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2 week old, frequent feeding and expressing advice and reassurance needed

(14 Posts)
theruntsnextdoor Tue 09-Dec-14 20:59:48

My 2 week old DD's demand for breast milk has suddenly gone up. She is waking every 2 hours and needing a full breast (whatever that is) each time, then falling straight back to sleep and waking up again to feed.

Am I right that she is probably having a growth spurt and priming me for heavier duty feeding?

The past two weeks I have woken in the morning and my breasts are engorged and hurting and I've had to express just to get them to soften. Since her demand has gone up, they're small again and shadows of their former selves! Please reassure me this doesn't mean my supply is running out?

I also have to go out for three hours and leave DD with DH later this week. Knowing that she cluster feeds, I want to be prepared with two bottles of pumped milk so that DH can feed her while i'm out if she wakes up twice in that three hour period. I am nervous about went to pump it - what if I pumped it now, drained a breast, then DD wakes up in 20 mins and demands feeding again? Surely there would be nothing there?

theruntsnextdoor Tue 09-Dec-14 21:06:17

*when to pump it, not "went" to pump it

PrincessTheresaofLiechtenstein Tue 09-Dec-14 21:12:21

If I am reading this correctly, you have started waking up in the morning feeling more comfortable than you used to? Yes, this is more than likely fine and things are settling down.

Feeds every two hours and a contented baby in between sounds normal.

Breasts don't fill up and empty like a cup would - breast milk production is more like a slow running tap which is always on (hence why you get full and sore if milk doesn't get removed). So no need to worry about expressing. If she takes on breast at a time as you have described, you could feed on one side, express on the other just after or at the same time if you can and then feed whichever side you prefer the next time - likely to be just fine.

If her weight gain, nappies etc all normal sounds like you are doing fine.

PrincessTheresaofLiechtenstein Tue 09-Dec-14 21:14:35

Sorry some of that was garbled - what I mean is, it sounds like she only takes one side per feed. Not that it matters either way, you can express one or both sides and still be able to do the next feed.

fruitpastille Tue 09-Dec-14 21:17:07

Have you tried expressing? It used to take me ages. If you want to get the feeds I would do it gradually - choose a time e.g. first thing in the morning when you feel a bit fuller and just do an ounce or two each time. You can keep it in the back of the fridge for several days so just combine the smaller amounts to make enough for a feed. I don't think it is that essential just for 3 hours though - dh can always take baby out for a walk/drive if necessary to keep them calm. Baby may not even take a bottle if you haven't tried.

As for the rest - yes probably a growth spurt. Drink plenty and take it easy. Your boobs can't really run out of milk even though it feels like that sometimes.

theruntsnextdoor Tue 09-Dec-14 21:21:50

So can I pump gradually, keep the bottle at the back of the fridge and keep adding to it over the next 24 hours? I thought maybe I couldn't add my body-temperature breast milk to chilled breast milk... thank you for dispelling these myths for me!

I have used the pump before (when I had too much milk) and she does take from a bottle, although she gets windier from it.

husbanddoestheironing Tue 09-Dec-14 21:23:08

Yes as above! if you need to express so you can go out in a few days time though you could maybe express from one side only and feed first from the other if she does demand a feed soon after. It used to work for me, though it was a while ago now. I hated expressing, but sometimes needs must!

squizita Tue 09-Dec-14 21:44:10

Tip for the expressed milk - if she takes it warm, give 1-2 oz at a time. As a rule of thumb (from a LLL sheet someone showed me on here) they take 1-2 oz per hour ... but obviously this can take the form of 1oz one hour, none the next, 3 oz another etc'. And milk cannot be re-heated and is precious!
I put the milk in a sterile storage pot and DH pours and heats a bit, if she glugs it he heats a bit more...

The 2 hr feeds and boob thing sounds pretty normal. My 3 month old still likes her boob every 2 hours, except overnight when my boobs get firm but nothing like the 1st 2 weeks.

fruitpastille Tue 09-Dec-14 21:52:57

Chill the milk before you add it to the stuff you have already expressed ie don't add warm to cold. You can buy sterilised breastmilk storage bags which can be handy. The breastfeeding network has a good leaflet pdf about storage,http://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/breastfeeding-help/expressing-storing/

AnythingNotEverything Tue 09-Dec-14 22:37:16

I know this is none of my business, but I can't think of anywhere where a newborn breastfed baby isn't welcome to be with their mother. It might be less stressful to take her (and DH if she needs holding).

squizita Wed 10-Dec-14 09:43:01

Anything I can. I had a biopsy when dd was 6 weeks. My mum held her in the hospital cafe with a bottle just in case.

I've noticed people worrying about not being able to pump enough. LLL recommends 24-30 fl oz PER DAY. So just over 1 oz per hour. It's not like formula!
Once realised this it was very encouraging - my 2-3 oz pumps were indeed full portions for 2 hr. I go by 3 oz for 2 hr and some spare in the freezer. Baby wasn't ravenous upon my return so thar was reassuring.

squizita Wed 10-Dec-14 09:44:24

...also it was on my neck so I struggled to hold/feed as well as usual for a few hours after. DH and expressed milk was peace of mind then!

Gennz Wed 10-Dec-14 21:23:58

OP I have nothing helpful to add except solidarity. My DS is doing this at the moment. He feeds for up to an hour (not really faffing around either - about 3 x 15 min proper feeds in that time), then sleeps for about 1.5 - no more than 2 generally - then repeat.

I am rinsed - literally & metaphorically! He's been doing this for 2 days straight. I feel like I've been on a meth bender. Last night thank God DH took the late shift and gave him a bottle feed so I got 2 x 2.5 hour blocks of sleep (had to get up in the middle to pump as one of my boobs works overtime & gets painful & engorged v quickly). I don't know how I would've got through otherwise.

Gennz Wed 10-Dec-14 21:25:02

Erm would like to clarify that I feel like how I imagine it would feel to have been on a meth bender. I've never actually been on one for the avoidance of doubt!!! blush

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