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hand expressing before birth

(11 Posts)
BoogieWoo Wed 03-Aug-11 21:01:17

Can anyone tell me if this is a possibility. It was suggested to me by my midwife and I am really unsure. My baby will be born in 5 weeks and will have a cleft lip/palate. He'll be unable to breast feed but I'm keen to get at least some breast milk into him. The midwife had suggested that expressing before delivery would help the flow of colostrum and take the stress out of expressing at the beginning. I could freeze the colostrum and have a little bit in reserve to help the baby on his way. I have spoken to a few folk who have said that it could bring on premature labour- can anyone help?

crikeybadger Wed 03-Aug-11 21:27:49

Yes, it's definitely possible.

Here's an article that may be useful.


crikeybadger Wed 03-Aug-11 21:30:50

Oh and this might be worth a read if you haven't seen it already.

Thandeka Wed 03-Aug-11 21:38:11

I did it from 37 weeks and was fine. Glad I did as dd ended in nicu. Dd was born at full term

orchidee Wed 03-Aug-11 22:46:57

I wish I'd done this prior to my baby being born. It's such a useful skill to learn. I think you'll benefit by being confident about knowing how to express. You won't have to rely on anyone being available / interested / knowledgeable about helping you after the birth. (Another thread, but hospital post-natal ward staff can be a bit, err, variable in this.)

You seem well-informed but I would receommend reading up as much as possible before the birth. Is expressing and syringe or cup-feeding a possibility?

I hope the birth goes well. Do you have a CS planned (since you seem sure of the date)?

orchidee Wed 03-Aug-11 22:50:57

Also - there seem to be a few techniques to hand express. You may find that the Marmet technique and Jack Newman's videos are useful. It may be good to try a few ways and see if any work better than others (I think they're all slight variations on the same basic technique.)

Also, you may find that particular times of day or being in a relaxed mood helps. It may be useful to try expressing after a bath or shower.

BoogieWoo Thu 04-Aug-11 23:30:21

Thanks for that ....and the brilliant links. All worth reading. I have an appointment with the midwife to discuss this further next week- at least I can be a little more informed. Thank you!

maisie215 Fri 05-Aug-11 15:36:16

I hand expressed before birth and was really glad I did. The reason I did it was because I had huge problems with breastfeeding and low milk supply with my DS1 and so wanted to get a head start with DC2. I started earlier than they recommend (about 32weeks) and initially didn't bother storing it. I collected in a syringe and then threw away. At about 36 weeks I started to store it. I expressed in the evenings before a bath and didn't do it every day- maybe once every 2-3 days. I was getting 10-20ml per time in about 3 or 4 mins. I froze it all in syringes.

After DC2 was born she had jaundice in the first 24hrs. They suggested topping up with formula but we were able to get by with the total of 125ml of colostrum I had stored.

The hospital said they hadn't seen anyone with such volumes of colostrum. Ironically I am now struggling with poor weight gain and low milk supply again. No one can tell me why I had such a lot of colostrum but so little milk- even at 6 weeks I am very lucky to express an oz of BM at one sitting. On the other hand my friend who has very successfully breastfed two children could only get minute amounts (2ml in TOTAL!) but has way way more milk than me. Any suggestions as to why this may be gratefully received....

I'm so glad I did it! Good luck!

maisie215 Fri 05-Aug-11 15:38:20

Oh and no problems with preterm labour. DD born at 39+4!

orchidee Fri 05-Aug-11 21:40:36

I'm impressed with maisie's story - after ds was born I could express 0.5ml of colostrum from each breast every few hours. I used 1ml syringes (in hospital, they provided them).

orchidee Fri 05-Aug-11 21:41:50

I rckon maisie's volume of colostrum shows she had a top technique so try her approach of expressing after a bath

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