here and go out, get hair and nails done, have some catchup sleep, go out for a nice dinner with DH......take a break basically. Which means I must express. I rented a super pump from the hospital where I delivered so I'm set to go. My questions are; is it normal to feel a bit hesitant about handing over some feeds? And how to best go about it without affecting supply? The thought of a few hours 'off' does sound appealing.
Thanks in advance.

earlgray Mon 18-Nov-13 03:12:48

I would feel hesitant now and my dd is 6 wks, I don't think I would have handed her over at 10 days. I also found expressing hard in the early days as it took a long time to get a little bit in a bottle.
I felt fine in the early days, its now that I'm feeling sleep deprived, my eyes hurt!

I recommend lots of sleep while she's around to help!

slightlygoostained Mon 18-Nov-13 03:43:56

It's perfectly normal to feel a bit hesitant, and it would be just fine if you didn't want to as well. People will offer you various kinds of help - none of that obligates you to accept if you don't feel comfortable with it!

But it does sound like you want to have a break. I'm not sure of advice on supply as I didn't try expressing until a lot later - sure someone will be along with good advice in a moment. In the meantime, I found kellymom.com/ pretty handy for advice about breastfeeding.

Oh - just realised I do have one tip about expressing! Washing the pump/bottles etc can be a pain in the arse. If you are expressing in order to "take a break", then it's no break at all if you have to spend your very precious non-feeding/non-sleeping/non-changing minutes arsing around with sterilising stuff, expressing, then washing and sterilising stuff again, because this is all a lot more work than removing a bag from the freezer, defrosting it, and having a nice cuddle with baby while feeding him/her.

Ask your DH/SIL to take care of all the pump/bottles, so that ideally all you have to do is extend your hand for the nice sterilised and already-put-together pump, express whatever you can (don't be surprised or worried if it isn't much, a lot of women find that expressing doesn't get much out compared to what your baby can get by feeding direct), and then hand back the expressed milk for someone else to put away (fridge, freezer, whatever). Otherwise it will end up being more work for you, rather than less, and you won't enjoy your time out.

mummymog Mon 18-Nov-13 03:58:49

I think when you miss feeds you should express for every missed feed. Hard with a newborn though I know. Also if you choose a time in the day to express and do it every day, it's like placing an order for your body to sart making milk at that time. Ie. My baby goes to bed at 8.30, she doesnt eat at 10pm, but I always pump then and i've seen teh amount I can pump at that time steadily creep up (still only at50ml, nothing super impressive, but it was 20...)

About what slightly goostained just said- you could buy two sets of the bottles etc to make this easier. I just tried that, and APPARENTLY you don't have to sterilise every time. Just once a day, then rest of the time wash with hot water and keep in the fridge. I sterilise way more than that, almost every time, but that's probably overkill

FurryGiraffe Mon 18-Nov-13 10:02:23

Totally normal to feel hesitant, especially with such a tiny baby.

As far as expressing goes bear in mind that you may only be able to express a tiny bit at first- don't expect to get a full feed straight away. Also don't get disheartened if you don't get much. It does not mean that your baby isn't getting much to eat- babies are much better than pumps at getting milk out of your boob smile. I've never got much out with a pump but DS was EBF to six months and was in no way starving! Remember that night feeds are very important for establishing supply so tempting as it might be, night is not the best time to hand over the baby (unfortunate that one). Also, remember that without frequent feed/expressing your boobs are likely to get pretty full and uncomfortable after a while, so don't plan to be away too long and don't forget breast pads.

Finally, it doesn't sound like this is the case but don't feel pressured to do anything you don't want to. If you don't want to leave bubs yet then don't. And SIL is there to help you which means she does the housework while you snuggle the baby- not vice versa (unless you really want to clean the kitchen smile)

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