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Expressing - what do i need to know to start with?

(10 Posts)
PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Tue 16-Dec-14 10:41:48

Dd is 4 weeks old and ebf. I haven't tried expressing yet as she has been doing so well feeding that I haven't needed to. However I have a four year old who is having a tough time and in desperate need of one on one time with me so I hope to try and introduce a bottle feed at some point to allow dh to do some feeds.

So my main question is when should I introduce a bottle feed so it doesn't interfere with my supply?

But I'd also like all your hints and tips and recommendations as I'm a complete novice at this please. Thanks smile

squizita Tue 16-Dec-14 11:02:05

About 4 to 6 weeks is fine.
You might not get a lot at first! After a week or 2 you get more as your body gets used to it and you get loads. The best time for many women is mid morning. For 1 bottle a day I find a 1 side hand pump is adequate bit for more an electric might help. I also hand express which is pretty easy if undignified and of course free/less to sterilise!
La leche leage and Kelly mom have good "how to" instructions.

In terms of taking a bottle, remember the baby will need to learn and will prefer certain bottles ... not always the expensive ones! So start with ONE of each type. If it doesn't work look closely - is the teat too big or small - soft or hard? Does she like milk cold, room temp or warm?
Even once she'll happily gum at the teat she will still need a few days gentle coaxing, I found, to learn how to drink it. Then suddenly she was away!
My dd prefers lansinoh bottles from mothercare but others like tommy tupper or even boots own brand!

FATEdestiny Tue 16-Dec-14 14:41:20

If you are planning to give your DD a bottle of expressed milk at the same time each day, every day - then it would be wise to do your expressing at the same time as this bottle is given. Otherwise in time you will completely lose your milk supply at that time - which could cause a problem for the times when you don't have expressed milk to give (ie during a growth spurt).

In terms of help and tips. I use the Medula Mini pump and it's brilliant. Massive second hand market on ebay for these and they are fine to buy second hand.

You'll also need a steriliser. We have a microwave steriliser which is quick and easy to use.

Finally, someone gave me a great expressing tip that I thought I would pass on. For hands-free expressing (especially if you are going to express while feeding), try getting a cheap sports bra and cutting a slit in it. The pump stays in place without needing to be held then.

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Tue 16-Dec-14 17:21:43

Thank you both, very useful advice there.

I was wondering about when to pump, I've read mid morning is a good time but the time I most need dh to take over is around 6-7pm at the moment.

It's all a bit daunting! I had such trouble feeding ds (gave up at 4 weeks) that I don't want to jinx it this time as it's gone so well.

squizita Tue 16-Dec-14 21:40:39

Fate does supply work like that? I'm just asking because if my DD feeds at an unusual time, when I have rarely/never fed before, she still accesses milk. I was always taught that the breasts don't have 'full' and 'dry' times (once supply is established by feeding for the first month or so) but that they tend to produce more easily for expressing in the morning and it is important to feed in the evening as there are longer gaps overnight. Surely the time between (breast) feeds would be the main thing and it could affect overall supply?

FATEdestiny Tue 16-Dec-14 22:09:04

Maybe it was the timing of mine?

DH gave bottle of expressed milk at 11pm. DD is sleeping through 11-7 so this means I feed around 8pm and then not again until morning. From the weekend she's been having a growth spurt so not had much expressed milk (I express in morning) and having a nightmare at 11ish because no expressed and low supply at breast.

TheWomanTheyCallJayne Tue 16-Dec-14 22:13:46

Try different pumps.
I had to express entirely for dd when she was in NICU and after trying numerous electric pumps I resorted to the advent hand pump again as I got on best with it. Different folks...

moggle Wed 17-Dec-14 04:46:54

We wanted to give an expressed bottle once or twice a week; started when DD was almost 4 wks. On advice from our local bf cafe I pumped for the first time in the morning after a feed; DD fed about 7 and after she'd finished I pumped for half an hour on the other boob and got 3oz. We fed this to her and she needed bf after, no problems latching on.
Repeated the pumping after a morning feed a couple of times so we had 5 oz or so. This was enough for a night feed, which DH did, and the morning after that I pumped off the fullest side and got 5-6 oz, from then on I just pump after the bottle is given (not immediately after, I can go about 4 -5 hrs before I feel I really need to ease the engorgement).
Also I have quite a forceful let down so often hand express a bit into a bottle before feeding and that adds up to.
Now I can get 6oz in about 10 mins, just using a hand pump- didn't seem worth it to buy an electric one when we're only doing it a couple of times a week.

Teat wise we bought a medela calma which she is happy with and she's showing no signs of preferring the bottle or it interfering with bf at all. so if we need extra teats will probably just get the regular nipple shaped ones as the calma one is expensive!

squizita Wed 17-Dec-14 11:37:42

Ah Fate mine is 4 to 6 pm so she feeds before/after give or take an hour or 2 - and mine is a night time guzzler!

squizita Wed 17-Dec-14 11:42:23

Oh and LLL and Kelly mom recommend 2-4 oz per feed. That's all an ebf baby needs (though they may want/take more if you can pump it ... They will just adjust their next boob feed).
I was panicking about how little I could pump till I read this and a hv said 1-2oz per hour I was not feeding was a good rule of thumb. Makes it much less daunting!!

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