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expressing - help please

(13 Posts)
3rdbump Wed 17-Jun-15 22:34:06

Hi everyone. Baby is now 7 days old and the breast feeding is going well. He is starting to go longer between feeds now, was every hour sometimes less 24/7, he had 2 3 hour stretches last night which was bliss i got sleep but still regular during the day especially evenings.
I am wanting to start expressing and giving him up to 2 bottle feeds per day, partly so i can get some sleep at night and also if we go shopping or for a meal i can give him it from a bottle. Just for a little break so i can grab a quick bath or go the shop etc!
At what point would it be best t do this also will he take the breast again after a bottle?
When is the best time to express and how many mils would i need in a bottle per feed?
New to bf despite being my 4th baby i never kept it up this long and really like to continue

ipswichwitch Wed 17-Jun-15 22:42:54

Kellymom is a great website for bf and expressing related questions. I know they usually recommend waiting until the baby is 6 weeks old before starting with expressing and bottles, although I know people who started it sooner with no issues (something to do with establishing supply I believe).

Apart from when DS1 was tube fed for the first 3 weeks I didn't really express until I went back to work when mine were 8mo and were under way with solids so I'm probably not much help there with amounts, etc.

ApplesTheHare Wed 17-Jun-15 22:46:33

Congratulations on your new baby!

You should give it about 6 weeks before expressing to make sure your supply is established, but not too much longer as it might be harder to start with bottles then. If you then keep using both there shouldn't be a problem switching between them. The kellymom site has a guide to how much you'll need to express, but be warned expressing takes time and (just in my experience) is way more faff than straight up bottle feeding, so you might have an easier time mixed feeding. If you express regularly you'll need to do it at consistent times so your supply keeps up and doesn't go mad. Good luck thanks

Micah Wed 17-Jun-15 22:52:17

Well done for doing so well!

Ime, expressing is a bitch. It's time consuming, awkward, and a big hassle. To keep your supply up you will need to express every time you miss a feed, so basically every time you give a bottle. So it's far easier to just feed.

Some babies mix feed well. Others develop a preference, either for bottle or breast, and will refuse the other. Problem is, you can't tell beforehand!

Like pp said, you should wait 6 weeks to allow everything to settle down and establish. Having had a baby who refused the breast completely after three days with one bottle feed, I wouldn't introduce a bottle at all if you're not prepared emotionally for the slide into bottle feeding.

TropicalHorse Wed 17-Jun-15 22:58:56

First feed of the morning, I used to feed DD from one breast while expressing from the other. Very fiddly to do but it was when I had the most milk! DD slept a 5-6hr stretch v early on. Then I would give her the expressed milk in a bottle at 10pm when I went to bed.

3rdbump Thu 18-Jun-15 10:56:15

I never realised mixed feeding is an option. So what would be the best way to start it?
Would it effect my supply if I did 2 x formula bottles for night times? Can you switch them about so one night Bf the next day he could have ff in a bottle with the OH?
Sorry am new to this!

Micah Thu 18-Jun-15 11:44:27

As I said earlier, mix feeding can work well for some people smile

However, it can affect your supply. Also babies find formula sweeter, easier, and more readily available (no let down), so they can develop a preference. It can get into a cycle where giving formula affects your supply, baby finds it more work to get milk, prefers bottle, bottle give to stop the screaming, supply affected more.

I was one who after a couple of bottles of formula baby completely refused the breast. I had to either struggle to get bf re-established, or switch solely to formula.

You can never tell whether mix feeding is or isn't going to work until you try it, though, so it's a risk you take.

So, if you really, really want to keep breastfeeding, I wouldn't try it until you're ready to stop if you're forced to. If you are mentally in a place where it's no big deal if you end up on bottles, give it a try.

ApplesTheHare Thu 18-Jun-15 11:57:03

I ebf for 6 months (DH gave occasional expressed bm from bottles so DD learned to take a bottle) then mix fed for a few months while changing to formula. Obviously all our lovely babies are different but mixed worked better for us as a family than when I was expressing because as others have said expressing is as time-consuming as feeding if not more, and then you still need to feed them the milk anyway. I also found pumping would massively up my supply and that was a problem because I was prone to blocked ducts and mastitis anyway. With mixed feeding, it's best for your supply to always swap out the same feeds, so making one evening feed a ff each day would probably work well. Your body will then get used to not producing milk for that time of the day (as it would if your baby naturally dropped a feed when older). If you try and switch different feeds each day your supply will struggle to keep out. Consistency is the key in establishing the supply-demand relationship that means your boobs know how much milk to make smile

Good luck, there's so much to think about with bf but it sounds like you're doing a fab job! flowers

ApplesTheHare Thu 18-Jun-15 11:58:57

p.s. as Micah said, some babies prefer the taste and ease of ff, but I've got the impression from my own experiences and talking to friends that again, if you keep the ff to a certain time of day, they only expect it then and view it as a different thing to bf. Does that make sense?

3rdbump Thu 18-Jun-15 19:57:30

Thanks for the advice smile
Just finding it difficult as so tired and really not getting enough sleep! He did from 1130 till 330 am then it's every hour till its time to get up then again the same all day!!
OH is pressuring me into bottles now too as he can see I literally don't even have free time to eat my tea or go the toilet without baby attached! Am waking with aches and pains when I wake as am sleeping awkwardly as he is Co sleeping as won't settle in moses basket. Also am full of cold and it's going on my chest, I stopped bleeding 2 days ago but wham today it's come back bright red and really heavy :/ plus I have some sort of piles or thrush main everything sore. Am all out of sorts physically. Emotionally am doing okay touch wood as prone to pnd but thankfully feeling fine.
OH wants to help put with feeds etc to give me a break and am so tempted to just pack it in. :/

ApplesTheHare Thu 18-Jun-15 20:51:59

3rd it sounds like you are doing a great job and have a fantastic partner. You've already given your baby the best start by getting this far and a happy mum = a happy baby, so if you want to switch then go for it smile

3rdbump Fri 19-Jun-15 16:22:43

Had a better day and night smile he had his normal cluster feed last night between 7 - 11pm then he went to sleep and went through till 315am again. Then he slept till 530 then woke for 8am, had another 2 broken feeds with an hours sleep in between then slept from 1245pm till 330pm which is good for him during daytime! hes feeding again now but seems to be slightly better every day. MW coming tomorrow to weigh him so will see how much he has put on.

Pieandmashed Fri 19-Jun-15 20:19:46

Hi! That sounds exactly like the week I've just had, DD is 14 days old and as promised by all my friends last week when I was becoming resigned to being nocturnal forever, she is spacing the feeds out a bit better. I always wanted to include DH in a feed or maybe use a bottle when out (new to babies/bf so not confident about attempting a feed in public yet plus am super clumsy so would just end up flailing boobs everywhere).

Anyway- I asked the midwife on one of her visits about expressing and when I could start and she also said to wait until 6 weeks but said if I wanted to just express enough for one feed, I could start whenever I wanted by pumping one side for 5 mins, then the next for 5 mins and then to repeat. I have an electric pump not a manual one. She's said to express wHen the baby is napping at least an hour after a feed. It's a bit tricky to determine when you get the clear window to pump but managed nearly 90ml following her advice.

I have given her a bottle 3 times since being home from hospital, twice with 30ml of formula and last night with about 40/50 ml of ebm, which she hoovered up and then went straight to feed from both breasts, so no issues so far with bottle to boob and that's with different brands of bottles/ teats. Hope this helps you out

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