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Hand pump expressing tips?

(10 Posts)
NauseousKitty Sat 13-Oct-12 03:00:34

I have just decided to express as well as BF, partly due to slow weight gain and partly because my DH wants to be more involved. We bought a hand pump as didn't want to invest in electric until we were sure DD would take to a bottle. I have used it for the first time tonight and after pumping for 10 minutes (was advised no longer initially) I got... 1.3oz!

I know this is a tiny amount so I have a few questions. Is this normal initially? Will I be able to build this up when I get used to it? And can I add to a bottle with another pumping session or do I have to start a fresh one each time? All help appreciated. Thank you!

Chicarita Sat 13-Oct-12 03:20:46

How old is baby?

mistlethrush Sat 13-Oct-12 03:27:43

Based on my experience, for a first go that's really good!

I found it very interesting - if I wasn't concerned about getting quantity, there was no issue - if I really needed a certain amount it was much more difficult. I also found if I was generally relaxed it was much easier.

Getting a good position for the pump was also critical - a few degrees could make or break the suction opportunities.

Chicarita Sat 13-Oct-12 04:04:33

Well done! My first attempts with dd1 expressing were useless - 8 years later with Ds I I read somewhere tht whilst pumping you should stare (or look! Sounds weird) at them and then the milk will come - worked for me - had gallons!

Graciescotland Sat 13-Oct-12 04:14:48

I got half an ounce the first time I expressed and that was with fancy electric medela swing so I think your doing well.

Relaxing, thinking of your DC (to encourage let down), playing around with the position until you get it right for you all helps.

I did the bf then express for ten whilst DH syringe fed DS whatever I'd been able to express the time before. It was exhausting but DS managed to put on 11 ounces in a week so it was definitely effective. Hope it goes well for you.

NauseousKitty Sat 13-Oct-12 06:01:43

Thanks ladies! These are really handy tips, especially looking a baby. Will have another go when I wake up properly.

Chicarita, DD is 11 weeks so not a tiny one. She didn't lose from her birth weight but has slowly dipped down the centimes since. HV no longer massively worried but as first time mum, I am!

Can any of you advise on pumping protocol. Do I use a different bottle/container each different time I pump? And per breast?

GodisaDJ Sat 13-Oct-12 06:19:31

You should use a different sterilised bottle each time.

The pump you can use again if you rinse it in clean soapy water after use, and sterilise every 24 hours.

Some people believe you don't need to sterilise bottles/pumps when breastfeeding as the breast milk contents doesn't grow bacteria like formula does because it is "live". I, like you, was more paranoid in the beginning sterilising everything each time, but by about 18 weeks I eased off and only did my pump every 24 hours.

You can add milk to each expressed amount but always go off the date from the first milk you took. You can leave in the back of a cold fridge for up to 8 days. It will separate too- you'll see the 'fatty' cream bit at the top- normal!

I found looking at a slide show of DD on the computer helped. Or expressing on the other boob when she was latched on first thing in the morning when my boobs were solid!

Understandably expressing gives you some freedom to leave baby for a while, but personally it is a faff to do just so your DP can be more "involved". There are so many more things he can be involved in eg bath time, nappy changes, playtime, housework and cooking! grin

Has a BF counsellor/GP advised to top up?

Is your dd alert, happy and has plenty of wet nappies?

How many centiles has she dropped since birth?

Congrats on becoming a mum and ebf to 11 weeks, that's good going smile

Evilwater Sun 14-Oct-12 14:47:40

Do any of you have any tips on getting more milk out of the breasts?
I'm finding very difficult to get milk out between the hours of 1900- 0600, and that's the time he wants a lot of milk. I have been compressing my breast but it doesn't help. envy

I've been express breast feeding for four days, and it has done my 8 day son wonders. He is almost back up to his birth weight, and is having plenty of wet nappies! and wet baby grows.


HappyAsASandboy Sun 14-Oct-12 15:33:34

With regards to mixing and storing the milk from several sessions, I would:

1 Use a fresh, sterilised bottle for each pumping session.
2 Use the same bottle for both breasts in the session.
3 Put that bottle in the fridge (at the back, low down as that's coldest) and then when it is cool, add it to the milk from last time.

So, no need to change bottles between breasts unless you fill the bottle!
It's fine to mix milk from different sessions, but cool it first so you mix cool milk with cool milk, don't add warm milk to cool (as you'll warm up the older milk each time if you do).

You can keep the milk in the fridge (low down at the back) for about 5 days, though if you're aiming for weight gain, you'll be trying to get the milk into baby rather than keeping it.

I would recommend giving baby the milk from one session straight after the next feed, so he'll get a small top up after each feed, rather than storing up a whole bottle to give in place of a feed. This is because it is good for your supply to feed often, so replacing a feed might not be a good idea, and also because your baby might not manage a whole feed (which would be about 3oz, plus or minus a bit if he's a few weeks old) in from the new feeding method until he's got used to it.

Good luck! is a wonderful source of information if you get a minute to look smile

Asmywhimsytakesme Sun 14-Oct-12 16:49:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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