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Top tips for exclusively expressing

(12 Posts)
organiccarrotcake Fri 22-Jul-11 13:23:17

If you've experience of, for whatever reason, exclusively expressing for your baby, what would your top tips be?

These will be passed on to a mum who is going down this route that I'm currently supporting.

Thanks ladies smile

JetLi Fri 22-Jul-11 15:12:38

You need the rather wonderful thaliablogs - here is the advice she gave me when expressing:

thaliablogs Thu 23-Jul-09 22:52:44
Jetli I'm so pleased you've had such a breakthrough. I do hope it continues

Wanted to add a couple of props that might be helpful while you're still expressing:

1. Handsfree pumping bra from

2. You don't need to sterilise pumping equipment every time, just once a day. In between put it in the fridge in a plastic bag - breastmilk keeps 5 days in fridge and that's all that's on the pump stuff so it's perfectly safe. You can even leave it at room temp between feeds if you're knackered

3. Get 3 complete sets of pumping stuff so you dont have to get up at night, just have all three sets by the side of the bed and use a fresh set each time, then clean all in the morning

4, Get a little cooler and keep pumped milk in there overnihgt so again you don't have to get out of bed.

JetLi Fri 22-Jul-11 15:19:41

At breastpump training recently, this what we were taught (actually I'm assuming she is using a pump? I could be wrong)

1. Think about baby - helps if baby is in the room, if not photo, vest which smells of baby - something to help trigger the let down.
2. Massage the breast gently towards the nipple.
3. Hand express gently until the milk begins to come.
4. Then attach the pump. Pump 10 minutes each side, then another 10 minutes each side, so right, left, right, left.

Marmet technique for hand expressing here -

Another tip I was given was to use a large band of elastic with slits cut in them to hold the pump.

JetLi Fri 22-Jul-11 15:20:25


organiccarrotcake Fri 22-Jul-11 16:34:22

Fantastic stuff, thank you Jetli.

Any more?

TruthSweet Fri 22-Jul-11 18:18:15

If baby is small having baby on your lap whilst pumping or having baby in reach can help.

This might be helpful too in the long term (the link to the tapes is in the article).

This might help too.

This website is good reading for a EPing mum.

This might be of interest to you Rots.

organiccarrotcake Fri 22-Jul-11 19:47:04

Fantastic links truth thanks m'dear.

Loving all of them but also thinking about the relaxation tape for UKAMB!

japhrimel Fri 22-Jul-11 20:56:46

Compressions and massage significantly increase output.

"Think baby, think milk" really helps. I did hypnotherapy style visualisations at first with a video of my newborn crying.

Remember it won't be for long. EE should be a temporary stage IMO on the way to EBF or BF with top-ups.

organiccarrotcake Sun 24-Jul-11 09:40:07

Thanks japh smile

What's the longest anyone's EE for?

choceyes Sun 24-Jul-11 10:22:43

I did it for about 10.5 months.

1.Make sure you have spare accessories at home for your pump. I used the medela symphony double electric, and the membrane bit was curling up occassionally with such heavy use. You can't pump if this happens as you don't have a seal then. I remember panicking when mine did that first, I was in tears, luckily the NCT lady I hired it from had a spare set which DH went and got for me immediately.
You can buy extra from medela, at no cost. I had to change mine every 6-8wks ish.

2. To keep your supply high, express till breast runs out of milk (yes it does happen!) and a further couple of minutes.

3. I took fenugreek in the early weeks, I really think this helped with supply.

Zoe20 Sun 24-Jul-11 22:45:24

My DS is nearly 12 weeks old and I've been EE for 7 weeks now. My tips based on my own experience would be similar to choceyes:
- Use a double electric pump - I use the Medela symphony (I found it significantly increased both output and speed)
- I took fenugreek and motilium (domperidone) to help supply when I started but no longer need these
- I also express until hardly any milk is coming out each time
- I started off expressing 7 times a day, and have now dropped to six times a day. I made the decision when I started not to get up in the night to express if DS didn't wake up and actually I think getting good rest helped my supply although I know many swear by night time expressing to boost supply.

Good luck to your friend - it's not easy but you do get used to it.

duckymum Mon 25-Jul-11 09:43:29

DD had cleft lip & palate so couldn't breastfeed. I started out thinking I would express for as long as I could - was warned I might only be able to for a few days/weeks. It just became routine and in the end I exclusively expressed for 7.5 months, then she had about 75% EBM up to 10.5 months and 50% up to 13.5 months, when she was getting up and fiddling with the breast pump and I decided enough was enough.

In the early days I did express at night, but I was quite lucky in that she started sleeping through quite early so decided to get my own sleep. Exception was a couple of times around 3 & 4 months (I think!) when I felt I was getting less milk - I set my alarm and got up for half an hour to express at 2am ish for 3 or 4 days and felt this helped; in having an extra session, and working with the hormones - seemed to boost supply for me anyway. Also took fenugreek any time I thought supply was lower. After a while I could leave longer between sessions without too much worry.

Lots of good advice on here - second massage & compressions and double pumping or frequent switching.

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