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Exclusive Expressing v Formula

(9 Posts)
CottleCat Thu 20-Mar-14 21:05:54

My daughter was unable to feed when born and was tube fed for most her first week. Since then she will only breastfeed with a shield and makes a terrible mess and then requires a top up from a bottle. She was eventually diagnosed with a tongue tie which we had sorted but there has been no improvement in feeding. All of this means I express 5-8 a day and we have to spend most of our time dealing with feeding. My daughter is now 12 weeks and I am beginning to think that this routine is not healthy as I don't get to enjoy her I just feed her. Moving to formula would free up an awful lot of time which could be spent doing fun things rather than worrying about feeds and pumps. I wondered if anyone else had been through similar issues and how they handled it.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 20-Mar-14 21:29:13

Hello - I exclusively expressed for DS (now 15 months) until he was 22 weeks. Doing the same for DD who is 8 weeks

I express 5 or 6 times a day with a very good double pump (ameda lactaline) with a hands free bra. I only do one night express at the same time as feeding DD and the expressing sessions are about 15 minutes each. Tend to express at 8am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm, 10pm plus my night express if DD wakes (she has been sleeping from 11 - 6) in the last week. Doing that gives me a litre and a half a day but I know I'm very lucky with supply and I can mix my times urokinase as long as I don't go more than 4 hours or I feel like my tits ate about to explode! So that 4 hours gives us time to get out and about

To be honest, I didn't think I would manage to express the second time around because of DS but it's been fine as he's only really up and about at the 8:00am and 3pm express and I just pop him in the play pen for 15 minutes

I would like to get to 24 weeks with DD but I just take each week as it comes. I think you've done amazingly well and I wouldn't feel in the slightest bit bad about giving formula

Just a few questions: do you have a good double pump? That massively cuts down expressing times? Secondly, I remember with DS that I started off being very rigid about times that I expressed but then started moving them about a bit and worked out what kind of worked for me and how I could push the times etc to give me some flexibility. Have you been able to do that? I find that makes me feel as though I've got more freedom

CrazySexyCool123 Thu 20-Mar-14 21:39:53

I EEd for 9 months and mixed fed for 3. Looking back I don't feel I missed out, even though it does take a lot of time. DPs support was the key for us. We still did fun stuff. He did the cooking and washing up. I mainly pumped when ds was sleeping, in playpen or bouncer. Never give up on a bad day, give up on a bad week smile

quietlysuggests Thu 20-Mar-14 21:49:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 20-Mar-14 21:58:47

Yup - agree with crazy. My DH does all feeds from after dinner til 11pm and will do nights on Fridays and Sats too.

He also does a ton of sterilising. He's just reminded me that I have two pumps (paranoid about one breaking) so I have one downstairs with one expressing bra and one upstairs with another bra so I don't have to keep carting stuff about. I also have tonnes of extra bottles and pumpy bits so that helps with storing and also not having to keep sterilising all through the day.

Also, I put a lot of the bottles etc through the dishwasher and then in the steriliser after. So, it is worth chucking a bit of money at as it all helps

I also have lots of good stuff on sky plus so try and think of the expressing as a "treat" to sit down and watch that

I think the thing to remember is you have to express a lot to build up supply at the beginning. But - if you were breast feeding the traditional way - the baby starts to go for longer between feeds and have bigger feeds so the pumping should mimic that and your body will respond. I thing where a lot of people fall down is not moving to that regime so there still doing loads of tiny pumps a day and that is very time consuming

Also, I always tried to cut down night pumps as quickly as possible. If DD sleeps through, I do not get up. I know the traditional wisdom is you "have" to express between 12 and 4am as that is when the prolactin levels are highest but I've never found it an issue with supply if I dropped a night pump pretty early. Even if you did, you can quickly re-establish supply in a few days by adding it back in

stressbucket1 Fri 21-Mar-14 07:53:18

Wow you are all amazing to keep it up that long! I only managed 6-8 weeks with DD because I found it so restrictive. I hope this isn't controversial but I would switch to formula OP and get out and about she has had breastmilk for 3 months now and that's fab!

Purplelooby Fri 21-Mar-14 14:32:38

I'm currently mix feeding a TT baby while waiting for a snip (supply not up to EE). I also have an 18 mo and tbh I'm up to my ears in it. (I've got a thread about this running at the moment). When DH goes back to work I'm going to formula. I do feel guilty but not as guilty as I feel when DS gets upset and starts playing up whenever I get on the pump. I do have a good double pump but I find the hands free bra takes me so long to set up that I that it didn't save me much time (and I had to strip in front of my window).

On the other hand, If this was my only DC and she was as chilled as she is I would carry on for say a month but give myself a time limit. With DS (same story) I was quite ill, he was very ill and also very high maintenance and I was suffering from PND and only had a rubbish pump. In that case moving to formula was the best thing I ever did even though it upset me (like you, even now despite everything I can't come to terms with the image of myself as a ff mum even though I did!!)

Smerlin Sat 22-Mar-14 20:46:53

I expressed for 12 weeks but had to add in formula due to DD's weight issues on advice of GP. I pumped 5x a day for 20 mins.- so only every 4/5 hours and could be a bit flexible. For the 1st week or two was more like 7x a day and by the very end 5x for 17 mins. I pumped about 200ml per session using the Ameda Lactaline as well so more than DD could drink particularly as I was forced to do formula top ups so had enough to freeze a stash.

GP advised full switch to formula at 3 months due to weight issues which I stupidly agreed to as she said my milk was at fault ( it wasn't as the problem continued on formula).

I massively regret not pumping for longer on the one hand as I could have physically/emotionally continued for longer. I felt terrible for switching to formula and felt quite tearful the day I fed DD her last bottle of EBM.

However another two months down the line, I don't feel so bad about it. You get used to feeding formula and I'm feeling positive about weaning being a new chapter. Also I did feel guilty that I was making caring for DD all about the milk and the pumping rather than just being able to hold her (e.g. she might wake up from a nap mid pump and scream while I disconnected- even with the PumpEase bra, you can't really snuggle baby up to you as bottles in the way!) It seems like a distant memory all the stress of sterilising, needing to pump before milk explosion etc.

quietlysuggests is right- However much you want it, sometimes the baby just can't do it

Smerlin Sat 22-Mar-14 20:48:00

Oh but formula costs about £50 a month which is a real kick in the teeth!

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