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Starting to express

(16 Posts)
Taura Thu 01-Jan-15 05:21:23

I started topping up with formula (finger feeding with syringe) in hospital when DS was a day old, because he was dehydrated. He's now 2w old and I really want to get away from formula and back to exclusive BF. I have been lent an electric pump but struggling to get much milk out.

I start off with low vacuum, high frequency as suggested, for a minute or so until I start to get a few drips. Then I switch to high vacuum, lower frequency and the theory is that it should then flow more freely after the let down.
What I find is that the milk just drips... For a minute or so I might get a spurt, where I get a drip every cycle, but it swiftly slows and stops. The most I've managed has been 12ml in about 20 mins. sad (admittedly I have only tried 3 times so far).

Is it my technique that's wrong, am I just impatient, or are my boobs broken?

PotteringAlong Thu 01-Jan-15 05:36:22

Have you tried hand expressing? I always get far more that way than with a pump.

Taura Thu 01-Jan-15 05:38:14

Only a few drips but to be honest I've not tried for any length of time

Taura Thu 01-Jan-15 05:39:38

PS my boobs were large even before pregnancy (HH/J cup) so not sure if the milk ducts are below too much padding.

BabyHaribo Thu 01-Jan-15 06:28:24

Have you got baby with you when you are expressing? It really helped me to have baby very close and sounds corny but think about how much I loved them - if they started crying that sometimes worked as well! Helps the milk to let down smile

hubbahubster Thu 01-Jan-15 15:10:21

I always get most milk first thing in the morning, pumping from one boob while feeding DC2 on the other. And gazing at her lovliness helps too...

squizita Thu 01-Jan-15 20:36:16

Heat is KEY for me. Thought my ability to express was failing a while back, someone suggested heat and it worked a charm.
hot shower before (or bath) and hot pads/hot water bottle to prep each boob. I also have the pump warm from the steam steriliser.

WishUponAStar88 Fri 02-Jan-15 11:16:56

Thank you so much hubba my baby is 3 months old but have never been able to express more than 20 mls and was starting to worry as have an operation in a couple of weeks so won't be able to bf for a few hours. This morning did your suggestion of pumping at the same time as she had her morning feed from the other boob. 100mls in about 10 minutes I'm amazed!

Taura Fri 02-Jan-15 23:08:52

Thanks for the advice... I got 28ml earlier today and felt much better about it. Only 7ml later on but tired/stressed etc so understandable. Will keep at it.

CelticPromise Fri 02-Jan-15 23:25:41

Are you also bfing or formula feeding and expressing? You need to stimulate breasts 8+ times per day. Have you tried hand expressing? Works better for some. Also worth doing a bit of massage while you pump.

Are there any bf groups near you? Would be worth going to get RL support.

Taura Fri 02-Jan-15 23:34:11

Mainly BF but have to top him up with formula (about 250-300 ml per day). I've not got the knack of hand expressing. I'm hoping to get to a support group next week but they've all been closed over the hols sad

CelticPromise Sat 03-Jan-15 00:04:17

Ok has anyone had a look at latch lately and whether he's feeding effectively? Group will be really helpful. What a shame they've been closed.

With expressing you really need to focus on the stimulation rather than the amount of milk. Better to do 8× per day 10m including overnight and get minimal amounts than to do 3x per day 30m. You might get a little more initially but it won't encourage increased supply.

Some people recommend fenugreek to increase supply, 1.5g 3x per day. Also oats and fennel tea. No evidence all anecdotal i believe.

CelticPromise Sat 03-Jan-15 00:07:21

I pumped exclusively for a while and got little without massaging at the same time. Double pumping also often recommended although i never got the hang of it! Good luck, sounds like you're doing really well after a tough start.

Midorichan Sat 03-Jan-15 14:46:02

I express full time (& did with my first born), warmth helps enormously, as does manipulating my breasts as I pumo (squeezing in different areas etc - if I didn't squeeze, only a tiny amount would come out). I used a Philips advent electric pump with my first born, WISH so much I hadn't as I now use a fantastic hand pump (Lansinoh - so good, I bought 2) which, due to it being more powerful than the electric, I can get the milk out in 10 mins from both sides (3oz total every 3 hours). I also have to chant "let down let down let down" in my head to get my let down to work!

Taura Sat 03-Jan-15 20:31:28

Getting better... 40ml this afternoon. And accidentally squirted DS in the eye with milk just now when trying to express a drop to find out why he was grizzling.

Midorichan Sat 03-Jan-15 20:43:40

Oh, forgot to add, water is key too! I can express over an ounce more depending on if I've downed a few pints of water after the last pumping session. If I've forgotten to drink I get significantly less milk coming out.

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