Advanced search

When to start expressing?

(17 Posts)
Longtalljosie Sun 30-Aug-09 18:54:03

My DD is just over a week old and so far (touch wood), BF is going well.

In a perfect world, eventually I'd like her to have an expressed feed just as my DH comes to bed around 11-midnight, rather than him coming to bed and waking me for that feed. DD is a bit of an overnight cluster-feeder, and it would mean I'd get a slightly longer block of sleep.

That said - I don't want to do anything to compromise bf-ing at this very early stage. Or, indeed, leave it too late either... any suggestions? I won't mind in the least if I'm told to leave it for several weeks, just want to get my timing right...

whomovedmychocolate Sun 30-Aug-09 19:21:43

Hang on...she's a week old? Umm well congratulations first of all but please be assured whatever happens for the next few weeks will change. It's unlikely your DD will sleep for more than four hour blocks regardless of what you feed her for quite a while, but in answer to your question, it takes about six to eight weeks for supply to get onto an even keel and that's a good time if you want to start expressing. However expressing earlier won't compromise your supply but you may get oversupply and lots of leaking - but whether you express or not your body produces as much as is taken out - so if you express you'll make more, but if you don't, as long as you offer the breast often, your daughter will have plenty

Longtalljosie Sun 30-Aug-09 20:17:31

Thank you, that's very helpful.

I thought I'd made clear in my OP I wasn't looking to actually do anything different at the moment, just wanted the information at this stage. Obviously I didn't phrase it well enough... I'm well aware things will change, honestly. But I'd hoped to be able to ask for information without being made to feel foolish.

fishie Sun 30-Aug-09 20:27:13

josie, congrulations on your baby. here kellymom is more than you probably wanted to know!

i never did any expressing myself, had supply problems in early days and could never get much out. also arsing around with bottles is a pest.

fishie Sun 30-Aug-09 20:29:02

oops. on the arrival of your baby.

(also it is possible that she might scream for the next six weeks but i hope not)

thisisyesterday Sun 30-Aug-09 20:38:29

longtalljosie, don't think that whomovedmychocolate meant to make you feel foolish, i think she was just saying that in the next couple of weeks your DD may well change and possibly stop the cluster-feeding anyway and so you would maybe be getting more sleep naturally without the need for introducing a bottle.

IME with 2 very nocturnal babies who wanted to feed a lot at n ight, giving a bottle didn't help at all! just wanted to warn you that even if you do decide to express it may not chnge anything, these babies do tend to have their own agendas lol

anyway, that aside, i agree with WMMC that you're best of waiting til baby is about 6-8 weeks old before starting expressing.

whomovedmychocolate Sun 30-Aug-09 20:40:37

Certainly didn't - sorry. Was busy juggling a 13 month old who still doesn't sleep and typing with one hand blush

Longtalljosie Sun 30-Aug-09 20:44:19

Thank you. I hadn't thought very much about this until today (had it labelled as a "much later" aspiration) but then was looking through some older MN threads on expressing (out of interest), and found several people saying they thought they"d left it too late - which started me thinking if there was a "too late", it would be as well to know what it was...

whomovedmychocolate Sun 30-Aug-09 20:46:02

It's never too late if you ask me. My first go at expressing was when my second child was born (I was still feeding the first) and I had to have surgery. So that would have been oooh two and a bit years in!

thisisyesterday Sun 30-Aug-09 20:47:02

i think it's a how long is a piece of string thing tbh!
ds1 happily took a bottle every now and then from around 10 weeks onwards.
ds2 wouldn't even entertain the idea and pointblank refused any bottle /cup until he was around 10 months old.

all depends on the baby rather than the timescale i would say. although obvoikusly a baby given a bottle from day one will take it as they don't know any difference

Longtalljosie Sun 30-Aug-09 20:54:45

True... WMMC sorry if I was too quick to take offence, I was obviously seeing something that wasn't there.

daisyj Sun 30-Aug-09 20:54:46

I first expressed around 4-5 weeks, as I wanted to go out for an afternoon when DD was six weeks old (and then every now and again for the odd evening, etc). She loved the bottle (gosh, so much milk so quickly grin) and it felt like the right timing for us, but I guess that might seem quite early to some...

ilovemydogandmrobama Sun 30-Aug-09 20:58:27

I waited too long with DD to start expressing -- think it was about 5 months. Didn't work. I don't know why.

Started expressing around 8 - 9 weeks with DS, and managed loads.

One thing that helped me, and I have absolutely nothing to back it up, is that if I sat properly, and not slouched, it made a massive difference as far as quantity.

whomovedmychocolate Sun 30-Aug-09 21:01:01

LongtallJosie - frankly I'm stunned you are awake enough to post sensible questions, I was a blithering mess for at least four months with my first child! wink

Longtalljosie Sun 30-Aug-09 21:04:01


nannynz Sun 30-Aug-09 21:36:02

I'm a maternity nurse and have done a variety of expressing times in conjunction with mothers.

With the Mum's that have expressed we usually have introduced bottle between 3-6 weeks. Depending on the mother the expressing has started from about 2 weeks - depending on milk supply. I usually suggest to express after the first two feeds in the morning. Then depending on baby EBM given after a BF in early evening(say 7pmish), then maybe a full expressed feed at the next feed OR again EBM given after a BF at second evening feed. Usually during the first eight weeks I try to make sure there is not a longer gap than of six hours between the mother BFing/expressing.

It totally has being dependent on the mothers I work with and the babies.

moosemama Sun 30-Aug-09 22:31:23


I have followed the same process with all my dcs ds1 (now 7), ds2 (now 5) and dd 7 months.

I started expressing at around 4 weeks. All mine fed from only one side a feed and I found it best to express from the other side after they had had their first feed of the morning.

DH then gave them (and in fact still gives dd) their last feed of the night as a bottle of ebm, enabling me to go to bed early and get a few good hours sleep in before I needed to do any night feeding.

This also meant that I was able to express off the feed they would have taken before going to bed and pop it in the freezer.

I was told by my first midwife waaaay back that most babies tend to accept a bottle more readily if its introduced before 6 weeks and it certainly worked for all three of mine.

Obviously I am not making good use of my early night opportunity tonight. Which wouldn't normally be a problem as dd no longer has any night feeds, but is probably very silly of me as both dss currently have swine flu and have had both dh and myself up several times a night for the past few days.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: