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Expressing for dummies, advice needed(13 Posts)
Hoping for some experienced mum advice!
I posted in a previous thread that I'd been unable to bf from birth as I hoped as I had an emcs that went wrong and I suffered a lot of complications. I'm now 8 days PP and am finally up to trying to bf/ express. I've started expressing today and I've managed to get a little bit of colostrum each time (small victories but has made me so happy that I can give this to my daughter). Midwife said I should be pumping every three hours to build up supply. If I stick to this, when is it likely that I'll see the colostrum develop into breast milk? I'm sorry if I sound clueless - my milk has been severely delayed due to my surgery and complications.
Sorry you had such a difficult birth
Are you hoping to breastfeed directly or are you planning to continue expressing and giving ebm in a bottle?
Because the best way to get your milk to come in and to establish supply is to breastfeed, not express.
Lots of skin to skin with your baby.
Is that possible or not atm?
Thanks for responding @NameChange30. I have an appointment tomorrow at the hospital to get support with bf. I was in hospital for 4 days after birth and midwives weren't that interested in supporting me with bf as I was unable to move from bed and lift baby onto me, so I think they saw it as a bit of a waste of time . I have tried getting baby to latch on at home but having real difficulties with positioning as I need support with lifting her and changing positions at the moment. She's got very frustrated when we have tried.
I'm sorry you didn't get support to breastfeed in hospital, that is sadly common and shouldn't be the case
There is some really helpful advice here:
I advise you to see if there is a local LLL group near you (https://www.laleche.org.uk/find-lll-support-group/) or just google "breastfeeding support <town/city>" and see what comes up. It is likely that there will be some local breastfeeding support and most groups are offering advice by phone and sometimes by video chat atm, too.
Often the voluntary groups are actually more helpful than the NHS, as the volunteer breastfeeding counsellors have more knowledge and training than the average midwife and HV.
Hopefully when you go to the hospital tomorrow you will see an infant feeding specialist but it's still worth reaching out for other support too.
I had to hand express/ pump after my c section because of difficulties with the latch. Over the course of 5 days I was getting more and more colostrum until I realised on the 6th day that it was milk. I had expected from the phrase milk ‘coming-in’ a sudden change but it was more gradual in my experience. It’s hard work but you’ll get her there. Get as much support as you can and rest, breastfeeding, expressing and bottle feeding can take up all the hours in the day at the start, so use any help on offer!
There's also the National breastfeeding helpline
If you're having trouble getting baby latched on, I found nipple shields a life saver. After 6 weeks we didn't need them any more, but without them I would never have been able to breastfeed. (still feeding now at 18 months)
I haven't tried it but have heard great things about the haaka.
I have the Haakaa and find it brilliant but it only works for me when I am breastfeeding (baby on one boob, Haakaa on the other).
The hakaa won’t help stimulate your supply. If baby isn’t able to latch, you’ll want to be expressing every 3 hours (using your hands to make it more effective) ideally with a hospital grade pump (eg medela symphony / spectra). Fenugreek capsules can help boost milk production, you can take 3 tablets 3 times a day. I hope you get good help getting baby to latch.
Thanks so much for all of your tips and advice. I've been expressing every 3-4 hours and giving dd my colostrum. The amount is increasing a little each time and it feels wonderful to be able to give her milk.
I would contact an IBCLC to get some support as soon as you can, my experience was the hospital/health visitor support is very hit and miss.
Look up someone like Lucy Ruddle on Facebook who specialises in bringing up supply.
Sorry you've had a difficult first few days. Getting bf going is hard without the complication. If you are going to continue expressing only / for a while I can't tell you how much of a game changer a double hospital grade pump is. Google and see if you can hire one locally. I got one from a chemist. Worth buying a bra with holes that holds on the pumps so you can be hands free. Saves so much time and effort.
In terms of support la Lethe league are probably on zoom currently. They're super helpful and well worth logging onto. You just apply via the number listed for your area. If you can explain by email / text what's happened they may do one to one. You may also find that there's a local bf supporter - they are usually volunteers working with children centres. We have a lady who was running in person by June which felt pretty miraculous as being in person can help with latch much easier. If neither of these options helps, and you can afford it, ring a lactation consultant and have them come out to you. There are plenty around who are excellent. Try the IBCLC website for a recommendation. If all else fails see if there is a friend who can help you. Ideally one who struggled then managed to get things going as they will remember the tips! I helped a friend in Singapore - just happened to be passing through years back a few days after birth.
Good luck. You're doing great (and if it just doesn't work out and formula is the answer you are 100% doing great still).
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