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Expressing

(10 Posts)
wobblymum Wed 10-Sep-03 15:25:08

Some of you might remember the problems I had bfing my new dd a month or so back, which made me switch to bottles. I don't feel guilty about it now, for her it was the only solution in the end. But we're already toying with the idea of another baby (only toying mind!!!) and I want to be as prepared as possible for the next one, seeing as I barely thought about after the birth when I was pregnant with dd.

Thing is, I'm hoping to breastfeed the next one because of the benefits but the thought of all the trouble I had freaks me out and using bottles just suits me down to the ground (I'm the paranoid sort who wants babies to have transparent stomachs so you can check what's happening!). But I was wondering whether it's possible to fully bottlefeed with EBM, and how the expressing works to achieve that.

Would I be able to express enough to meet all the feeds? If I couldn't and wanted to mix feed with formula, which feeds should be EBM and which should be formula? Would the baby get the right milk (ie enough hindmilk) if I was just expressing?

I don't have any phobias about a baby going near my tits, it's just the latching on bit and not seeing the amounts that worries me. So I wouldn't have anything against breastfeeding from the breast for a couple of weeks, and/or letting the baby suck for comfort/snacks. I'd just like to give EBM to check a good amount was going in without having to constantly wait for weigh-ins.

Any ideas/advice? And yes, I know it is insanely early to even talk about this but I want to know everything I can before I'm pregnant and have the end of the 9 months zooming towards me before I know where I am!!!!

pidge Wed 10-Sep-03 16:16:00

wobblymum, well - you CAN do it, and I know a few women do who have babies who can't breastfeed for some physiological reason (e.g. cleft palate), but WHAT a lot of work it is and I personally have huge admiration for anyone who manages it. And I really can't see the point if your main concern is that they're getting enough milk. Virtually everyone who breastfeeds worries about how much milk is going in (I know I did), but you just have to try and have faith that your body and your baby will sort it out.

I think expressing the odd feed to see how much the baby is getting might be reassuring, though remember most women struggle to express as much milk as the baby would get out. And the best sign of success is a happy healthy baby. And expressing for every feed, plus looking after a new baby AND coping with a toddler. I wouldn't contemplate it in your position.

I have briefly read your posts on other threads about the problems you had bfeeding and I think you did really well to get so far. I guess I'd recommend giving it another go, getting LOTS and LOTS of help from good breastfeeding advisers. And I'm sure you'll have learned a lot from the first time round.

I know how difficult it is at the beginning, my pesky dd just slept and slept and wouldn't wake to feed and when she did she wouldn't OPEN her mouth. We were sure her first words would be BIG MOUTH, because that's what we used to chant at her every feed time! And I was in agony for weeks, but with a lot of help, particularly from my hero dp who mopped up the tears, we did get there. No guilt if you can't do it for whatever reason though!

Have rambled off topic ... on the expressing front, I have been the queen of expressing since I came back to work 3 days a week when dd was 6 months old (now 13 months), and it does get easier after a while. But boy am I pleased when I'm at home with her - breastfeeding is SO much easier, nicer and more efficient!

pidge Wed 10-Sep-03 16:22:16

PS You should have a look at the thread "Expressing to fully feed a 10 week old" ... probably much more positive thoughts than mine. I still think if you CAN possibly breastfeed, then that's going to make life so much easier for you. And all credit to those who manage to fully express to feed their baby at this stage.

wobblymum Wed 10-Sep-03 16:57:03

Thanks pidge. I have been keeping up with the other thread but I didn't think it was fair to ask all my questions on that, seeing as it's someone who's trying to get specific help now, and I'm only thinking about it for the future.

wobblymum Wed 10-Sep-03 16:58:54

Thing is, the only reason I want to bf is because of the benefits of breast milk. Apart from that I wouldn't bother. I'm not bothered particularly about the benefits to me and I can be close to my baby without bfing, especially as that so far has caused so much stress. That's why I'm thinking about expressing only.

motherinferior Wed 10-Sep-03 18:22:54

WM - you may - just may - find it's different a second time round. I say this ONLY because I'm much more chilled about b/fing now; as you know I was going out of my mind at the beginning, which was the case both times, but this time round I'm planning to continue for quite a while, with expressing. So it *might* be less of a problem.

On the other hand...

Hey, broody already. AND you're only 21, aren't you. You go, girl!

tiktok Wed 10-Sep-03 19:35:17

Wobbly, why would knowing how much your baby had reassure you? How do you know how much you baby needs except by watching the baby grow and watching his/her behaviour? A baby might take X ounces but actually need Y or Z.

Jimjams Wed 10-Sep-03 19:37:11

WM you may find you're less worried about a second babay anyway and not be too concerned about how much they're getting. I think everyone worries about everything to do with their first child, but notusually so much with the second. I know I'm far more relaxed with ds2 about everything eg- I sterilised plates and cutlery for god knows how long with ds1, boiled water for him etc etc I didn't sterilise a single piece of cutlery for ds2 (what's the point food's not sterile?) Most of my friends have been the same.

With ds1 there were stair gates everywhere- not one with ds2 (although to be honest some of that is because ds1 freaks about stairgates). I used to worry that I would roll on ds1 and he would go back to his cot- and I'd force myself to stay awake whilst feeding him - ds2 I just used to go back to sleep and leave him to it.

You may find with your second one you just don't worry about amounts so much.

A friend of mine had problems bfeeding and expressed for about 3 months- it was very hard work though. Bfeeding is much much easier.

judetheobscure Wed 10-Sep-03 20:04:26

If you did go for full-time expressing - it can be done although seems much too hard work for me - do invest in an electric breast pump - preferably one with two attachments. I believe you can even get one these days which doesn't need you to hold it - presumably it straps on - it would give your dp a laugh if nothing else ...

wobblymum Thu 11-Sep-03 09:28:30

motherinferior - probably will be far more chilled with the next one than with this but I'm just thinking about everything because if it stresses me too much I won't have another one (well not yet) so thinking about it while I'm pg would be a bit too late!! I'm not so much broody but we've always wanted 2 kids (maybe 3) and I really don't want a huge age gap between them so will have to have another one soon. Hopefully be ttc around Christmas, that's if dd doesn't send me mental first!! I am only 21, but at least when I'm approaching my mid-life crisis all the kids will be gone and I can get a toy-boy!!!!! (Hmmmm, but then he'd be about the age of my kids - far too weird!!!)

tiktok - I know normally you shouldn't worry about amounts, just whether your baby is satisfied and growing well but I had a huge ordeal this time round with dd sleeping all the time due to jaundice and strep B problems after birth, problems bfing because of no support while I was in hospital, and dd constantly losing weight while the HV refused to pay attention. So when I went on to bottles and could see the amounts and know for myself exactly how she was doing on the feeding side, it was a HUGE relief. Hopefully the next one won't have such a bad start so I won't be so worried but just thinking about it in case.

jimjams - I'm sure you're right, I'm already getting more and more chilled about dd as time goes on. In the early days, I used to take about 10 mins to turn her round on my lap, being really careful and slow about it. Now I just stick my hands under her arms and swing her about a bit (still carefully!!!).

jude - I've seen the expressing bras and I don't think my dh would laugh - he'd run the other way screaming!!! They do actually look really useful though and I'd probably get one if I did have to express a lot with the next one.

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