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I want to start expressing...

(5 Posts)
AliGrylls Tue 30-Jun-09 12:29:05

I am feeling a bit desperate to start expressing. My baby is nearly 3 weeks. Can anyone tell me:-

a) When they started to express? (my midwife said I should not express until baby is 6 weeks but have also read 3 weeks is a good time to start).

b) How they expressed - use pump, manual.

There seems to be so much information and a lot of it contradicts. I would be most grateful for any comments.

tiktok Tue 30-Jun-09 12:34:56

You can start expressing at any time.

There are no rules.

But a drawback of early expressing is that you interfere with the way milk is made by ordering up more milk than your baby needs, leading to over-supply. The other drawback is that if you're using expressed breastmilk to lengthen the gaps between breastfeeds, this could lead to under supply.

For practical purposes, both these drawbacks are thought to be easier to deal with when bf is better established, which means not being in a rush to express!

As long as you know what the drawbacks are, though, there's no reason not to express. The other issue is that sometimes people express thinking it will resolve a bf problem - but that depends on the problem

Can you say a bit more about why you are 'desperate'?

mrsflux Tue 30-Jun-09 16:57:56

we started at 4 weeks - just to see what would happen as i was going back to work early and DS would have to be happy with FF by then.
i don't think that the odd bit of expressing so you can go out etc is really enough to interfere with supply so much that you can't get it back again. it might mean a few odd days getting it back again but i never noticed a problem.

if BF is going well then i'd try any time as although we were never to put anything other than a boob in DS mouth for the first 6 weeks we were then told by HV that if you want them to take a bottle its best done before 6 weeks!

i used a manula tommee tippee pump and managed to get quite a lot quite easily - 10 mins BUT i did have loads of milk! (we're talking soaking through 6-9 boob pads at night)

xandrarama Wed 01-Jul-09 11:02:23

I started expressing when DD was a few days old (felt weirdly compelled to have huge supply in freezer - probably because Xmas & NYE were coming up and I was desperate for more than 125 mL of wine), and kept it up once a day for 4 months. We first gave her a bottle when she was a week old, and then from about 3 weeks old, she had a bottle of EBM every night. I started feeling a lot more sane and sanguine once someone else could take over that feed and I could get a bit more uninterrupted sleep. So early expressing worked well for us.

I didn't notice any problems with milk supply. At the time, I was completely ignorant of potential breastfeeding problems... it never occurred to me that anything would go wrong. This probably helped me in that I was too dumb to worry wink

As for method, I used a Medela electric pump, the mini one (not hospital grade). Spent about 30 minutes for each expressing session. Best yield was about 30-60 minutes after first feed of day... by evening virtually nothing would come out!

Good luck with expressing and congratulations on your baby!

AliGrylls Wed 01-Jul-09 11:11:48


Desperate to start expressing because I had a c-section 3 weeks ago and as I still can't drive it makes it impossible to go out on my own for longer than an hour without thinking I need to be back for baby.

Also, my husband has offered to help with the feeding when I start feeding which will help with the sleeping arrangements.

There are no problems in fact I actually love breast feeding him.

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