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Ante-Natal Expressing - Any thoughts or advice?

(8 Posts)
BaskingTrout Thu 30-Jun-16 14:03:23

Sorry if this is long...I was just wondering if anyone has any experience or thoughts on ante-natal expressing? I am currently 33 weeks pregnant with DC2.

With DD, I had a long labour ending in a EMCS, I was a physical wreck and on morphine in the immediate aftermath, slowly recovered over the next week and then was ok. I struggled to BF from the beginning but I don't know how much of that is related to the birth and how much would have happened anyway.
We never managed to get a good latch, despite lots of support from various midwives and lactation consultants. I always had to use nipple shields because the problem seemed to be that my nipples are fairly small and weren't reaching the back of DD's palate. I also never had much supply but, again, I don't know how much of that was because of a poor latch and how much was my physical recovery.
I expressed and ended up mostly mixed feeding, DD was topped up with formula in hospital and this continued once we were home. She got at least some expressed milk every day until 18 weeks, but by the end, this was minimal amounts.
DD lost a lot of weight in the early days and was on the verge of being re-admitted.

I will be trying for a VBAC with DC2 but obviously I don't know how things are going to turn out. I am considering trying to express beforehand to see if I can build up a little bit of a store of colostrum in case we have the same problems this time, as I feel that I may be less panicked into giving formula too early.

Does anyone have experience of this? Specifically, is it really worth it? How to go about doing it, collecting it, storing it etc. Should I try and get some syringes for collection or use something else? When should I start?

Any help would be appreciated!!

milkingmachine1 Thu 30-Jun-16 14:06:13

This is something I would consider with dc3. I had terrible feeding issues with my first 2, so having a store of colostrum would be really good. My only concern would be if this could affect the building up your supply process.

Orsono Thu 30-Jun-16 15:12:27

I expressed some colostrum for DS3 because of potential issues with the birth. Never ended up needing it, thankfully, but it was reassuring it was there.

I would mention it to your midwife. It sounds like you have a good reason to do it so hopefully they would be supportive - mine was. There's an NHS leaflet about hamd expessing they should be able to give you. They may also be able to give you some syringes to use. If they can't then you can easily buy them from a pharmacy - just ask for 1mm, 2.5mm or 5mm oral syringes. It's important they're oral ones, with a purple plunger.

Don't bother with a pump, it's such tiny amounts it will get lost in it. Just do it by hand and scoop up the drops with the syringe.

Oh and the advice is not to do it until 37 weeks, as there's some evidence it can bring on labour. And obviously you'll need a way to transport the frozen syringes to hospital - we used an insulated bottle holder.

BaskingTrout Thu 30-Jun-16 20:44:18

Thanks for the replies, that's really helpful!

Tatiebee Fri 01-Jul-16 23:45:40

Ds3 was predicted to be small so I was scheduled for induction at 37 weeks. I started expressing colostrum into 1ml syringes a couple of weeks before. At first it would take multiple attempts to fill a syringe but after a few days it would only take around 20 minutes max, I had 20 syringes frozen in a ziplock bag to take to hospital and the midwives were really encouraging. I even got given a private room with a mini fridge to store the milk after I delivered, huge bonus!

OttersPocket Wed 06-Jul-16 20:33:07

I've posted about this before - let me see if I can find my original post....

OttersPocket Wed 06-Jul-16 20:35:53

Here you go!

I expressed lots and lots of colostrum, I posted on the above thread.

BaskingTrout Thu 07-Jul-16 21:04:46

Sorry, I've only just seen this. Thanks so much otters that's great!!

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