Expressing Advice(8 Posts)
DD is six weeks old and has been EBF since birth without any problems.
I would like to try expressing and have bought a manual pump to begin with as it was half price in a baby event and I didn't want to spend a lot on an electric one to find out that expressing didn't work for us.
I'm interested in expressing so DH and I can have the odd night out or so I can go out for an afternoon with friends - this wouldn't be a regular occurrence so will not need to express a lot.
So theoretically - is it possible to pump sporadically through the week or does it have to be everyday? Can you express one week and then not the next?
Are there any other tips for a newbie in terms of when to express and for how long?
Yes of course, you don't need to pump at the same time everyday or anything like that. If you're wanting to go on a day out or something you will need to get quite a big supply. Personally I found when I first started pumping I would only get 1/2oz per breast. However the more often I did it the more I would get, especially if I did it at night. I also used a manual pump.
This may be inaccurate but I would express if I was away from my baby for longer than 3/4 hours. I worried about my milk supply decreasing if I didn't latch baby/pump often enough.
I was very sporadic when I first started pumping, I was lucky enough to be able to express 5oz at a time so that was plenty for a bottle when DD was tiny. It didn't seem to affect my supply much either way. As I went on though, I got into the habit of taking a bottle with us if we went out in case I couldn't find somewhere I was comfortable breastfeeding (absolute personal choice) so ended up expressing a bottle most mornings whilst she fed. If it didn't get used it went in the freezer so I always had a back up supply in case I was taken ill or something. Hope you get on okay with it all xx
I am currently expressing daily to provide my daughter's nursery with milk for her throughout the day. My top tip is to do massage and breast compressions whilst expressing. I bought a double pump, but actually only use it as a single to free up my hand to compress my breast. I think there are uTube videos out there demonstrating how to do it. I've found that it has massively increased my output. See how you get on with the manual, but you might find electric much more productive.
Thanks for sharing your experiences and tips. The pump arrived today so I'm going to get started tomorrow.
One more logistics question:
If I can only express a small amount, do I transfer that to another bag/bottle and then freeze it until I have enough to make one whole bottle?
Is it okay to defrost several little amounts and combine them once thawed to make up one full bottle?
Sorry if the questions are stupid/answers are obvious, none of my friends/family have expressed so lacking in people to ask and I want to get it right!
You can combine the milk before you freeze it provided both lots are cooled to the same temperature before you mix it together. Alternatively, you could freeze smaller amounts and combine them once thawed (they will thaw a lot quicker). Either way, you need to use/discard the whole lot within the timeframe of the oldest milk in the mixed batch. Does that make sense? I seem to think the recommendation is to only mix and freeze milk if it is expressed within the same 12 hour period BUT that figure may be more or less, I can't quite remember. I did find a website with everything on, I'll try and find the link for you...
Here you go, it says on here that you can mix milk that has been expressed the same day. It does actually say you can add chilled milk to frozen too, I never realised you could but at least I know for next time!
Thank you so much - that makes perfect sense and the link is really helpful!
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