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Expressing - in preparation for going back to work. Plan needed

(33 Posts)
popsycal Sun 22-May-05 11:55:49

ds2 is 11 weeks and exclusively breastfed. I fully intended to express early on to get him used to a bottle for when i return to work but only got 5oz (in freezer) before thrush set in, went briefly then returned. Also, because he feeds so frequently, there never seemed to be the time to sterilise when I had enough milk left. I dud try expressing while feeding but found it very tricky when trying to supervise my two year old at the same time.

Fingers crossed, the thrush seems to be almosr clear in both of us now and my one week return to work before the summer holidays is looming. I am conscious that I need to a) get into a routine of exoressing b) get ds2 used to the bottle c) bulid up a supply in the freezer for the one week in mid july. Will worry about September and my proper return to work later.

Does anyone have any thoughts/advice eyc to help get me going>


popsycal Sun 22-May-05 13:18:21

bumpety bump

pixiefish Sun 22-May-05 13:19:52

i was always full to bursting first thing in the morning. can you have some help in the morning so that you can express then?

dinosaur Sun 22-May-05 13:22:47

Popsycal, I only expressed during the day for about six weeks after returning to work, but fwiw what I did was start expressing from one boob (the one he hadn't fed from that morning) while DS3 was having his morning nap.

I found sterilising the pump and stuff the night before was the only way to do it efficiently.

When I did go back to work, I was able to express 10 ounces during the day at first. However I did not really keep it up by expressing enough - I only expressed once in the day which a lot of people said was not enough. But I had to do it in horrid dirty toilets at work and frankly the thought of doing it more often was just more than I could take.


popsycal Sun 22-May-05 13:40:54

thanks pixie and dinosaur

to be honest i think i am going to find ot very very difficult to express at work.....I am not going to have my own classroom for the first half term from september and there is not a free room in the whole building to do it!! I guess i would be in the toilets too! I also don't know where I am going to find the time
sh*t getting upset thinking about it
just feel that I have come such a long way with feeding ds2 and have banished all my old demons of giving up earlier than i really wanted to
don't want this to go wrong

maybe i shouldnt click 'post'

SenoraPostrophe Sun 22-May-05 13:58:57

popsy - what sort of pump do you have?

If you have an electric pump you can express from one boob while he's feeding from the other. A bit of a faff, but less faff than trying to get him to go for long enough between feeds to allow you to have a good supply for expressing. Remember that he can still get milk from you when the pump can't because he is better at sucking (you probably know that).

Also you obviously are worrying about September now even though you said you wouldn't, but remember that by then he could be on just 2 or 3 feeds a day - ds at that age was on 3 - morning, night and about 4pm after his nap which would possibly fit into your school hours anyway wouldn't it?

popsycal Sun 22-May-05 14:02:08

i have a medela mini electric which i find quite good. at the moment though, he feeds around 5am then wakes at about 7:30 so I often dont feel very 'full'

i will try from tomorrow
will get pump sterilised tonight and leave it in the steriliser for the morning (that is ok isnt it?)
MUST introduce bottle soon or it may be too late (if it isnt already)

thanks girls

SenoraPostrophe Sun 22-May-05 14:08:49

yes, ok to sterilise pump and leave it in the steriliser.

I'm pretty sure I remember reading that if you are expressing for your own baby (as opposed to someone else's) you don't have to worry too much about sterilisation at all - you need to make sure all the nasties are killed, but the things don't have to be 100% sterile when you use them. After all - your boobs aren't sterile are they?

ds used to do that too by the way (well, he fed at 12, 3, 5 and then woke at 7.30) hard work isn't it?

if he only wakes once a night he'll probably sleep through sooon though. Could you try only feeding him from one boob at 5?

popsycal Sun 22-May-05 14:10:20

we have 11pm, 1am 5am then 7:30
or a variation on that theme

popsycal Sun 22-May-05 14:12:14

just found this
hands free expressing

pixiefish Sun 22-May-05 14:16:11

popsy- is there a medical room or something that you can use. work are legally obliged to find you a suitable comfertable room (I know you don't want to make a fuss but do ask if there's somewhere you can use - you may well have to usurp the head )

Please don't worry too much about it. Even if you don't manage the expressing from september you can still feed him morning and evening. You'll also be surprised at how much he changes between now an dthen.

as for steriliasing the pump- i never bothered. i washed and rinsed in boiling hot water or put it in the dishwasher. also you don't have to wash in between every expressing session so long as you keep it cool. obviously i wasn't a dirty slapper who never washed the pump but i used to wash it every few hours when i was trying to get sorted in the beginning

SenoraPostrophe Sun 22-May-05 14:16:51

fantastic. wish I'd found that when ds was little!

By the way I left it too late with him and he never did take a bottle, stubborn thing that he is. But it wasn't the end of the world. he used to slurp about 2 ounzes here and there (childminder just removed the teat and poured it in) and then have a huge feed when I finished work. I was p/t, but perhaps that was part of the problem.

popsycal Sun 22-May-05 14:25:36

the medical room is now a secretary's office

florenceuk Sun 22-May-05 16:50:46

Well, my DD didn't have a bottle until six months and she is actually fine with it - so maybe you'll be lucky as well?

Anyway, what I did when I was moving DD onto a bottle was to give one formula feed of about 4ozs, finished her off on the boob, and then expressed off another few ozs. I gave that feed the next day topped up with boob and so on. I did this enough times to figure out that DD loved milk and didn't mind where it came from. Now what I do is express at work - usually get about 10oz over two sessions. DD has 2 feeds a day, so I top up with formula (can't believe she actually gets the equivalent of 2 full bottle from me but that's what she drinks when I'm not there).

This won't work if you are anti-formula, but after six months, I was pretty relaxed because I was introducing food as well (not that DD actually eats anything - grr).

popsycal Sun 22-May-05 16:53:21

thanks florence that is really helpful
at 6 months i dont suppose i will be as bothered about giving formula due to solids being introduced etc

but i am a little worried aout the week in mid july

mears Sun 22-May-05 17:07:35

popsycal - please do have a go at hand expressing. It is so much quicker and means you have no equipment to sterilise. Once you get the knack you will be amazed. I expressed for a SCBU baby while exclusively breastfeeding. I found it easier to express in between feeds any time that I had. Sometimes it would just be 1 or 2 oz at a time. It soon mounts up. I kept it in the fridge and then would freeze it when I had about 4 oz. Do not make the mistake of thinking you have to express a full feed in one go.

I have put on a link describing hand expressing
Take time to read it because it is not as complicated as it looks and it will give you freedom to express any time, any where.

Link you I did not have a place to go when I returned to work. I would just seek out somewhere that I could close the door for 10-15 mins. HTH.

mears Sun 22-May-05 17:08:27

By the way, don't worry if you express then babe decides he wants a feed. Your breasts are never empty and he will still get what he needs.

popsycal Sun 22-May-05 17:22:31

thanks mears
hand expressng had crossed my mind
i used to hand express a little bit in the early days when engorgement set in and found it easy
will have a look at your link and have a go tonight
thanks everyone
really appreciate it

chipmonkey Mon 23-May-05 10:30:31

Popsycal, I found a funnel for hand-expressing at Haven't used one myself but it looks like a good idea to be able to express straight into a bottle. Sorry tried to do a link but it didn't work!

dinosaur Mon 23-May-05 10:43:14

Good luck popsycal. I really found with expressing that it was nigh on impossible at first, but if I tried to do it regularly (not every single day, but 3-4 times a week) it did get an awful lot easier. Also the great thing is that once you build up a little bit of a supply of frozen milk, then you can give DS2 a bottle of expressed milk and then immediately express from a full boob (iyswim) which ime tended to work quite well as I seemed to produce loads then.

Prettybird Mon 23-May-05 10:47:16

Agree with Mears (of course ) about the fact that baby will get milk even if you have just finsihed expressing.

However, another time to think about expressing is when/if your baby drops the late eveinng feed (with ds, it used to be about c. 10/11 pm - and he then slept through from 8pm to 6.30 am - I was very lucky!) - just keep the "feed" going as an express rather than the baby. I found it a very good time to mainitain my freezer stock.

popsycal Mon 23-May-05 14:29:41

will have a look at that funnel

what was I express into if i was expressing by hand?
just a sterislied bottle?

chipmonkey Mon 23-May-05 14:43:45

I'd imagine that it would be difficult to express into a bottle unless you had very good aim!. Most info I've seen shows women expressing into bowls/plastic containers. I think they would have to be sterilised one way or the other.

popsycal Mon 23-May-05 14:48:14

good point

that funnel thingy looks good....think i will have a try at hand expressing first and see what happens....

thanks again folks!
I really want this to work out

mears Tue 24-May-05 16:01:50

I always expressed directly into sterilised wide neck bottles or Boots EBM storage bottles. It is easier to aim than you think

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