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If I only express, will my milk dry up?

(8 Posts)
JessJess3908 Mon 06-Oct-08 00:25:25

We think LO (4 weeks) has acid reflux, gaviscon seems to work better if mixed with expressed milk and bottle fed. I am gutted, was just getting the hang of BF and we were both really enjoying it.

If I carry on exclusively expessing, will my milk supply eventually decrease or even dry up? Anyone have experience of feeding their LO soley on EBM?

gigglewitch Mon 06-Oct-08 00:43:24

no experience but afaik expressing / mixed feeding would be fine if you keep up the quanity, thus the supply. Can you mix the gaviscon with just a little ebm then continue the bf as from there?

elvisgirl Mon 06-Oct-08 03:21:31

Some do feed exclusively EBM. Whatever milk is removed from the breast should normally be replaced - hence increasing expressing (or feeding) will increase supply.

Here is a section on the Aussie Breastfeeding Association web forum about expressing : & there is a thread about exclusive EBN feeding.

Also some info on this American site: and the forum there.

Maybe you could try some of the feed on the breast and then some mixed? Also sometimes babies have relux-like symptoms when they are getting too much foremilk - something to do with the composition of the foremilk as it starts getting digested in the tummy and/or taking in air with the milk if there is a forceful supply of foremilk during the first part of the feed (they then feel full so stop feeding but haven't had any or much of the more fatty satisfying hindmilk). You could try some of the suggestions for fore/hindmilk imbalance just to check whether maybe it could be responsible or contributing to babe's discomfort.

JessJess3908 Mon 06-Oct-08 06:40:18

tried giving gaviscon in a little ebm but symptoms came back with a vengance - so wierd.

thanks for other info - will read in one of the many hrs i am stuck here with breast pump!

LackaDAISYcal Mon 06-Oct-08 06:54:41

hi jessjess and congratulations on your LO smile

exclusive pumping takes a lot of dedication so hats off to you if this is the way you are going to go.

There is some good information on kellymom on expressing.

There's also advice there on taking galactogogues to help up or maintain your supply.

My best advice though would be to see a local breastfeeding counsellor who has experience of helping women who are exclusively pumping.

If you keep this bumped, one of the "resident" breast feeeding counsellors will hopefully see it and have some more advice for you.

Good Luck.

lizzytee Thu 09-Oct-08 09:53:13

JessJess, unfortunately I think this is a good example of docs prescribing something without thinking about how it affects bf-ing. How are you giving the gaviscon at the moment? If it seems to work better in EBM, then rather than going to expressing, how about discussing a different medication with the doctor? It is worth pointing out that the evidence suggests that bfing helps reflux babies in that it promotes faster digestion of feeds and therefore less reflux. Unfortunately it isn't unusual to hear of people who are told to express and feed EBM with Gaviscon, who then find it difficult to sustain.

tiktok Thu 09-Oct-08 10:00:39

I agree with lizzytee - exclusively expressing is hard, hard work - you have to do it a min of 8 x in 24 hours inc at night, and have all the hassle of bottle feeding.

There may be other reasons for your baby's symptoms. Acid reflux exists, but I feel it may be too readily diagnosed...can you get a second opinion?

witchandchips Thu 09-Oct-08 10:17:09

my lo had reflux and it took time for the gaviscon to work. ime it does not stop them being sick but stops them being in pain. So i wouldn't rule out the possibilty of it working without expressing the whole feed.

I gave gaviscon mixed with a tiny amount of water on a finger (clean i promise!) after each feed. I worried that giving more liquid after a feed would overload his tummy + make the reflux worse, so gave up with syringes and the like. When he wanting to feed less frequently (every 3 hours instead of every 1.30 to 2) i found i needed to give the meds before breastfeeding rather than after

good luck and remember most grow out of it by 9 months or so.

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