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Expressing routine to increase supply

(30 Posts)
Bumpiemalumpie Mon 10-Mar-14 14:37:23

Hey all,

lo is 6wks and feeding well, however, I a! worried my supply will run out(not sure why, just an anxiety which I know won't help). I want to increase my supply and also bank some expressed milk.

Can anyone suggest a routine? I.e how many times a day, time of day etc. I am usually fullest in the morning but lo loves a long feed then as well?

Also, am I supposed to express from both boobs at a time and if so, will I have enough for the next feed?

Sorry for the ramble. Thanks

mrswishywashy Mon 10-Mar-14 15:40:43

When I've had clients in similar situation eg they are going back to work early and want milk in freezer as back up in case expressing is difficult at work this is routine I've recommended.

First feed of day feed one side, express opposite side (until milk stops coming or slows down usually no linger than 15 mins) and then bb can feed from expressed side if he wants to.

Second feed of the day do as above but make sure bb feeds off side that was expressed first feed and then express opposite side and feed from same side if needed.

Best to check that bb will take frozen milk and a bottle before stock piling milk. Also when freezing only freeze in small amounts of 60mls or so as it thaws quicker. And if you can freeze it lying flat it will also thaw quicker.

mrswishywashy Mon 10-Mar-14 15:41:55

I'd only suggest the first two feeds of the day and your body will adjust as the days go by and make more milk.

leedy Mon 10-Mar-14 16:12:35

One thing I'd be cautious about is overstimulating your supply - I've had oversupply with both boys early on and it's not fun, can make you prone to leaking, blocked ducts, mastitis, engorgement, windy baby, etc. It's not like the more supply you have, the better!

If you genuinely don't have supply issues other than "worry it might run out" (it almost certainly won't!), I'd be kind of wary about trying to boost it by adding in extra "feeds" with the pump, especially as it's kind of a faff to prep and do. If you do want to bank a bit, I wouldn't do more than a couple of oz a day after your first feed, and, again, think about why you want/need to do it (going back to work? the odd night out?) - I know of way too many people who were obsessed with pumping and building and keeping "a stash" because they felt it was something you were supposed to do rather than for a particular purpose like work or a special occasion, and where they ended up with a freezer full of unused milk.

(personally this time round never had more than a few oz in the freezer "just in case", usually if I wanted to go out I just expressed earlier that day or went out when he was asleep)

Bumpiemalumpie Mon 10-Mar-14 16:18:11

Thank you Mrs, I mainly want to make sure he's getting enough and I have enough as in the evenings he gets frustrated as it appears the breast he is feeding from runs out! Should I try yo insist on both breasts at each feed instead? We have had a green poo issue as sometimes he does not feed long enough!

mrswishywashy Mon 10-Mar-14 16:28:34

The evening "fussiness" is quite normal. I'd recommend changing sides and also compressions (dr. Jack Newman in you tube). I also agree with leedy to limit what you express or you will have over supply. A couple of oz is a good aim.

leedy Mon 10-Mar-14 16:32:44

Bumpie, baby getting frustrated and wanting to cluster feed in the evening at that age in the evening is pretty normal, IMO - it's not a sign of poor supply or needing to top up with EBM, it's how baby keeps boosting your supply as he grows by stimulating your boobs. Just keep feeding in the evening, both sides, even three, four sides until he conks out. I found camping out on the couch feeding in front of the telly while persuading my OH to bring me chocolate/biscuits/small medicinal wine etc. made everything much easier.

tiktok Mon 10-Mar-14 16:50:34

Bumpie, on what you say here, you have no need to have an expressing routine, and there could be disadvantages in doing so.

Here they are:

* it may make you more anxious. You may start to judge your supply by what you can express - this is wrong, wrong, wrong! Expressing yields are not a reflection on milk available to the baby....but when mothers are anxious, they don't really believe that. The first time you get Y ounces instead of X ounces, you'll be freaking and wondering what the heck has gone wrong

* you risk over-supply. The pump is like an extra baby. Far from 'not having enough for the next feed' you will make more milk....this could make you uncomfortable and overwhelm your baby 'cos of the resultant fast let down

* your baby needs you not pumped milk....there are a zillion things to do with a 6 week old baby, and catching up with the things you want to do are higher up the list than a pumping routine...or you might want to play with your baby, but because your pumping time comes up, you won't be able to!

* you may end up giving your ebm in response to anxieties about 'has he had enough? Urrgghhhh....dunno! I'll give him an ebm top up to make sure.....' Instead of just feeding him direct and learning confidence and trust in yourself

Expressing is a handy thing to do, and a bit of stashed breastmilk in the fridge or freezer is a handy thing to have. But a routine? So you get a bigger stash? Why?

There is no reason to think your supply will cease or not be sufficient for your baby. Feeding your baby in response to his needs makes your breastmilk production match up with those needs.

You absolutely don't need an expressing routine, and it is certainly not a 'cure' for anxiety smile What would help you gain confidence? Have a think, and see if there are other ways.

tiktok Mon 10-Mar-14 16:51:59

Green poo is normal. You don't have a green poo 'issue' 'cos there is nothing wrong with it smile

Bumpiemalumpie Mon 10-Mar-14 17:13:07

thank you everyone! I love ebf, I have my wedding anniversary in April and want to go for a meal so need to try a bottle. I have bought the medela calms as I don't want lo to reject me after a bottle!! I don't want to give it up (ok, maybe before he gets married?!!)

It is a mine field! I think he is also in a growth spurt as he has fed a lot today and slept lots too!!

I love to play with him but he still prefers sleeping!!

Bumpiemalumpie Mon 10-Mar-14 17:56:30

As you are all knowledgeable, can you tell me why lo seems more efficient and needs to feed for less time to drain in the rugby hold?!

tiktok Mon 10-Mar-14 18:33:31

No answer to that question, Bumpie. Maybe the times you held him that way were times when he was just 'done' in a shorter time.

Babies don't 'drain' the breast, and they don't have the exact same amount of milk each time they feed, and the length of time they are on the breast does not accurately reflect the amount of milk they take, eithersmile

Bumpiemalumpie Mon 10-Mar-14 19:20:35

Oh interesting, so by aiming for 40 mins each doesn't mean he will always have a better feed?

tiktok Mon 10-Mar-14 19:55:36

You got itsmile

Bumpiemalumpie Mon 10-Mar-14 20:10:52

Sorry more questions. How do I make sure then that he gets enough of the fatty milk? and why does he get pesto like poos sometimes?

Trooperslane Mon 10-Mar-14 20:16:11

All totally normal IME.

Tiktok's posts always seem very wise to me - loads of experience and she's (?) helped me lots of times.

I got totally wired to the moon re getting a freezer supply and never did. The cluster feeding for me was a total head fuck and massively overwhelming - never had any idea it would be so hard.

The evening fussiness was a killer too but it's so much easier now.

Congrats thanks

Bumpiemalumpie Mon 10-Mar-14 20:33:51

I know what you mean, lo has fed for at least 20min every hour since 6 this evening and 1.5hrs since 7am! I am starving!

tiktok Mon 10-Mar-14 21:19:51

Bumpie, you don't need to 'make sure she gets the fatty milk'. It happens, without you doing anything about it.

You absolutely don't need to keep her going for a specific amount of time, or not let her switch sides, or whatever other misleading misinfo someone has been telling you or you have been reading - along with a few million others as these are common misunderstandings sad sad

If your dd is doing well, you really don't have to do anything except follow what she is 'asking' smile

These link to blogposts which explain it well, IMO.

Oh, and by the way, I am definitely female, Trooperslane smile smile

tiktok Mon 10-Mar-14 21:22:54

Sorry, Bumpie, you have a ds not a dd.

Pesto poo is on the normal spectrum.

It doesn't matter.

Green shades happen when the waste has passed through the lower intestine too quickly to turn yellow - it's not a big deal. Yellow is the colour poo turns's just the next shade on the card smile

In a healthy baby, it is not even worth noting.

Bumpiemalumpie Mon 10-Mar-14 21:40:49

They are very helpful links, thanks.

I don't stop at a prescribed time and switch, I just aim to keep him on for 40, he generally doesn't want the other side after that.

Thanks for the poo info too, none of the health visitors told me why its green!! other than the fat levels!!

You are a star. He is a feeding machine tonight but I am relaxing now!!

Thank you so so much xxthanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks

Bumpiemalumpie Mon 10-Mar-14 21:42:11

Oh and to prove gloat he is healthy, I hope, last time he was weighted he had put on 21oz in two weeks!! Next weight in is tomorrow!!

biscuit biscuit

tiktok Mon 10-Mar-14 21:45:32

Bumpie, you really, really, don't need to aim to keep him on for 40. There's nothing wrong with keeping him there if he's happy about it, but if he seems to want to stop before then, it's fine.

Higher fat levels in the milk slow down transit time in the gut, so the HVs are right. Slower transit time = yellow poo.

But green is still normal, because it's normal for fat levels in a baby's intake to vary. Babies can thrive perfectly well on milk that never has high fat levels - they just end up with a high volume of milk, and get their calories that way.

tiktok Mon 10-Mar-14 21:46:24

He's clearly bustin' with health - and you really don't need to be anxious about your supply smile

Bumpiemalumpie Tue 11-Mar-14 05:16:13

tiktok you are amazing! I guess you are a specialist or something. What ever you are, you have given me more answers than anyone else and they all make sense and have boosted my confidence! My DH thinks you need a medal!!

I am sure I'll be back for more soon! my aim is to continue to ebf till 6mths then continue along with weaning and then express for daytime feeds when I go back to work!

Thank you so much thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks

tiktok Tue 11-Mar-14 09:18:57

I'm an NCT breastfeeding counsellor, Bumpie. Thanks for the flowers and hope you enjoy bf Baby Bumpie smile

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