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How Practical is a plan to Exclusively Express Milk?

(17 Posts)
highlander Sun 22-Feb-04 15:14:39

Now that I'm finally coming round to the idea of the alien, I'm trying to think ahead. DH is over the moon at my idea of trying to involve him 100% after baby is born. I would really, really, really, really like to express milk so that he can fully participate in feeding - seems like all you mums think feeding time is a tip top bonding experience. Has anyone else tried this? Pump or manual?

BTW, embarassing pregnancy boob question: one boob appears to be bigger than the other. And, ahem, definitely has more glands popping up on the areola (?). Does this mean the other boob will be a bit defunct?

SenoraPostrophe Sun 22-Feb-04 15:17:20

There are a few threads on this. Basically you will need to breastfeed for at least a couple of weeks or you are likely to have supply problems.

I'll find the last thread for you.

Answer to second question is no!

SenoraPostrophe Sun 22-Feb-04 15:19:14

the other thread is here

How are you by the way? I always thought of my bumps as aliens too. Even for a few days after thy were born.

hana Sun 22-Feb-04 15:21:23

always had one bigger than the other - most women do even when not pregnant. I expressed for DH to feed dd too, but like SP said - get established first. Good luck!

SenoraPostrophe Sun 22-Feb-04 15:21:24

Oh yes, and get an electric pump - 3 times better than hand-pumps or manual for me

hercules Sun 22-Feb-04 15:24:37

Glad to see you're feeling a bit happier

wilbur Sun 22-Feb-04 15:27:16

Definitely establish your supply first, and personally, I wouldn't exclusively express since one of the great advantages of b/feeding is not having to sterilize bottles etc etc. One bottle a day for dh to do is perfect to start with and you can up from there if you feel it's going well. I did lots of expressing after the first few weeks though, and once things were established, dh took over the late evening feed with ebm and he loved it (he cried the first time he fed ds and made me take a picture, sooo sweet). Lovely time for them and snooze time for me, and I still got all the cuddles and closeness from b/feeding ds during the day and middle of night. And senora is right about the electric pump - if you're going to express regularly they are worth their weight in gold, IMO.

tiktok Sun 22-Feb-04 15:29:06

Highlander - just a Q. How do/did you and your dh seal and maintain your bond with each other? By feeding 8-10 times a day? I don't think so.... But I bet you touch/touched each other a lot more than that.

Your dh can be involved and bonded by being physically close to your baby, touching, bathing, dressing, cuddling etc etc etc.

Expressing round the clock is hard work, requires a lot of committment and motivation, and is just not necessary.

You breastfeed if you want to, and his role can be to support you 100 per cent in that....and to offer skin to skin contact and all the other closeness he can to your baby.There doesn't have to be food attached to the deal

I hope you enjoy bf 'direct' and don't miss out on this because you want your dh and yourself to have identical experiences. Your experiences are worth the same, but they don't have to *be* the same

By all means, express occasionally when things are well and when it fits in with the three of you.....just some thoughts.

highlander Sun 22-Feb-04 16:02:36

Hi tiktok. Nope, I don't want us to have identical experiences, I know that just aint possible. DH has wangled 2 months pat leave, and I want to make the most of him!

If, as Wilbur has suggested, I can start to express after a few weeks and I don't find the bottle sterilising thing too stressful, I THINK I'll find the break from constant boob attachment a bit of a relief. But hey, first baby, who knows how I'll feel?

At the end of the day, like all things in life, it may work, it may not.

prufrock Sun 22-Feb-04 17:45:20

highlander - glad you seem happier. Have you read Gina Fords "Contented little baby book". (And all the heated GF threads on here) I think with your attitude of still wanting to have a life after the baby you may find it useful - I certainly found it invaluable. She also offers routines that take into account expressing and getting your dh to do some feeds (as wilbur suggested the late evening one is good as it allows you to get some sleep. Contrary to official advice I expressed from when dd was 5 days old and we came home from hospital. DH then used the milk to do all the night wakings and feeds for those first two weeks at home whilst he was off work. I swear that the full nights sleep was why I recovered so well from my c-section. But do be aware that I was apparently very lucky to establish such a good milk supply without doing night feeds for 2 weeks so it might not work for you.

JulieF Sun 22-Feb-04 22:04:46

My baby is 11 days old and I am exclusively expressing. It is incredibly hard work and I feel that I have the worst of both worlds in terms of all the sterilising.

I am doing it because he has refused the breast and went from 5lb 14oz at birth down to 4lb 10 oz a week later and I needed to get milk into him somehow.

I am using a hand pump and am getting loads out, however I have been told an electric onemay be faster. To be honest I would NOT recommend exclusive expressing unless you have to.

However IF I manage to get him back onto the breast (and I am working with midwives and bfc's to try and achieve this) once he has learnt how to suck I will continue to express one feed a day to be given by dh (a la Gina Ford).

If you give a bottle too early your baby could get nipple confusion ( I am using syringes and cups) but I beleive it is OK once feeding is established.

stupidgirl Sun 22-Feb-04 22:17:05

It's hard work, but it's certainly possible. I did it for 10 months with ds as he couldn't feed. I started with a manual pump, then switched to electric, but in the end, I found that pumping by hand worked best for me. It's just a case of finding out what works for you though.

throckenholt Mon 23-Feb-04 08:27:31

Haven't had time to read the rest of this thread - but here is my experience.

You can exclusively express (I did it for 9 months for my twins) - but it isn't an easy option, especially compared to breast feeding. You need to be very determined to see it through - in a way it is the worst of both worlds. All the sterilising and more compared to formula feeding, non of the stimulation of breast feeding.

Pump wise - definitely dual electric breast pump - would recommend the ameda lactaline. I got rsi from using my avent hand pump too enthusiastically!

motherinferior Mon 23-Feb-04 08:50:47

Highlander, I don't know your history but I can identify with your feelings about an alien - I felt totally invaded by my first pregnancy and threw major wobblies throughout (do email me if you want to through 'contact another talker'. At the same time, I would echo tiktok and everyone else on not expressing exclusively if you don't have to.

Having recently tested no fewer than 11 breast pumps (for work) I would recommend the lactaline too if you end up expressing a lot. Costs £70 but worth it. Having said that I managed my personal best of nearly a pint one day on the Avent...

Rhubarb Mon 23-Feb-04 13:03:52

I use the Boots one-handed breast pump and I can usually get a good 6 ounces out when I express using that in just 5 minutes or so. I also use those little cartons of formula milk so that if I want to drink, or I want to go out somewhere, we can open a carton and give ds that, I'll then express mine when they feel full.

It is a good idea to let your dp have a go at feeding too, and I would say from personal experience to get your baby used to the bottle before 6 weeks or he/she might not take to it. I know they go on about nipple/teat confusion but I left my dd six weeks before I gave her a bottle and she refused to take it. Since then I've heard similiar stories.

Your dp could also be responsible for the baby's bath time, giving him that closeness of bathing the baby. My ds loves his baths and dh always volunteers to do the bathing!

I take it by your referral to 'the alient' that all has not been well for you? You might want to take a look here at a website I set up after I felt much the same about my first pregnancy. It might help.

debra64 Mon 23-Feb-04 18:49:00

The thought of expressing milk when its not absolutely necessary (ie you absolutely have to go somewhere that baby can't go too)sounds like a nightmare to me. Thats because I found it sooooo much hard work to express using the two types of hand pumps I tried. It just seems to take so long and be so tiring and baby seems so much more efficient at getting the milk out himself! I must admit I didn't try the electric pump though - thought it was a bit expensive for occasional use and a bit of a waste if it still didn't work. I also had a picture of a row of dairy cows hooked up to milking machines!

highlander Tue 24-Feb-04 10:49:54

You've all given some tip top advice cheers!
DH called the other night and we were discussing the old BF/expressing thing. DH (who was brought up on a dairy farm) informed me that I've not to worry, he's milked cows and reckons I won't be any different. HEEEEEEEEEELP!!!!

This is the guy who went to medical school, determined to specialise in obstetrics because he reckoned he was good at calving cows so humans wouldn't be any different. He admits it came as a bit of a shock.....

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