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Can I express straight away?

(17 Posts)
Cherrybug Sun 04-Sep-11 19:44:37

I know the official advice is to establish BF first, not express till a few weeks down the line and not to give baby EBM in a bottle too early. But...

...with DD I had a really difficult time. She had severe jaundice so wouldnt feed well, I then had low supply. After being treated for jaundice and dehydration, once home she still kept losing weight and it ended up with us back and forth to hospital for her to be weighed and monitored etc. We saw BF specialist and midwifes/HV etc who just kept saying that her latch was good and she should start putting on weight. But she didn't. Eventually the consultant told us she had to be supplemented with formula as she was failing to thrive and really needed to put on some weight. I remember feeling a total failure.

I got my supply up a bit by expressing all the time, feeding regularly and taking a herbal tincture and I supplemented with formula so she started to thrive. Kept on with this till she was 9 months when I gave up BF altogether but god it was totally exhausting. I never felt like I had a lot of milk.

So, I'm now pg again and due in Nov. I am dreading BF again in case I have the same problems with supply. So was wondering, could I start expressing regularly straight away as well as feeding, to try and build up supply quickly and store EBM so I can supplement with this if I need to instead of formula? I was thinking of hiring a double pump to help.

KatyN Sun 04-Sep-11 19:56:55

I am v keen to hear any responses to this.. I'm nearing the end of my first pregnancy and keen to express asap. I worry that it might take us a week or so to 'learn' to bf... I would like to BF as well as feed EBM so I anticipate a bit of trouble as he gets used to the bottle and the breast but I think to express all feeds might be daft for me. I guess if I was only going to botle feed ebm then there would be no time constraint in when i started expressing.

are you planning on feeding from your breast as well as bottle feeing the ebm??

EauRouge Sun 04-Sep-11 20:13:52

When you say that the BF specialist and HV said her latch was good, were they just going by how it looked?

Feeding on demand is the best way to establish a good supply, it could be that due to your DD's severe jaundice that she just didn't feed enough in the early days. Did you have to wake her up a lot?

Is there a LLL group you can go to before your next baby arrives? You'll be able to get loads of info so you can feel prepared and hopefully more confident about BF your new DC. There's a list of groups here.

Fiolondon Sun 04-Sep-11 20:39:44

I think expressing in late pregnancy just gets colostrum and so not much use for storing or getting up supply.

I know its easy to say but no2 will be totally different. I was terrified of having my first feeder again earlier this year. Really terrified. Reduced me to tears as the due date for my second approached. I saw a bf counsellor before the baby and she told me about the different thing. I had gone to see her to get my worries off my chest but also so she was lined up and knew my back story in case I needed her once the baby arrived. I did local research and found the local bf guru - some counsellors are better than others and with my first one totally wasted my time with duff (if wellmeaning advice). I figured she might be more likely to offer a home visit on that basis if we had needed it! She couldn't really allay my fears but I was glad I went

In the end they are completely different on all fronts! No2 feeds like a dream!
I'm sure you'll get one like that too, but to reduce your worries, just get set up with the right support in case you do have any troubles.

Personally I did consider supplementing this time (I didnt last time) but is be worried to do it too early unless I ruined my chances by confusing the baby.

For getting up supply I would just put the baby on the breast as much as possible (esp around day 3 or 4 when the baby is calling the milk in. They have to get angry and spend the time fussing to get the supply up for the following day. If you supplement to avoid the fussing then the milk will not come so vicious circle starts again and supply doesn't build up. I think there are ways of increasing supply by pumping but best to speak to a counsellor.

Lastly you are in no way a failure for having fed your first for 7 months!
That's a huge length of time - well done! Good luck

Fiolondon Sun 04-Sep-11 20:46:10

Why do you want to bottle feed ebm every feed?
That sounds like a lot of hassle to me! I hated my pump and it hated me - despite massive supply when baby called the let down, the pump only ever produced 30 or 40ml in half an hour. Feeding and cuddling baby is far nicer so my boobs would only perform under those conditions rather than for the pump!

fraktious Sun 04-Sep-11 20:56:25

Personally I would say that expressing very early, unless you can't BF because of tongue tie or nipple problems, has the potential for more harm than good. The key is just to feed, feed, feed.

A double electric pump, if you do need to, is the best way but be kind to your boobs and give them a rest when the baby isn't latched on. I find expressing more physically uncomfortable than feeding tbh.

RandomMess Sun 04-Sep-11 21:00:54

I expressed from the begining because I engorged so badly and once my supply settled down I couldn't express at all! So I did and froze it and introduced a bottle a day etc (went back to work quickly) and managed to donate a litre of mainly very early milk to the local breastmilk bank.

Cherrybug Sun 04-Sep-11 21:36:02

Thanks for replies, it's good to hear that it might be totally different this time round. I do think it was the jaundice that caused the initial problem, she was so sleepy she wouldn't feed and if I managed to wake her up she latched on then immediately fell to sleep again. This went on for days and days and my milk just didn't really come in. By the time we were admitted to hospital she was dehyrdated and really poorly. It was awful and I want to make sure this doesn't happen again.

I don't wish to supplement with formula this time at all if I can avoid it so thought if I could express early I might build up a store so if I do have problems again I can give EBM. But take the point about it being colostrum in the early days. I'll feed feed feed!

Hope it works, I felt so upset and stressed out the last time. I'd been prepared for soreness, mastitis etc but never expected to have the problems we had!

RandomMess Sun 04-Sep-11 21:53:56

Colostrum is fantastic for young babies! I probably gave the bm in a bottle and then expressed the feed I missed IYSWIM so the frozen bm was never more than a few weeks old. do you know what hospitals would pay for colostrum - more than standard ebm I reckon smile

Meglet Sun 04-Sep-11 21:58:45

I had to express from day 2 with DS as he wouldn't latch on.

I happily expressed from day 3 with DD as I was so engorged she couldn't latch on. I preferred to faff about sterlising a breast pump for 1fl oz of EBM than squeeze it out over a sink so she could latch on. That way I did end up a with a good stash of the stuff in the freezer from the early days. It was a huge PITA but I couldn't bare to waste a drop.

lilham Sun 04-Sep-11 22:24:06

Of course you can express straight away. And it's good you are thinking about what you could do when things go wrong. But babies are usually more efficient at sucking then a pump so they can stimulate your supply better. Instead of expressing before you need it, how about try just putting your baby to the breast as much as possible. Have a look at this page on kellymom before your baby arrives. If you are really worried, make sure you feed every 2 hours.

And don't over worry about things. Some babies are born to be very very good at bf, so it might just all turn out to be a breeze. For example, my DD is a natural at bf and actually gained back her birth weight before day 5, before she was admitted to SCBU for phototherapy for jaundice. She was sleepy the first 5 days but since she was very efficient, she got enough milk to put on weight with 10-15min feeds.

KatyN Mon 05-Sep-11 08:57:15

I don't want to bottle feed every feed but I do want the option of being about to give a bottle from an early stage. this was a recommendation from my obstetrician to prevent exhaustion (for me) and hopefully prevent a reoccurence of depression (the normal stuff... not necessarily post natal!).


tadjennyp Tue 06-Sep-11 04:45:59

I had to go and teach a class when ds2 was 5 days old. That meant being out of the house for at least 2 and a half hours so I had to express milk for dh to feed him. We used to cup feed him for this (weekly) class till he was around 5 weeks old before we tried him with a bottle. It worked really well for us and I am still feeding him 7 months later! Good luck cherry and Katy.

Fiolondon Tue 06-Sep-11 11:47:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fiolondon Tue 06-Sep-11 11:52:14

On that note, I have a Medela swing pump (mot used much) up for sale if anyone is interested and wants to email me offline

EauRouge Tue 06-Sep-11 12:04:54

Wow, I've never spoken to anyone who ate their placenta- what was it like? I think I might be able to stomach it in a smoothie but I have to admit I'd prefer a nice steak. Interesting article, thanks for posting.

Fiolondon Tue 06-Sep-11 12:12:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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