Preparing for expressing for a premature baby(13 Posts)
So before I had DS (term) I read lots about breast feeding to prepare myself as best I could and I really think it helped. Likely to have a premature delivery this time, possibly section, and I'd like to get prepared for expressing since it's so important. Any good tips/resources about exclusive expressing/expressing colostrum etc? Thanks
DD1 was born at 28 weeks via EMCs, best advice is to start asap. We also set alarms to get up every 2.5 hours in the night (fucking awful but worth it) to express for her. My supply was ace because of this, I also had any pillows or hats from her incubator to sniff as they smelled of her. All helped! Hope you and baby are all ok
Most important thing is to know that it CAN work. Positive attitude is key. You need to hand express at the start until you are getting 10ml each side then move to a pump. Best advice is to go straight for double pumping. You can get special bandeau tops like Pumpease from amazon and this is the best money you'll ever spend to allow you to double pump hands free. Then again it's about discipline! Aim for 8 times a day and apparently doing it between something like 2am and 4pm is the most important for supply. Good luck!!
If you can, sit next to your baby to express or look at a picture of them if you can't. I was also given a bit of simple advice which was to relax your shoulders as much as possible when expressing. I found I'd get really tense and it doesn't help with getting a let down.
I found it easier to express second time round so hopefully that'll be the case for you too.
Great thanks! Just wondering, how do you technically collect the initial few ml of colostrum each time?
With a little syringe (no neidle!). You squeeze and then suck up the little drops that come out with the syringe.
Don't put pressure on yourself and get upset if you don't get much at first, especially with a c section it can take a week or so to really kick in, stressing about it will slow things down.
Get an old bra and cut holes in the nipples then shove the cups of the machine through, hands free double expressing is the way to go, so much easier if you can read, text or browse mumsnet whilst your boobs get on with it!
Get the baby on the boob as soon as possible, doesn't matter if he/she isn't getting anything out it just makes the milk kick in big time!
Drink plenty of water.
Finally( and best) a consultant gave me a lecture because my ds wasn't gaining weight. Baby needs fat milk so no dieting, eat what you fancy and make sure you're getting a balanced diet.
Ps, not feeding related but if your Dc is going to be in neonatal for any length of time, buy a really good pot of hand cream. The contestant hand gel routine is hard on your hands and a nasty itch rash is one more hassle you can do without.
Electric double pump. Set alarm for every 2-3 hours.
My milk never came in was given drugs but it was still negligible.
My babies never managed to latch on even once in four weeks in hospital despite every support under the sun.
So don't beat yourself up if it doesn't work. Mine ended up on formula, never had a day off school sick in five years and are top academically. formula isn't poison!
Totally agree with pp Re the hand cream. The skin on your hands peels off with all the antibacterial lotion you have to put on.
Also be prepared you may be home without baby for a while
Thanks! Might invest in one of those hands free tops in preparation then.
Any views on what gestation a baby is likely to be able to suckle from day 1?
I think it depends on size and strength of the baby. My ds was born at 32 weeks on the small side but very healthy, he suckled well from a week old despite the fact that my breasts were twice his size 😂
He latched on easily but only ever really got comfort rather than a full amount if that makes sense? However, I found the act of sucking really really helped my milk supply when I expressed.
You can do it! I found it really hard work to start with but if you're lucky you will get into a routine and express enough. I was bloody minded about keeping going although only producing just enough and therefore having to spend hours pumping and horrendous sleep deprivation. Have you spoken to a lactation consultant?
It was very important to me and thankfully worked out despite big challenges. Good luck
You can rent a hospital grade double pump from Medela - not cheap but def worth it for max milk production. When pumping I'd set up a little station with my laptop, snacks & drink in front of the tv. Set a timer & however long you pump give yourself a 5 min break in the middle. It's not easy but is doable - best of luck!
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