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About to try expressing for the first time... any hints and tips welcome

(11 Posts)
cityangel Sat 23-Aug-08 10:57:07

thanks to everyone for all the useful advice so far. ds is 3 weeks old and doesn't seem to be getting satisfied with the evening breastfeeding session. Today we are going to try expressing in the morning and giving it to him before bed to see if this makes a difference in settling him.

I think bf is established in the sense that he wants to do nothing else for most of the day. We have a Medela swing, spare bottles/bags and a steriliser.

Just not sure whether to do it immediately after morning feed on same boob or other, how much to realistically expect first time although I guess this varies from woman to woman. Also are there any common pit falls we should avoid? hmm

ilovemydog Sat 23-Aug-08 11:00:10

One thing that made a hugedifferenceas far as quantity was posture. I don't know why.

I have a medela swing- it's fab!

ScaryHairy Sat 23-Aug-08 11:02:38

Don't expect to get much out.
Don't stress if it doesn't seem to be working.
I just used to think about my baby latching and usually that would help the milk to start flowing.

I would probably use the breast that I had just fed on, and then give the other one a try. But I am no expert on this stuff and just muddled through by myself... there might be a much better way.

Oh, also, when you give the bottle, stay on the slowest teat regardless of what the manufacturers say. This keeps the baby working for the milk and helps stop them from deciding they prefer bottles IME.

NeuroMum Sat 23-Aug-08 17:46:11

I find that I get bugger all out if I try to express off the breast I have just fed from. I usually express twice a day, first time immediately after DD's first feed of the 'proper' day (around 7ish) and I express of the breast which she hasn't fed from. This means that breast has as long as possible to work its magic and make enough milk for DD's next feed. At her next feed, I express from the other breast. Am I making sense?

If you can express whilst feeding, possibly this is even better (and can help with let down) but I've never managed to juggle baby and pump.

First time I expressed I think I got about 1 oz! Was very depressed... but I think I wasn't trying for long enough.. the flow stopped... so I stopped. What I didn't realise was that if I'd have carried on pumping, the milk would have started to flow again. But you shouldn't expect to get loads at the moment, but the more you pump, the more you'll stimulate your supply to produce more milk.

So now after about 3 months of pumping, I can get much more out... a record 8 oz the other day!

Some pumpers like to look at pictures of their DC's to stimulate let down, but reading a book to try to forget about what I was doing works for me... if I keep looking at the bottle and my flow, I just dry up!

Good luck with it all, sorry for rambling post!

moondog Sat 23-Aug-08 17:54:55

City, it's fine to express but your baby is very young and what you must do is understand the physiological reasons behind the very common pattern of feeding a lot in the evening. Some women misunderstand this and believe there is not enough, so worry and give a bottle (of EBM or formula) at this time.

In fact, b/feeding is asupply and demand thing. The more the baby suckles, the more milk you will produce. iremember feeling like this and then 24 hours or so after a mammoth evening feeding session,boobs would feel very full.

So, havefaith in oyur body and accept that for a bit, evenings are marathons. Get comfy, put your feet up and go with it. Your baby is smart and priming your body to make lots of milk.

BTW, when you do express, morning is a good time. Feed off one and express off other.

moondog Sat 23-Aug-08 17:56:25

If, at this stage you regulalry give a bedtime bottle of milk expressed at another time, there isless demand on your boobs at night which means that you will make less and less milk and probably worry more and more, and give more and more bottles, meaning less demand, less milk and so on.

Can you see where thismight end up?

CuppaTeaJanice Sat 23-Aug-08 18:08:24

You'll probably be a bit sore and bruised after the first couple of times, but persevere. Soon it won't hurt at all.

Bewilderbeast Sat 23-Aug-08 18:10:46

being comfy and relaxed helps - I always found being in bed tucked up under the duvet (well as far as possible anyway)

mollythetortoise Sat 23-Aug-08 18:18:57

Don't go too mad expressing.. I did and ended up with mastitus and eventually an abcess.. not nice.. I think my boobs thought I had 20 babies rather than one!

rainbowdays Sat 23-Aug-08 18:36:38

cityangel - hi! moondog has given excellent advice here, do consider her comments well, it is very easy to fall into the trap that giving bottle of expressed will help, I know many that have tried it, and no-one that has found it helps with the breastfeeding or the settling. Also as mollythetortoise says mastitus is a real concern if you go too mad with the expressing, it happened to me too. Having said that my advice is:
1) If possible get nicely settled somewhere comfy where you can be distracted, I used to sit in bed with a good relaxing film on tv. If you focus too much on the expressing it is much harder to get letdown effect.
2) If possible feed on one boob and express from the other at the same time, it really does increase the amount you will get.
3) If you are expressing after a feed and only single pumping, then alternate boobs every few minutes, stops risking the nips getting quite so sore and helps again with supply, stop start alternating boobs always helped me when expressing at work.
4) I normally get very little on the first session, but if doing expressing at the same time each day, gradually get more. First time I ever expressed I got about 3 drops!!!!, but after 3 days got about an ounce, when back at work I used to get about 4 ounces, which was obviously much less than baby would get by being latched on, but then expressing is more difficult than latching on.

ok enough from me, see you on the other thread soon!

cityangel Mon 25-Aug-08 13:30:03

thanks rainbow and everyone. All your advice is very useful. I have lots oftips to try We've only resorted to the evening feed bottle once and still had him suckling. The other expressed milk we've frozen for when we are next out.

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