How can I express more??(22 Posts)
Hey ladies- love this forum!! Ds now 4 weeks and while it's been a very bumpy road I'm still bf and loving it!! Problem is I'd like to build a store of ebm for going back to work. I have medela mini electric pump and I'm pumping after morning feeds. I just can't seem to get much out - maybe half oz!!!! Any ideas on how I can get more? Thanks for any replies!!
Haven't got much advice but think that half an ounce at 4 weeks is actually pretty good. The NCT publish this booklet which you may find helpful. Try to express at the same time everyday and also different pumps suit different women so have a try of another pump. If you go to a bfing group there may a Mum who will lend you one to try if you ask. Have you had a go at hand expressing too?
How old will DS be when you return to work?
He'll be 5 months when I go back. I'd love to go to a group but with 3 other kids all at home I have no way of getting there without lots of stress!! I'll def look at that leaflet tonight!! Thanks for your reply
Its a shame you can't get to a bfing group. Have you had given your local LLL or bfing counsellor a call to see if the can help?
Are all your children under school age? if so, you should all be welcome at your local NCT group.
2 are at school. Gonna ring local group and see can they send someone out. It's all I can do as kids are off school for summer. I'm in no real panic yet- just looking ahead iykwim!! Also have a wedding coming up in sept which I wud like to go to but I'll see closer to time. Thank u!!
This may help too. Hope you get to your wedding
My LO is just over 4 weeks- has taken me just over a week to start getting mire than half an oz so keep at it!
However- I did find a fab tip on the Internet that works really well for me- during night feeds- if you can, try to feed from only one side. In the morning, whilst feeding from that same sized used in the night, express from the other side.
Bit diddly to begin with as it's quite tricky to feed baby and express at the same time but it gets easier. I fund it's the only way I can get a good letdown. Found with this method I get 5-6oz every morning!!
Let me know how you get on
And clearly there are a few autocorrect errors in there, damn phone!!! Lol- *fiddly not diddly and *find not fund
Oh brilliant thanks! Will try that and let you know
mampig I had the same question as you. I'm back at work next week and DD will be 9 mos. She has always been a great feeder. Now on 4 feeds a day but ears loads too!
I'm only managing about 1 oz when expressing. I've only expressed a handful of times since she was born. Using a medela swing.
Really wanting to persevere with BF til 12 mos but with this expressing rate, not sure I'll manage...
How did you get on OP? If you've managed to try it yet!! The one downside of course is having one massive boob all night!
booberella - there is one drawback to the suggestion you made (I know you didn't invent the idea though, you are just passing it on) - it could lead to lowered supply overall as the longer you go without removing milk from the breast (pump/baby) the less milk is being made i.e you may get 5-6oz out by expressing after not feeding for a long time but you might have made lots more by feeding directly from it.
Also, leaving long gaps causes a special protein called FIL (Feedback Inhibitor of Lactation - it's a whey protein which the baby can digest so is part of the nutrition of bm as well) to build up in the milk. The more FIL there is in the milk, the less milk is made as FIL switches off the milk producing sites in the milk producing tissue. FIL works to stop breasts making milk at the same rate no matter how full they are, as you can imagine it would get painful quickly if you made milk at the same rate even if you were full to bursting!
It may work really well now but later on when the production of milk moves from being hormone driven to supply and demand (making only enough to replace what is removed from the breasts) you might find your supply drops and you are no longer able to pump 5-6oz in the morning as you are not 'over-full' any longer.
I'm not having a go at you because at the moment what you are doing is working well for you so why shouldn't you share what seems like a great way to express lots of milk. I'm just pointing out the long term drawbacks so you are aware.
I totally see your point, and that was something I was worried about when I initially read the idea. I was worried that pumping would mess with supply full stop to be honest.
However- at the minute I don't think this method is a problem for me- baby will feed normally from either one or both boobs until about 11pm (usually one), then tends to only wake once in the night and never takes both boobs. Then when she wakes at 6-7 I just pump whichever feels fullest (they are both pretty full by then) and feed from the other.
Do you think this method will cause any problems? When she wakes more than once I'll just feed her from the alternative boob to the one she had previously :-)
I think if she is naturally just waking once and falls asleep during the first side then it wouldn't be a problem so long as you aren't feeding off one side (say the left) only at night, only ever feeding off the left each night for multiple feeds and only pumping the right in the morning as you might see the right side's supply drop.
I assume it's not always the same side you express off each morning? And you feed your DD from the pumped side first at the next feed (pumping not generally as effective as a well attached baby)?
Do you pump until the milk stops and then for a few more minutes or pump some other way?
Good plan with the swapping if she wakes more than once. Even if a breast feels soft, there is still lots of milk as the hard/full feeling is excess milk not just milk. After a period of time bfing settles and most women don't get full/hard breasts unless they go a long time without any feeds. I can now go all day without feeling full and I have plenty of milk when I need to nurse even if it is only a short period of time since the last feed (youngest is 21m though it has been like that for months and months [possibly well over a year]).
Anyway, even if you had two night wakings and had fed from both sides you might still get a reasonable amount of milk simply due to the expectation of expressing that your body has each morning.
Hope that made sense!
Thanks for the info, that's fab :-) I have been just pumping from the right in the morning while I got the hang of feeding and pumping at the same time- tried it with the left but couldn't coordinate myself properly (am right handed!). I will alternate now I've had a bit of practice and follow your advice regarding the rest
Yep I just pump till it stops flowing and for a few mins after but it never seems to start up again.
Big respect for you BF for so long, it's hard!
Oh and I don't want the right side supply to drop as at the minute I would have very wonky boobs! Looking forward to the stage where they don't get so engorged!
The pumping for a few minutes post-milk is to increase breast stimulation as pump isn't as effective as a baby (usual caveats apply ).
Please don't feel liKe I am telling you what to do, I really hope I'm not coming across like that. If it doesn't chime with you or work for you and your family please disregard anything I have mentioned. It's just information for informations sake not to make you do anything. But glad I have been helpful to you.
Thank you both - been reading with interest!!
booberella - haven't had chance yet to try this as my pump is so loud for that time in am. BUT... I have tried my manual pump today = not for early feed and have gotten much more out!! I think my medela will be going onto ebay!!! Although I've e-mailed medela about the flange, which I think is too small for me as my manual has a bigger one!!!
If you're going back after the 6 month point then you could express when DC is having a solid meal. I found that the Ameda lactaline double electric enabled me to pump about 8oz in 20 mins everyday for 3 months. It took a few tries to get used to it but it can be done with a clam, dark room, some photos of your DC and sometimes a phonecall home to hear them if the childminder allows / can do it. Good luck!
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