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Impact on long term expressing on breasts?

(6 Posts)
mrsjuan Sat 15-Aug-09 22:35:55

Well my darling daughter has decided that she infinitely prefers a bottle to me and we are heading down the slippery slope of mixed feeding. The lovely breastfeeding people have leant me a super duper medela symphony pump and I am expressing as much as reasonably possible (about 4 or 5 times a day) to make as much of her milk as possible whilst trying to maintain my supply at a reasonable level in case she decides that she wants to return to breastfeeding properly at some point ( I am still offering her the breast, doing lots of skin to skin etc. but not pushing too hard as she just seems to get stressed out!)

My worry now is that all that expressing can;t be great for the delicate breast tissue and although it doesn't hurt as such it is not exactly the most natural thing. I am wondering if I am damaging myself trying so hard to do the best for my PFB and that this will jeopardize my chances of successfully feeding subsequent DCs.

Is anyone aware of any research on this?

ahola Sat 15-Aug-09 22:39:49

I thought that expressers mimicked the way babies suckle, so the impact would be the same as a baby...
I have a medela swing and an avent handpump- the medela is much more gentle, though I get less out with it than the avent.

BaconAndEggs Sat 15-Aug-09 22:47:39

I hope not because I expressed for a couple of months several times a day!
Just wanted to say that you are doing really well, and there is a good chance that your dd may go back to the breast with lots of skin to skin etc, offering without pushing. My dd went back to the breast after only bottles for 6 weeks. It was hard but worth it.
Do you have the support of a good bfc locally? They may be able to help you; the longer she just bottle feeds for the harder it will be to get her back on the breast, though of course still possible.

terramum Sat 15-Aug-09 22:55:01

I expressed exclusively for 6 weeks to DS and then went on to fully breastfeed (although it took me a while to completely lose the expressing habit and trust the process iykwim) until he was 4 years old. Didn't notice anything untoward about how my boobs worked wink. I think as long as you are careful with pumps and stop or adjust if it hurts then there shouldn't be a problem.

....saying that...would learning to hand express be something worth looking into if you are after something more gentle? Might be worth contacting a BFC with one of the major organisations or a lactation consultant?

moanyhole Sat 15-Aug-09 23:09:37

i exclusively expressed for 19 months with DS and am happily exclusively breastfeeding dd (6months)not a bother.

Jenster74 Sun 16-Aug-09 11:14:03

HI mrsjuan

This has been happening for the last few weeks too.. it started when she was about 14 weeks and she will only feed lying down in bed with me so mornings are ok and nightfeeds but out and about just doesn't happen or at home anywhere else( even if my 3 year old is out of the house) ..DD2 is 18 weeks on Tuesday and am still managing to feed the way she likes but have also gone down the slippery slope of formula and like you have been trying to express so that she goes back to breastfeeding although i am worried that i don't have the time to express all through the day and am skipping feeds through the day and noticing that the supply is going down...

the doc said it was fine to express so i think it should be fine( i also have a medela pump)..i wondered have you managed to maintain your supply doing this and how long are you going to keep expressing as it isn't always practical for me and am tempted to just drop those feeds and go to formula !

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