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Any tips for expressing?

(11 Posts)
CherryChoc Thu 11-Jun-09 17:43:50

I have tried searching but didn't find much

Basically I'm looking for some tips on expressing. I have expressed before, about 6 months ago, and it was fairly simple, but I waited until DS was asleep and close to or missing a feed, so my breasts felt "full". Now he's 8 months and my supply is much more established and they never really feel "full", and I can't seem to get much out with the pump. I have tried hand-expressing but it seems awkward, what do you catch the milk in if you hand express? It's quite difficult to aim it into a bottle! I've also tried looking at some pictures of him when he was tiny and newborn and asleep but that didn't seem to help (though he was whingeing at me slightly which might have negated it!)

Any tips? I'm planning to go out next week and leave him with DH and would rather not give formula.

undomesticatedgoddess Thu 11-Jun-09 18:12:36


Not an expert but I can tell you what works for me. I feed on one side and express on the other during the 'breakfast' feed. You can then make the most of your let down. I must admit I use an electric pump as couldn't get on with a hand pump.

Have you seen the LLL leaflet on hand expressing? There's a really good finger roll technique (can't remember the technical term!) and express in to a very clean container such as a jug / bowl.

Hope this helps.

abroadandmisunderstood Thu 11-Jun-09 18:21:34

I am the same as UG except I used an Avent hand pump. First feed of the morning I would balance baby on one side and express the other side. It was rich and plentiful and I believe the morning is the best time.

I tried at all other times of the day and at no point was it so successful.

Good luck and have a great time out!!

SarahL2 Thu 11-Jun-09 18:31:43

I always expressed while DS was awake and around. Having him there cooing etc seemed to help immensely.

CherryChoc Thu 11-Jun-09 22:43:31

I will try in the morning, good tip. I have tried doing it while he feeds on the other side but it doesn't really work as he's either in the way of the pump/bottle or really interested in what I'm doing and trying to grab at it! I'm using a Tommee Tippee manual pump, I can't really justify the expense of an electric one if I'm not going to use it often enough.

CherryChoc Fri 12-Jun-09 10:00:50

This is really frustrating! I managed to get let-down and it was going really well for a minute or two, then it just started to drip again, I switched to the other side and that was better than it had been but still not v. good. I have only managed to get 1.5 oz and I can't seem to get any more. (I have got 1oz in the fridge from last night) It's just annoying as I could easily get a full 6-8oz in one go when I tried before.

I can get the hand expressing technique to work but aiming it into the bottle is a joke, it is going in all directions, so I feel it's a bit pointless as I'm wasting the milk. I don't actually even think expressing into a jug or bowl would be much better as some of it seems to come upwards/backwards!

I can't do it as I do the first feed of the day, we co-sleep so I'm half asleep for it and wouldn't remember.

Rhian82 Fri 12-Jun-09 20:49:46

I'm the same - when DS was newborn I could get 180ml in one sitting (both breasts), now I struggle to get 60-70ml. It's a nightmare, I work three days a week and he has two bottles during the days I work, of 150ml each. I feel like my life is about the constant struggle to get enough milk for those three days. I express three times a day at work, and every evening a few hours after he's gone to bed, and still cut it really fine at times.

As soon as he turns one I'm dropping those daytime feeds, I can't wait.

TrudyVotion Fri 12-Jun-09 21:00:12


I've found expressing harder lately too - DS is coming up six months. Wow, can't believe I just wrote that!

Would taking the usual steps to up supply help? Effectively you need an extra feed a day that you can express. I know exactly what Rhian82 means about the constant struggle to get milk - the stress of that can't help. Perhaps if you tried to express regularly, same time each day, your bod would get used to having milk ready for then, even if it took a day or two to really get going?

Hope you get it sorted.

odisco Fri 12-Jun-09 22:27:41

I've recently been doing the same and have just managed to increase supply by expressing after the morning feed. Do have to shift my wee one out of the way as at 22wks she's a bit big now.

I got 4oz this morning after increasing the time I fed on one side only over a few days. I normally feed from both sides each feed so if you don't do that perhaps start as there is no better stimulus for supply than your baby! So in the mornings (when supply is greatest) I feed only on one side and express from the other. It didn't seem to matter to DS2 and I could express from the other side then.

It's a bit variable but I live in hope. Very, very important to relax - ha, ha, ha. Just have to get her to try a bottle now...

CherryChoc Sat 13-Jun-09 09:39:09

I usually feed from both sides at least during a feed, often multiple times on each side grin maybe I should get my Mum over to distract him with biscuits!!

Rhian82 Sat 13-Jun-09 19:11:49

Aaah, I only feed from one side at each feed, so express the same. So I'd like to try expressing while feeding (but think he'd get in the way), but the 'other' breast is generally not that full at that time.

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