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When should I start expressing?

(16 Posts)
Yorkiegirl Wed 05-May-04 12:00:09

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gloworm Wed 05-May-04 15:05:05

was also told to wait for longer, but with second baby I started expressing one small feed per day at around 3 weeks. I used the medula pump and thought it was brillant, always got full breast of milk expressed each time. after dd had fed from one side I would express from other side. usually did it when I knew she was due to sleep for couple of hours.
I never had any problems and it never disrupted my milk supply. did drink more water just to be sure.

lemonice Wed 05-May-04 15:21:29

I was looking earlier today at one of the breast pump threads for dd (and dgs) because she said she would like to express. I am dozy because I didn't realise that you were best advised to wait as dgs is only 2 weeks. And when is the best time of day or is that individual? It looks like a good idea to do one breast as gloworm says, is this other peoples experience?

JanZ Wed 05-May-04 15:25:23

My midwife-come-breast feeding counsellor (she ran the bf support group at the manternity hospital) had me expressing at 2 weeks to give ds EBM to encourage him to suck! it's a bit more complicated than that - he was also not gaining weight, but he was still thriving!!!

I was lent an electric pump from the hospital (can't remember the make) but although it was very effective, I found that the strong suction "tired" my nipples, so I owuld dread ds waking up too soon after an expressing session.

I got on much better with my Avent Isis hand pump - but everyone is different!

Good luck!

It really helped me get into a routine of expressing, as i was going back to work when he was 4 months old - and as it was, I was able to continue to bf for over a year.

lemonice Wed 05-May-04 15:31:10

Interesting post Janz

DD did express in the hospital where she was for first week. She wants to do it now I think so that her bf can feed occasionally in the night when dgs is very wakeful and she is too tired. What are other experiences with hand pumps, I thougth they would be really tedious.

jane313 Wed 05-May-04 18:17:54

I found the avent one great. I followed their instructions about only doing it for 10 mins so it never tooks too long.

I expressed at the hospital and in the first week when he only fed off one breast. I started expressing at 6 weeks regularly for him to have the odd bottle when I went out.

californiagirl Wed 05-May-04 18:31:40

I pumped in the hospital to help with an inverted nipple, and then started pumping "for real" at about 4 weeks -- my Dr. said I could start any time after 3 weeks, because the baby was over her birthweight at 1 week and clearly nursing well. The first week was a really pitiful, miserable experience, but it's gotten a lot easier.

I pump twice a day, once in the morning (they say to pump before your first morning feed, but I sleep before my first morning feed; I pump between it and the second) and once to replace the feeding where DH gives a bottle. I freeze whatever I get from the second pumping most of the time. On a good day, I may also freeze some of the first pumping. I pump both breasts almost every time, but a lot of people do just the one they would have fed on if they're replacing the feeding, or feed the baby on one side and pump on the other. (Note that the baby almost never eats from both breasts for me, only when she's in the middle of a growth spurt.)

I have an Avent Isis and a pair of Whisperwear pumps. Both of them have required significant learning periods to get right, and I'm still learning the Whisperwear (a new sort of electric pump). The Isis is actually easy and fast for me now, but it puts more wear and tear on my nipples and it ties me down, so I tend to use the Whisperwear in the morning, so I can do other things, and the Isis at night, when DH has the baby anyway and I'm more interested in speed.

Utka Thu 06-May-04 08:50:31

I'm just starting with the Medela electric one, and finding it much easier than the Avent hand one, which I tried to use last time around (without much success). It is noisy though, so I'm not sure I will be able to use it on one breast whilst feeding off the other simultaneously.

Good to hear your point about baby feeding only off one breast Californiagirl - no matter how hard I try, I can't get DD2 to feed off both breasts. Was starting to wonder if this is ok - DD2 is consistently putting on weight and has the right number of wet / dirty nappies, so think it's ok. She doesn't go that long between feeds though.

What's your experience re the gap between feeds (I'm worried that by expressing, I won't have enough time to make more by the next feed). Also, do you always start baby off at the next feed on the 'other' breast, or give baby a bit from the first one to make sure you're draining both equally?

motherinferior Thu 06-May-04 09:04:41

I think if your milk and feeding are going well, earlier is fine. You'll make more milk for a feed, Utka - the breasts produce it in response to the baby's suck (I found expressing not quite as straightforward a production - but did manage quite enormous amounts, in fact).

I like the Avent myself but it's horses for courses.

Emsi Thu 06-May-04 10:22:48

Hello. My son was born at 30 weeks, so I started expressing straight away. I used the Avent Isis pump and it is brilliant - much better than the hospital electric ones which were complete nipple killers (!) and discreet and quiet. Not tedious at all. I never had any problems with it, and I've just bought another for this baby (currently 30 weeks pregnant and counting!) and I really recommend it. Good luck!

LucieB Thu 06-May-04 14:00:38

I expressed at 4 weeks with my ds and this time with my dd, I started giving her a bottle of expressed milk at 2 weeks. I would also recommend the Avent Isis although I find taking it apart to sterilise and putting it back together a bit of a faff - but I guess thats the same with all pumps!

californiagirl Thu 06-May-04 16:22:42

DD only goes 2 hours between feeds, so I know what you mean about timing. I know you always make more, but she doesn't like starting hard, so I try to pump the breast she didn't eat from during or right after a feed, and then just offer her that one next. If I screw up the timing fiddling around and she gets hungry while I'm still pumping that one or just after I finish (all too common, I'm not very sharp in the mornings) I give her the one she ate on last instead.

When I'm not pumping, I alternate breasts (as best I can remember; I'm thinking of taking up somebody's hint of wearing a bracelet as a reminder of which side I fed on last). I only offer both if she's clearly frustrated with the amount of milk she's getting from the first and still hungry. Letting her pop off voluntarily is a joke -- given her druthers she'd suck on the same one all day, stopping only to be sick when she got overfull (on the left) or to howl and thrash, still latched on, when she was hungry and it was too slow (on the right).

vkone Fri 07-May-04 10:56:22

I started from day two in hospital (I had a caeser and a v sleepy baby) I've tried both the Avent and Medela electric (in hosptial and at home) and heartily recommend the electric - you can vary the suction and can even pump whilst feeding little one (tho it is noisy). Their website sells direct and has parts if you melt anything!

PS Morning is best

wilbur Fri 07-May-04 13:36:20

With ds I started expressing at five week, adn with dd I did a couple of expresses after about two weeks and then did it regularly after a month. Both times I have been blessed with vast quantities of milk, which is probably the nature of my milk supply (I also had a very strong let-down adn expressing a bit often helped with that), but I think it was helped by the expressing. Regarding time of expressing, I used to let the babies feed as much as they wanted first thing and then went straight to the pump and put the remaining (they usually took only one full boob) in the freezer. I used an electric Ameda Lactaline, which I loved, and which is still going strong after my two and a couple of loans - worth the money, IMO. I would express again at about 9.30pm and go to bed so that dh gave the baby their 10/11pm ebm feed in a bottle.

Yorkiegirl Mon 10-May-04 14:32:19

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JeniN Mon 10-May-04 19:31:25

You could try after a hot bath, but i was the same, could only get a decent amount when feeding off the other boob at the same time. Some people say to look at a picture of your baby while expressing.

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