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Exclusively expressing

(7 Posts)
nearlyreadytopop Fri 31-Oct-14 18:41:42

ds is now 10 weeks old, bf so far has been up and down. ptt snipped at 1 week, a week in hospital and a diagnosis of cmpa, ptt re snipped at 6 weeks, reflux/colic and projectile vomiting. I am dairy, soy and egg free and ds is very much improved and settled. He's also gaining weight well.
The problem is my nipples are agony, his tongue is made out of sandpaper and there is horrible vasospasm after feeds. I see no way for improvement of his tt but I'm reluctant to start him on nutramigin.
I've been pumping occasional feeds and can get 5oz from one side in about 10mins. But I'm pretty clueless about how much to feed and even if its possible time wise to feed only expressed milk when I also have a three year old to look after.
I'm just looking for advice from anyone who has done this. How often do you express? Do you keep feeds stored in the fridge ready to go and then have a freezer stash as well?

shivs1974 Fri 31-Oct-14 18:46:00

Hi,
Congratulations on your baby. I exclusively expressed for a year with my first 9 yrs ago. I can't link to a thread using my phone but if you search under my name there's a thread called Expressing Clique (or something similar). Lots of useful information..eg pumping at least once during the night, cluster pumping.

shivs1974 Fri 31-Oct-14 18:48:31

I expressed about 7 times a day...I had a great supply & managed to give excess to milk bank...so I may well have over produced but found this less stressful than thinking I may run out. Make sense?
I froze excess but from memory I think you can keep in fridge for longer than you think. Have a look at kellymom.com for latest as I don't want to give old/out of date info.
One useful bit...when removing from fridge, don't shake...swirl instead
Hope this helps

nearlyreadytopop Fri 31-Oct-14 18:51:45

hi, brilliant this is just the sort of info I need!
I do tend towards over supply (one side per feed helped) so maybe it is doable.

futterwacken Fri 31-Oct-14 18:58:09

I did this for about 5 months and then my supply dwindled. You have to be really commited to pumping to keep the supply going and build up a nice supply in the freezer. I was pumping about every two hours (through the night too!) and it still dwindled, I don't know what I did wrong but it's hard.

Lozzapops Sat 01-Nov-14 20:35:13

I exclusively expressed for my daughter until she was about 9 months, by which point I had enough in the freezer to keep her going until 1 year, plus some to donate as well. She is just over a year now and is now taking cows milk.

In the early weeks you really do need to be expressing at least 8 times a day, including at least once in the night (between 1am and 5am). Over the weeks, you can gradually start to cut down a pump providing your supply is remaining stable. My supply was fairly steady until around 6 months or so, when her milk intake reduced due to weaning, so I wasn't worried about dropping more pumps and reducing my supply a bit. By the end, I was only expressing twice a day and that was enough to cover what she needed each day (plus I had my freezer supply to fall back on).

I would massively recommend investing in a double pump if you can. I bought an Ameda Lactaline from ebay for £40, it has a closed system, so no chance of contamination from a previous user. Really good investment for me, it cut my expressing time down by more than half.

You can store in the fridge for around 6 days (put in the back of the fridge, not the door), and the freezer for 6 months (proper freezer, not just a compartment in a fridge). I used to have all bottles for the day stored in the fridge, and I would keep rotating through, then putting anything left over into the freezer.

Around 12 weeks is when they say that your supply stabilises and is well established, so you can start to pump less (feed less) and still maintain a good milk supply.

Quantities per feed will vary massively for each baby. Mine, for example, settled nicely (of her own accord) into a pattern of feeding every 3 hours or so at around that age (I think - it's a bit of a blur!), and I think she took around 120-150ml (4-5oz) per feed. As she got older and dropped feeds, I actually increased what was in her bottles a little. She now has about 160-180ml twice a day.

I would say with a 3 year old and a baby, it would be hard work to exclusively express. Not impossible, but definitely very hard. I found it hard enough with just the baby, but I know other people have managed it.

Also, please consider how well you have done to breastfeed for these 10 weeks, despite things being so difficult! Well done and congratulations!

nearlyreadytopop Sun 02-Nov-14 22:23:38

thank you lozza. I'm actively trying to be less hard on myself this time round. Ive been expressing two feeds per day recently and even that small break has helped.

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