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Please can you tell me about expressing?

(14 Posts)
staylucky Mon 03-Aug-09 07:41:01

Hello lovelies,

I'd quite like to start regularly expressing firstly to have a bit of a stash in the freezer for (fingers crossed) a few hours off me and dh have planned soon and also would be nice if dh could give one bottle every day too.

Bubba is 5 weeks, I'm not too worried about the whole nipple confusion thang as have already given him the odd expressed bottle when I was just too sore to carry on. He's taken to it fine and hasn't put him off when back at the boob next feed.

What I can't figure out is when to express, I don't ever seem to be overflowing with milk he feeds quite often. The couple of times I've expressed I've felt like there wasn't enough left for him. I sort of get that the more I do it the more I'll produce but not sure how to start? Generally I've expressed from one breast and seem to get about 3-4oz.

Have a manual pump that I'm happy with, works quite well is just a timing issue i think?

Please could you tell me how you do this? What works for you, what time of day you express, how it affects subsequent feeds etc?

staylucky Mon 03-Aug-09 10:39:26

......or if you don't do it for a particular reason I'd like to know about it too

fishie Mon 03-Aug-09 10:52:35

i never did, too hassly and ds was very screamy in evenings for the first few months.
kellymom has comprehensive info

MrsBadger Mon 03-Aug-09 11:32:16

I didn't express routinely till I went back to work - the hassle factor was way too high to make it worth it.

I got DH to do bathtime instead while I put my feet up, then took over for the bedtime bf.

I found mornings were the best time - 9 or 10amish after dd had had her first-thing feed. I got very little each time but added up it was enough for a few nights out.

Going back to work was a different ballgame as I was expressing instead of feeds rather than as well as (iyswim), and with a double electric pump I got much more.

cathylb Mon 03-Aug-09 22:23:40

what works for me is feeding off one side and expressing off the other at the same time. I only ever manage it at the lunchtime feed and can only express off the right. You've got to be quite confident with how you're holding baby and be able to get the pump in between you and him so it's a bit tricky. If I do it any other time I only manage to get about 1 oz but if I do it whilst feeding I can get about 4 0z. hope that helps x

thisisyesterday Mon 03-Aug-09 22:26:17

i used to do it first thing in the morning.
so ds2 would have a feed, then i'd settle him down (ha!) and about 30 mins later i'd express. always got a fair amount out

scotlass Mon 03-Aug-09 22:29:14

My DS is 14wks and I have to admit I'm having a struggle with this expressing lark. The most success seems to be expressing whilst he is feeding but I only seem able to get 1-2oz. I borrowed a mini electric pump which is quite noisy but never got on with a manual one I tried with my ist DC. Day time also seems better as when I tried at night all I got was a sore boob sad.

Will watch this thread with interest.

weegiemum Mon 03-Aug-09 22:29:36

I expressed a lot with dd1 as I had a prearranged old-lady saga-style holiday with my Gran booked when I got pg - which happened sooner than I anticipated - when dd1 was 5 months old.

I used an Avent hand pump and pumped 8-12 oz morning and evening. This was form about 8 weeks old. Thus when I went on holiday i left enough for a week (literally half a gallon!) in the freezer. I also pumped and dunmped while I was away, and went on to feed her till she was a year after I got back.

I had to be pretty determined - I got up early every morning before she woke and still fed her when she got up. I also did it last thing at night before bed - about 10pm, she had fed at around 8 and by 3 months wasn't waking till midnight so my supply just built around it.

But it was worth it - I knew I was leaving her with her daddy who fed her my milk, but also would not have missed the trip with my Gran, who has since died, for the world.

LadyBee Mon 03-Aug-09 22:42:01

Hi Staylucky, I used to express early in the morning. DS would wake to feed around 4 or 5 AM, but would normally only take one side before dropping back to sleep, so I'd express just the other side. All other feedings I was offering both sides and during growth spurts etc I wouldn't express, just waited until my supply was upped by him and started again when it felt settled. I would also express any missed feeds when I left him and he took a bottle instead.

I would settle him back down, then head downstairs to express for 15 mins, thinking about the feed (which got the flow going), pour into a bag to freeze and back up to bed, took about 1/2 an hour in total.

Getting 2-3 oz is fine, TBH I only ever froze that much in each bag anyway, because then I could combine bags to get the quantity I needed rather than thaw to much and waste. I think when DS got older, my supply increased I got a max of 5-6 oz, but mostly I just got 3 oz. I never found that I ran out of frozen EBM.

I wouldn't worry too much about the timing - if you express, then end up needing to feed and don't feel that you've got enough, you can always get your expressed milk out again.

mamijacacalys Mon 03-Aug-09 22:53:07

Never expressed.

Tip from my HV was to use breast shells which I duly did.

Used to collect 4-5oz per day.

Had a bm 'freezer bag' in the fridge which I used to top up as the day went on. Used to put the filled bag into the freezer at the end of each day.

Once I got into the routine of remembering to empty the shells regularly (particularly after a feed!) and avoiding leaning forward too much (resulting in overspill from shells and wet patch on t-shirt!), worked out fine.

HTH and happy feeding smile

GruffaloMama Tue 04-Aug-09 11:17:08

God - I think you're all heroes. Weegiemum - that's amazing - I don't think I've expressed that much in total... I didn't start expressing 'til DS was about 12 weeks - I just didn't seem to have the time between feeds and could never manage the "feed from one side and simultaneously expressing from the other" thing. I found I used to get most when DS dropped a feed - my boobs hadn't realised and I could express better then.

I wouldn't worry about the 'not feeling like you've got enough left' thing. Your little man will tell you if he's still hungry (not sure if you're feeding from both boobs or not). And like ladybee says, if you leave it in the fridge until after the next feed you could always top up if he's hollering for more. If he doesn't need it you can then stick it in the freezer.

staylucky Tue 04-Aug-09 21:28:13

Oh thankyou for your replies

Fishie cheers the kellymom website has loads of info on there am scanning while I have 5 minutes.

I may have to leave this a couple more weeks am just having the worst time at the minute and not sure can cope with worrying about whether DH got to feed him or not

I'm starting to crack up with this a bit I think. Today I fed at:

4am for an hour

8am-11am Feeding, him falling asleep for 3 minutes then feeding again, switched boob about 6 times and just felt totally empty.

1pm-4pm As above, really sore

5pm-6.30 Trying my goddam hardest to tell myself he would def fall asleep for a good stretch soon and I could regroup!

7pm In utter desperation broke my 1 spare reserve of 4oz out the freezer. He looked like he was gonna pop and did the most unearthly burp i've ever heard

8pm Needed one last 5 minutes to settle then fell into a milk coma

9.20pm I'm sat at the kitchen table trying to express, who the hell am I kidding??!!! hmm

My mum has again told me 'theres no shame in giving em a bottle you know'. I'm not even mad about it cause i'm starting to think she's right and that i'm pretty crap at this.I've no idea how long he should be spending at each side or whether he's even drinking half the time I don't get those afterpains or any indication that theres milk flowing.

What a moaning cow I need to go find some positivity lol x

He's putting on loads of weight, he's healthy but I feel like a 10th of the woman I used to be and have largely ignored my 5 year daughter for the last 3 weeks.

LadyBee Tue 04-Aug-09 22:01:04

oh staylucky, those are long sessions, it's so hard when they happen, and I'd definitely not bother with expressing when you're going through them. So your baby is about 5/6 weeks? As far as I remember that was a huge growth spurt for us, and it does just mean sitting down, feeding lots and forgetting about most of everything else, but I didn't have another DC to pay attention to. It will pass, it just takes a bit of time for your body to catch up. Make sure you're taking time to drink plenty & eat well. And absolutely don't worry whether DH gets to give a bottle - I don't think expressing should be about that, it should be about your convenience, there are so many other ways DH can bond with baby.

fourlittlefeet Tue 04-Aug-09 22:07:09

I second what everyone here has said and am on number two, now 6 months old and haven't got out the pump yet. Its hard enough looking after them without pumping too.

All that stuff about your job just being to feed the baby, and everyone else can do everything else should be the way forward. Also agree that you need to eat and drink loads of water and get rest too. If I'm stressed or forget to eat, it affects my milk. Definitely try and do one of those baby days where you and bub go to bed with lots of novels/magazines (and muslins) and let the world go on around you.

DH can do bath, baby massage, baby wardrobe, washing, cook lovely food for you and write the thank you cards grin.

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