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Expressing questions

(14 Posts)
nimsy Mon 17-Aug-09 15:34:41

DS is a now a week old. Have established bf with not too many problems but I would like DH to do a top up feed at night time as DS tends to cluster feed in the evenings and be really crabby between 10pm and 1am if not feeding and it is exhausting me. I also want to start getting used to expressing asap as going back to work when he is 5 months
How much should we give. I expressed this morning and managed 1 1/2 oz. Is this just enough for a top up feed. I presume that the bigger he gets and the more I express the larger the amount I will be able to express.
Have read that you should express at the same time as the missed feed but this seems a little pointless if the whole reason for me expressing is to get some rest.
Also - what teats should we use - is slow flow best?

guineamango Mon 17-Aug-09 18:08:42

Not sure on amounts, but I'd say for a week old 1-2 oz top up should be ok to start with. You can always add more if he wakes/isn't satisfied.
I used to express in the morning as well, that seemed to be when I had the most amount of spare milk! As I got better at it, I'd pump after a feed if I needed to make up more milk for the bedtime bottle or dream feed. Slow flow best for now.
Do what feels right for you though, everyone has different ideas! Congratulations on your new baby

nimsy Mon 17-Aug-09 21:31:17

Thanks guineamango. He is gorgeous but tiring and its going to be more difficult once dh is back at work next week. I guess the thing is to persevere. We're going to try the bottle for the first time tonight...

guineamango Tue 18-Aug-09 16:28:04

Hey how did you get on with that bottle? It is all very tiring at first. Try not to do too much and just concentrate on yourself and feeding the baby and eating well yourself! That's your job now. If it means you sit all day breast feeding then that's what you have to do! It does get soo much easier and well worth all the extra effort.
If you haven't already got one invest in a copy of The Baby Whisperer, Tracy Hogg. Fantastic book got me through the early days with a newborn

HeadFairy Tue 18-Aug-09 16:39:41

I expressed lots from about two weeks onwards with ds. I used to express in the mornings as my milk supply was more plentiful, so after each morning feed (usually around 5am, 9am, midday) and the more I did the more milk I got out, only an ounce or so at first, which I thought was pathetic, but which impressed the HV immensely! Eventually at those three sessions I was getting 4-5 oz each session. What I didn't use that day I froze to build up my store of bm for emergencies.

I wouldn't express in the evening, the whole point is to give yourself a rest. If you're expressing to give a top up feed, you won't in theory miss a feed will you or am I reading your op wrong? I used the top up really to get me through the hardest bits of cluster feeding from 2 weeks to 8 weeks, by which time ds settled down a bit. After that I carried on expressing and used the milk I didn't freeze as a top up after his 6pm feed. Ds would then go through to 11pm when I'd give him a dream feed, followed by his 5am feed (that was after about 8 weeks I think)

I would be wary of missing too much of the cluster feeding at this stage though, you're still very much in the early stages of bfing, and your supply isn't fully settled yet, so tiring as it is, you may want to keep with it for a bit longer until your supply is more settled. If your ds is losing weight or frantic then perhaps use the top up, but try to bear with it for a bit longer IMO.

logrrl Tue 18-Aug-09 19:52:25

I have no advice at all about expressing as I've never done it-DS is now 20 weeks! Always sounded like FAR too much like hard work when being a new Mum is hard enough already for me... However, I would like to second HeadFairy sentiment about hanging on in there a while longer! I sympathise with how difficult it can feel in the first weeks, in a way that no one can prepare you for, especially with all that cluster feeding, and to reassure you that it's normal and will get better and you will adapt to it all. Baby will too!

nimsy Wed 19-Aug-09 06:39:05

Ds had his first bottle yesterday given by dh. I wasn't in the room but all it needed was some gentle encouragement with a finger first. And he has been back on the breast fine since then, which is great.

Tried expressing yesterday evening and didn't get anywhere so will stick to mornings.

Midwife came yesterday (day 9) to reweigh and ds hasn't gained anything in 4 and is sill 300g less than birthweight. Also poos are still green. She left me feeling really inadequate for not being discharged to hv. Her advice was to feed 3 hourly - which I have been doing already except at night when he sleeps for a 4 hr stretch. They are going to reweigh on Thursday.

I don't think I can do much more than I already am so guess I will persevere with expressing and topping up for evenings and see what happens.

Thanks for the advice & support. I am getting baby whisperer today!

HeadFairy Wed 19-Aug-09 09:07:22

Don't get too hung up on weight gain in these early days... I was obssessed with it, I really freaked out as ds went from 7lb7 at birth to 6lb10 two weeks later and stayed like that for ages. I was beside myself, which is why I was advised to express and top up with spoon feeding or cup feeding (I got a little syringe thing from Medela which has a little cup like thing at the bottom) and I got in a real twist. I wish I'd been a bit calmer, because eventually he did put on the weight, slowly he crept up the centiles and now he's a robust, boisterous 23 month old. His weight loss wasn't even that much in the grand scheme of things, and I do think I ruined my early weeks with him fretting unnecessarily. I'd keep demand feeding, every three hours as your hv said if he hasn't asked for some sooner... if you'd like to top up, use it to supplement rather than replace a feed. Things will settle down soon.

logrrl Wed 19-Aug-09 11:40:06

nimsy do NOT follow baby whisperer with regards to breastfeeding-for sleep it's great but it's TERRIBLE for BF, really TERRIBLE. There are other older posts on this board that discuss this. My DS took two weeks to regain his birth weight and has always been small. I was a very very anxious new Mum and also turned to the BW. I can safely say it set us back weeks and weeks and probably actively prevented DS from feeding more/gaining weight and prevented me from enjoying him as I tried to stick to the bloody schedules sad. It spouts lots of nonsense (actively against "on demand") ....took me many awful anxious weeks and an agitated baby to realise what rubbish this was and to go back to "on demand", i.e. baby cries then feed it/let it suck for comfort. MN advice to feed feed feed your little baby, maybe to the exclusion of everything else for a week or two, will work much better than a book.

guineamango Wed 19-Aug-09 12:44:32

Really logrrl?? I don't remember that part about not demand feeding at all. Are you sure it's the same book? I'm almost certain book actively encourages demand feeding! Anywho advice to nimsy - again do what feels right for you and your baby. Don't feel bad about slow weight gain you are doing a great job hang in there and continue with the BF.

logrrl Wed 19-Aug-09 15:15:20

in "the baby whisperer solves all your problems" chapter on BF talks about schedules, feeding every 3 hours etc...I don't know about the first BW book though.

mears Wed 19-Aug-09 15:22:39

The Baby Whisperer is a disataer book for establishing breastfeeding.

Nimsy - your baby needs to get really efficient at breastfeeding before you start introducing teats. It can take at least 3 weeks for some babies to regain their birth weight and some babies need to feed more frequently that 3 hourly to stimulate good milk production.

At this stage you don't want to limit how often your baby feeds. It is vitally important that yourt baby is positioned well at the breast and swallowing with each suck. Are your nipples OK?

Your baby is only 1 week old - cluster feeding is normal and will not last for ever. Your baby will get more milk out when feeding than you will expressing. At this stage expressing can be quite sould destroting. I would leave it for another couple of weeks. Have you tried lying and feeding in bed so you can sleep at the same time?

mears Wed 19-Aug-09 15:25:06

Meant to add that some women naturally produce vast quantities of milk with not much effort, therefore the recommendations in the baby whisperer book will do no harm. Some women need much more stimulus to get breastfeeding established. You don't know with your first baby what amount of stimulus you need and if it is the latter, the BW book is the kiss of breastfeeding death.

muddleduck Wed 19-Aug-09 15:36:43

Agree with the other posters.

IMO BW is fantastic on sleep and her ideas about having a structured routine but not a schedule worked fantastically well for my dc. But she does talk a load of nonsense about BF.

IME expressing is something that works really well for some mums, especially those for whom BF has been easy (including me). But it can be tricky and depressing for others.

SOunds like you're doing sensible things to just try it out and see how it goes.

FWIW I found it really hard to express much while the dss were tiny and still feeding very regularly 24/7. But once they were a bit bigger I would express first thing in the morning - one side for the baby, one side for the freezer.

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