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Feeding EBM - how on earth do you make it work?!

(18 Posts)
CountBapula Tue 28-Dec-10 11:57:44

Yesterday I used my electric pump for the first time and managed to express 3oz (this took two hour-long sessions though). I'm feeling really fluey at the moment so wanted DH to have a go at feeding DS, who's 13 weeks, when he woke up after his evening sleeping session. Did the sums on Kellymom and this seemed about the right amount.

So DS woke at midnight, and DH got the bottle ready and went and fed DS in his room. I couldn't resist having a peek - it was SO cute <melts> and DH loved it and went all wibbly (he is a v hands-on dad, to the extent that I often joke that DS has two mums).

Problem was DS gobbled the whole lot in minutes and started crying for the boob (he made the particular little whimper he does when I sit him up to burp him and he hasn't finished). DH tried to settle him but he clearly wanted boob so I put him on and he fed for half an hour!! He has always been a bit of a milk monster (hence my MN name, which is one of my nicknames for him) and he usually feeds for 45mins each time.

So: did I just not express enough? Did he just want the comfort of the boob rather than extra milk? How do people make this work when it takes so long to express enough for a single feed? And will I ever get a decent night's sleep or go out in the evening again?

estya Tue 28-Dec-10 12:35:29

For me, expressing has got lots quicker as I've done it a few times. I need to relax and not think about what I'm doing, or watch the milk coming out. It really does seem to get effected by stage fright.
I'm new to it too, so can't advise about the comfort thing, but I am sure it'll get quicker as you express a couple more times.

MumNWLondon Tue 28-Dec-10 13:14:06

Sounds like it wasn't enough, and also comfort. I assume you are using a newborn teat? If it was just comfort he would not have been impressed when he feed from you and there was milk there as he would have been too full to drink.

At that age, DS2 who is definitely not a milk monster could happily drink 4-5oz of expressed milk. I generally has to express in 2 or 3 different sessions - got best yield in the morning.

I would work on the principle that if there is no EBM he could still be hungry.

CountBapula Tue 28-Dec-10 14:39:58

Thanks ladies - guess I just need to persevere then. Have managed nearly 4oz in two sessions so it has been quicker, and I've been trying to relax and listen to music/go on MN while doing it to avoid stage fright. Will try anothee sesh later and see if I can do 5oz.

doodieboo Tue 28-Dec-10 14:44:25

You might get more out at certain times e.g. first thing in the morning, or when DS has slept a bit longer than usual and you are therefore a bit fuller. I wouldn't worry too much about not having enough in the boob for him as he will be much better at getting it out than the machine is.

doodieboo Tue 28-Dec-10 14:47:44

You might also need to express a few times over several days to get up enough to cover a whole bottle feed if you are not going to be there. I guess you know you can freeze EBM. If you are mainly BF then this should be ok to allow you to get away for the odd evening. Also remember that he will feed much less often as he gets older!

FortunateHamster Tue 28-Dec-10 15:18:11

3oz is pretty good - I read that it's quite normal to produce around 2oz in a sitting. Baby can get milk more efficiently so don't worry that he's only getting what you can express. However I wouldn't do it for so long. I think it's better to do say 15-20 mins a side at first and then build up but even then not to that long.

Personally I don't enjoy expressing so I just do it when I feel like it and so build up a small stock in the freezer, so there's enough for when I need to go out/leave DS for a bit, but not so much it could be done on a daily basis. I find that most of my storage bags are in 2oz or 3oz sizes so easy to make up as a 4oz or 5oz feed or whatever. Kellymom is quite good for working out what you need though if your DS doesn't seem satisfied you could give more next time.

It's entirely possible that he just wanted the comfort of the boob (though also possible that he wanted the milk!) so persevere - maybe try with a 4oz bottle, or give 5oz and not worry if he doesn't finish it all (though it will feel like a waste of milk).

I know the last couple of times I've gone out with DS and took a bottle of EBM I did 4 or 5 oz and he only had a couple of oz max each time, probably because he was so distracted at being out, and then he made up for it at home.

CountBapula Tue 28-Dec-10 17:42:06

Thanks all. fortunate, I'm sure you're right about not doing it for too long. I guess because I'm used to DS feeding for 45 mins at a time (not sure that's normal - but that's a whole other thread) I'd figured it would take an hour or so to pump enough for a feed (because a baby is more effective than a pump at getting milk out). Guess I should do what you and doodieboo do and build up a stock over a few days. It's funny because one of my NCT friends expresses daily so her DH can do the 10pm feed. I guess she can express more than me, or her DS eats less.

Oh well, have got 4oz to try tonight so will see how that goes but be prepared to offer boob as well.

MumNWLondon Tue 28-Dec-10 17:47:11

Some people can express loads, one of my friends posted on facebook that her freezer was full of EBM and she wasn't sure what to do with it - when I asked she said she was expressing 8oz each morning from one side and her baby drank from the other - she was not using all of it.

I found that I could only express at the time of a feed, if I tried at any other time, nothing came out. And if I fed at the time of a feed, the baby then got frustrated by how slow the milk was.

I ended up expressing in the morning a couple of ozs and freezing so had some in the freezer if i was out, but for me wouldn't work to make it a regular event.

CountBapula Tue 28-Dec-10 18:35:09

Yes, DS has been v fussy at the boob this afternoon. Gah! It's all gone tits up (if you'll forgive the pun).

FortunateHamster Tue 28-Dec-10 18:46:29

I used to express at night - not because it's good to do then, but just because I never got things together to do it in the day when I probably would've got more. Really need to get back into it so there's a stock for when I go back to work, sigh.

PenguinArmy Tue 28-Dec-10 22:12:08

I found this link and [[ http://blog.nurturedchild.ca/index.php/2010/12/10/ baby-led-bottle-feeding/ this]] one useful and I think they'll answer some questions of yours as well

pinkyp Wed 29-Dec-10 00:25:27

The best time i find to express is when ds is feeding on one side i'll express the otherside, then when he's finished i'll try and express some from the side he was feeding from. He is 3 weeks old and if i express he'll drink 4oz easily so maybe 3oz isnt enough for you dc? I have a manuel pump though. Keep with the expressing, try different times see if you can get more at different times etc. Good luck

Porcelain Wed 29-Dec-10 09:31:17

Well at 6 weeks ds could polish off 7oz ebm and want more when I got back home. I express in 5oz portions, which will sometimes do him, otherwise he can have part of a second pack for seconds. Keep practicing with the pump it will get faster. Also massage the breast before pumping, ABM do a good step by step leaflet in expressing and their method really helped me. You can get it free from the website. I can't get the link on my phone, but it will come up if you Google "Association of Breast Feeding Mothers"

NinkyNonker Wed 29-Dec-10 09:34:37

Well done you, can't get 20wk old DD to take a bottle, gutted!

CountBapula Wed 29-Dec-10 10:27:57

Thanks all - some v useful tips there for me to try.

Sorry to hear that, Ninky - my DS won't take a dummy, so I know how you feel. There was a thread about this recently and I believe the OP managed to get her baby to take the bottle in the end - not sure how but worth checking out maybe?

aichi Wed 29-Dec-10 12:20:22

I'm also trying to introduce EBM to my 6weeks old DD...
CountBapula- Which thread was it?

CountBapula Wed 29-Dec-10 13:24:44

It was memorably named "Oh crap - my baby won't take a bottle".

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