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Expressing milk into bottles - wha-da-ya think

(14 Posts)
livysmum Mon 22-Sep-08 02:45:10

OK so god either blessed or cursed me (depending on if your man or women) with big boobs. Now as you all know boobs get bigger with breast feeding. well I'm like an E cup i figure...yah huge so trying to manouevre a good latch and actually find a bra or hammock to keep them in place is very hard. also I feel as if big nipples are going to gag my poor baby girl.

SO I've made up my mind that I'm only going to express and put it into bottles to save the frustration that both me and baby are going through....Am I a failure? Has anyone else done this before?...I guess I just need to know that I'm not the only one who wants best for baby but also not so stressful for me.

Thanks for any help mums

LadyPenelope Mon 22-Sep-08 03:51:17

A colleague of mine did this for 12 months, so I know it can be done.

It's one solution to your challenge of size, latch etc and it may still be worthwhile considering other options. What you describe is a time consuming commitment and not free of its own and different frustrations. Eg,

- You need to express and then feed so it takes twice as long
- if you get someone else to do the bottle bit you can end up feeling like you've got the worst part of job because you don't get the fun bit (gazing at your beautiful DD with your feet up!)
- It's also a bit harder to anticipate the natural increases in demand.

Perhaps worth talking to a breastfeeding cousellor before you take this route, as it's harder to go back later. With their help, a bit of expressing perhaps to reduce size of your boobs to help latch (I used to do this for DS when he was tiny) and a good bra, you might find other solutions which work for you.

How old is your DD? Is this part of the early stages of breastfeeding?

LadyPenelope Mon 22-Sep-08 04:31:51

BTW, whatever you decide is right for your baby and you is the right and the best decision! You are certainly not a failure if you go this route or any other that you choose. As long as you and your baby and happy, then that's what's right for you

LadyPenelope Mon 22-Sep-08 04:31:51

BTW, whatever you decide is right for your baby and you is the right and the best decision! You are certainly not a failure if you go this route or any other that you choose. As long as you and your baby and happy, then

ninja Mon 22-Sep-08 05:25:47

Just to le tyou know I've known people with A LOT bigger to start with feed, and I'm sure some will come on to tell you so.

My friend was a J cup while feeding for 2 years!

Another friend said it was easier being bigger as she didn't have to hold the baby up so far.

It is possible to express, but hard work. Try getting yourself to a bf group and talk to a counsellor they may be able to reassure you.

If you did decide to express, you certainly wouldn't be a failure, it would show how much you wanted the best for your baby.

sandcastles Mon 22-Sep-08 08:13:44

Well I am an E cup, also blessed/cursed with huge nipples & pleased to be able to say that breastfeeding has not been an issue.

hedgehog1979 Mon 22-Sep-08 08:47:06

I am a G/H and have no probs feeding ds (12 weeks), get thee to bravissimo for measuring then get feeding bras from figleaves or somewhere similar

throckenholt Mon 22-Sep-08 08:59:53

I expressed for my twins - partly because of the mismatch between their tiny mouths and my overlarge nipples (not normally huge apart from when have young babies).

It is no failure - it is a fact of life sometimes. Large breasts per se aren't a problem - but large nipples (IME) can be in the early days.

I have to say - expressing is not an easy option - I would only do it if I had to - and I would keep trying with the breast feeding - in time the babies mouth will easily be big enough - and then I would go back to full time breast feeding - it is so much easier than expressing.

CantSleepWontSleep Mon 22-Sep-08 09:20:52

I'm an H cup (pre-pregnancy, during pregnancy, during 2.7 years and counting of breastfeeding, and whilst pregnant and breastfeeding, so boobs don't always get bigger from feeding) and have had no problems feeding. Where are you buying your bras? Figleaves have lots of nursing bras, including some underwired ones, so you might like to look there.

You certainly aren't a failure if you decide to express and bottle feed, but personally I think you'd be mad to do so, as it will be lots of extra work, and you won't have the convenience when out and about of just being able to feed without planning it in advance and taking loads of stuff with you.

laundrylover Mon 22-Sep-08 09:32:13

I echo the other posters - I fed my two with K cup boobs, bras from Bravissimo.

I fould expressing really difficult, esp with large boobs.

Please try bfingsmile.

chipmonkey Mon 22-Sep-08 10:49:54

My only experience of full time expressing was when ds3 was prem and in SCBU. It was VERY hard work and very difficult to maintain a supply when the baby wasn't suckling directly.

My cousin's baby was very, very ill when born and she exclusively expressed for him till he was 4 months old. but in the end she was barely getting any milk at all and very reluctanly gave up.

You have to remember that for the most part, pumps are less efficient and less stimulating for your supply than babies are, so it may look like the easier option now but in the long run could result in the end of bfing.

BTW, I don't for a minute think that anyone would judge you for this but do think very carefully about whether it's what you really want.

AlexanderPandasmum Mon 22-Sep-08 11:36:55


I did it for nearly 7 months - could have done longer as it wasn't my milk supply that was the problem but after 6 months of that sort of regime I wanted to stop.

I don't feel I had a choice (other than formula) because I had no obvious nipple even after 6 months of pumping, just basically a flat surface. Added to that DS was 2 months prem and a very sleepy baby as a result - and he started to lose weight and show signs of dehydration.

I do think that the problems you are having might be solvable with the right sort of help, whereas the pumping might just complicate things. If you do need to do it it is totally possible albeit very time-consuming.

AlexanderPandasmum Mon 22-Sep-08 11:44:47

Pressed send before I had finished!

I was just going to add that there are lots of websites that could help you. has an exclusively pumping forum which really helped me, and Kellymom has a page of links. I added them into Wikipedia myself under "exclusively expressing" (a subheading under the topic of breastfeeding), so I know they can be found there.

Be aware though that in the first 12 weeks at least you'll need to aim for 8-12 times a day expressing for 20 minutes with a good hospital grade pump or a heavy use personal such as the Medela pump in style or the Ameda Lactaline (my personal favourite).

Good luck whatever you decide. I think only you can know if the practicalities of pumping as much as this on top of feeding (albeit in a much easier way) etc will be less hassle than how your life is now.

ElmMum Tue 23-Sep-08 18:05:36

I decided to stop breast feeding and express after 2 months because I just couldn't keep going with it.

I worried about supply dwindling and thought it was probably the beginning of the end but that hasn't proved to be the case. DD is now 4 months old and we're still going with it.

I now do 5 feeds a day - the first one a breast feed, 2 of expressed breast milk and 2 of formula.

I express between 3 and 5 times a day. Don't think it would be sustainable to try and express all 5 feeds but for a month I was managing to express enough for 3 EBM feeds.

It is a bit of a faff but still a massive improvement on exclusively breast feeding, which for me was a nightmare. As soon as I made the change, everything improved. Before feeding had been fraught and anxious, but with EBM I know how much she's getting and we immediately fell into much more of a routine.

I now enjoy the morning breast feed, and if I'm caught out and about without any formula or EBM, I do an extra breast feed with none of the bad side effects that I suffered when exclusively breast feeding.

I'd say go for and see how it feels. You can always go back to breast feeding if you decide you want to after a bit of a break.

Oh, and my massive GG norks are a bit more manageable now that I'm expressing. Whenever I do more than 1 BF a day for a few days, they balloon again!

Good luck!

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