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Advice on stopping expressing

(8 Posts)
hazbaz Thu 07-Jul-11 21:05:49

Hi there, i'm hoping someone can give me some advice. After trying for over a week to breastfeed DS2 with him unlatching and fussing, me in agony and DS1 crying cos everyone else was i have been expressing and bottle feeding. DS2 is now nearly 4 weeks and i'm afraid with great regret for everyone's sanity i'm going to have to stop expressing and put him on formula. Otherwise my poor toddler stays in and gets no attention while i try to soothe his brother, feed him or pump.

My problem is how to stop expressing - i am lucky in that i have a plentiful milk supply and get engorged very easily, had mastitis really badly with DS1 and DO NOT want that again. Is it best to leave longer between expressing (currently trying not to do it more than every 4 hours) or to pump for fewer minutes each time. Keep getting really sore lumps which only go with massage when pumping but this just seems to stimulate breasts - just pumped 140ml off one boob after 4 1/2 hours....

Any advice appreciated

japhrimel Thu 07-Jul-11 22:02:49

Can't you get more help with breastfeeding?

To stop expressing, don't pump until the flow slows right down or stops and you should be able to slowly reduce the amount you pump in each session. Unfortunately, if you get blocked ducts, this will have to go out of the window until they're cleared to avoid risking mastitis.

hazbaz Thu 07-Jul-11 23:01:45

japhrimel - i think i have to give up on the breastfeeding as it gets me so stressed out that everyone else gets upset and i'm not sure i can cope with it not working again. When i pump it doesn't exactly flow....just drips unless i'm massaging the breast and i seem to get blocked ducts unless i pump every 3 hours....feel like i'm stuck on this treadmill of expressing which part of me doesn't want to stop and part of me simply can't cope with on the amount of sleep i'm having.

KD0706 Thu 07-Jul-11 23:24:51

No personal experience but my friend exclusively expressed for her DS. She started expressing 10 ml less at each session, so not 'emptying the breast' (I know they're never properly empty, but you know what I mean?

I'm not explaining this well I think. I mean that instead of expressing say 109 ml from each breast at each expressing session, she would go down to 90 from each. She did this 10 ml reduction a couple of times a week.

Then once she was expressing less volume she started dropping sessions, one a week.

It's a but of a chore to get down from full on expressing. But hopefully if you know the end is in sight that will make things easier.

I do know a little of how you feel, I started off expressing for DD and was ready to give it up but her doctor persuaded me to give it one last shot and luckily it worked. But I feel so lucky that she did finally learn to latch, and if she hadn't I think I would have stopped expressing sooner rather than later.

Sorry you've been having a hard time, and well done for the bm you have given your DS so far. smile

Justtrying Fri 08-Jul-11 09:09:47

hazbaz hugs and support, i'm in a similar situation, except i only have one DC in that breast feeding didn't work so went to EE then introduced a formula top up as DD seemed so hungry, now trying to transition to formula so i get more sleep and time to spend with DD, instead of being stuck in an endless circle of nappy change, feed pump.
I'm trying to follow KD's advice and reduce the time i spend expressing and i've gone from 8 times a day to 6 but boobs are a bit tender, i had a bloked duct last week to went back to pumping 8 times a day so was back at square one. But i seem to be getting somewhere now as i think AF has made an appearance this morning, either that or its more lochia, DD is 6 weeks on sunday.
I hope it helps to know you're not on own with this.

hazbaz Fri 08-Jul-11 16:29:53

KD0706 - how old was your DD when you decided to give it another try? Part of me would really like to try again but part of me thinks it will never work after so long exclusively bottle fed and i'm not sure i can put the family through it.... I'll try to reduce the amount i pump each time but it can be so variable its tricky to do...

Justtrying - its really good to know i'm not the only one - i so know what you mean about the endless cycle....i'm just hanging out for my first smile as that's payback time!! Well done for managing to pump 8 times a day - i've certainly not managed that!!

KD0706 Sat 09-Jul-11 23:28:05

Hi hazbaz we were in a slightly different scenario in that DD was prem. So she was tube fed at first then onto bottles then bf.

She had been on bottles for about three weeks when we started bf.
Our issue had been that she didn't make any effort to latch, she just stared at my boob and occasionally licked it. I was offering her boob, then bottle feeding her and then expressing at each feed, and it was such a chore (as you know!) especially since she just didn't seem interested in the boob. I stopped offering her the breast, for about a week.
Then we had an appointment with her paediatrician and she asked how BFing was going and I said I'd given up offering and she said why not just give it one more shot, even if you just end up BFing in the nighttime and bottle feeding during the day, it will just be less hassle in the night (she didn't guilt trip me re benefits of bf which was good.

So, a couple of days later when I was home alone and all was calm I offered her my boob and she just took it. Because I had previously been expressing more than she was drinking, I just went cold turkey and went straight to ebf. She was being weighed twice a week so I got reassurance that it was working that way, but it was really scary.

Not sure if any of that is of help to you. Whatever you end up doing I hope it all works out for you.

KD0706 Sat 09-Jul-11 23:33:09

Oh also, for her first week of bottle feeds she was on standard sma teats (provided by hospital). Then I moved her onto the tommee tippee closer to nature ones. She needed to actually open her mouth wide to feed from them (the other ones she just opened her mouth a bit and I stuck the bottle in). I think that helped a bit with the latching.

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