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Antenatal pumping for use after birth

(15 Posts)
crumblybiscuits Tue 22-Mar-16 14:14:05

I am 35 weeks with my second DD, set to be induced at 38 weeks. I'm on Labetelol which can cause low blood sugar in baby after birth and have been encouraged to pump and freeze colostrum as I would like to avoid supplementation with formula. I'm on my third day of pumping and have pumped and frozen about an ounce every day. How much is too much to pump? I don't want it to go to waste after my milk comes in as I will still be trying to breastfeed on demand but I'm getting a bit of a kick out of building a supply as I'm a very good producer. How much would you say I should take into hospital with me? Baby is set to be relatively big for 38 weeks, probably between 7-8lbs.

InFrance2014 Tue 22-Mar-16 15:02:03

Can't give advice on how much you need, but you might be able to donate what you don't use, wouldn't be a waste then but potentially a life saver for another baby.

BikeRunSki Tue 22-Mar-16 15:05:48

Will you have facilities to keep much fresh in hospital?

crumblybiscuits Tue 22-Mar-16 15:14:54

InFrance I'd love to donate it, I don't think they will accept it though without a blood test first? I know a few London hospitals accept it but mine is a tiny city hospital. We don't even have a midwife led unit.

Bike There is a milk kitchen with fridge/freezers and access to pumps. I have about 5oz frozen so far in a variety of 10ml syringes and 50ml bottles so I assume they will just defrost as necessary?

Could I continue to give baby colostrum top ups from my freezer stash even after my milk comes in or is that not okay?

Artioo2 Tue 22-Mar-16 15:44:35

Don't have experience on antenatal pumping, but when my DS2 was born he was in intensive care and I had to pump colostrum and then milk and freeze it. He wasn't fed at all for a few days, then they started him on the frozen colostrum, although my milk had come in by then, so mixing them was fine. You should date all your bottles though, then you can use them in order.

The hospital defrosted as necessary in intensive care, and then once we were on a ward I had access to the fridge and freezer so managed it myself. I ended up with a huge stash of milk that we transferred home in a freezer bag at the end of our hospital stay, so that's an option. I also donated - the nurse at my GP surgery did the necessary blood tests.

I'd be interested to hear what advice, if any, you've been given by midwife etc on expressing in advance. There's a chance with my pregnancy that I'll have to have an operation straight after birth and I'm thinking of doing the same thing to avoid formula if I'm in the operating theatre for a long time.

crumblybiscuits Tue 22-Mar-16 16:08:15

Artioo2
Thank you, that was helpful. All bottles are well dated and labelled and in varying sizes!

Midwife was the one who suggested expressing and gave me syringes to hand express into and suck up the droplets. I had a manual pump to hand anyway and used that which she said was also fine as I am not good at hand expressing. The only thing they've really said is not to express too early in case of starting off preterm labour but as I'm being induced early anyway I've had the green light. I was really surprised at how easy pumping has been considering I'm only 35 weeks. A few ladies I know who are also pumping antenatally have got 0.5ml out in a session so I wasn't expecting too much. Then it's just a case of labelling it, freezing it and transferring it to hospital in a freezer bag to go straight in the freezer.

Artioo2 Tue 22-Mar-16 19:45:42

Thanks, that's useful to know. I have a midwife appointment tomorrow so I'll ask them about it for me. I was half expecting them to be 100% against because of the early labour thing, so it's good to know they sometimes advise it.

crumblybiscuits Tue 22-Mar-16 19:48:13

From 37 weeks I think it's absolutely fine for anyone to try whether medically necessary or not.

BettyBi0 Wed 23-Mar-16 09:34:41

Wow that's amazing that it's working so well for you. You can always save anything you don't use in the first few weeks and use them to top up later feeds. I think my NCT instructor called it "liquid gold" because of all the magical antibodies.

Just out of interest, were you good at expressing with DC1? I'm hoping to have a go at antenatal expressing myself when I get to 36/37 weeks

crumblybiscuits Wed 23-Mar-16 13:04:44

Betty I was average expressing with DD1, got about 10ml or so every time I pumped in the first few hours which the midwives were pleased with. This time around I seem to be almost over producing so I'm not sure if my body is just more clued up on what to do. My milk does come in very early on though. I had a 16w loss last year and my milk came in which shocked the midwives so I think my body is just good at producing.
It was a slow start again this time around. I think I got 7ml the first day and was really pleased, now I've built up to getting an ounce out within a few days.

Artioo2 Wed 23-Mar-16 13:57:32

I talked to my midwife about this today, and she was very encouraging and positive about doing it when there's a possibility of feeding delay or feeding problems, which is great. I asked her about amounts and she said a 1mm or 2mm syringe would be enough for a first feed (as in my case it's to cover a potential post-birth operation), so maybe that could give you an idea of amounts. Sounds like you'll have plenty!

BettyBi0 Wed 23-Mar-16 14:31:51

Cool that sounds really optimistic!

Did your midwives give you the syringes or do you just buy them from a pharmacy?

crumblybiscuits Wed 23-Mar-16 14:37:12

My midwife gave me them but I think you can buy them too Betty.

Ah that's reassuring, thanks Artioo2 glad your midwife was encouraging!

Artioo2 Wed 23-Mar-16 15:51:09

My midwife said they'd give them to me.

DrSausagedog Wed 23-Mar-16 21:43:26

Really interesting post. I too am likely to need surgery during/after my csection and am worried about baby not getting any colostrum if I'm very groggy. Good idea to express beforehand.

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