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Expressing for 2 weeks only

(21 Posts)
Rufus200 Tue 26-Jan-16 21:42:31

I'm due in a week and I've been reading some books but still feel at a loss.

I don't want to BF but understand the importance of colostrum and breast milk in the early weeks. So plan is to express for 2 weeks, maybe aim for a bottle or 2 of BM a day and FF for all other feeds. I was going to rent a hospital grade machine for those 2 weeks, figured this was cheaper then buying.

I need some experienced advice please

How regularly will I need to express a day to produce 1-2 feeds worth a day?

Do I fully drain my breasts at each session if I don't want to encourage increased milk production?

What I've read is that to dry up milk you just reduce the numbers of times you express by 1 every few days but if you are only doing it a few times a day, do you still drop a session or keep the session number and reduce amount you express?

How do I stop my milk production quickly? Are there drugs?

How long will it take my milk to dry up?

How likely am I to develop problems doing this plan? Will I get mastitis?

Am I being silly trying to do this? Should I just do colostrum rather then trying the 2 weeks?

If I didn't express at all, how would I stop my milk coming in from the start?

tiktok Tue 26-Jan-16 22:15:31

Rufus, I don't think this is going to work very easily, at least not in the way you are envisioning, making milk for two weeks and then not.

You can't stop milk production quickly. No one will give you drugs for this ( too many risky side effects) and gradual reduction of supply is the only safe way.

You cannot stop milk coming in. Everyone who gives birth makes milk. That's biology smile.

You can, of course, express from the start. Hand expressing is best for the first two days or so, then you can start pumping.

Is there any special reason for thinking of two weeks only? Would you consider being more flexible?

Is there any way you would consider breastfeeding direct? Perhaps to try? When it goes well, it's easier than expressing with all the hassle that goes with that.

I think it could be possible to have a period of partial expressing with formula making up the rest of your baby's needs, but being as precise as you are saying here I think is unrealistic.

Happy to help a bit more if you give more info smile

Rufus200 Tue 26-Jan-16 22:42:54

Thanks for replying tiktok

Very simply the idea of BF completely grosses me out. I doubt I'm going to cope with expressing. The little bit of leakage I've had made me feel sick. Plus having ELCS.

What you have said is very helpful. So maybe I express for a few days and then start to reduce pretty quickly rather then wait 2 weeks and start to reduce? The 2 weeks was what DH and I agreed as I don't actually want to do it at all past the 1st 72 hours that antibodies from colostrum can actually be absorbed by the intestines. If I didn't know how important colostrum was then I wouldn't express at all (I'm a vet so understand the immunology).

Should I empty breasts or just partial? How frequent should I express?

daluze Tue 26-Jan-16 23:02:35

Expressing collostrum is a hard work... Maybe there are sime women for whom it is not, but in my experience (and women around me) it is very hard - I needed to do it because DS1 was in NICU.
Obviously, your decision, but it may make your first days with the baby more hard work than it could be...

FellOutOfBedTwice Tue 26-Jan-16 23:06:34

This won't work, I don't think. I breastfed my daughter and also expressed and once my milk came in expressing only increased my supply, even when I was just doing it once or twice a day.

BeautyIsTruth Tue 26-Jan-16 23:19:46

If you want your milk to dry up from the start then you just need to wear a tight bra (not too tight though as could end up with mastitis so no binding) and don't stimulate them at all. Don't touch them, leave well alone. They should dry up by about a week. No drugs available I'm afraid though.

AndNowItsSeven Tue 26-Jan-16 23:25:31

You are a vet and yet find the idea of a mother feeding her young gross?
Breastfeeding is a mothers choice but you sound a bit immature.

CultureSucksDownWords Tue 26-Jan-16 23:32:40

I had to express to begin with as DS was in SCBU. Hand expressing is really the only way to get colostrum as the quantities are so small. It was a real struggle and hard work tbh. I wouldn't ever want to do it again, unless I had to. The expressing itself once your milk comes in will stimulate your supply, and if you then stop after 2 weeks I think you'll be very uncomfortable. If the idea of breastfeeding revolts you so strongly then I think hand expressing would be too much, never mind using a machine to express.

tiktok Wed 27-Jan-16 09:26:13

Rufus, I don't think anyone should judge you, or your maturity, for your feelings - you have them, and presumably they are genuine. You have thought about it all, discussed it with your DH, and arrived at a compromise because you want to support your baby's health, despite your feelings.

However....it might be helpful to think where the feelings come from, and if you could overcome them even more. There is a lot of bodily yuk stuff that's ahead of you, after all smile

The birth itself with waters breaking, probably some blood, the days and weeks of your own vaginal discharge afterwards, your baby's wee and poo and sick....and I bet in your work as a vet you deal with stuff most of the rest of us (well, me, anyway!) would really REALLY not like to confront smile

Maybe understanding your feelings will help you get over them, with support, and you might find it becomes easier in time.....just a thought!

tiktok Wed 27-Jan-16 09:29:40

AndNowItsSeven - that was a really unkind, judgmental thing to say sad

No one can know what lies behind people's feelings about their own bodies. As a vet, she is probably fine with the whole idea of mammalian lactation - but it's her body she is thinking of. I hope your comment has not stopped Rufus feeling she can post on here.

Rufus, most people here will not judge you or accuse you of immaturity. Hope you will stay around smile

Carriexx Wed 27-Jan-16 09:52:24

Hi rufus I just wanted to offer some support and say I totally understand how you feel. It's very unkind when people judge you for how you feel about breastfeeding. I too can't stand the idea of breastfeeding and plan to express- this is baby no2 for me so I know I won't feel differently when he arrives as went through it all with DD. For me I believe my feelings have something to do with a sexual assault I suffered and so when people judge without knowing anything about you it can be very hurtful.

With DD I ended up expressing for about 3 weeks and probably got 1-2 feeds a day for her during that time. My milk dried up very quickly when I stopped as I don't think it ever properly came in in the first place. I expressed about 4 times a day for about 20 mins and just reduced it (not planned to but I found it hard) after about 2 weeks and stopped altogether after 3 weeks. So I don't see why it can't work for you. I was using a Medela Symphony borrowed from hospital as DD was in NICU.

Please don't be too upset or discouraged by negative comments, giving your baby the colostrum and a few weeks of milk is a great thing.

Rufus200 Wed 27-Jan-16 10:48:32

It takes more then a silly comment to scare me away! I'm the most non squeamish person you will ever meet, pus, blood, diarrhoea, none of it bothers me. Until it is me, I am completely needle phobic, can't stand the site of my own blood and faint. I can't stand having other people touch me and there is no way some strange nurse is touching my boobs at any point. Only DH and my mum are allowed hugs with me. Having an ELCS for anxiety reasons but now have GD and need to have one anyway.

I have been to a 3hr NCT breastfeeding course, I have watched lots of videos and I'm making an informed decision. DH thinks I'm going to change my mind when baby is here and BF but to be honest I think it will be the exact opposite and I won't want to do anything but will feel an obligation to baby to try and do the best for him.

tiktok Wed 27-Jan-16 10:52:26

Hope things work out for you, Rufus, and that this thread has given you some helpful info.

Whatdoidohelp Wed 27-Jan-16 10:53:27

Breast milk is best for baby. It protects them against a whole host of issues and you don't want to do it cause it grosses you out. How selfish. How about putting your baby first over your childish ridiculous feelings. If that poor baby develops any of the conditions that breastmilk helps protect against you will find it hard to deal with, chest infections, ear infections, asthma, excema etc. Before anyone gets on their high horse - yes breastfed babies can get these issues too- it's just proven to be much less common. Do your research and hopefully you will change your mind. It's 6 months out of your life. It won't kill you.

Focusfocus Wed 27-Jan-16 10:58:23

As a breastfeeding mum, whatdoido I am delighted to say that your post inspired me to finally be able to use the celebrated Mumsnet acronym - ODFOD.

tiktok Wed 27-Jan-16 11:25:30

WhatdoIdohelp,I wonder if you really think calling people 'selfish' and 'childish' helps people overcome quite deep feelings, and changes their behaviour? Is it not more likely that rudeness and judgmentalism feel particularly out of place with something as personal and individual as feeding babies?

I despair.

I am a breastfeeding counsellor, and often post on here, and it makes me very cross when people equate me and my work with narrow-minded knee-jerk attitudes like the one you have displayed.

You are being goady, and I think this is against the MN rules.

CultureSucksDownWords Wed 27-Jan-16 18:15:11

I would just say that no one touched me after delivery without my permission. You can say to each hcp you encounter that you are touch-phobic and they must ask you before touching you. You can even get your midwife to write it in your notes and you can write it at the top of your birth "plan" which may help. Complain if anyone ignores you - touching you without consent is an assault.

I wonder if you might consider that your baby will be in the same category as your DH and mum. Presumably you'll want to cuddle your baby and let them touch you skin to skin. Feeding them directly is not a huge leap from there, surely. For a baby that has only moments ago been growing inside you and connected to you. Anyway, I'm not going to tell you what to do, I hope you don't mind my comments.

Rufus200 Wed 27-Jan-16 18:53:55

tiktok thank you for your support and advice

culture I already love my baby, so not expecting problems with skin to skin, just not near my nipples.

I found this link for anyone else reading this in a similar situation to me

www.fearlessformulafeeder.com/2011/10/tips-for-drying-up-breastmilk-without-the-attitude/

Focusfocus Wed 27-Jan-16 19:27:11

Rufus200 I am glad you've found the tips and advice you were looking for and of course it is your decision alone as it should be.

I should however say that the author of that blog claims that public health policies around breastfeeding are based on ambivalent research - and this is simply incorrect. There is no ambivalence about the empirical evidence at all on the whole. Breastmilk as a product has live products which are not contained in formula milk and is the biologically appropriate food for a baby. However - breastfeeding as a practice is a different matter and is part of an complex array of factors one of the most important of which is maternal choice and comfort therefore of course women feed their babies how they want as they absolutely should.

But to claim that recommendations around breastmilk as a product are based on ambivalent evidence is wrong.

I am happy you've found this support and am very sure your baby will be absolutely fine whichever way she or he is fed.

Serafinaaa Wed 27-Jan-16 19:53:08

I actually found expressing more weird than breastfeeding as when you express you can see what is going on much more. I found it fascinating, but a bit gross, to see the milk coming out and I could feel it more. When i breastfed I couldn't actually tell if he was getting anything for ages as I couldn't see or feel the milk. It's something to consider anyway.

3sugarsplease Wed 27-Jan-16 20:12:42

I used to think breastfeeding was 'weird' I always planned to BF for the first 2 weeks and then to express after that for 6 months max. I was also adamant that no nurse would touch my boobs or help me out with feeding. As soon as he was born, I actually asked the midwife to help me and show me how to.

DS is now 6 months, I've BF him on demand since birth, barely expressed and don't plan on stopping anytime soon.

I think attitudes change after birth. Never say never.

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