Expressing

(29 Posts)
massagegirl Fri 21-Jun-13 13:12:56

I've posted before about slow weight gain. It's still slow, 4 weeks in and not back to birth weight. Am breast feeding on demandg or two hourly (longer break at night) and giving three set formula feeds rather than 'topping up' I am trying to express so that I could give this in place of formula but I get hardly anything, I feel achievement if I see 10ml. Will this get better or do done people just not express much? Makes me worry that baby might not be getting sufficient milk from me. Had such problems and differing advice all the way through the past 4 weeks I worry my supply had been majorly affected. Anyone help?!

glorious Fri 21-Jun-13 18:16:22

I'm not knowledgable enough to help so mainly bumping for you. But I do know that the amount you express isn't necessarily an indication of how much you have as babies get milk out much more efficiently and some people just don't get on with expressing.

Sounds like you could do with some more advice though. Have you tried the breastfeeding helplines? E.g. Nct has one, I'll post the number in a mo.

glorious Fri 21-Jun-13 18:18:04
KeepTryin Fri 21-Jun-13 18:19:18

Hi. Only been breast feeding a few months myself, but think the amount pumped is no reflection of supply at all. I could only get a tiny bit with the pump at first but DD was gaining a nearly a pound a week. Sorry cant advise on the slow weight gain, are you under a consultant at all? My only advise would be to offer your breast at the slightest sign of hunger, I.e finger sucking etc. this will help increase your supply. I hope others come along soon with more advice for you.

massagegirl Fri 21-Jun-13 19:31:21

Thanks. No under anyone... Yet. Have been to bread feeding clinic, latch is fine etc. In terms of stimulating milk, for the past three days she won't be put down and pretty much constantly feeds for 8 hours a day. Shattered.

massagegirl Fri 21-Jun-13 19:32:34

Ha breast feeding... Not bread!

KeepTryin Fri 21-Jun-13 20:26:17

If she's been like that for the past few days I think you'll maybe get a pleasant surprise at the next weigh in smile Are you under a health visitor still? Did they check for tongue tie at the bf clinic? If she's otherwise happy, wet and dirty nappies and alert when awake she just maybe got off to a slow start with the feeding. When's she next due to be weighed?

LadyMetroland Fri 21-Jun-13 20:32:15

Have they checked for tongue tie?

As for expressing, my tip is to express from your other book while feeding.

LadyMetroland Fri 21-Jun-13 20:46:55

I never had any success with expressing until I tried doing it while feeding from the other side. Early morning is best. Good luck

Maggie111 Fri 21-Jun-13 21:17:06

I have really struggled through with this. Fuck anyone who tells you all that feeding is "normal" angry She could be having a growth spurt in which case it'll calm back down for you (and she'll have a day of nice heavy sleeping)

Through our local Sure Start centre I have spent a lot of time working with an NHS consultant to fix this constant need for food... going an hour without him feeding was an achievement worthy of a party!!! My husband used to "shush" him for 20 minutes just so my milk would have a chance accumulate.

I have been taking Fenugreek to increase my milk and expressing after every feed (yeah right!) ok, as often as possible and feeding that to him.

It's week 9 now and I feel it might actually be starting to work as I still have some milk in my boobs after feeding!

massagegirl Fri 21-Jun-13 22:22:24

Thanks. Yeah she had posterior tongue tie, getting it fine next week, going it might make her feeding more efficient. Maggie glad it's sorting out now for you, bloody hard work!

massagegirl Fri 21-Jun-13 22:24:50

Maggie how did you encourage gaps between feeds?

Trying2bMindful Sat 22-Jun-13 01:09:50

My DS had a PTT. Snipping it was amazing! Was snipped at 4 weeks. At 4 months he started to lose the "victim of a famine" look, started going longer between feeds & generally it all started to work.... and now, at 12 mo, we are still bf and he looks like a rugby player!
Best of luck.
My top tip is to get lots of supportive people around you - you feed the baby and have a good supporter for that (Nct bf cafe, MN forums & LLL groups in my case) and get everyone else to do EVERayTHING ELSE incl feed you, clean up around you etc (my DH was fab & fortunately we could afford to have a post natal doula in 2 mornings a week for a few weeks as DH was overseas 5 nights/days every week! We also had a cleaner and friends brought round food)
I also double pumped several times a day until after the PTT was fixed, took fenugreek, blessed thistle & domperidone and ate lactation cookies and drank nursing tea! Sleep is important too so I took lots of power naps and listened to relaxing music. We bf in the bath, spent days on end having skin to skin in my bed - baby mooning!
Eventually it all came together. Months 4 & 5 were just gorgeous.
I never did express much so don't get hung up on it. The point of expressing is to stimulate supply when baby is not so good at it. Once the PTT is revised baby will learn to nurse better and you can drop the expressing. I used to express first thing in the morning and then for 5/10 minutes after as many day time feeds as I could bear. If i had the strength I would also try before I went to bed.
My LC said to aim for 8 pumping sessions a day by putting 8 sweeties in a bowl and take 1 out each time you pump until there are none left, even if you only manage 5 mins and get v little. It meant I would probably archieve 6 sessions on a good day and 3 on a bad one!
Kellymom is a good website for support btw and the LLL helpline is good too.
If you worry about virgin gut after giving ff - don't! You need to feed the baby smile. I was also sent a link to an article that said if you ebf for a period after ff then the gut reheals.... Can't find it now but will try in the morning if you are interested.
Good luck &
Let us know how you get on!!

massagegirl Sat 22-Jun-13 02:50:45

Thank you trying2mindful. Good to here a positive story. Some days are just so crappy and hard.

Maggie111 Sat 22-Jun-13 12:22:56

At times of sheer desperation I used a dummy. He actually spat it out so giving him a dummy meant I had to put it in every 5 minutes so it wasn't a "break" but not holding him for 5 minutes felt good blush I didn't worry so much about nipple confusion because he was already having expressed milk from a bottle. Sometimes I would give him a bottle of formula when he'd been feeding 3 hours in a row which would also give me a break. It's important to make sure you pump when you give formula because you need to tell your boobs that there is not enough milk.

I really don't know why it changed I guess eventually the pumping and the fenugreek has worked and increased my milk supply. I couldn't tell you how to increase the time between feeds but eventually I noticed improvements.

Car journeys kept him quiet, and my husband got a baby carrier from Mothercare and would walk the baby and the dog to give me a break. As well as dancing him around the house. As lazy as it sounds, some times it was nice to sit and have my husband pick the baby up and bring him to me and take him away again. The constant up and down was very tiring. This also helped a lot for those horrendous nights.

My baby has a problem with tongue tie - I really recommend you try and find your local NHS feeding consultant who can help diagnose that or other issues and advise you on medication to take etc x

It does get better! Look at me having time to write a reply to help someone else, unfeasible a week ago!! grin

massagegirl Sat 22-Jun-13 12:39:36

Thank you maggie x

Splatt34 Sat 22-Jun-13 13:32:07

This all sounds so familiar!
DD1 only regained birth weight by 4 weeks, at which point i was prescribed domperidone, hired a hospital grade pump & didn't leave the house for the next fortnight as i was involved in a constant round of feeding, pumping & topping up. It didn't work she gained a measley 3 oz in 2 weeks. started with formula top ups & she gained 21oz in 6 days & suddenly became a much lovlier baby. We combination fed til 14 weeks.

DD2 is 3 weeks old and history is repeating. She is still below birth weight but did gain 8oz in 8 days after i introduced 2x 2-3oz formula top ups per day & taking fenugreek at 2 weeks. i cannot bear to do the pumping thing again, it was physically & emotionally exhausting.

This time it has been noted that i didn't get much if ant change in breast size while pregnant, the theory I just don't have enough milk producing tissue. Combination feeding worked really well with DD1 so am quite happy to do this again. I wish this problem was mentioned more in the breast is best propaganda. I look at photo of DD1 at 6 weeks and she looks ill & i won't let that happen again.

HadALittleFaithBaby Sat 22-Jun-13 14:22:12

How and when are you expressing? Ie soon after a feed, in tandem with baby, baby in the room?

I get very little off in the evening but if I express around 6.30am I get plenty off (about 3oz average). Now I'm more practiced at it I can do it in tandem. I find it helpful to have baby around when I express or at least look at a photo of her to encourage production.

HadALittleFaithBaby Sat 22-Jun-13 14:22:47

Also what pump are you using?

massagegirl Sat 22-Jun-13 15:18:25

That's really interesting splatt as my boobs haven't grown either and I just 'feel' I'm not producing enough. I just want a happy full growing baby, it is such emotional, I just want to enjoy her but feel I am obsessed with feeding. So how do you work it, how many breast feeds vs formula?
Having faith baby I have just been to friends and tried her medals swing and it felt much better than my tommee tippee one so in moment of emotional madness have ordered myself one. I always express near the baby and an trying to do in mornings when more milk.

Splatt34 Sat 22-Jun-13 16:36:14

At the moment DD2 has a top up after her lunch feed and before we go to bed as these were the times I noted she was most fretful and difficult to settle.

With DD1 we started topping up every feed. After a week we noted she was having 10-12 oz of formula each day. I converted these to 2x5oz. She had one of these from DH as a dream feed at 23:00 & the other in the day. It was a major hassle to feed her while out as it took forever so depending what we had on she had the other bottle when we were out. Over time I gradually added more formula feeds & stopped when I had come to terms with not being able to ebf, which was at about 14 weeks.

Splatt34 Sat 22-Jun-13 16:48:09

PS
You must do what is right for you but I know I wasted so much emotion & time over it last time I will not do that again. They aren't little for long. Formula is very safe. DD1 has had far less illness than all her EBF friends. She was successfully baby led weaned from formula. She eats a anything and now at 2.7 sits on 91st centile for height and weight

Iwant DD2 to have as much breast milk as possible but my philosophy now is to say, she's had 23 days that's more than alot of babies, lets try for 24.

massagegirl Sat 22-Jun-13 18:37:32

Thank you. It's all really helpful. There's just not much information on combination feeding so good to hear your experience. I agree they are not small for long and I want to enjoy her!

Splatt34 Sun 23-Jun-13 04:03:50

massagegirl - I pretty much made it up

Trying2bMindful Sun 23-Jun-13 22:04:59

OP, it is very rare to not have enough breast tissue to produce milk so don't get hung up on that unless you have been diagnosed with it. I seem to remember here are some v obvious signs too..... You would have to ask a LC for those details. We considered it for my circumstances but it was wrong.
Once we got bf going I had plenty of milk but it just took 2-3 months to get properly established.
Mark my words once you have that TT sorted you will be well on your way!!!

massagegirl Sun 23-Jun-13 22:28:26

Thank you trying. Tongue tie on Tuesday. It's really hard as she's obviously satisfied after formula but breast feeding she keeps going, napping, then more bf Its a full time job and makes it hard to leave the house, but I guess I need to ride it out as really want her to get as much breast milk as possible. Pumping when she's having formula to try and keep encouraging the supply.

Trying2bMindful Wed 26-Jun-13 09:16:40

Hi OP. hope Tuesday went well. Having dS PTT snipped was the best thing we did in the early days. Made such a difference in the end, although I'm not sure I noticed anything straight away . Oh, & seeing a cranial osteopath.
Good luck.

massagegirl Wed 26-Jun-13 10:50:02

Thanks trying. I haven't noticed much difference yet but the lady who did it was really so helpful a d supportive.

Trying2bMindful Wed 26-Jun-13 16:54:30

Excellent. So good you gelled with her. Helps so much. Where did you go?
Hope the next few weeks sort you both out.
I continued double pumping (& topping DS or the freezer up with it) a few times a day for a couple of weeks after the snip. Just helped to establish my supply, or so the LC said anyway!!!
Best of luck.

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