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How to express around baby's feeding?

(10 Posts)
jasperc163 Thu 28-May-09 14:55:19

DD is 8 weeks and can generally only be settled in the evening with a top up bottle of ebm (my supply seems very low at this time and DD tries to feed constantly but doesnt settle until she get the topup). This wouldnt be a problem if I didnt find it hard to get a full bottle together for each evening. Obviously i have most milk in the night /early morning but she empties both breasts at these feeds (my right breast is also not very productive which doesnt help).

What is the best way to fit in expressing (I dont get much out at each go) around feeding to allow me to keep her as happy as possible but also get some for the evening slot? I would also like to start to try to put her to bed before us in the evenings but can't do this if she is hungry.

This has been going on a while and i dont think is a specific growth spurt.

thanks alot

dancingmummy Thu 28-May-09 17:32:39

The only way I could get around it at first was expressing a little after each feed, then when you have a bottle or two stored it gets easier, as you can give them ebm in place of a feed, and express the feed you would have given to baby, (hope that makes sense?!) Hope this helps, sorry it seems a bit rambly.

jasperc163 Thu 28-May-09 19:59:20

thanks dancing mummy - you'd think that would work but it doesn't seem to be! She is super hungry in the evening and my breasts dont seem to replenish as fast. She has just had a feed (both breasts, although one pretty empty), followed by a top up of 80ml ebm followed by a bit more breast (not sure what there). And she is still chewing her fists. So no ebm to express at the moment :-(

If this goes on I feel i am not going to have much choice but to introduce a formula feed in the evening - and i really don't want to.

thisisyesterday Thu 28-May-09 20:04:31

jasper, cluster feeding in the evenings is very normal, and very good for boosting your supply!
personally I'd give in. sit on the sofa, let her feed constantly and get your partner/husband to bring ytou plenty of tea and snakcs while you watch tv

TheProvincialLady Thu 28-May-09 20:10:03

I think you are making this problem for yourself by giving the EBM in the evenings. If you feed then you will signal to your breasts to make more milk, whereas if you don't feed but give the EBM (or feed and give the EBM as well) you are effectively saying to them 'DD doesn't need as much milk as this in the evenings."

Thisisyesterday is absolutely right, cluster feeding in the evenings is 100% normal and it doesn't mean you don't have milk. Nor does it mean that you don't have milk when your breasts feel soft.

Babies can feed for hours and hours in the evenings and if you go with it you will come to see it as a good thing, not only for your supply but also because in the not too distant future your DD will be tanking up so that she can sleep for long stretches at night.

Have faith in yourself and your baby. You are doing a grand jobsmile

FeelingLucky Thu 28-May-09 20:14:17

I agree, the more you feed, the more you make.
If you really want to express, I found it was best to do this in morning with baby on one breast and pump in another - got loads this way.

jasperc163 Thu 28-May-09 20:47:22

Thanks everyone - I realise I may be in a minority wishing to have some kind of routine in the evening - is it really normal to have to feed for hours on end every evening (this isnt just a growth spurt)? If so when does it end? It doesn't seem to have much effect on my supply in that she is still hungry?

Sorry if i am asking obvious questions - appreciate the help.

TheProvincialLady Thu 28-May-09 20:52:57

No you aren't in a minority. I am sure we would all like some predictability in our children and to get them to sleep at a nice early time! 8 weeks is so, so young though and whilst it seems like a long time now, a few more weeks is such a tiny amount of time. With both of my DC the cluster feeding stage was mainly over by about 12 weeks.

Don't forget that babies also like and need to suck for comfort, not just milk. She wants and needs to be near you at the moment.

swanriver Fri 29-May-09 10:25:15

When my babies were small, I didn't understand principle of clusterfeeding and thought that I was meant to be settling them with one good feed at 7.00. So I topped up with formula at that feed, just as you are doing with the ebm, to increase volume.
I think I really did need to just spend the evening cluster feeding to get back on track, and then I think I would have had sufficient milk at that time of day to settle them when they were a bit older.

I think lots of us have a mental block about the bedtime feed and feel really frustrated when the baby won't go down peacefully, but it is just a stage in their developement to cluster feed all evening.

Expressing did not work for me, for as you sy it is really difficult to fit it in, when a baby is feeding constantly the rest of the day. What did help was to get lots of rest not do so much in the day, so that I wasn't so tired in the evenings. Also to stop worrying about the babies' "Bedtime" for a while until they were, say, 12 weeks, as long as they got plenty of sleep generally.

jasperc163 Sun 31-May-09 21:07:38

thanks everyone. Happy to ignore the bedtime issue for the time being but still concerned that she is impossible to settle at all as she seems so hungry without a bottle. No sign of this cluster feeding (which has been going on for weeks) having any effect on increasing my supply in the evening.

However glad to hear it is pretty common and trying to hang in there!

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