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I'm so sorry about this, but yet another question...

(31 Posts)
MrsMar Fri 28-Sep-07 18:27:31

I'm really useless sorry!! Does anyone know how long it takes to refill a boob, if that's the right phrase. I'm expressing milk to top up with cup feeds for my ds, but if I express after his feed there's a pitiful amount left. I'm currently doing 3 hour feeds so I was wondering if I express for say quarter of an hour, an hour before feeding him will this affect my next feed? Will there be nothing left for my ds? I'm not sure how all this works. I did try expressing at the same time as feeding, but I managed to cock both up, couldn't get the position right for ds and I managed to spill the small amount of milk I expressed! Dur! So as I need to top up after he's been on the breast, I was hoping it was ok to express an hour before feeding.

jorange5 Fri 28-Sep-07 18:58:29

Why do you need to top up? I don't understand?

tiktok Fri 28-Sep-07 19:05:14

The more often and more thoroughly you remove milk, the more quickly the breast makes milk (it's actually making it all the time, but the speed of making it does vary). So if you start removing milk hourly, you will make milk more quickly than if you remove it two hourly....www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/milkproduction.html#driver tells you about this.

But as jorange says - why are you topping up? If your baby wants more milk after he has been on the breast (both sides) just put him back on side one again

MrsMar Fri 28-Sep-07 19:06:10

I need to top up because my ds has lost quite a bit of weight, not enough to cause major worry, he appears to be thriving other than that, but he's lost 8oz and gone below his birth weight at 15 days, after having gained weight in his first week.

moondog Fri 28-Sep-07 20:27:02

MrsMar,I think you are making things too complicated. smile

The best way to make more milk is to breastfeed your baby more,Iti s a very simple case of supply and demand.

More sucking=more milk.

BitTiredNow Fri 28-Sep-07 20:29:32

I agree with moondog - ignore the routine books - just stick him on and let him get it in for you - so much more efficient than a breast pump. It is still very early days, si just let him feed feed feed - 3 hours is a very long interval for one this young. You are NOT making a rod for your own back - he will settle once he is full.

coleyboy Fri 28-Sep-07 20:34:14

I would feed more often and not bother expressing. If you feed more frequently you will build up your supply.

They do suggest you don't express until the baby is six weeks old - once your milk supply is established.

jamila169 Fri 28-Sep-07 20:34:29

First off MM your breasts don't store milk, it's made to order so to speak
secondly concentrating on expressing can get in the way of demand feeding, at this age you should not be feeding to schedule and 2 hourly is more like it at a fortnight old
thirdly, its common for breastfed babies not to gain weight at the rate you would expect from loking at standard growth charts and a loss of up to 10% is usual for most babies anyway - I take it he weighed more than 5 pounds at birth?
As long as he is peeing and pooing plenty and looks well, you really need to stop fretting about weight gain and concentrate on feeding on demand to get your milk supply established - He'll find a routine before you even realise!
Lisa X

chipmonkey Fri 28-Sep-07 20:53:43

Agree with all the others, pumps are far less efficient than babies at getting the milk out and if he wants to feed more often than 3 hourly, that's because he needs to!

hobnob57 Fri 28-Sep-07 21:29:45

I fell into this trap with my dd and regret it bitterly. She lost over 10% after birth, and I got a bullying mw who told me I needed to express after every feed AND top up with formula. My expressing yielded maybe 10ml at most, and by the time I had fed, topped up, expressed and washed up the pump, it was virtually time to feed again. This left me exhausted and demoralised. It also set in a paranoia about my milk supply which lasted well into dd's 6th month and caused me no end of unnecessary stress and tears. Looking back, I wish I'd just taken to bed with her and fed, fed, fed. Left the pump for much later. The milk would have come eventually. However, I know that's easy to say when you don't have a crying hungry baby who appears to be sucking at an empty breast. I remember that one, and it was awful. But, the human race would not have survived if babies went hungry for too long, would it? Try to relax and let it flow....

MrsMar Fri 28-Sep-07 21:47:43

Crikey hobnob, did you just step in to my head? That sounds exactly the situation I'm in!! I think you're all right guys, thanks so much for the support. I'm going to keep feeding and feeding as much as he can take. I was worried that he was regurgitating milk because he was getting too much, but I don't think there's such a thing as too much milk! Everyone says you can't over feed a breastfed baby. Thanks everyone!

moondog Fri 28-Sep-07 22:40:07

Your MW was talking shit Hobnob (as you now realise). God,what is wrong with them.
Mrs Mar,you know what you need to do. Get cracking! smile

tiktok Fri 28-Sep-07 23:35:20

Er....everyone, hold your horses

We don't know enough about MrsMar and the Mar baby to be sure she should not follow the midwife's advice.

If this baby has lost weight - really lost weight - then this is potentially a tricky situation, and expressing and topping up with ebm may be a reasonable option, alongside unrestricted and frequent breastfeeding....we do not know the full details. If baby Mar is not removing milk efficiently at the breast, then while this is being worked on, ebm can be a temporary fix.

MrsMar - feeding frequently day and night , as long as it is effective, is the best way to increase supply. In some cases, it might need to be added to with ebm....use your own judgement alongside what the midwife has told you

hunkermunker Fri 28-Sep-07 23:40:44

Was his birthweight recorded accurately?

How's he been weighed? What sort of scales and naked or in nappy/vest?

Are you doing 3-hourly feeds because you're feeding to a routine or because that's how long your DS is going between feeds without any kind of distraction tactics?

jamila169 Fri 28-Sep-07 23:47:11

Yes but Tiktok, MM has stated that her midwife has told her to feed 3 hourly, which is not enough for a 2 week old baby - so with the greatest respect to you, her midwife is talking shit and actively sabotaging MM's breastfeeding, by introducing fears into her head which have no basis - the weight loss MM is talking about is not a problem if the baby is, as she says, happy and looking well.
Lisa x

denbury Fri 28-Sep-07 23:52:23

do what you feel right right is for baby and you sod the reat of the world!!!1! i did 36 breast for b and 24 hours for j you wouldn't be able to tell the difference

susiecutie Sat 29-Sep-07 02:59:37

Well, It really IS a case of Damand and supply.

the more they demand, the more your breasts will supply.

The best and most successful way is to just keep putting your baby on. expressing in the early days can be soul destroying as you really do not yield much with the pump. This does NOT mean you are not supplying it to your baby! they are much more efficient at getting it out...

My DD was premature, nd weighed well under 5lb. She had a feeding tube and various other lines, and the neo natal unit ( of which i was a nurse! ) insited she fed 3 hourly with tops ups then on demand with top ups.. well, we did this whils we were in hospital... we came home, and she fed anything from hourly to 2 and half hourly RARELY did she go 3 hours, if ever! infact this carried on until she was 5 months old and we introduced solids a little early.

Some babies just want nd need to feed more frequently than others. Especially the little ones. They tend to be on 'catch up' and feed for england in the first few months!

the MOST IMPORTANT thing you cn do for your milk supply, is RELAX!!! sit back, feet up, get someone to bring you plenty of fluids ( almost the other most importnt thing you can do. ) and simply feed feed feed.

your supply will increase, your baby will be happy and settled and comforted. you may well, like me nd 3 other mums in the NNU, have your baby attatched to your breast almost permananetly for the first 3 months.. but, it does get easier and better, i promise you. dont give up, be patient persevere and you will be so amazed at how much you both get from it. you will look back on these early days in a few months, and wonder why you worried so much.. trust me.. i did!

I am still breast feeding my girl, and she's on 3 full meals a day. we are now, ironically, trying to cut down the night feeding!

so in short ( sorry gone on a bit! ) your baby will feed when it wants to. you WILL provide what your baby needs. it is a simple case of just wanting and needing more at this stage.

good luck, let us know how it goes...

( oh and , just dont worry about the expressing... unless you really have to. if you do HAVE to, then I found expressing at ( with my husband or mums help ) the time of feed from other breast, or straigh after from the other breast. then the were beeing equally stimulated. like i sy though, you really shoudlnt need to. you should just keep baby on, feeding and ofer both sides at every feed. )


sorry agin for going on...

susiecutie Sat 29-Sep-07 03:11:33

sorry for typos! its late at night and i've got a baby who thinks its morning time already!

*note to self, dont let baby sleep that late in afternoon again then go to bed at normal time! *

just to add.. the whole DAMAND and SUPPLY is an actual physiological process. the baby next to you and your breast sends a signal to your brain, along with the sucking the baby does, to produce more of the hormone that stimulates the milk production and let down reflex... this is what you are feeling when you start your feed and the breast go a little bit tingly?

( well, for me, it was more of a stabbing pain! but most mums say they throb or tingle... some mums dont actually feel a thing. I only did for the first few months. I dont feel it at all now. )

anyway this process happens every time, hence the demand stimulating the supply....

hope this helps a little... and i've not waffled too much... again!



best of luck and most importantly, try to enjoy it! I know just how bloody tiring it is. infact tiring doesnt even get close to how it all feels! its an understatement! but its worth it when you've got it all sorted!

last tip... craked nipples? I used Lanisoh.tried every thing else, nothing worked... its pricey but lasts forever. means you can still feed ( feeding is believe it or not, the best thing for cracked nipple! ) the lanisoh coats the nipple and surrounding area and even when i had blood and was hitting the roof with pain, it really really helped.

tiktok Sat 29-Sep-07 09:47:31

jamila, no, you are wrong.....we don't know why MrsMar is feeding 3 hourly. She might be choosing to do this, her baby might be doing this spontaneously, we don't know.

3 hrly is almost always not enough for a newborn, and obviously if there is a supply/intake issue, then feeding more often would be the first step.

But MrsM has not said anything about what the midwife said re. 3 hrly feeds. It's - sorry - ridiculous to talk of sabotage and the midwife talking shit when none of us here knows the full story. Your outrage has led you to read things that aren't there, and to overlook things that are....for instance this baby gained and then lost weight (as far as I can tell), which indicates a (to put it mildly) a tricky situation, which simply can't be slotted into a classic 'midwife not helping' scenario.

Jojay Sat 29-Sep-07 10:10:23

MrsMars - I'm no expert in this situation, but my ds initially gained and then lost weight too.

I expressed so I could top him up after a feed. For the first fortnight or so of his life his latch was poor and he was feeding very inefficiently.

He was a very sleepy baby, and the less he fed, the sleepier and weaker he got, so put less effort into feeding, and on and on it went.

He hardly ever 'demanded' a feed and I had to wake him 3 hourly to encourage him to feed.

He would only ever feed off one breast at a time, so I used to express from the other as soon as he'd finished feeding. ( I could never get the hang of feeding and expressing at the same time.)

If he hadn't fed for long, I'd express off the breast he'd fed from, to get the hind milk.

I used to put him under his playgym while I did this for a kick about, to wake him up again before I topped him up.

I used a bottle to top him up after a couple of days of tipping my precious ebm down his front while trying to cup feed, and never had a problem with nipple confusion, but I always offered him the breast before the bottle.

By the time he was 3-4 wks old IIRC, I'd stopped bothering with the top ups, as he was awake and hungry enough to take a full feed himself. He was also back on track with his weight gain.

But I firmly believe that expressing at this early stage helped stimulate my supply when my ds wasn't. Once his appetite kicked in at about 3 weeks, I had plenty of milk for him, whereas I don't think I would have if I hadn't expressed.

I don't know if any of this sounds vaguely relevent to your situation, but I hope it might help. smile

jamila169 Sat 29-Sep-07 10:25:30

Tiktok -you need to look at all MM threads (i think there are 5 or 6) and from the separate bits of information you'll get a much fuller picture of what is going on - despite what you might think, midwives aren't necessarily trained or enthusiatic about BF support - they are required to at least appear bothered if they are attached to a BFI hospital, but it's the old, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink theory, this midwife may have attended a study day, as required by most trusts, but it doesn't oblige her to take more than the most superficial interest.
Most of us are giving advice based on personal experience of what MM is describing across all her posts ,and responding to her concerns, which are all pretty normal but are causing her anxiety because of the gulf between what the midwife is telling her and what she feels is going on.
Lisa x

tiktok Sat 29-Sep-07 10:33:45

Jamila - you really don't need to tell me about the problem with midwives and breastfeeding support...if you have read any of my contributions to mumsnet you will realise that. I am amazed you could accuse me of such naivety!!

I was basing my comments on what MrsM said here, in this post, clearly, and I would expect many contributers are doing the same. It would be helpful if you and others could make it clear when you are using information from other threads - when you post to mumsnet, you're 'speaking' to more than just the OP.

Having said that, baby Mar's weight loss is not normal - I gather from a quick search on this thread and another one that he gained and then lost.

kinki Sat 29-Sep-07 10:52:32

Hi MrsMar <waves>! Just a thought, did the mw recommend ebm top-ups in the early days because he was/is a sleepy feeder. I only ask that because that is what happened to me. Ds3 would fall asleep on the boob and not get a full feed. So I bfed, then I would give him a cup feed, for which he would be more alert. Apologies if I'm wildly off track, but if this is familiar, I can share some of my experiences.

Firstly, to wake him up fully before a feed I change him. And I use cold water on his bum. shock It'll make him pee, but a piece of kitchen roll over his bits will catch that! If he's particularly sleepy during the feed I'll do another change to get him going again, or wash his face with cold water. Cooling him down a bit by undressing him will make him feed better too. If he is sleepy during the feed I'll take him off me and do some winding. Giving him to dh to do this works even better. By keeping ds3 awake for his feeds I could stop doing the top-ups. At about the same time, (coincidence or not I don't know) he started to 'demand' his feeds approx every 2 hours. Prior to that I was told by the mws 'not to let him go longer than 3 hours between feeds'. Because he didn't 'demand' then, he was fed 3hrly, initiated by me. A couple of weeks on he just gets fed when he wants and I haven't had to worry about top-ups since then.

But about expressing: do you keep ds close to you when you do it? I found this really helped. I'd lay him next to me and look at him to try to trigger the 'let-down'. I hand expressed rather than pump, and would only do it for as long as it flowed freely. I would express straight after a bf to use straight away. And I'd use both sides, getting the hind milk from the side he'd just fed from, mixed with the easier to express foremilk from the other side.

Another thought, have you seen what I call space-ships - they are little cups that fit over your nipple to catch leaking milk. If you find you leak from the other side while feeding you could try these, and use the milk that it collects to top up. I haven't done this this time (because I haven't got a steriliser yet blush), but I did it with ds1&2 to collect milk to freeze.

Sorry my thoughts are a bit rambled. I've not had much sleep for a couple of nights due to non-stop feeding. And these ideas are based on nothing else other my own personal experience. Everyone else sounds so much more wise and well-informed, but thought I'd share anyway. Take care.

Jojay Sat 29-Sep-07 11:11:52

Kinki - your experience sounds very like mine!!

It's nice to know that we weren't the only ones who experienced this - at the time my friends were all moaning about how their baibes never slept and fed constantly, whereas mine just slept all the time and I could hardly wake him up!!

For the record he's now a blooming 10 month old, who still sleeps well. Lucky me!!

susiecutie Sat 29-Sep-07 12:47:39

jamilia and tiktok... dont think there is any need to argue in this thread, you simply have a differing opinion. why not accept that and leave it at that... please ?

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