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Introducing an expressed bottle-feed to a 4 week old?

(6 Posts)
Novia Mon 06-May-13 14:06:19

Hiya - I've been exclusively BF my month old baby and would like to start to introduce an occasional expressed bottle so that DH can give her a feed (and I might get a night off at some point!) I have medela bottles.

Just wondered if anyone had any advice on best practice?

When is the best time to express to avoid depriving baby of the milk when she BFs?

Any advice on how much she is likely to drink at this age (so I don't do too much and waste it?)

Also - once milk has been defrosted how long til you have to use it?

Thanks in advance for any advice! grin

emsyj Mon 06-May-13 16:49:39

I found first thing in the morning the easiest time to express, but I don't think it matters when you do it - you won't 'deprive' the baby, the breast is always producing milk and will just supply to the demand.

I read on Kellymom that stomach capacity is maximum 5oz at this age for a bf baby and it doesn't really increase until 6 months. In the heady days when DD2 would take a bottle (sadly she now refuses sad) she would sometimes take 2oz sometimes drain 5oz so it varied. Mostly less than 5oz though so that would be a good amount.

There is storage guidance on Kellymom but I think the basic idea is that breastmilk isn't 'off' unless it smells very bad. You may wish to look into the issue of freezing milk as apparently this can sometimes affect the taste and some babies won't drink frozen milk as a result - you can scald it before freezing (which sounds like a massive faff) or just keep refrigerated (for up to a week is ok I think, but check Kellymom). If I were you I would check that your baby will accept frozen and reheated milk before you stock up the freezer as there are a lot of sad tales on the internet of women who have pumped and stored for months and then not been able to use any of the milk. I don't know how common that issue is, it wasn't relevant to me as I just pumped in the morning to use that same evening.

minipie Mon 06-May-13 17:59:55

I found best time to express was either just after the first morning feed (as boobs at their fullest then) or just before the feed you want to give by bottle (but then you can't use that time to sleep!)

Like emsy i found the amount dd would take varied a lot. but you won't waste any extra - it will last for 48 hrs+ in the fridge or 3-6 months in the freezer (depending on how often the freezer is opened).

as an exception to this, some women (including me sad) find their expressed milk goes nasty tasting much quicker, even if frozen. this is due to excess lipase and the only solution is to scald the milk pre freezing which is a pain. so before you start building a freezer stash, check how long your milk tastes good for when kept in the fridge - if it turns nasty in <36 hours you probably have a lipase issue. (emsy - it's not the freezing itself that turns the milk nasty, it is just time, but freezing doesn't stop the process sadly.)

once defrosted, use within 24 hours. (that's what the hospital told me anyway).

Novia Mon 06-May-13 18:38:32

Thank you both for your messages! Your advice is much appreciated.

I did express a couple of bottles when my milk first came in, so I will defrost it and see how that smells. Do you usually defrost in the fridge or just leave it out overnight? Thanks!

minipie Mon 06-May-13 19:09:38

in the fridge, or if I need it quicker, in a cup of hottish water.

but you don't need to defrost your frozen milk to test. just express some now, keep in the fridge, and taste/smell it at intervals over the next 48 hours. if it stays fresh and sweet that whole time you are probably ok. if it starts to smell soapy or sour then you may have a problem - I found mine smelled soapy and tasted like sick sad after 24 hours. but many women don't have this problem.

NothingsLeft Mon 06-May-13 20:30:51

This should give you all the info you need kellymom milk storage and handling

Congrats on your LO smile

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