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To express for DS so soon?

(27 Posts)
Greywalls12 Mon 08-Apr-19 18:24:44

DS only 3 days old, EBF so far and I'm absolutely exhausted and really struggling with the lack of sleep.
Feels like he constantly wants to be fed, which i know is normal but i think a lot of it is feeding for comfort as well, which i know is also normal but I'm just so sleep deprived!
WIBU to start expressing so DH can do some of the feeds?
But then I'm worried about nipple confusion etc and if he won't breastfeed again because of taking a bottle.
Breastfeeding in itself is fine, not that painful and he latches on well, it's just the lack of sleep! sad

Any words of wisdom or encouragement?

Greywalls12 Mon 08-Apr-19 18:26:58

Equally, can i introduce a dummy this early?? Put DS down for 10 mins before he woke and seemed like he wanted feeding. Fed for a whole minute and a half before he fell asleep again!
I know the advice is you shouldn't this early, also due to nipple confusion but I'm going crazy with sleep deprivation!

AmIRightOrAMeringue Mon 08-Apr-19 18:46:04


Experts will tell you to wait 4 - 6 weeks before breastfeeding is established. Some people have introduced a bottle much earlier than this and it was absolutely fine and their baby swapped between the two no problem. Other people have found their baby much preferred the bottle and became quite disinterested in breastfeeding. I have seen both a lot. Unfortunately there isn't really a way of knowing what your baby will be like! If you're really struggling with tiredness now I'd probably try it, as that aspect is probably only going to get worse before it gets better due to the cumulative effect of bad nights, but just be aware of what might happen.

Other options are to get more help in the day if you can, so someone takes the baby for a few hours (it's easier when they get into a pattern and you know when they're least likely to need a feed) and you catch up on sleep then, or you get someone to bring the baby to you in bed and feed while you're half asleep and then they wind them and put them back down etc so you don't properly wake up, or get more help round the house and with cooking so you dont need to do much else other than feed the baby

AmIRightOrAMeringue Mon 08-Apr-19 18:46:59

Also I know of lots of people that breastfed and used dummies.

ZippyBungleandGeorge Mon 08-Apr-19 18:48:05

DS had to have a bottle for the first ten days, tongue tie, then had it snipped and could breast feed. We've been combi feeding ever since and he has no issue switching from breast to bottle. I know others have had different experiences though

ZippyBungleandGeorge Mon 08-Apr-19 18:48:24

He doesn't have a dummy so can't comment on that

makeanewname13 Mon 08-Apr-19 18:48:43

I wouldn't worry for a second about expressing and giving him a bottle. If anything introducing a bottle at this stage could help further down the line - I know loads of EBF babies who struggled to take bottles at 6mo+ because they'd only ever had nipples.

When my DD was born she was in the NCU for the first week and could only take expressed BM for the first few days as was in an incubator. After that we did a combo of BF and expressed BF. She was absolutely fine with alternating, I think cos it was all so new to her so I'm guessing your DS will be the same!

Oh and the NCU nurses unofficially recommended using a dummy in the first week too. Do whatever you need to do wink

InDubiousBattle Mon 08-Apr-19 18:49:08

Definitely try a dummy. Little babies sometimes need a bit of perseverance with them but I'm a big fan.

Tootyfrooty35 Mon 08-Apr-19 19:09:28

Congratulations op 😁 I have a 3do ebf DS too so definitely can empathise.
It's very early days, you're both still adjusting hugely and before the weekend he was tucked up inside you without a care in the world. Now it's full on fourth trimester. I find feeding while lying down is essential, as well as bedsharing. But I still sit up for the majority of night feeds, well I did last night. For interest my little chunk slept 11.30-12.30 then 4-6.30am. We were both awake early hours as thats classic cluster feeding times and mine needs lots of burping.
If you miss those nighttime feeds then you're really risking your supply.
I'd say depends on how you want to play bfing I guess. But for me, taking time to express is a chore, I felt negatively about using a pump for various reasons and I find getting my dh to do pretty much all the cooking, cleaning, looking after our other two DC, is better support than him giving a bottle of expressed.
Dummies are personal, some have no issues using them while breastfeeding so you could always try. But if you do want to them start sooner rather than later. Again, for context, I never bothered and the using the nipple for comfort was brief and not something I minded but I know plenty of people who did mind. So yeah, personal choice.
Hth, enjoy your little dude, I'm absolutely smitten with mine 😊

Tootyfrooty35 Mon 08-Apr-19 19:15:06

Oh yes, so if you think you might want to use a bottle in the future then earlier introduction might help there. But bear in mind that it might shorten the length of time you can bf for. Not guaranteed again and many continue fine but just FYI really.
So if you're planning any KIT days, social stuff etc etc before six month so or you're planning on moving over to formula. If it's after six months you'll be fine with no bottles as they'll go longer and can have a beaker of water or milk and some snacks while you're off for a few hours. We've always waited til after six months to be apart, again personal prwf. But we never did formula, so again jsut soenthing to bear in mind 😊

BertrandRussell Mon 08-Apr-19 19:16:49

Honestly- it’s too early to express. You need to get your supply properly established first. Hang in there-it gets easier

AlmostAlwyn Mon 08-Apr-19 19:26:24

Congratulations on your new baby!

I'd say hang in there for a bit longer and see how you get on! Sounds like it's going well with breastfeeding, so can your partner or mum/dad take baby for an hour or so after a feed and you can get some rest? Making sure YOU are fed and comfortable should be priority no. 1 for dad right now. There are plenty of things he can do with the baby to bond besides giving a bottle.

Good luck. You've got this! flowers

BertieBotts Mon 08-Apr-19 19:28:36

Has your milk come in yet? If it hasn't you will likely struggle to express - it will also be why your baby wants to feed pretty much constantly, because he's trying to bring that mature milk in. It will come, with bowling ball boobs and a rush of hormones making you feel wretched. Day 3 is a really tough one. It won't always be like this.

It can be useful to look up how to safely co-sleep or simply have DH on hand to watch you while you curl up in bed with your DS next to you, when he stops feeding DH can take him away for a bit while you get some sleep. That is a lot of what we did when DS2 was tiny, DH would take him and rock him and cuddle him while I slept and he'd bring him to me if he really wouldn't settle, let him have a bit of a feed and then take him away again until I felt ready to get up. A dummy would probably be fine, your baby sounds like they are signalling well, latching on OK and alert so I don't think it's a huge risk to see if he'll take one.

You could try to express, if you really wanted to, or give formula, again, if you want to (I'd give no more than 30ml at a time at this point) but I think typically at this stage you get more rest by operating the shift system than by actually trying to reallocate milk feeds, especially if you can master feeding while dozing. If your DH knows that he's not "allowed" to disturb you until AT LEAST an hour has passed, it also gives him a chance to develop his own soothing methods for the baby which will stand him in excellent stead for the rest of parenthood in general.

It is a myth BTW that if you don't introduce a bottle by a certain time they won't take one later.

Lazypuppy Mon 08-Apr-19 19:33:03

I started expressing at 5 days and introduced a dummy at 7 days. No nipple confusion or anything.

I dif the dummy to stop her comfort sucking as didn't want to have her attached to me 24/7 if she didn't need feeding

mirime Mon 08-Apr-19 19:37:04

I had to express as DS lost more than 10% of his birth weight. I found expressing and feeding to be absolutely exhausting. I assume you're hoping to express enough to replace a feed?

Just something to bear in mind!

BertieBotts Mon 08-Apr-19 20:19:49

I do think at this age it's less that they are actually hungry all the time, and more that they simply find the sensation of being put down to be utterly alien to them - it's so different to being in the womb. If you have a look at the stuff written about the fourth trimester a lot of it makes sense.

In the womb everything was:

Constant stream of nutrition
Moving/swaying constantly from mum's body movement
White noise of your heartbeat, blood, digestion

Whereas being put down in a cot or Moses basket - it's flat, open, he can move his arms and legs around which startles him, he can feel air currents and the temperature may change, noises are much sharper and there is no constant, things change a lot, he's having new and unusual sensations in terms of digestion etc.

So when your DH has him and is trying to let you have a break he will have the most success if he can recreate as many of these conditions as possible.

Keep lighting low (or at least not overly bright)
Noise should be without spikes. He can talk, babies often enjoy dads' voices because they recognise them from being in the womb. He could also use white noise to help. The best app we've found for this is a free one called Baby Sleep with an icon of a purple swaddled baby. Also making the "Sssssh" sound reminds babies of womb sounds which is why we instinctively do it to soothe.
Swaddle the baby or cuddle him in close so that he feels enclosed and wrapped up. They often prefer to have their legs bunched up than stretched out at this age.
Hold the baby against his own body/in his arms or try placing him in something curved, not flat, like a bouncy chair, or on one of those Sleepyhead things (note this is not recommended for night time sleep, but is OK if DH is awake and supervising)
Protect the baby from air currents although they do recommend not to let them get too warm because of SIDS - it's one you have to find the balance for yourself. Again hold him against his own body heat or try pre-warming surfaces before he puts him down. Don't put any direct heat source like a hot water bottle in with the baby as it can burn them, even if it only feels warm to you.
Movement - either rocking or swaying or jiggling himself, or using things like a baby swing, bouncy chair, rocker, or going out and about - car seat, pram/pushchair are all soothing for tiny ones.
Avoid unnecessary discomfort - change nappy regularly, keep baby in nice soft clothes without too many seams or elastic waistbands, check fingers and toes for stray hairs or threads wrapped around them.

With my babies I always offered them the end of my (clean) little finger to suck and if they seemed to find that comforting then I'd offer a dummy, both went off it by 6 months which was helpful as we didn't have to wean it later.

Bluewall Mon 08-Apr-19 20:40:11

I have breastfed 3 babies and offered them all a bottle early with no issues. However you do need to be aware that the baby is feeding lots to bring in your milk and increase yoyr supply. It's really important that if you do give a bottle that you should express to keep your milk production up. This is even more key over night my midwife told me this is like the baby putting in his order for the next day. Feeds over night are important to tigger supply. If possible maybe get hubby to do a daytime feed and let you have a nap to help recharge and express when you wake up. Overnight try and get DH to settle baby after you have fed so you can get back to sleep quicker.

None of mine would take a dummy until they were a few months old.

Tips for keeping baby asleep longer swaddled and white noise. There are lots of apps we use White noise baby and there are lots of sounds mine have always like Doppler ultrasound which has a heartbeat as well so like being in the womb. You need to have its fairly loud but I always managed to drift off myself with it on. (Tip - 3rd time round we used one of our old phones for the app so we didn't have to give up out phone all the time smile )

sodonesooverit Mon 08-Apr-19 20:56:06

Expressing is harder work than sticking baby on the boob. If you're not in bed already, get in there now and stay there. Feed laying down and get your dh to take baby to wind. Get them wrapped up in a sling or out for a walk in the buggy and get 5 minutes to yourself. Babies will often settle off of mum if they have a nice cosy daddy chest to cuddle in to as they can hear a heartbeat and the warmth is soothing. Stay in bed tomorrow - there is absolutely nothing that you need to do that can't wait - your job is to feed the baby and rest

BertrandRussell Mon 08-Apr-19 21:06:02

I hate it when people are advised to express early on. Unless there are any specific feeding issues, or the baby is premature then nothing stimulates supply better than a rooting baby. Expressing doesn’t even give the mother a break because even if the baby does take a bottle she still has to express.

I second the person who said get back into bed and stay there. Feed and doze and doze and feed. Eat and especially drink yourself. Give the baby to his dad for a cuddle and maybe a little stroll out in the pram. You do nothing but feed and recover.

BertrandRussell Mon 08-Apr-19 21:07:48

@sodonesooverit is it possible we’re the same person without knowing it?

Whatsername7 Mon 08-Apr-19 21:11:08

Nipple confusion is a myth. My hv advised that I introduce a bottle by 4 weeks at the latest. I started expressing at 3 weeks and never looked back. I needed to get through the 3 day and 10 day clusterfeeds first before expressing, but I feel like I timed it perfectly and dd2 never had a single issue. Boob or bottle, she was happy.

pasbeaucoupdegendarme Mon 08-Apr-19 21:13:48

You do whatever you need to do to get through! My dd is 2 weeks so I feel your pain 😩

mrwalkensir Mon 08-Apr-19 21:13:55

women used to have a lying in period of a few weeks when they were allowed just to doze/recover/feed. so I'm with bertrandrussell. It's very early days. After my first (and an emergency caeserian) I had two half beach balls and appalling pain. It got better. can't imagine trying to express with any of my three at 3 days. Your body has been through major major stuff. Be kind to yourself. (It may seem a long way off, but boobs also settle suddenly after (in my case) six weeks.)

kiki22 Mon 08-Apr-19 21:14:06

Do whatever you feel is right for you no matter what that's is. The best thing for any baby is to have a happy sane balanced mum.

sodonesooverit Mon 08-Apr-19 21:14:19

Ha, it could be possible! @BertrandRussell

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