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Getting very little when expressing, ds is 3wo. Tips?

(24 Posts)
titferbrains Sat 01-Oct-11 17:03:32

Just pumped after a feed with ds asleep next to me. Managed about one tsp full in 30 min! I can hand express milk easily but am rubbish at getting it into anything as it drips rather than sprays mostly. I Massage and hand express b4 every pumping sesh. I got more milk in first wk than now. About 20 ml. Did get about 12 ml this morning but seemed a fluke... Am I pumping too soon after feed? Ds has been slow to gain so been advised to top up with ebm. He is alert, content, lots of wee and poo.

MindtheGappp Sat 01-Oct-11 17:06:12

Express from one side while baby is feeding from the other.

All you have to do after getting letdown is a quick massage and the milk should start flowing. You might get as much as 100 ml before it needs more encouragement.

IME, expressing after a feed is the worst time.

titferbrains Sat 01-Oct-11 17:11:58

I don 't get any feeling of let down so never sure what it means, can u explain?

titferbrains Sat 01-Oct-11 17:14:06

Do u mean pump a bit then massage, then pump again?

MindtheGappp Sat 01-Oct-11 17:18:33

You don't have to feel the letdown - it will be there if you are successfully feeding your baby.

The way that worked for me was to settle the baby on the favourite side, the to place the pump on the other side. A couple of pumps would set the milk pouring out of its own accord, so I would not have to keep working at the pump. It works well with hand expressing too, but the pump gives you a convenient way of collecting the milk, especially if you are a sprayer.

titferbrains Sat 01-Oct-11 17:31:00

Think I need more advice on getting milk flowing !

MindtheGappp Sat 01-Oct-11 17:32:32

I've tried.

lilham Sat 01-Oct-11 19:24:50

I have no trouble EBF my 6mo DD, never have low supply issue and never even have to consider formula top ups. But i am rubbish at expressing. If one more HCP advises a mother to express and topup, I'd scream. angry I wonder if any of them have successfully bf, or they are one of the lucky ones that have no trouble expressing!

Can you not just put your LO on the breast to feed every time you want to top up? Babies are much more effective at getting milk out then a pump.

lilham Sat 01-Oct-11 19:27:38

Rubbish in the way that I struggle to even get a few teaspoon out to mix into DD's puree.

MangoMonster Sat 01-Oct-11 19:33:42

I never managed to express enough for a feed but bf fine, think it just doesn't work for some people, so don't get too upset by it.

Wigeon Sat 01-Oct-11 19:41:45

Also not sure why expressing is going to help your baby gain weight when it's often harder to get the milk out with an artificial pump than an actual baby? Wouldn't more frequent feeds be easier and more effective?

Wigeon Sat 01-Oct-11 19:43:21

But I found that expressing half way between feeds was better than just after a feed. And the morning was usually better than the evenings or afternoons.

Tenebrist Sat 01-Oct-11 21:15:14

Telling you to express at three weeks is just crap advice (unless you have no other option because baby in NICU or similar), otherwise just do what lilham and wigeon say and just stick the baby on your boob more often.

You do need to get qualified advice on this, but my BF counsellor said if a baby was gaining and otherwise signs were OK (as you mention, alert and pooing), then there's nothing to worry about. The growth charts were based mostly on FF babies who have different growth patterns (this is what she said). It sounds like you and your baby are doing fine as it is.

titferbrains Sun 02-Oct-11 12:59:06

DS is 3 wks today and hadn't got back to birth weight on wed earlier this week, re: jaundice (yet to go from his eyes today) and tongue tie, snipped at 1wo.

My instinct is also to not bother with expressing but he does seem to sleep better with EBM top ups.

He is asleep now so going to have another go at it. Have massive anxiety as had so mnay issues feeding DD1 initially so really seeking reassurance and encouragement. I just remembered today that when I tried to just focus on breastfeeding one week when feeding her I found that she had lost weight the next week, and I don't want that to happen again.

Going to get fenugreek tea today.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 02-Oct-11 13:08:24

Sure, top up, but do so directly from the breast. My goodness WHO suggested this?

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 02-Oct-11 13:09:22

How often are you offering a feed?

titferbrains Sun 02-Oct-11 13:52:56

A mw at my local practice. Am going to have word with them next time and say it was unhelpful to hear this...

titferbrains Sun 02-Oct-11 13:54:15

Note ds was not back at his birthwt on wed tHis wk. Hence mw stressing.

titferbrains Sun 02-Oct-11 13:56:52

Feeding as often as he wants.

RitaMorgan Sun 02-Oct-11 14:12:15

How often is that?

titferbrains Sun 02-Oct-11 14:19:08

He fed on and off all morning, with about 30 min alert and relaxed while I had breakfast. He cried wen I had a shower. Few min feeding aftervthat anh fell asleep for 2 hrs. Feeding now tho has fallen asleep so switch feeding to rise him.

tiktok Sun 02-Oct-11 14:50:31

sad sad

Wish people would not tell an OP on these threads not to do what someone who has seen her and talked to her and seen her baby in real life has can be totally appropriate to top up with expressed breastmilk when the baby is slow to gain weight.

I have no idea if it is right in this case, and nor does anyone else!

It might be that the OP's baby is having difficulty removing sufficient milk direct or often enough. In these cases a top up of EBM is a sensible option.

OP, if you are having difficulty expressing, then do tell the midwife, maybe tomorrow if you can contact her. Expressing mid-feed is often effective, as people have suggested here.

(and as for charts - charts in use are not based on ff babies - they never were and they are not now. Older charts were based on babies whose feeding is not differentiated, though yes, many of them would be ff. Today's charts are based on solely or predominantly bf babies - and in any case, excl bf babies tend to gain weight rather faster at first. So charts should not be dissed smile . Use of the chart does not really start until the baby is about 2 weeks and has regained birthweight.)

tiktok Sun 02-Oct-11 14:52:40

Just to add - topping up with EBM for a baby of 3 weeks still under birthweight (again nothing to do with charts) is on the face of it a sensible and sensitive piece of advice - problem arises if a mother is not able to express effectively and she may need help with technique or a different pump.

camdancer Sun 02-Oct-11 15:17:21

I find I can express different amounts during the day. At about 1am I can get 4-5oz, 7am is more like 2-3oz and I can't get anything in the evening. So maybe try to express during the night.

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