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Advice re: expressing

(10 Posts)
PeterSpanswick Thu 04-Aug-11 14:40:08

I'm pregnant with ds2 and also have a 22 month old who is v active and demanding, as I think most of them are! grin

I plan to breastfeed but looking realistically at the situation I know I will struggle at times and giving a bottle of expressed milk would be far more practical.

I'm lucky in that both sets of grandparents live close by and with ds1 were very hands on and keen to take him out and about visiting etc to give me a break and also that DH is v willing to help out with feeds which I think I will be thankful for with an energetic ds1 to entertain all day on top of the new baby. No lazy days in bed for me this time around!

We also have my best friend's wedding to attend involving an overnight stay four weeks after ds2 is due (might be a bit ambitious, will see how we feel!) but obviously if we do decide to go, ds would have to be able to take a bottle in order for me to leave his side for any amount of time.

I know i probably wont have as much time to sit and breastfeed on demand as I did last time and as DH and I only have one car between us at the moment I will also be walking quite long distances sometimes with both dc in the pram when it might not be practical to whip a boob out if needed and a bottle would be far easier to manage.

For this reason I am very interested in expressing but didn't do much of it last time although I do have a pump etc and have lots of questions.

I'm not sure how soon I can start to express, how best to establish some kind of rhythm and manage demand; basically I am a complete novice so any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated! Would I be better off offering a bottle of breastmilk as soon as my milk comes in so he gets used to it right from the start? It doesn't bother me if I don't get to actually breastfeed, as long as ds is getting the goodness of breastmilk.

PeterSpanswick Thu 04-Aug-11 14:40:31

Wow, sorry for the short novel!

MigGril Thu 04-Aug-11 16:17:17

Hum it isn't recomended to intorduce a bottle untill BF is well estabilished, after the first 6week's. The reasion being is that baby can end up preffering the faster flow from a bottle and refussing the breast.

I'm not quit sure why you feel expressing and feeding in a bottle will be easier with having two. I have DS who's 9months and DD who's just 4years and it's almost impossible to find time to express, pluss it takes me ages to get much out.

I'd use your helpfull GP to take you DS out and enterain him, come and do some jobs round the house ect. and concetrate on feeding the baby. As for being out and about and walking lots with having a 22month old who probably still needs a buggy, have you considered a stechy wrap sling. You can learn to feed in them to, so would be very usefull.

MarathonMillie Thu 04-Aug-11 16:25:03

The MWs/HVs tell you not to express too early as it confuses baby but I expressed after a week and DD was not confused, still preferred BF but was happy to take a bottle of expressed milk as well. And expressing did not affect my milk supply - which is what you also get told by MW/HV. On the other extreme, if you leave it too late to introduce a bottle your DC may refuse bottle completely and then there is more pressure to keep up the BF. This happened with a couple of friends of mine.

I must admit though, I did get a bit fed up with being constantly hooked up to either breast bump or feeding DD myself so not sure why you think it would save time/be easier.

headfairy Thu 04-Aug-11 16:32:47

I think it depends on the baby, I didn't introduce bottles of ebm until ds was 6 weeks old, and I didn't at all with dd. If you think bfing is hard with an active toddler around, then you should try expressing.

As someone who expressed a lot first time around I thought like you, that it would be the solution to all my troubles. Not so. I was expressing after each morning feed and all it did was extend the amount of time I wasn't able to attend to ds.

Wrt the wedding, if you do end up going, I'd say being established with bfing would be far more useful. I did it at a friend's wedding (dd was actually older.... 8 weeks) but I found a quiet room and sat there and fed dd. No worrying about warming bm, or keeping it cool. Much much easier.

I'm not trying to put you off expressing, it definitely has it's place, but I think you'll find the reality of expressing with an active toddler around much harder in practice.

MigGril Thu 04-Aug-11 16:51:11

The not expressing thing is a bit of a myth you can express from day one, but you do risk oversupply if you express to much.

Giving a bottle is not recomended as some baby may then refusse the breast, you can't tell which one's will do this untill you try. Which is why it's recomended that no bottle's are given before 6week's so baby will be well estabished at the breast. Of course some mum's give bottle's eariler and have no problems.

If you where planning on expressing a lot, then an eletric pump would be better then a manual one, as usealy quiker/more efficent. Did you express at all first time do you know if you can express, some women find it quit difficult.

I was trying to be negative in my first post I just wanted you to think about the possibilities if you find it diffult/to time consuming to express.

PeterSpanswick Thu 04-Aug-11 20:51:37

I remember being told that you aren't supposed to express until 6/7 weeks, now you've mentioned it! Head like a sieve at the moment, sorry!

I have a manual pump but literally only used it if I was planning to have more than a glass or so of wine or if ds was away from me for any amount of time so might be worth investing in an electric if I do go along with my grand expressing scheme, thanks for that.

Lots to think about here, it's true that if I am at home anyway, pumping will probably take longer than actually breastfeeding!

So I would be better off ebf to start with and then introducing expressed milk when we've both got the hang of it? Will I then be able to do both frequently or will there still be an issue wrt teat confusion if I try too early?

Mampig Thu 04-Aug-11 22:46:08

Sorry = I havent read all the posts but I'll give u my experience!! I now have 4 kids aged 6 , 5, 2, and 5 week old ds. This is my first time bf (for various reasons..) I too wondered how i would do it with a 2 year old (just turned 2 in July), but I use my free arm to read to her, cuddle her, even play games with her - something I couldn't do if bottle feeding, needing both hands iyswim?? She can sometimes get a little bored but I find if I set her up with colouring or puzzles/blocks once a day, we can escape any tantrums. Initially dc fed ALL the time, but it has now got a lot easier and he is going 3-4 hrs between feeds. I have now tried expressing to build a store for freezer and I'm struggling!! I couldn't imagine if I was depending on ebm... baby would be starving!!! I have manual pump and electric and the manual (tescos £15!!!!) works much better for me than my electric medela! I still only get 2 oz per session, but with medela. I only got half oz!!! Anyway - hope this is of use to you, and good luck with whatever you decide smile

Mampig Thu 04-Aug-11 22:49:51

Sorry - meant also to say the I introducde TT bottle of ebm within 2 weeks and have had no trouble with nipple confusion. I give it around 7pm so he only has one per day, and so he is bf all other times. I'll be returning to work eventually and didn't want to have trouble with him taking bottles when I go back.

buttonmoon78 Fri 05-Aug-11 11:35:38

I'm doing something similar to Mampig - ebm top up at last feed before I go to bed. DS is 3wks and likes it. However, I wouldn't even consider expressing more than this. It takes me 2-3 goes to get off 2-3 oz and that's with a medical grade electric pump.

Don't forget that generally pumps take longer to get less than a baby would. So giving a bottle of ebm would be feeding twice - once for the bottle itself but also the time it takes to express.

I would start off bf from the breast. See how it goes. I've got a 4yo (and two older dds) and he loves it when I feed as we have lots of cuddle/reading/dvd time. He also loves to snuggle in too, right into ds2's head!

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