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expressing

(13 Posts)
MedicalEd Tue 14-Jun-11 14:39:03

Hello, my DD1 is almost 16 weeks an is ebf.
I am having problems expressing very much. It takes me an hour to get about 130ml off and that is with a pump I hired from the NCT. Its an Ameda thing that looks like a small hoover!
That is only half a feed for her most of the time but this morning she took 280ml of expressed.
Is it just that I'm no good at expressing or do you think its worth trying another pump?
DD does take a long time to feed, sometimes over an hour but I thought that was down to less than perfect latch (she had tongue tie spotted very late and has never relearned it).
But maybe it is because of poor let down or that I don't have many 'holes'. Have heard that some women have few while others have loads and so the flow is slower if you don't have many.
She is only having expressed milk when my husband has her so I can have a lie in or when we go out for an evening (very rarely), but I would like to get better at expressing as DD already has two teeth and it looks like more are on the way...
Any suggestions?

thesurgeonsmate Tue 14-Jun-11 15:37:26

As I understand it, you can't really expect to express a feed's worth in one session. When I returned to work I expressed three times each day to produce two cupfuls for dd, and I expect they were pretty scanty cups at that, but she was on solids as well at that point. I would think that keeping going for an hour is not going to be as productive as trying to find time for another session and doing two shorter sessions.

That said, dd has six teeth now and biting hasn't proved a problem yet. And there are many sources of info on how to overcome the problem if it does occur. Maybe don't worry about the teeth too much?

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 15-Jun-11 10:45:35

MedicalEd please don't let the teeth put you off, DD fed until 2.8 and never bit me once. If your DD is biting then that is another issue that should be easily resolved.

As for the expressing, agree with thesurgeonsmate in that expressing for so long doesn't really seem worthwhile.

In my experience how much you can express is absolutely no indication of how much you produce. DC1 was a right little chubber but I hardly ever managed to express a drop, no mater how hard I tried.

It may be worth having a regular time to express, either whilst you are already feeding or just after. An hour is a long time out of your day though so maybe try 20 mins?

As for the pump, different women get on with different pumps. The only one I've ever managed to express with, and that wasn't that much, was an Ameda Lactaline. It has a sealed pump too so that the milk can't get inside the pump like some. Do you go to any Bfing Support Groups? If so, ask there if anyone can lend you one to try or ask your local NCT or LLL if they know of any going secondhand.

MedicalEd Wed 15-Jun-11 12:11:14

Thank you for your help.
I know I shouldn't compare myself to other mums but I met one whose DC was born on exactly the same day as mine and who was having a 260ml bottle of expressed milk. She said it had only taken 15 mins to get that off!
I thought there was something wrong that 1) my DD wasn't taking that much and 2) it would take me two days to express that much.
DD is very very long and quite lean, her weight gain has been ok, not spectacular so she must getting enough.
The pump is one I have hired from NCT and is an Ameda Egnell but a friend is going to let me try her electric Advent one.
I don't go to any support groups but will ask NCT if they have a Lactaline as you suggest Jilted, thanks.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 15-Jun-11 12:19:42

MedicalEd it is easy to compare and it sounds like you are comparing yourself to a super expresser! Try not to though, easier said than done I know.

Perhaps going to a Bfing Support Group or 2 might help you see that you and DD are doing fine and everything sounds normal.

thesurgeonsmate Wed 15-Jun-11 14:27:05

Yes, it does sound like she's got very pump-able breasts. That's more than my daily target from my three sessions!

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 15-Jun-11 14:29:22

Wish I could have shown you the pathetic amount I managed to express with DC1, it didn't even cover the bottom of the bottle. He on the other had was obviously much more efficient as he was so chunky.

Find yourself a regular time to pump, stick with it and try not to worry about your friend the milch cow.

Pootle78 Wed 15-Jun-11 14:39:58

Hi, I've got an Amdea Egnall on loan from NCT as well, had it for the last 18 weeks, ds is 19 weeks, here's where I found I was having issues

1) How do you steralise? I know you don't need to if you wash in hot water but for peace of mind (and DS is pfb!) we cold water steralise. I found that after 2 months the diaphrams had slightly miss shaped (possibly left in the water too long) I have new diaphrams that I wash and the then leave out so not exposed to too much water or solution

2) I used to flip the caps off where the tubes attached and thought after a while I could hear air when pumping so I changed them too!

3) Are the white valves closed when you look at them? I managed to split one lot and another set used to drop off everytime I put the pump together, so am now on my 3rd set, the lovely NCT lady has provided these for free for me. If these aren't working ok, you can lose A LOT of suction and then not get the milk.

4) Don't pump for so long! I read on here somewhere that it's not the length you pump for but the number of times so I do 10 mins, stop for 10 mins then pump til I'm dry (for want of a better word) so what used to take 30 mins, still takes 30 mins but I have a 10 min session in the middle where I can get up and walk about - last night I managed to steralise 3 bottles and make dh's lunch in between! I can now get about 150ml without a bat of an eyelid in the first 10 mins and sometimes up to another 50ml in the second pump (ds has 3 ebm and 2 ff bottles a day and only takes maximum of 180ml at a feed or else I end up wearing it, as does the carpet!)

5) I thought it was a falacy, but make sure your dd is around you when you pump as the hormones get going and you produce more milk. When I pump at night (about 11.30pm) ds is in bed and I only get between 120ml and 150ml - Yet during the day I can get 180ml to 210ml

6) And finally ... when I have stopped with the machine cause I think there's no more, I always do a little bit of hand expressing, just to get the last bits out, it's amazing sometimes how much is in there that the machine didn't get.

Remember, DD will always be more efficient than the pump but you are doing brilliantly. grin

Yesmynameis Wed 15-Jun-11 15:09:13

When DD was younger, I used to express but found the only time of day I could get a decent amount was first thing in the morning. DD used to feed at 5am but would only want one side, meaning I had the other side full to express from. So I used to sit and catch up on my soaps from the night before and get about 4 oz out which would take about half an hour. Any other time of day it was a complete waste of time though!! Plus pretty tiring getting up so early, so I gave it up in the end.
I have no direct experience of this, but have you tried hand expressing? I have heard some say it is more effective because by using your hands you are stimulating your oxytocin reflex much better than using plastic pumps. I also met two ladies who used to express from one side whilst lo was feeding from the other leading to much more efficient results. Might be worth a try

MedicalEd Wed 15-Jun-11 15:20:36

Wow thanks Pootle, that's really helpful.
I have an electric steam steriliser but have to admit I do leave the bits in soapy water for a while before I sterilise.
The white valves look ok and are closed.
I can't hear any air getting in around the white cap but I have only got the suction set at about half way up the scale - if I push it up any higher the suction seems to change.
You know the tubey bit that goes in the top with the white cap on top of that? Well it goes from pulling in at the sides when suction set half way to pulling up at the bottom when it is up on full wack and that doesn't feel as strong.
Does that make any sense?
Maybe I should ask the NCT woman for a different pump to try (I think she is new, she doesn't seem to know much about expressing).
I have pumped for no more than 20 mins at a time this morning and between 9 and 12.30 managed to get 120ml off. Some of that was with DD on the other side.
Intuitively I just think I should be able to get more off but if DD takes a long time to feed, maybe that is just the way I am put together.

friendcat Wed 15-Jun-11 15:39:46

I express to freeze so I can use it to mix with solids when I start weaning. I can only ever manage 60mls however long I do it for. Also, I never really got my head around letting DP give DS a bottle of expressed when I was right there leaking! Anyway its all moot now, the little darling won't even take a bottle, proving me indispensable!

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 15-Jun-11 16:46:28

friend just wondering if you knew that you could give cows milk in cooking from 6 months. Just thought I'd mention it as it is so much easier and lots of Mums don't realise.

Its probably a good job anyway as I couldn't express with DC1.

japhrimel Wed 15-Jun-11 20:13:57

How long have you been expressing for? At this stage, your supply is almost entirely demand led, so to express extra, you need to gradually build it up. Ideally you need to express at the same day of day, every day, too so that your body realises that you want to produce more milk for that time.

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