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Any advice about expressing gratefully received...

(6 Posts)
Bunnyjo Sun 12-Jun-11 21:21:37

Hello all,

I am after advice and experience for expressing milk for my nearly 4wk old DS. I plan to only feed DS one expressed feed on an evening / every other evening with the rest of the feeds being from the breast. I started at 6wk with my DD and, after 4mth of trying every bottle/ teat/ cup known to man, DD flatly refused every combination and would only take milk direct from the 'source', so to speak. I need DS to be able to take expressed milk as I am having an MRI scan soon and may also be having surgery on my knee. I have decided to start earlier because of the above, but really do not want to give DS nipple confusion - I breastfed DD for 27mth and would like to breastfeed DS for a similar length of time.

Well, anyhoos - enough waffling! Basically, I expressed a couple of ounces yesterday evening just to see how it went and DS drank it quite willingly. I then expressed 5oz this morning, which he has just guzzled down happily. What I want to know is how much should I be expressing for a feed, does 4-5oz sound enough at this age? I don't mind topping him up with my breast afterwards, but should I be looking to express more? DS doesn't have a dummy and I planning to only feed him one expressed feed an evening/ every other evening - but am I risking nipple confusion and is there anything else I can do to minimise this risk? I am also using a Tommee Tippee manual pump but, should I need to express on a bigger scale (if I do go into hospital for an operation), which pumps do you recommend?

Any other advice, hints or tips you have would be very gratefully received as this is all new territory to me!

japhrimel Sun 12-Jun-11 21:28:38

Assume around 25oz EBM a day so divide that by the number of feeds he'd typically have.

You want to aim to express about the same amount each day and preferably not too much, as otherwise you're risking engorgement, blocked ducts, etc.

As you only want him to have a bottle now so he gets used to it, I would maybe aim for a smaller bottle feed so you use less EBM every day and can start building up a stash.

For long term or more full-time pumping, a double pump is very useful and I recommend the Ameda Lactaline. But I don't see that you'd need something that major to gradually build up a small stash - so whatever works for you. If a hand pump is hurting your hands and you can't hand express, get a small electric pump. If you're using TT bottles, then their pump fits those bottles.

One tip to reduce chances of nipple confusion (aka poor latch on the breast not preferring the bottle) is to make sure LO has a good latch on the bottle - ie. only let them have the teat with a wide open mouth with the tongue down.

pushmepullyou Sun 12-Jun-11 21:35:13

I express an evening feed for my 13 week DS every day. I have been expressing since he was about 2 weeks old and did the same with my DD.

I ebf DD until 6 months and carried on feeding her until about 18 months when she self weaned. Never had a problem with nipple confusion and both were generally keener on milk direct from the boob than the bottle.

I use a Medela swing electric pump and express about 4-5 ounces every morning. Both times I found that as my supply settled down (from about 8 weeks onwards) I have had to be rigorous about pumping every day otherwise my supply dwindles and I can't pump enough. I've previously used the Avent Isis IQ electric pump, but find the Medela one is quicker and seems to get more milk out.

Hope that helps a bit. Getting into and maintaining an expressing routine has been the key thing for me, but i have to express for work, so can't afford to let it slide.

pushmepullyou Sun 12-Jun-11 21:36:25

Sorry, realised I forgot to say, I've always gone for 4-5 ounces per feed, which seems about right for 6-8 feeds per day

MassagesDeclinedByNetmums Sun 12-Jun-11 22:22:28

I read somewhere (possibly on here!) once to allow 1oz for every hour. So if he feeds every 3 hours, he'll need 3oz etc etc.

I expressed for DS (1 feed a day/every other day) from 1 week old to around 3months. I then stopped for a week at Christmas as I was staying at my mums and didnt take the pump. He has point blank refused a bottle since then.

By the way, apparently there is no actual evidence that nipple confusion is a real thing....

Bunnyjo Mon 13-Jun-11 10:32:37

Thank you so much ladies, I have expressed another 5oz this morning and am determined to succeed this time and really have to because of my knee. You all make a very good point of establishing a routine of expressing for both baby and mummy and I will definitely do that.

So far so good, he is switching from breast to bottle really well and I'm not having a problem with the manual pump - it is taking me about 5-7mins to express 5oz. I have heard some really good things about the Ameda pump, but I'm hoping I'm not in hospital/ on nasty medication for long enough to require something like that. I have also heard really good things about the Medela Swing, I think I might have to look to invest in that at some point in the near future. DS seems to have a very good latch on the bottle, wide mouth, tongue forward - just like he would be on the breast. I am using Tommee Tippee bottles at the moment, purely because I was going to rule them in/ out one by one -with DD we tried everything and I was half expecting to have to do the same again. He seems quite happy with the TT bottles and, although I have heard that the NUK bottles are generally considered the best for combining breast and bottle, I am happy to continue with TT if DS is happy.

I think I'll continue to express 5oz and aim to freeze an around 1-2oz a day - which means DS is taking 3-4oz from the bottle.

Thanks again ladies x

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