Can anyone suggest any ways to optimise volumes when expressing breast milk? I have been doing it for about 3 weeks now (my baby is 5 weeks old). I have an electric pump and I try to do it in the morning but I seem to get less and less each day!
I started off by expressing a little bit at the end of a morning feed then increasing it - I then managed to express milk an hour after a full feed so effectively adding a feed to the day. don't forget to make sure you are eating lots and lots of cake
I also drank some kind of tea ... pootles off to see what it might have been ... Fennel tea. I don't know if it did any good but it felt like it did. Just had a quick recce on the internet and there are specially prepared bf teas with other stuff in. Probably expensive though. Fennel tea was just from local health food store.
Thanks for all your ideas. Things are going from bad to worse! Last week I could pump 3oz per breast, then it dropped to 2oz and this morning I only got 1oz from each breast. I'm pumping at the same time in the same way each day, so why is my yield dropping? I'm having to pump three or four times a day just to get one 4oz feed. Surely I should gradually be getting more as my baby needs more and my breasts increase their supply?
I don't think your supply is dropping, just that you are getting stressed and not getting let-down.
What worked for me was expressing while feeding, 1st feed of the morning.
I would get "let-down" from the baby.
When he had "finished" on one side, and the pumping seemed to have finished, I put DS on the pumped side and he always got a bit more out (babies are more efficient than pumps!) and in theory it would be the hind-milk.
Seemed to make him nice and chubby anyway. good luck.
Can I ask how did you hold the pump on the boob? Do electric ones come with one of those stretchy bra things? Incidentally I've managed to collect an ounce during a feed with a shell on the non-feeding boob - could be used to top up a bottle in the fridge.
CT123, don't forget that during a growth spurt the baby may need more milk so there won't be that much "extra" for the pump. I think they usually hit a growth spurt at about 6 weeks so maybe your baba is a bit early on that! I am going on a trip in a couple of weeks without ds4 and so have been expressing at midnight each night( ds4 sleeps from 9.00pm to 6.00am) I find I am getting more and more at that "feed"
No Buckets, unfortunately you always have to buy the expressing bras! No pump manufacturer gives them away free. Most people just hold the pump on but I remember seeing some trick with elastics, hang on while I google.......