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Exclusively expressing - advice needed

(7 Posts)
Zoe20 Sun 19-Jun-11 21:29:28

My DS is coming up to 7 weeks old. I exclusively BF for the first five weeks but with much sadness decided to give up for various reasons (which I've already posted about so won't go into again here!). For the last week and a half I've been expressing and managing to give him five or six feeds of expressed milk out of 7.

I'd like to keep doing this for as long as possible but I think my supply is already decreasing. After a slow start for the first couple of days where I don't think I expressed often enough, I am now expressing 5 or 6 times a day, with one session in the night at around 4.30am after DS has had his feed.

Has anyone been through a similar experience and have some tips for getting my supply back up. I know the first thing to do is to increase the number of pumping sessions, but I will find this hard to do during the day as DS needs so much attention and I don't want to leave him to cry while I pump. I have been pumping more often at the weekend when DH is around to help but I just seem to get less milk at each session and don't see an overall increase.

I have hired a hospital grade pump (the Medela Symphony) which seemed to increase supply at first but it's now tailing off again.

Also a quick question about overfeeding on expressed milk - DS seems very hungry and will easily take 6 or even 7oz at each feed. The HV said not to worry about overfeeding but I've read elsewhere that it can cause problems later on. Do these sort of amounts seem normal?

RitaMorgan Sun 19-Jun-11 21:45:33

Depends on the number of feeds - breastfed babies tend to average 25oz a day. There's a calculator on kellymom that can give you an idea of amounts.

Does he have a dummy? He might be sucking on the bottle because he needs to suck rather than he needs the milk iyswim.

PenguinArmy Sun 19-Jun-11 21:48:59

You don't have to worry with overfeeding when BF direct, but once using bottles you do (not every HV seems to get this)

Most people recommend pumping 8 times a day with one session in the night to maintain supply. There are a lot of people on here who have exclusively expressed and hopefully they'll be along soon with some tips and links to blogs etc.

Zoe20 Sun 19-Jun-11 22:52:14

Thanks both - he's having six or seven feeds a day, so is taking a lot more than average! He often cries when the bottle is finished but I have tried with the dummy and normally this calms him down, so I think as you say Rita, he must just like to suck.

It's so difficult to get good advice on bottlefeeding (especially with expressed milk) - the only thing the HV could give me was an NHS leaflet on hygiene, so I've been trying to do research on the internet/reading childcare books.

PenguinArmy Sun 19-Jun-11 23:14:42

expressed milk is loads easier than formula milk in terms of handling.

When freshly expressed, it can sit at room temperature for 8 hours. When put in the fridge it lasts up to a week (or longer). Not sure if it's OK, then just smell it (just like cows milk)

Unlike formula it comes out sterile (well full of good antibodies, antivirials etc.) Sterilizing you don;t have to be as vigilant on. Just make sure it's washed really well in hot soapy water (or the dishwasher)

finally have a look here Loads of good useful information for pumping, including a link on fully expressing and tips on if you think your baby is being overfed.

FWIW with DD we found she would always finish the bottle regardless of amount, but if we set the amount she would only rarely cry for more food.

alarkaspree Sun 19-Jun-11 23:19:22

I have no advice really, but I take my hat off to you, this must be incredibly hard work.

It might be worth trying a hand pump if you haven't already, I found I got milk much quicker with that than with the hospital pump.

PenguinArmy Sun 19-Jun-11 23:23:31

yes I would have been lost with my hospital grade rental and I wasn't exclusively expressing, it was so much more comfortable, easier, quicker and quieter.

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