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Building stash of expressed milk (and feeding with it!)

(4 Posts)
GreatSoprendo Sun 19-May-13 17:18:23

Sorry this is a bit long! DS is 6 weeks old and EBF. Had a first foray into expressing this weekend. Both yesterday and today I have expressed 4oz after first feed and 2oz at lunchtime - both straight after feeds using the 'full' breast. My original plan had been for DS to have one expressed bottle each evening (so DP can feed him and I can rest) but to also build a bit of a freezer stash for longer periods away - I have some hospital appointments coming up and will be doing some KIT days at work in the next few weeks.

My questions are;
- am I expressing about the right amount (if there is such thing) to meet my aims of a bottle a day plus stash? I don't know how much DS will need in one feed although am guessing 4-ish ounces? (He is a big 14lb boy) I'm thinking I need to express more as otherwise am only putting 2oz each day in my stash - so if I was to be away from him for a full working day, that could be 4 feeds which would take me 8 days to amass. Is that how it works?
- His feeds are pretty well established at 9pm, 2am, 6am which I can cope with so we are only introducing one expressed bottle as DP would enjoy feeding him - not out of necesity. If we only did a bottle occasionally (so more can go in my stash) rather than daily would this mean DS would be less able to take the bottle? Do we need to give it to him daily for him to get the hang of it? Or is now and then fine? Would hate to run the risk of leaving him with my mum for a few hours only to find he would not take the bottle because he was not sufficiently used to it. We haven't tried a bottle at all yet.

Thanks for your help!

Springforward Sun 19-May-13 17:38:26

I think you've done well to express 6oz in a day, I never managed more than 2-3 oz and used to stockpile small amounts in the freezer to combine into larger feeds when necessary.

DS never really took a bottle unless he was desperate, but my DSis did manage to feed him with a tiny little cup I got from my lactation consultant, and by about 5 months he'd manage a standard free flow Tommee Tippee cup.

Matnurse Sun 19-May-13 17:42:02

Hi GreatSoprendo,
You will definitely get loads of varying opinions on this as everyone thinks differently and also each breastfeeding mother has to find her own rhythme. However, with 30 yrs breastfeeding experience behind me (1,000+ babies, slightly less mothers in my care) I am confident enough to say that the following will help you express successfully:
1. Express both sides one hour after a breast feed
2. During the feed drink water AND have a protein snack ie cheese, egg, or ham etc.
3. Relax for 10 minutes with your feet up before expressing and preferably have your baby near you or a photo of him
4. 4 oz or 120ml EBM sounds very little for a 14lb baby per feed unless he is feeding 2-3 hourly in the day.
5. Although general advice is express in the mornings, I find that each mother has a different set time where they manage to express more than at other times.
6. Don't express straight after any sport or stress
7. Use a double electric pump such as the Ameda Lactaline Pro and avoid the Medela swing...its hopelessly discouraging and not strong enough!!
8.If you are struggling to express try increasing your supply by taking Fenugreek (tablet form or liquid)
8. As breastfeeding is so much about supply and demand there is no set amount that should be expressed as you little one is the one to control this. As I said before, you just have to try and see when your flow is at its greatest. You may have to rest a bit more as it can be a little tiring.

Best of luck and PM me if you need more help

Fairypants Sun 19-May-13 17:46:27

I did the same with my dd's.
It is worth remembering that the milk changes over time so it's best not to build up a big supply too far in advance.
You will need to feed regularly to get him used to it and keep him used to it.
My dd's were petite but did not finish 4oz at a feed for a while. You will only know how much he will need for a feed once you try him and, as this will change over time, is another reason to give him expressed milk regularly.
Your supply will adjust so that, if you regularly express, you will produce more to supply that, however, remember that you will miss a feed if yr DH is feeding a bottle and that will hurt if you don't express so it would be worth 'harvesting' at the missed feed time.
It also important to express when you are away from him, even if you can't store the milk and have to throw it away because otherwise it will hurt and mess up your supply.

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