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Expressing for an EBF baby - is it worth it?

(23 Posts)
Ginger782 Wed 19-Apr-17 06:20:43

My 13 week old is EBF. So far we haven't had any issues (touch wood) and my milk supply is great. She is gaining weight well. So many people have asked why I'm not expressing "to make things more convenient". I always thought I would express some EVENTUALLY (after 6 months?) but not so soon...
Can anyone tell me how it would make things more convenient? For others who have or are exclusively breast feeding, how do you navigate the starting of solids and how many people then wean and switch to formula?

Ginger782 Wed 19-Apr-17 06:22:18

To add to this - DD will not take a dummy/pacifier. Would this mean she would be unlikely to accept a bottle anyway?

Redyellowpinkblue Wed 19-Apr-17 06:48:04

I never found expressing helpful at all, I found sterilising bottles and checking temperatures a bit of a faff to be honest. I was the same as you, lucky the EBF was a breeze so it was far easier to just carry on doing that. My dd never took to a dummy either.
We started to wean at almost 6 months. We went down the baby led weaning route as I wasn't a fan of pureeing things! Her first food was banana she took from my plate. I found the weaning stage fun really. We carried on breastfeeding both during the day and night till she was 2, then she dropped the daytime feeds as she was just eating 'normally' with sippy cup of cows milk or water, and we stopped night feeds at 2.5 after one evening she declared she was a big girl now so she had her evening milk before bed (cows) in a sippy cup and that was that. I was surprised at how easily she transitioned to be honest.
I think if I'd have wanted DH to do the night feeds then expressing would have been good, or if she ever slept at her grandparents but she never did and as we could slept it was easier for me to just feed her and drop back off. But each to their own and everyone's set up is different!

bingandabong Wed 19-Apr-17 07:06:51

I never expressed, and don't understand how it would be any easier than just getting your boob out. I EBF my DS and weaned him at 6months, he dropped his night fed at 7 1/2months so was jut having 4 feeds a day, then he started dropping those so we introduced cows milk at 12 months and he was happy to stop BF and at 1 1/2 he was just having a cup of cows milk before bed.
Do what you think is best people will always have an opinion, if you don't want to express yet then don't, as if the feeding is going well and you're both happy then keep going, you might feel different in a few months and what to express.

ICJump Wed 19-Apr-17 07:10:47

I've expressed about 20 times in the 6 years I've been feeding.
I don't need too do I don't.
You don't need to sterilise equipment for breastmilk and it doesn't need to be heated.

Happycow Wed 19-Apr-17 07:15:57

Before my ds was born i planned to bf and express so partner could do night feeds.

Didnt work out as ds never latched on so ff from day 3, but i was still expressing what i could. Did not realise how much i would hate expressing! So time consuming, you are basically feeding twice every time (once to feed baby, once to feed the pump). Dont think i would express again for so long next time.... made me miserable
Just stick with ebf if youre happy smile

GrassWillBeGreener Wed 19-Apr-17 07:16:26

I expressed for my first in order to not need formula once I went back to work, which was when she was about 7 months. Her childminder had to try a few things to get her to accept bottles despite her being used to a dummy. The reason for avoiding formula was a very strong family history of dairy allergies that lead me to make a decision not to introduce any dairy products till age 1. I wouldn't have started expressing as early as 13 weeks.

With my second I did express earlier. My sister had recommended trying to introduce a late evening bottle that way to gain extra sleep time. Worked very well for me and would have helped my refluxing eldest even more I suspect.

IF you are struggling with the evening feeds and/or getting more sleep, and your partner would be up for giving one evening or night feed, then expressing in the morning for that feed can be well worth it. But definitely, straight breastfeeding is by far the "more convenient" option! If you want to be able to leave her with a babysitter for longer periods at some point then plan ahead and experiment, but no rush! What works for you is what matters.

Whatsername17 Wed 19-Apr-17 07:19:58

I have and do because I didn't want dd2 to be a bottle refuser. Dh and I euthanasia sharing parental leave and I will be back at work when she is 8 months so I needed the reassurance that she would take milk from a bottle. My hv told me to introduce the bottle of ebm between 4 and 6 weeks. I'm really glad I did. Dh takes her out on little trips with a bottle and I have taken expressed milk into work when I took her in for a visit. I'm a teacher and didn't want to bf in front of my pupils. It's a personal choice but I'm glad I did it. Especially as I have just discovered I'm anaemic so I've decided to wean onto formula very slowly. Dd2 was ebf for 3 months, and will be combination fed for as long as I can but at least the next three. Expressing and getting her used to a bottle gave me that choice.

AGapInTheMarket Wed 19-Apr-17 07:29:33

I had a great system going where I would simultaneously feed from one breast and express from the other during our first feed of the morning when I always had loads of milk. Then DH could give the (giant!) bottle of expressed milk as a dream feed before he went to bed at 10pm which ended up seeing DD through until morning. Her night time sleep improved enormously by doing this and she never had a problem taking the bottle because she was asleep! We also fed the EBM cold from the fridge and she always took it quite happily which cut down on faff. Good luck!

MooMooTheFirst Wed 19-Apr-17 07:30:04

I thought I would breastfeed until 4 months and then use formula but in the end it was easier to breastfeed for me. Once I started weaning him on to solids I would express once in the evening and then use the milk in the morning for cereal or in mashed potato... I went through a phase of expressing and freezing earlier than that and had a few trial mornings away from
DS but he turned out to be a bottle refuser and it was wasted in the end.

DS is 1 in two weeks time and although we weaned late at 9 months due to stomach problems, he is down to one feed at bedtime and last night he went to sleep without it.

ASqueakingInTheShrubbery Wed 19-Apr-17 07:37:42

I found it really useful to build up a freezer stash, so I could (very occasionally) go out, go to the dentist, send her to my mum's so I could do my tax return and eventually go back to work. When she was tiny DH did night feeds on a Friday so I could get some sleep, but we were past that by 16 weeks. That's why it worked for me. If it doesn't work for you, don't give it headspace.

AprilShowers16 Wed 19-Apr-17 07:49:16

I think if you're going to have a situation where you need your baby to take a bottle at some point in the future (because you're going back to work/want DH to help at night/need to go away) then it's worth adding the occasional expressed bottle at some point in the next few weeks to make sure your baby gets used to a bottle. Otherwise you may find you try to give a bottle at 6 months and baby will refuse.

But if you are happy to be the only one feeding them just go for it, it's time consuming pumping! I needed to express a bit in the beginning as I found feeding so painful, but it was so much hassle I switched to the occasional ff bottle at 12 weeks

Broccolifeatures Wed 19-Apr-17 08:16:52

I edf my first including expressing and found expressing horrible! I only really used it around once a month for a break/going out in the evening. For my second I realised that, if it was that infrequent, I could just use formula. Such a relief!
Switching to solids was easy, they loved it. Weaning to bottles depends on the baby. First was a bottle refuser and it took me ages to get her to take them. Second baby took it no probs.

Ginger782 Wed 19-Apr-17 08:18:34

Thanks everyone for the reassurance - you've cemented the thought that a pump would be a waste of money at this point!
I don't need to go back to work until 12 months (unless something changes) so I'd like to push on with EBF and then baby-led weaning and see how we go! grin

carnassials Wed 19-Apr-17 13:03:21

I express once a day in the evening so he can have a bottle once a day. It's just so someone else can look after him once in a while and I can have a break. Also my husband can do the entire bedtime routine with our son who he only gets to see for maybe an hour a day during the week.

Sukitakeitoff Wed 19-Apr-17 13:11:20

No need to express unless you need to be away from your baby. I found it time-consuming and difficult and gave up on it very quickly. Stuck with ebf and eventually my dc moved onto regular cows milk sometime between 13 and 17 months smile

SpecialStains Wed 19-Apr-17 13:17:29

Ds is 8 months old and never had a bottle or a dummy. Like you, I don't see how the faff of expressing and sterilising makes things easier. Ds will be just under 12 months when I go back to work, so hopefully will just be able to have cows milk in a cup in the daytime, and then I want to continue breastfeeding morning and night until he's about 2yrs old.

I have expressed for use in cooking for the baby. We have done a mixture of purée foods and baby led weaning, and it's worked well for us.

Neverknowing Wed 19-Apr-17 13:31:12

You sound exactly like me, my DD wouldn't take a dummy but will take a bottle. I didn't express until I wanted to go out without my DD to the dentist, the first time it was very difficult and I got about 1oz but now I do it in the morning and I seem to have a lot more milk and I get about 120ml. It also means my DP can do the night routine with my DD and that I have breast milk available for DD's food so I don't have to use formula.
It's useful to have a stockpile of milk in the freezer, it's nice to know it's there in case we need it tbh smile

carnassials Wed 19-Apr-17 17:15:56

I wouldn't say expressing makes things easier (it is a faff) but it does grant some flexibility.

UndersecretaryofWhimsy Wed 19-Apr-17 17:21:46

You can collect a bit of milk to feed without faffing around with a pump by using breast shells or a Haakaa pump. (This is a soft silicone bottle which suctions onto your other boob while you feed from the first; it collects leakage and also sucks a bit more milk out for most/many people.)

It can be helpful to give the occasional expressed bottle to ensure baby will take milk from another source, but if you're not particularly planning to be away, or it doesn't seem worth it to you, don't bother. BF on tap is the ultimate in convenience, so if it ain't broke for you, don't fix it. If you're not planning to be away from her for 6 months, I probably wouldn't bother; a 6mo can use a cup or wait several hours for milk if needs be.

Ginger782 Thu 20-Apr-17 03:18:08

UndersecretaryofWhimsy thank you for posting about the HaaKaa pump! I had never heard of this - it's a much cheaper option than an electric or battery operated pump. I have a bit of an overactive letdown most of the day so this looks like it could work well for me.
Like other PP's have said - I DO like the idea of having some "just in case". I would hate for something to happen (sudden accident/illness that stops me from BFing or requiring medication that prevents feeding) and my DH having to wean her straight onto formula. I would also like to be able to use BM to prepare food for her when the time comes, or get her used to using a dippy cup. The HaaKaa is so cheap I won't feel bad if I don't really end up using it. smile

Occadodo Thu 20-Apr-17 03:57:00

EBF 2 kids until 16 months when they both self weaned and the only time I expressed was when DC 2 who couldn't BF was born and I expressed to put down his feeding tube. The other two never accepted a bottle or a dummy!

UndersecretaryofWhimsy Thu 20-Apr-17 08:22:14

Get the real Haakaa btw; people have had bad experiences (including nasty skin reactions) from the cheap Chinese imitations on Amazon and ebay.

Good luck!

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