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Couple of questions re. expressing for bottle

(19 Posts)
VintageGardenia Sat 23-Aug-08 11:40:24

I have a nearly three-week-old baby and he's feeding really well, no problems.

I am in two minds about expressing for a bottle - the main reason I am considering it is that I know that my partner would love to be part of the feeding. If it were up to me alone I would happily continue bf as normal for the moment.

My hackles are raised by people having continually suggest that I give a bottle - right from birth - despite DS gaining weight at a rapid rate and clearly thriving like nobody's business.

Hospital wanted to give him FF because they thought he wouldn't BF (wrong); they also gave him soother for comfort (don't ask). DP's mother has already suggested I give him a bottle so she can babysit. Nurse at BF clinic suggested expressing for a bottle to give myself a break (which I hadn't expressed a need for).

Anyway perhaps none of that is really relevant, I'm just a bit het up. My questions are:

1. I had it in my mind that you should wait till 6 weeks or so before expressing for a bottle. I don't know whether this is for the baby being established on the breast & therefore not being in danger of taking the easy route of bottles, or whether it's something to do with the milk supply for what? But nurse said it would be ok to do it now because DS is a good size and well established. Anyone thoughts on that?

2. I have a Medela pump which comes with a sweet little bottle! It goes up to 150ml / 5oz - should I take this as a guide as to how much milk I should try to get out?

3. Do I really have to do this sad? Am I right to do it for DP but wrong to do it while angry at people putting pressure on?

VintageGardenia Sat 23-Aug-08 11:41:33

Oh dear apologies for lack-of-sleep-blurred typing.

hercules1 Sat 23-Aug-08 11:42:17

Of course you dont have to. THere are a billion things dp can do - bathing, carrying in a sling, holding, changing nappies, kissing etc. Feeding is just one thing.
ALl the sterilsing etc - why do if you dont have to.

VintageGardenia Sat 23-Aug-08 11:47:32

I know you are right hercules.

I am thinking expressing for one feed isn't a huge sacrifice I suppose.

God people make me grind my teeth sometimes. No wonder Ireland (where I am) has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates.

BabiesEverywhere Sat 23-Aug-08 12:11:27

You can express now but in order to protect your milk supply you should also express at the same time that the bottle of expressed milk is given to your baby. i.e. This is lots of work on your side for no good reason (IMO).

Your DH can bond with the baby like PP said doing everything else, there is no need for him to feed the baby.

If you do decide to do it try expressing in the morning with your baby latched on one side, which will trigger the let down, I used to get between 1 and 3 ozs in a pumping session, this varies a lot from mum to mum...some mums get virtually nothing.

HTH

VintageGardenia Sat 23-Aug-08 12:15:13

BE do you mean more or less "pretending" to my body that DS is feeding from the breast while he has the bottle? So that it keeps producing?

SazzlesA Sat 23-Aug-08 12:15:19

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VintageGardenia Sat 23-Aug-08 12:18:20

Hi Sazz - with elder DS it was an absolute nightmare getting him onto a bottle when I went back to work, it was really distressing for both of us - I've got proper time off now so am hoping the issue won't be forced in the same way, I suppose I also worry about how to judge when is the right time?

In normal life I am quite a rational non-worry-wart.

(At least I used to be hmm.)

SazzlesA Sat 23-Aug-08 12:19:55

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VintageGardenia Sat 23-Aug-08 12:22:55

I'd take my hat off to you Sazzles if I hadn't already done so. The bf alone at the moment is all I feel I can cope with. I don't know how you do what you're doing.

SazzlesA Sat 23-Aug-08 12:25:55

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SazzlesA Sat 23-Aug-08 12:36:36

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chipmonkey Sat 23-Aug-08 13:19:42

I VG, I'm in Ireland too, so know where you're coming from! It's a bottlefeeding society and no mistake!

The reason it is advised to wait till 6 weeks is that if you express as well as feed you can end up with an oversupply issue which makes it hard to feed a small baby.

As for bottle refusal, my ds3 was given bottles of breastmilk in Holles St before he was ever put to the breast ( he was 8 weeks premature) After I got him home he was fully bf but still had regular bottles. He still started refusing bottles at 5 months ( or 3 months corrected) and it was the devil's own job to get him back on them for me to go back to work or get any kind of a break from him. So giving an early bottle did not in my case guarantee that he would take a bottle later on.

How you calculate the amount of EBM is:

Take baby's weight in pounds and multiply by 2.5. This gives the total number of ounces of milk for the entire day. Divide this by the number of feeds baby normally has ( hard sometimes with a bf baby as it can vary hugely) and this gives the amount of milk for one bottle.
so if baby is 8lb, 8 X 2.5 = 20oz for the day
If baby has 6 feeds a day 20/6 = 3.66 ounces for one feed.
But every baby is different so this is just a guide and some bf babies never take more than a few ounces.

It is hard but don't be pressurised into giving a bottle before you're ready. And if you do give a bottle, it should be for your own convenience, not for your dh or your Mum. Ideally it should be so you can get a few hours sleep or a night out when you're up to it!

BabiesEverywhere Sat 23-Aug-08 13:22:30

VintageGardenia, Yes, it is not good for us mum trying to establish a milk supply to have to large a gap between feeds.

I understand SazzlesA has medical reason for all her expressing topping up of breastfeeding direct (you go girl) but I would have a chat with DH and explain how much hassel it would be at this stage and try and reach an agreement.

BTW Although individual babies will vary a lot, the studies show there is no advantage of introducing bottles early on. I would not worry until shortly before you need to return to work and then post for advice, depending on the then age of your little one...you might be able to move straight to cups or something.

alittlebitshy Sat 23-Aug-08 17:04:59

Just lots of sympathetic hugs VG. I feel for you with all the pressure Can't believe, especially, the bf clinic lady shock.

As you know I've been doing one session of expressing a day (medela here too - a double one that friend lent me - even if i only do one side, which i normally do, wow it's good!!!). you'll also know that I'm doing this because I'm getting het up about the feeding. I want to keep at it - but also want the freedom for dh to do a feed if I'm having meltdown (mainly cos it's stil sore i guess).

I've been getitng about 2-3oz each time so for a feed i reckon 2 ish of my efforts shock in one go. Am also adding to the day's pumping result with what comes out in breast shells when i remember to use them (maybe 2-3 times a day).

For me, having a small stash of ebm is security - i know that if I lose it one night and can't carry on (dama queen me) there is enough for dh to take over for a feed or 2!!!

VintageGardenia Sat 23-Aug-08 18:33:16

Thanks albs I am probably over-reacting you know sad. Do you now have one definite expressed feed per day or is it just for emerg situations?

Sazzles do you mean these?

chipmonkey nice to see an Irish face (as it were). That must have been tough for you, 8 weeks premature! You're right, it is a bottle feeding society. Breastfeeding is definitely considered to be an eccentric choice which has to be either fought for or explained. It's 9 years since I bf my older DS in public (well 9 years since I bf him at all!), am wondering how much things have changed in Ireland - or Dublin at least - since then.

alittlebitshy Sat 23-Aug-08 19:11:30

VG no - we don't have a regular expressed feed. He's had 2 in the last week. One to try him on the bottle when i put dd to bed and one today when i took dd out for some mummy time. Dh constantly reminds me when I'm losing it that he could do a ebm bottle, but i'm scared of running my stash of milk down lol blush..... Good to know it is there and that ,atm, he WILL take it.

And we're using the bottle sazz mentioned

SazzlesA Sat 23-Aug-08 20:28:58

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chipmonkey Sun 24-Aug-08 00:59:53

I do think in Ireland, a lot of people pay lip service to bfing, i.e we are ahead of England with regard to the law, it is illegal for anyone to ask you not to breastfeed in public. But when it comes to actually bfing we have a very poor record.
Also I think a lot of our mothers generation bottlefed ( not my Mum, she bf my brother till he was 3!) and they give out advice which would be pertinent to a ffing Mum but doesn't work at all for bfing, i.e get them into a routine and so on.
My nearest shopping centre is Blanchardstown and I have had no issues bfing in public there, particulary in Roasters on the lower level because there is also room for a big buggy if you have one!grin
My bottle-refusing ds3 finally took Playtex disposable bottles, scroll down with the NaturalLatch Latex teat but I would only try these if nothing else works because it is annoying and expensive having to buy the liners and not eco-friendly. I think I was the only person in the country who used re-usable nappies but disposable bottles!

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