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Expressing colostrum pre delivery.

(27 Posts)
SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 05-Feb-14 19:59:54

Ok. DD is due any time from 2 to 5 weeks. It's possible that she might have BF issues, and as I apparently have GD sad there's also a chance that she might have unstable blood sugar for a day or so, so I've been advised to try and express and freeze some colostrum in advance.
My question is, and I breastfed/expressed for years but it's been a LONG time, obviously I'm only going to get a little at a time, I have milk storage bags, can I put what I get in a bag, freeze it, add the next bit on top and put it back? I'm thinking not, or shall I just freeze lots of tiny bits?
Also, how many times a day should I be trying to express?

RunTumMum Wed 05-Feb-14 20:09:30

I did this but I cannot even begin to imagine doing it with bags. I got given special pre sterilised 5ml syringes at the GD clinic and I did one or two a day and froze straight away. Might be worth a chat to your midwife I think.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 05-Feb-14 20:15:33

She just said get some frozen. I've always used bags. My next app is the 13th. I'll have a word. I was thinking of getting the pump out to try and unflatten my ancient nipples anyway. maybe I'll just have a go and see what appears. wink

Thesunrising Wed 05-Feb-14 20:17:53

I found this hard to do. Best technique for me was expressing onto a teaspoon and then sucking up into a 2 ml syringe. Then put syringe in a bag and freeze. It's fiddly and requires a lot of patience. You need to find the right kind of syringe too which I found difficult. High street chemists didn't seem to have them small enough or in sterile packs. Maybe your midwife could get you some?

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 05-Feb-14 20:27:54

I've not managed to hand express anything yet! confused I was hoping the pump might help. I was never any cop at doing it by hand.

LydiaLunches Wed 05-Feb-14 20:32:57

You need lots of 1 or 2.5ml feeding syringes, they will have them in the postnatal ward at the hospital, or ring, ask for the breastfeeding coordinator or lead midwife for breastfeeding and get her to give some to your community midwife. La leche league or NCT counsellor would probably help with practicalities, I would start my breasts off on the pump then transfer to hand to collect the beads? It is an absolutely brilliant idea for anyone who expects their baby to need blood glucose monitoring.

GingerRodgers Wed 05-Feb-14 20:43:44

Gosh saggy, didn't realise you were due quite so soon!
Could you sit in a warm bath and express into a cup or bag then syringe and freeze? Warm compress?
Hope it all goes well thanks

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 05-Feb-14 20:47:21

Sod that Ginger! I feel like I've been pregnant FOR EVER! grin

GingerRodgers Wed 05-Feb-14 20:49:39

grin You do at that stage don't you? I remember feeling like I'd never see under that bump again!
All be over soon and little saggy will be here. Have they given you any ideas of how much to try and express?

AnythingNotEverything Wed 05-Feb-14 20:56:16

I wasn't diagnosed with GD but DD was born big (98th centile down to 75th by 8 weeks and 10% weightless in week one, and she had unstable blood sugars at birth. We suspect I had GD by the end of pregnancy despite a clear GTT at 31 weeks. She was being tube fed formula within 12 hours of birth and had a mix of formula and colostrum and EBM for the first week.

I just wanted to share and say that we're exclusively breastfeeding at 15 weeks. She's had two bottles of formula since we left hospital, both times when I was out without her (because DH doesn't seem able to feed her expressed breastmilk!).

It's great if you can express colostrum for her, but I imagine most of it will be stuck to the sides of the bags. It comes out in such small quantities. But don't worry if you can't. Its not the end.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 05-Feb-14 20:58:43

No ideas, just told to give it a go! I'm going to have a trial run a bit later. pump vs hand.

AuditAngel Wed 05-Feb-14 21:15:06

Saggy, with DD2 I was hand expressing in hospital (and at home till I bought a new pump) into a hospital feeding cup then using a syringe to feed her.

The first time I expressed they gave me a cup expecting a few drops and I half filled it! Unfortunately she was very lazy premature and not interested so wouldn't latch on.

Warm flannels on the breast before expressing are meant to help.

BonaDea Wed 05-Feb-14 21:28:23

I did this. You can't use freezer bags because you wont get nearly enough.

You need 5ml syringes which you can get from the mw or over the counter at boots. It isn't as easy to do as expressing milk as there is much less of it iyswim. Your squeezing out drops at a time and sucking them up into the syringe.

I did it from 36 weeks and by 37+5 was getting maybe 15-20ml a day. Keep the syringe in the fridge til it is full (up to 24 hours) then pop the whole syringe in a freezer bag. You can then feed dc straight from the syringe if it is needed.

It is a pain and very time consuming but I am quite evangelical about doing this in case of any blood glucose issues, milk coming late, tt issues etc!

Good luck.

DoingTheSwanThing Wed 05-Feb-14 21:28:42

I also froze it in syringes, but was surprised by the volume so became 10 & 20ml ones - maybe ask for a selection? Or a few of the little eggcup-sized cups they use for cup feeding might be an option too. Good luck!

RunTumMum Wed 05-Feb-14 21:59:31

I also hand expressed, I'm not sure the pump would have worked. Don't worry if you don't get anything though- I had about 40 x5ml syringes by the end and the hospital list them while I was in labour- at the time I was distinctly unimpressed! I found BF much easier second time round so was able to avoid the formula top ups DS1 ended up having.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 05-Feb-14 22:13:46

well ive just had a manual squeeze and definitely got drops. I'd have a go with the pump but sadly ive not got the energy to leave the sofa! confused
I'll ring the hospital tomorrow and ask about syringes.

minipie Thu 06-Feb-14 00:01:51

I was advised not to use a pump until you're easily hand expressing 10mls+, so definitely not at the droplets stage.

I wouldn't add lots of bits together in a single freezer bag, or any single container, because then you'll have to defrost the whole lot together and it might go off before it can be used. Freeze in 5ml quantities ideally, or even 2.5ml.

BonaDea Thu 06-Feb-14 14:32:43

As mentioned below, just freeze in the individual syringes. I put a days worth of syringes in a single bm freezer bag, with the date written on. You can then feed direct from the syringe.

Pump not really viable until you are getting 10ml + per sitting which is quite hard with colostrum.

naty1 Thu 06-Feb-14 15:04:33

Do you think bf after having 1st expressed some is less painful when they start feeding after birth

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Thu 06-Feb-14 15:21:38

Well I haven't expressed pre birth before but I've BF 2 dcs. TBH, the discomfort is mainly to do with toughening up your nipples. In my experience, if you have a good latch etc, it passes fairly soon.
I've got a 1950 s baby book which recommends scrubbing them with a nail brush pre delivery to desensitise them! confused hmm grin

BonaDea Thu 06-Feb-14 15:26:39

Naty, as saggy says no that won't make any difference! Pain is usually down to poor latch, tongue tie or another issue like thrush. And a certain degree of toughening up.

A nail brush, tho!!!

TarkaTheOtter Thu 06-Feb-14 15:33:20

I expressed antenatally with ds because of gd (as recommended by the diabetic midwife). He did end up being hypoglycemic at birth and the paeds had no interest in my expressed colostrum and insisted on huge formula top ups. They even brought a consultant out to convince me the formula was necessary. In the end they said formula from a bottle or baby would need to go to scbu. I won't bother next time.
He only needed two feeds with top ups before his sugars stabilised and they would let me ebf. I think the problem is that they don't know the quantities of bm required to raise sugars so they go with the "safer" option.

nannynome Thu 06-Feb-14 17:25:00

I expressed due to GD and managed to get enough frozen that when DS was born we had enough to maintain his levels without any formula. It is incredibly worth it and I was so grateful to the GD clinic me. She supplied me with 1ml oral syringes and then 5ml syringes. We labelled them with date and time. It was easiest to express into a pot or something shallow and wide I found. It meant that we got discharged in 2 days, which considering DS was only 6lb 11oz and needed the syringe top ups very regularly to maintain his levels.

We put them into a bag with freezer blocks to take them to the hospital, labelled them with Nhs labels and made sure the induction staff understood it needed to be put in the post labour ward freezer.

Good luck with it all smile you only get tiny bits to start but it is so worth it!

weebarra Thu 06-Feb-14 17:32:54

Can't help Saggy but another one who can't believe how close you are to meeting your DD - I was on the Sept bus with you last year and have been following your threads since. Good luck!

naty1 Thu 06-Feb-14 18:14:11

I didnt have gestational diabetes but do have pcos, not sure if they routinely test baby's blood sugar levels.
I think my nipples probably just needed toughening
But nail brush!!!

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