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Expressing milk

(14 Posts)
sepa Thu 10-Mar-16 07:47:38

Re-posting here from parenting as I didn't know this board existed (and I'm not sure how to have a thread moved)

Due to a traumatic birth my milk has only come in on day 5. I have a very lazy baby that knows how to breastfeed but falls asleep after the first few sucks ( we have tried stimulation to keep her awake).
At the moment we are using expressed milk and topping up with formula. Since my milk has come in only yesterday I have expressed 90ml over 2 feeds.
Woken up this morning (without expressing all night) and my boobs really ache. I'm currently strapped up to my cow pump to try to relieve the ache but is there anything else I can do?

Dovetale Thu 10-Mar-16 08:16:22

I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will be along shortly but in the meantime the Kellymom website is often recommended on this board.

Here is the link to the expressing section:

sepa Thu 10-Mar-16 12:12:32

Thank you Dovetale. That's a really helpful website. I have saved it for quick access

Whatdoidohelp Thu 10-Mar-16 12:16:27

Don't go more than 3 hours without fully expressing or breastfeeding or you will develop serious low milk supply issues very quickly. I would keep offering the boob, let baby take what they want and top up with formula if needed. If baby doesn't take much from boob you have to express it out or your body will think the milk isn't needed and stop producing. The kellymom website is great. Good luck.

Micah Thu 10-Mar-16 12:21:46

breastfeed, breastfeed, breastfeed. Even if you have to sit on the sofa all day with the baby attached to you.

Not feeding overnight will also affect your supply negatively, very quickly.

Honestly though, it will be far easier to stop with the expressing and bottles and just breastfeed.

FWIW I can no idea when my milk "came in". I didn't even know that was a thing- and I reckon that ignorance was why I successfully bf without issues, because I wasn't worried about supply, or having enough milk, I just fed!

sepa Thu 10-Mar-16 17:42:18

Ahh yes, how silly of me not to think that I should put my daughter to my breast to breast feed!

sepa Thu 10-Mar-16 17:51:44

The baby takes nothing from me at all. She goes from fully alert to asleep within seconds of being on my boob. I have even broke mid expressing to put her there.

Micah Thu 10-Mar-16 17:52:05

jeez. Only trying to help.

Why aren't you putting your baby to the breast then? Why are you faffing with expressing, bottles and formula?

Micah Thu 10-Mar-16 17:55:40

Hoe do you know she takes nothing from you?

If you're giving her bottles and formula she may well prefer that, so doesn't feed from you, preferring to wait for an easier bottle. Breastfeeding is work for them.

If you really want breastfeeding to work long term, you have to breastfeed.

They do fall asleep at the breast a lot when small. They only take tiny mounts at a time, so might feed for a couple of minutes, then a few minutes more 10 minutes later. It's more of a constant thing than separate "big feeds"

BatMobile Thu 10-Mar-16 18:11:38

Second what others are saying. Be prepared to spend a few days on the sofa, loads of skin to skin and do nothing but breastfeed.

dannydyerismydad Thu 10-Mar-16 18:29:22

It sounds like you need some skilled face to face help. Is there a breastfeeding clinic or drop in near you?

Milk not "coming in" until day 5 is very normal. Until then the tiny drops of concentrated colostrum are packed full of energy to tide your baby over.

If you feel heavy and full, that's generally an indication that your breasts are overfull, which might make it hard for your baby to latch on. Hand expressing a little to get the milk flowing before latching might be helpful.

Have you tried breast compressions? With a firm, flat hand, stroke down the chest from the shoulder down the breast. This will send another wave of milk - this wave of milk often wakes a sleepy baby and some sleepier ones can feed whilst dozing.

To help your supply on its way, be sure to pump 8-12 times in 24 hours if your baby isn't feeding. Offer the breast every couple of hours too. A 1 week old baby generally drinks 45-60ml per feed, so your baby will probably require a little less than that big feeds can lead to that zonked out post Christmas dinner feeling and long sleeps, so try to offer smaller amounts more frequently if you can so that you can keep trying her on the breast.

Face to face help would be so helpful for you though. It sounds like you've had a tough few days and need someone to take some time to help you.

sepa Thu 10-Mar-16 19:44:26

She falls asleep after 2 or 3 suckles then un latches herself. I have had midwives and breastfeeding specialist help and they are all surprised by how quickly it happens. I do need more breastfeeding help which I will be getting. She is being given formula as a top up as she will go hours without eating a thing which meant that she was lethargic and even less interested in feeding.

She was originally put on a bottle as her blood sugers after birth was dangerously low.

namechangedtoday15 Thu 10-Mar-16 20:05:46

If you're getting face to face help then that's probably better than strangers on a website. I think changing her position / maybe changing her nappy might help but agree that bottle feeding is much easier for a baby. Don't beat yourself up however you're feeding her - you're doing a fab job - but if you do want to continue with breastfeeding in the longer term you need to let her try and perhaps don't offer the bottle quite as quickly.

I also think expressing with keep up the supply - which is great - but it's kind of a vicious circle. The more you express (to try to relieve the pressure) the more your body produces (so increasing the pressure). I think you're doing the right thing to get your supply going so the painful boobs go with the territory unfortunately until everything settles down.

Embolio Thu 10-Mar-16 20:28:00

Just come on to offer support sepa I'm in a similar position - traumatic birth, very sleepy dd. She lost 13.5% percent of her birth weight by day 4 as she wasn't taking enough colostrum and i started expressing (hand at first) as the spectre of readmission to hospital loomed. Luckily she has started feeding a bit better but still v sleepy and although I put her to the breast as often as possible for as long as possible with a 2 & 4 year old at home too there are times when I can't and she gets a top up to tide her over. Plan is to reduce this gradually as she wakes up a bit more and starts to feed more effectively - her latch is good, she's just very easily tired.

Go easy on yourself OP - you've been through a lot and so has she, you're both learning still. I can see a big difference in my dd's feeding in just a week. They aren't this tiny for long. Even though this is my 3rd baby id forgotten how hard this bit is!

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