Expressing exclusively(20 Posts)
Does anyone do this? I want to learn more about it but haven't yet seen a thread.
Yes I did it until baby was 7 months old. Had to supliment with a small amount of formula during growth spurts whilst my supply adjusted. Used a medila electric pump and expressed a lot! Hard.work but I was so glad I did it. I found that the more I expressed the more I produced next time. Good luck!
Why do you ask?
I posted on this thread about the same thing - as you can see the replies were fairly unanimous . Pay attention to tiktok - she's a trained BF-counsellor.
Thanks, I'm just researching my options. I'll have a look at the links you've suggested, much appreciated!
I do this! My DS (16 wks) had a tongue tie which wasn't diagnosed until 5wks. Prior to division he didn't latch at all, he can now latch, but he is much slower so he find it v frustrating. Basically I can direct feed him only when we are relaxed & he isn't too hungry. So far, my experience has been similar to ilikesweetpeas; he's had formula on a couple of occasions when demand had shot up quickly. Pumping more soon increases your daily supply so needing to supplement doesn't last long; in total, I have given DS about 2 litres of pre-mixed formula only.
Thanks Mummy and Ilike, I really appreciate your contributions as it can be quite an emotive topic!
I'm really just looking into options and there's less out there out there about expressing so was wanting to hear from people who'd done it exclusively.
Thanks Welove, but I'm not looking for that kind of information. I'm really just interested in hearing people's experiences of expressing.
I did when I discovered my son was intolerant to the diary in my bm and after several months of exclusion in my diet I decided to move him onto prescription formula which he wouldn't take. It was a good month of having to mix small amounts of formula with bm and then grsdually increase as time went on. It was tremendously hard work as basically had to express very feed and couldn't go back to bf when I had started as he would just refuse the formula/bm mix again. I hated it. Really time consuming and tedious and I found it hard work keeping on top of having enough particularly with. Baby that would often refuse feeds. Having had a good bf experience with my first son, my second sons reflux and then what I described made bf v stressful although once his symptoms were under control it was better. I was still relieved tho once he was 100%23 on the formula I have to say. Pumping wasn't fun for me.
I have expressed and breastfed and found breastfeeding far less of a faff. I had to express exclusively for a while when DD was 3 weeks old as I had developed thrush and breastfeeding was excruciatingly painful. Believe me that once you have breastfeeding established it is so easy to do - the milk is instant, it is the right temperature, it is the right consistency, no need to sterilise and make baby wait (crying) while you express and you tend not to get as much milk by expressing.
I don't know your reasons for why you want to exclusively express, but it might be easier if posters could understand why you want to do it.
I did it until DS3 was 16 months and hated it. I was determined he would have breastmilk but as I have supply issues (subsequently diagnosed with PCOS) he wasn't getting enough at the breast. Even with medication to improve production I was barely making enough for him. He needed more than I was able to produce and once he'd had a few formula bottles he point blank refused to feed from me most of the time. I tried for as long as I felt able but ended up expressing my milk and bottle feeding with an occasional 'from the tap' feed when he was relaxed enough - the best feed we ever had was sat on the beach in cornwall with the sound of the waves :D At 16 months when I decided to stop pumping I stopped the medication and dried up inside 24 hours!
Expressing has the downsides of both breast and bottle feeding and is very time consuming - feeding a baby every two hours by breast or bottle is time consuming, feeding a baby a bottle, then spending 20+ minutes attached to the pump doubles the time it takes. You have the ties of having a breastfed baby and all the hassles of washing and sterilizing of a bottle fed baby.
I don't regret/resent doing it one bit. For a long time I mourned for the BF relationship I'd wanted. But I know I did the best for him I could. My two older boys were formula fed and had many many ear and chest infections as babies and toddlers, DS3 had EBM for 16 months and has yet to need antibiotics (he's almost 6) - it could be a complete coincidence but I'm sure it helped.
Thanks everyone, that's been reallyy helpful.
I exclusively expressed DS1 until 7 months like ilikesweetpeas. Used an Ameda Lactaline double pump. With a bra that allows you hands free. Expressed at least 6 times a day, if not more especially in the beginning. Froze excess milk and fed in growth spurt times or supplemented with formula (formula only in the last 6 weeks or so because we did BLW and it took him a while to catch on. Demand was outstripping supply and honestly I was expressing as much as I could or wanted to at that point). Supply was not a problem for me though, generally.
I expressed exclusively when DS was 3 weeks old and my appendix burst and was rushed to hospital. The three days after the operation I expressed every 2 hours round the clock with a hospital pump. I was determined to BF him so I pumped to keep my supply up, and then I just had to tip it all down the drain because of all the medication I was on. It was horrendous.
I expressed exclusively when I went back to work full time at 6 months, having exclusively BF from the breast before that. I got about 300ml each pumping session which I now know is loads but seemed like almost nothing at the time given the rate DS was going through it. I was pumping at the weekend as well as feeding him from the breast directly to build up a freezer stash for the week ahead.
It was awful, so awful I only lasted 4 weeks. I was constantly stressed and worried that I wasn't producing enough for him, my supply would tail off, I was wasting time at work pumping etc. I had a great electric double pump which looked like a rucksack and I would recommend to anybody if they really need to pump - but on the basis of my own experience I would never advise anyone to even consider exclusively expressing, unless there's a genuine medical need.
Finally I basically just trusted to my body to adjust and we went down to morning and evening (and night-time) BFing from the breast, and two bottles of formula during the day. Thankfully my supply held up just fine. DS is now nearly 11 months and we're able to have whole days together with no bottles, just BFing on demand, and also days where I am at work and he has four bottles over the course of the day.
I expressed pretty much exclusively for about 3 weeks when LO was about 2.5 months old. He is now has one bottle of formula a day and is BF on demand the rest of the time.
I found it just took SO LONG, and felt like I had my boobs out all the time. I would attempt to feed him, which wouldn't work, end up giving him formula, then pump. Each feed/pump session could take up to 1.5 hours, which meant I sometimes only had 30 minutes before he needed feeding again. I eventually stopped pumping, and gave up BF for 5 days.
Then we got in the bath together, and for the first time ever, he latched by himself and fed for about 25 minutes. I was too scared to move!!
You should read some of the guest posts (I think they're posted on a Friday) on fearlessformulafeeder.com
I want to do this however my milk supply has never been great and I only managed to express after 6 hours of not feeding (we mix feed now) last week (dd 5 weeks).
I shared my experiences on this old thread, you may find the posts on there helpful too.
Join the discussion
Please login first.