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How much milk should I be expresing for a newborn?

(5 Posts)
charlieg22 Sat 31-Oct-09 11:57:27

Our 2 day old baby boy still won't latch on and as I am producing milk we are trying to keep up with demand by expressing and feeding him from a cup as the hospital recommended. Can anyone please advise how much we shouod be aiming to give him per feed (at the mo every 3-4 hrs)what the hospital suggested and what we have read elsewhere seem vastly different and the signs are that he is always hungry (he is a big 9lb 1oz lad). Also is the cup the best way to do this? I am worried it will make his lips sore & wondered if a pipette would be better?
Thanks - we are going slightly mad and really want to try & stick with breast milk but just not sure I can keep up with demand?

foxytocin Sat 31-Oct-09 12:04:24

3 to 4 hours is not frequent enough to feed your baby by any method. sorry. your hospital has not given you very good advice. sad

have you been given any information about unlimited skin to skin contact in order to give him maximum opportunities to find the breast on his own?

what was his birth like? is he getting any formula?

at this time the birth weight has little or nothing to how often they need to feed. all newborns need to feeding at least every 2 to 3 hrs.

Gracie123 Sat 31-Oct-09 12:04:57

You have a healthy sized baby, so the books may not be taking that into account?

I think it's important to remember that all babies are different and only he can tel you when he is hungry or not.

I expressed everything I could, every time he fed, then gave it him at next feed. Anything he didn't drink, I froze. BM freezes for 6 months, and my doula told me can be kept frozen for 1 year, so it is well worth doing. When I wanted to give up breast feeding (6 months in) I continued to bottle feed him with milk from the freezer, and expressed milk until he was 10 mo. At 10mo I stopped expressing, but continued to feed him milk from freezer until it ran out at 14mo.
It was wonderful to have the freedom of bottle feeding in those later months, but know that he was still recieving nutritious breastmilk.

If you are going to do this, buy some bags and remember to label them with the date, that way you make sure you use the oldest milk first. You can use ice cube trays to freeze cubes and put them into the bags, then just grab a couple of cubes to stick in the bottle and defrost.

Good luck, and remember you are doing an amazing thing for your little one.

Grendle Sat 31-Oct-09 12:09:08

Congratulations smile

At 2 days old you are most likely just producing colostrum (yellowy colour, quite thick and sticky), which is needed in very small amounts, but frequently. 2hrly by day is probably better than 3. Hand expressing is often more successful at this stage than pumping, as the volumes are small so you waste less that way. Cup feeding is fine. Try not tip tip it in, but allow him to lap it with his tongue like a cat.

As your milk 'comes in' and changes to a higher volume, more watery whiter colour milk then the amount he'll need will gradually increase. When this happens you may start to feel quite full.

Try looking at this site for helpful videos of cup feeding and getting newborns feeding.

Are you also trying to get him feeding directly from you? Spending loads of time skin-to-skin cuddling can really help, maybe leaning back in bed propped up on pillows with him on your chest. No pressure to feed, unless he chooses to.

What sort of birth did you have? Have you got any support with breastfeeding locally? You could try rining the helplines, the National Breastfeeding Helpline is 0300 100 0212.

Gracie123 Sat 31-Oct-09 13:59:29

Just to let you know, the hospital may not be wrong. My son was 8.15lb and I fed him 3 - 4 hourly from birth. He gained a pound a week until he was 22lb!!
I really think it depends a lot on you baby. Just keep offering it to him and having lots of skin to skin contact.
I hope it goes well. Let us know how you do.

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