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Can any BFing experts help me please? Have to go away for a week...

(12 Posts)
TheShipsCat Fri 24-Oct-08 10:28:28

Next week I have to go away for a conference for a week. DD2 will be 6 months when I get back. I thought I would have stopped BFing by then, but I really don't feel she's ready for it. I've started cutting back, and she has 2 bottle feeds a day now. The HV told me that when I go away, that would be it, no more BFing. But is there any way I can keep my supply going? I don't really want to take my pump etc. Can I hand express, and how little can I get away with so that I can keep doing at least one feed a day when I get back? How quickly does a milk supply dry up?
If I want to continue the last BF feed of the day when I return do I have to express at that exact time (will be in a totally different time zone)?

Thanks for any advice...

TheShipsCat Fri 24-Oct-08 10:49:34

Anyone?

thisisyesterday Fri 24-Oct-08 10:58:07

i would take the pump, tbh.

cmotdibbler Fri 24-Oct-08 11:09:40

Pump or hand express, ideally as many times as you will feed on your return, but doesn't have to be the same times. Even when I was expressing to feed in the day normally, I usually just expressed morning and evening (initially as soon as I got back to the hotel room and last thing at night) and that was fine. I didn't find I could do a really good hand express (but haven't got good hand strength)until I had dropped right down to 1 or 2 feeds a day.

I travelled from when DS was 6 months old, and continued to bf till he was 23.5 months with no supply problems at all, so your HV is talking nonsense.

TheShipsCat Fri 24-Oct-08 11:17:45

Thanks! How little can I get away with to keep milk supply going?

cmotdibbler Fri 24-Oct-08 11:25:46

Once a day would be fine. Even if you did nothing, you'd have milk when you came back, but would prob be uncomfortable anyway so good to express some

TheShipsCat Fri 24-Oct-08 12:16:16

I'd still have milk if I did nothing? (As you say, would prefer to express though.) I've never hand expressed, is it tricky then?

JackOLANTERNstini Fri 24-Oct-08 12:34:16

I have to go away for 4 days every 2/3 months for work and took my pump with me for about the first year to stop me feeling uncomfortable. I bf dd til she was 2.6, always still had milk when I got back.
If you can learn how to hand express that would work too (I never got the hang of it but you could ask a bf counsellor to show you) or look up some video on the internet, e.g. www.breastfeeding123.com/free-video-on-hand-expression-of-breast-milk/

cmotdibbler Fri 24-Oct-08 13:15:42

I stopped feeding DS in early May, and I still have milk ! Not sure how resilient supply is at 6 months though - you'd obviously drop in quantity, but you'd be able to get that back.

Hand expressing is dead easy, and I often used to do it to 'relieve the pressure' down the sink on planes/airport toilets etc when away, but as I used to have arthritis I just can't do that sort of repeated movement for very long without pain. This of course was when I was expressing 120ml or more off each breast so it took a while to do. It was just easier for me to take my trusty Lactaline so that I could work at the same time as pumping.

TheShipsCat Fri 24-Oct-08 13:45:34

How much should I express? Just to feel comfy, or at least 120ml or whatever?

Sorry for all the questions, and thanks for being so helpful. (I think my panicking may be down to a more deep rooted concern about leaving my little baby and toddler for a week) smile

cmotdibbler Fri 24-Oct-08 14:40:49

As much as you can really - I knew how much I usually got per feed as I was expressing during work times routinely, but mostly pumped until there was nothing and then hand expressed until I was only getting drops. With my double pump this only took 15 mins or so which meant I could mumsnet do my emails at the same time.

DH really enjoys his time on his own with DS when I'm away, and certainly when DS was small I enjoyed a bath on my own and a guaranteed full nights sleep. I still enjoy waking up to an alarm clock rather than a shout..

TheShipsCat Fri 24-Oct-08 14:47:12

I must admit, I'm really looking forward to a whole night's sleep, a hotel room, some one else cleaning and cooking, being on my own for a bit..

Thanks so much for your help, much appreciated. I shall take my pump and spend some quality time MNing working in my room smile

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