Why express when breastfeeding? Excuse my ignorance!(34 Posts)
Sorry this may sound like a silly question. ..first time mum here....when breastfeeding...does anyone pump? If so....why? And how early/late? Do babies feel the difference? Do they reject the bottle after getting used to boob?
Loads of people pump for loads of reasons. Maybe the baby hasn't quite figured out how to feed efficiently & needs a top up or maybe Mum wants to share feeding responsibility with a partne. Both common reasons.
Yes, babies know the difference between breast & bottle. It's generally advised to not bottle feed for a few weeks to make sure breastfeeding is properly established but some breastfed babies will never take a bottle.
I expressed twice in the course of bf.
1. Dd lost a lot of weight in first few days. I was told to express milk and feed it to her with a cup after each breastfeed. This was a difficult start, I don't think now that I was very well advised in this period.
2. When I went back to work, I expressed milk during the day for her to take to nursery the next day. She bf in the morning and evening and drank the expressed milk from a soppy cup. Bottles never took off for us.
My dc never really had bottles. So I never really expressed. Expressing and then bottle feeding seems to have all the disadvantages of bf without many of the advantages.
When weaning started my dc did have food & (usually formula) milk in a cup. If I had to be away from them I could have "pumped & dumped" to keep my milk supply under control..
I wouldn't think about expressing until bf is fully established as you don't want to muck around with your supply and/or mean you don't have milk in your boobs when you need to feed.
With Dc1 I expressed if I was going to be away from him over a feed. It was hard though as I was competing with him for the milk.
With dc2 I exclusively express as she can't latch. By the time the underlying issue was resolved at 8 weeks she was bottle dependent. Not ideal but she gets most of the milk benefits this way. It's in some ways easier to exclusively express as I'm not trying to do it just after she has fed from me. More time consuming than bf though.
I didn't pump much, and not at all early on, but did it for two reasons. 1. I needed surgery and so pumped enough to see ds through until i was ok to bf again. 2. I used my milk in cooking when he started to wean - turned out he has cmpi so i was doing that for rather longer than intended.
I pumped as my youngest DD, couldn't latch on, she was fed by syringe rather than a bottle though as she took 20mls at a time. Hard work though. I sat with my boobs out for hours doing loads of skin to skin, but she had no interest or desire to latch on.
I pumped early on as my daughter lost weight so I topped up. In hindsight I don't know what difference it made. I then pumped a bit later on (about 6 months) so I could go out for an evening, but it was a huge pain so I didn't go out much. With the baby I have on the way I hope to do it as little as possible.
I pump if I want to go somewhere and DH will need to feed DD. I don't like the feeling of pumping but it gives me a bit of freedom and means I can go out without racing home in case she needs me.
I pumped at work because I went back full time when DS was 6 months and I still got very painfully full if I went a few hours without feeding.
I tried expressing in the hope that dp would be able to give dd an occasional bottle if I wanted a break or to go out. Turned out I couldn't express anywhere near enough and dd would not drink from a bottle anyway. I hated expressing.
I had to exclusively express for the first 2 weeks of ds2s life as he was in the special care baby unit. I've not done it much since though I must admit, apart from when I've been away from him for the odd feed.
I know some breastfeed babies reject bottles but I think that's when they have been introduced to a bottle too late. I always give/gave ds2 1 bottle per day to make sure he will take it and have done from early on. I did the same with ds1. It means I know I can go out without worrying about him starving!
I pumped on one side whilst feeding off the other from about three weeks. It was great to have a spare bottle in the fridge or freezer.
I was pumping in the first week with both dc's. Dc1 wouldn't latch in the first 3 weeks, and even then it was hit and miss, so I had to give him expressed milk. DC2 was great at bf but I had so much spare I wanted to start freezing it. I'm terribly anxious and wanted to have the back up of expressed milk.
I pump now and again if baby has missed a feed and I'm feeling engorged. Also like to have a stash in case someone else needs to feed the baby - when dd was 3 months I got horrific tummy bug, couldn't leave bathroom for 12 hours, so DH fed her with stashed expressed milk whilst I pumped to keep supply up. So glad I didn't have to feed her as she'd take an hour to feed!
If you want to breastfeed it's worth having a pump just in case.
I had to express with both my sons in the first few days and weeks, as they both started off tube fed, and so couldn't be breastfed. It then took a while to get them to successfully breastfeed, so I had to express whilst this was happening. As soon as I could stop I did as I found it very time consuming and faffy.
I've never expressed so don't feel like it's something you have to do because you BF. Obviously if you want to/need to it's a great thing but it's not a necessity.
I like to have an emergency back up of milk in the freezer so I pump once in the morning if I have time. When ds was a week old I had a terrible stomach bug couldn't keep down food or water and trying to breastfeed a baby when all you want to do is throw up and sleep is not fun. So the emergency stash is there if I need it
Chattycat that's not always the case. My ds3 was given a bottle before he was put to the breast as he was prem. He was given bottle of breast milk after that as well but still suddenly refused bottles at three months old. He took bottles once or twice after under duress but only from my Mum, no-one else. He could take them, he just made an executive decision not to.
I pumped with dd1 so that DJ could feed her sometimes (after about 6 weeks he would do the 11pm feed so I could go to bed early and get a period of unbroken sleep.
I actually pumped v little with ds1 as he was a bottle refuser. I would have given my eye teeth for him to take a bottle occasionally, but he refused point blank and fed every two hours day and night and screamed the place down if offered anything except breast.
I pumped exclusively with dd2 as she was born with no suck/ gag reflex and so was fed by ng tube. By 5 weeks I had eighty bags of expressed milk in the scbu freezer, so goodness only knows what they were feeding her... They were handy when she came home anyway - ultimately her suck and swallow developed to the point she was able to take a bottle, but due to her compromised oromotor skills, she was unable to latch.
In an ideal world, I would always always and forever opt for option no. 1 - bf when it is convenient and easy, but have a baby that will take a bottle of expressed milk so that mum can sleep/ party/ go to the dentist/ be separated in an emergency (mum hospitalized/ accident etc). Easiest babies alive, and so important to keep them used them used to both options so you don't get one that refuses either!!
Having a solely bf high maintenance baby that is unable to/ will not take a bottle is a complete and utter nightmare. I didn't sleep longer than an hour for a year.
I pumped when DS was in SCBU and carried on the habit for a few months. It meant that when he had a growth spurt - and they were frequent, as he was prem - I had already got the supply to cope with them (I didn't pump when he was cluster feeding)
I hated using an electric pump, but found the hand held one quite effective. I never got the hang of hand expressing though
I pumped so I could occasionally have a night off - DH could feed DD and/or I could have a drink or for if I was sick and not producing etc. I ended up building up a freezer stash which was invaluable when I went back to work at 6 months as I never pumped enough each day to keep up with her needs.
Same here Olenna - I did use a double electric in the hospital, but found it v hard work. My trusty hand pump was far more efficient.
With both my babies, I pumped from about 8 weeks from time to time so there was milk if I wanted time away from the baby (eg to have dinner with friends) or wanted to go to bed early. Both rejected the bottle from around 6 months and we used doidy cups or beakers to give them milk after that if I was out.
my daughter pumped a small stash (which was then frozen) so that she could occasionally go out and leave the little one with a sitter.
babies can often tell that the person feeding them isn't their mom and will take the bottle from others more readily than from their mom iykwim.
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