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Gina Ford and expressing from week 2

(42 Posts)
cornflakegirl Tue 29-Mar-05 17:22:11

I'm expecting my first baby in June, and I'd like to try using Gina Ford's routines. However, I'm a bit mixed up about expressing, as everything else I read seems to say not to express till the baby is "well established" in feeding routines - but for Gina's routines it seems to be essential to express from week 2.

Has anyone done this successfully?

moondog Tue 29-Mar-05 17:25:20

I think it's a bit much to deal with on top of having a new baby (especially first.)
Expressed regularly from about week 3/4 with no 2 but had to as moving house and dh away.

Others may tell you different though. You never know how it will be until the baby arrives.
My dd was a complete nightmare in many ways, but her 8 mth old brother is a dream-very low maintenence lol!!
Best of luck XXX

uwila Tue 29-Mar-05 17:30:09

Hi cornflake,
I'm thinking about Gina routines for feeding as well. I think what Gina recommends is expressing on top of feeding. And what is advised against is expressing on place of breast feeding. As I recall, Gina recommends this in part to increase the demand, and therefore the supply.

lljkk Tue 29-Mar-05 17:51:51

GF wants you to express in the morning and then offer the milk in a bottle at 10pm. Yes, she does have ideas (like offering EBM in a bottle so early, that everything in her routines is essential, etc.) that many other babycare gurus recommend against. That's why she's controversial.

hunkermunker Tue 29-Mar-05 17:54:31

If you really can get up to express at 6.45am if your baby's still asleep and you could be too...I couldn't!

starlover Tue 29-Mar-05 17:59:05

me either hunkermunker!
how do you fit the expressing around the feeding you're doing already?
why would you want to increase your supply???

it all sounds a bit odd to me, but then I have never read any GF books or anything.

TBH I don't think i'd be totally sure about trying to mix breast and bottle that early either

Mud Tue 29-Mar-05 17:59:56

I think you might find the concept of Gina Ford polarises mums.

IMHO it is all very well for babies who do routines (some naturally do this) but just end up running other people ragged

my advice would be to be lead by your baby, relax and just go with the flow and enjoy your experience as a new mother (I personally think Gina Ford is a needlessy strict and severe form of babycare which takes the joy out of a wonderful new experience)

Mud Tue 29-Mar-05 18:01:07

and don't forget there's as many baby experts out there as there are babies it seems

tiktok Tue 29-Mar-05 18:01:33

CFG, you will find fans and detractors of Gina Ford on mumsnet. I will say one thing: GF does not understand about breastfeeding and how it works. The information in her book is contradictory and confusing. Some mothers find expressing a useful skill; it is by no means essential to do it to breastfeed successfully, and it is certainly not essential for your baby to be 'contented'.

It is up to you what you do.

lljkk Tue 29-Mar-05 18:05:27

Even though GF implies that you have to do all her routines by the letter, if you read the archives on MN, lots of people seem to happily pick and choose from her books. (I'm not one of those people, though, I didn't like any of it.)

Leogaela Tue 29-Mar-05 19:36:52

I have the feeling that it is good with some babies to help them get into a routine and for me it makes me think about his needs, but i am quite erratic so it helps. GF seems to have some good ideas which I am trying out to get ds (5 weeks old) over some behaviours that I am not that happy with.

I have started expressing sometimes, but only when I feel like it and when I feel I have enough extra milk, I think if I followed what GF says I would run out of milk when ds needs it and end up feeding him what I had just expressed. I wouldn't bother exressing from day one, you need to make sure you get your milk flowing properly first, get used to your baby, feeding and being a mum! There is too much else to take in and deal with without worrying about expressing, steralising etc.....

I agree GF is too rigid and I find her approach very unemotional, all babies are different and have different needs.

Am trying to get dh to feed ds the expressed milk (i would like to be able to go swimming or something without worrying to get home in time to feed ds) - the first time went fantastically well, the second time ds drank it all then screamed and took ages to calm down, still wanted my breast but defnitely WASN'T still hungry, 3rd time he wouldn't take the bottle at all from either of us but would happily take my breast...we will persist!

tassis Tue 29-Mar-05 19:45:12

I did Gina and loved it (ds sort of did it by himself so it wasn't really a hassle). I just missed out all the bits about expressing because it seemed too much to get my head around.

The thing I wish people had told me was that routines change and you don't have to have it sorted by week 2 (or 3, 4, 5...). Give yourself time and if you're still keen to have a routine, you'll probably get there, but maybe not immediately!

wilbur Tue 29-Mar-05 19:45:50

I'm not going to get into the Gina Ford thing but I would say that you will be fine leaving it longer than 2 weeks before expressing, even if you do want to follow GF's routines. I found GF very useful and used her routines and ideas to a great extent for both ds and dd, however, I never followed them to the letter (found all the "get up at 6.45 and express 2 oz" WAY too much to cope with on top of new motherhood, although other stuff was excellent for us) and was happier that way. Don't ever think you have to do her 100% or not at all - I know that's the way she writes (she's a crap writer with a terrible style anyway) but it is not true. With ds I expressed from about 5 weeks and with dd I did a couple of early 2 week expresses due to emergencies, but got into it properly after about a month. I found expressing v useful but again, never did it at he GF instructed times and it still worked a treat for me. See how you feel in the early days, cornflakegirl, and then start expressing and routining if you still want to, when YOU are ready.

IlanaK Tue 29-Mar-05 21:20:26

As someone who followed GF and successfully bf my first ds for a year, I can shed some light onto why she says to express so early. Her reasoning is that as your baby is likely to have a growth spurt at 3 weeks, 6 weeks etc, you will not find it possible to continue in her routine of set feeding times if you do not express. This is because it will take your breasts a couple of days to increase the supply that your baby will be demanding after a growth spurt. To meet this demand, you would have to feed the baby more frequently than her routines suggest. To avoid this, she suggests expressing early on so that when your baby demands more, your breasts are already meeting that need and all you have to do is decrease the amount you are expressing and allow the baby to take the milk straight from the breast instead. In other words, you are staying ahead of demand.

In theory, this makes sense. In practice, it is less so, as many many women find expressing difficult, time consuming and frustrating. I was not able to keep this up with my ds1.

Now, with ds2, and as a trainee bf counsellor, I would say that a much better way to cope with growth spurts is to just go with it, do what nature inteneded, and feed your baby more frequently to stimulate your milk. This is so much easier than worrying about finding time to express when you are still getting to know your new baby and beginning your breastfeeding relationship.

tiktok Tue 29-Mar-05 23:25:51

All of you who have found your own way with your babies, and say you are following GF in a modified way - why give the credit to Gina Ford? You have developed confidence and skills by getting to know your baby and what works for you : )

The book is very insistent - you have to follow the routines to the letter.

Of course , in real life, people are rarely able or willing to follow books that are written in a general way, in order to care for an individual baby.

Somehow, though, mothers still show gratitude to the CLBB. ...instead of being proud of themselves.

It's a shame

Leogaela Wed 30-Mar-05 09:58:38

Interesting point Tiktok. I think that having a book - any book, not just GF - can give you ideas and pointers helping you to understand and help your baby better. THose that tried GF have found a better way for themselves and their own baby. I think the underlying point in what everyone has said here is that GF doesn't work if you follow it but it can help as a guidline. I am definitely not giving GF any credit for anything and I am very proud of myself and how i am coping with a new baby and managing my life.

Some of GF is really laughable, last night as I was happily tucked up in bed at 11pm very proud of myself that ds had dropped off to sleep at 7.30 woken at 10, fed and dropped back to sleep again i read something in GFs book that made me laugh - don't remember exact wording but something to the effect of - however little your baby has slept through the night get him up by 7am and continue with the program. Ds then woke up at 12.30 with bad wind and cramps and didn't sleep again until around 4am - there is NO WAY that any of the 3 of us were getting out of bed at 7 this morning or that after such a sleepless night a 5 weeks old baby can continue with the sleep routine! Trying to force it would make us all totally miserable. This shows how flawed and rubbish the rigid rules of GF are. Someone somewhere pointed out that she doesn't have children herself, i don't know where she gets her experience from but it just shows that she has not spent 24hours a day 7 days a week as the main carer of one child as a mother is. She has never experienced the sleep deprivation that you can have with a new baby.

Twiglett Wed 30-Mar-05 10:02:52

God IlanaK .. is that the reason?

that really makes me even more worried about Gina F's strict routines. So nature has developed this wonderful ability for your breasts to be able to produce enough milk to feed your baby to what it needs, but because they interfere with her routines you need to express

I must admit to being horrified at that and even more vehemently opposed to these methods

I think Tiktok (as breastfeeding counsellor extraordinaire) said it perfectly though .. it is YOU as the mother who is doing a fabulous job and crediting it to GF is sad

cornflakegirl Wed 30-Mar-05 17:24:38

thanks for your thoughts everyone.

have no desire to get into a debate on gina, so will leave it there!

Beetroot Wed 30-Mar-05 17:34:09

Message withdrawn

tiktok Wed 30-Mar-05 17:37:52

Beetroot - that's a weeny bit too dogmatic the other way
Plenty of mothers have to/choose to express in the early weeks. It's not a big deal. But just as saying you 'must' express is out of order, so is saying you 'must not' : )

Don't mean to offend, sorry.

chipmonkey Wed 30-Mar-05 17:53:29

I had to express as soon as ds3 was born prematurely because he coudn't suck at that stage. However i was delighted to get him home and not HAVE to express. Why sterilise and wash bottles and pumps if you don't have to?

aloha Wed 30-Mar-05 18:04:06

If your baby is asleep - then go to bed, or read a magazine or phone a friend - don't sit there expressing just because GF said to!

bonym Wed 30-Mar-05 18:08:23

This is interesting - I bought the CLBB before dd was born 9she is now 11 days old) and was very uncomfortable with a lot of GF's ideas. However - I have since dipped into it and some stuff seems to make sense, although there is no way I would impose such a strict routine (just not my style).

Anyway - to get to the point () - this morning, my health visitor made her first call and asked me if I was expressing - said she thought I should as it would make life a lot easier and I could give the expressed milk as a top-up in the evening or let dh feed it to her in the night. She recommended expressing immediately after the first feed of the day. I did query whether it was too early to start expressing and she said "no - don't listen to what the midwives say" !!! Tbh I found her a bit brusque although nice enough. I'm now not sure what to do - my instinct is to leave it a bit longer tbh.

hunkermunker Wed 30-Mar-05 18:11:29

Any book which tells me when to have a "big glass of water" can land fairly and squarely in my bin

(Mind you, agree with her stance on organic cow's milk...30% mucus in ordinary stuff - blee!)

aloha Wed 30-Mar-05 18:12:38

I don't need to 'top up' in the evening. I just let dd feed. Also, if dh does give a bottle, I just wake up about an hour later with engorged uncomfy boobs anyway, so with dd (who is very easygoing compared to ds, admittedly), feeding myself is easier and more convenient anyway.

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