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EBM - how many months can you do it for?

(20 Posts)
kindmuis Sun 24-Jul-05 08:31:35

Unfortunately my boy has never been able to latch on and I have been feeding him EBM for 13 weeks now.
I would like to know how long other mums have been able to express for. Did you find you had to encourage production every now and then when baby demanded more? What tips does anyone have?

Bellie Sun 24-Jul-05 08:36:49

no advice kindmuis - but congratulations for getting this far - I had exactly the same problem with dd, but i only managed 8 weeks before i was only getting 2 oz per expressing session.

mimimermaid Sun 24-Jul-05 08:46:20

My son had tounge tie and was unable to latch on so I expressed for neally a year with no problems at all. I used an electric pump that I hired from the nct it was really fast as i could express from both sides at once. Have you seen a breastfeeding councillor?

kindmuis Sun 24-Jul-05 10:03:15

How often and how long did you express at a time? I have heard of some people training their boobs to only express 3 times a day. I've got an Ameda Lactoline Double pump that works well.
I've been to a breast feeding clinic x 5 times and got a lady from la Leche league to help but it seems he doesn't stick his tongue out far enough to really pull the nipple towards the back of his mouth.

berolina Sun 24-Jul-05 12:31:09

kindmuis, I know that throckenholt and fastasleep expressed exclusively for months - it might be worth keeping a lookout for them.

kindmuis Sun 24-Jul-05 13:40:05

Thanks Bellie - I am starting to think that expressing more often really does improve supply.

kindmuis Sun 24-Jul-05 13:40:39

Berolina - thanks just had a look at the comments from the two and foudn some good stuff!

NotQuiteCockney Sun 24-Jul-05 14:53:36

kindmuis, it's certainly easier to bf directly, if you can manage it. Do you still give him a chance to try?

And is there any chance he's got tongue-tie, if he doesn't push his tongue out far enough?

fastasleep Sun 24-Jul-05 15:05:52

Hiya I went for 9.5 months, The trick is to express at regular intervals, quite often, for at least ten minutes per breast... when demand goes up and stress goes up it is incredibly hard and brought me to tears on many occasions...

The best ways of upping supply are pumping at least once in the night (it's a hormone thing), getting a double pumper and doing both at once (if you can ever get that to work you can pump for twice as long in the same ammount of time iyswim) medela and a few other companies do some good double pumps... taking natural supply increasers such as fenugreek tablets or eating lots of oats can help too..

Try to stay relaxed, stress is the worst breastmilk killer... I found once I got into a routine and my fridge was nicely stocked (we're talking months here!) and I was exhausted lol I could slowly cut down the ammount of times I expressed, although I did up the time I expressed for, and I did it very slowly, as soon as my supply went down I upped the ammount of times I did it again... by the time I stopped I was doing it twice/three times a day for longish periods and he had enough to satisfy him but I was going crazy, and TTC... HTH sorry it was a saga!

fastasleep Sun 24-Jul-05 15:08:31

If you have any probs ever and you think talking to a mad lady who masochistically expressed for an age might help feel free to CAT me....

fastasleep Sun 24-Jul-05 15:09:26

I can't type today either... amount!!! How many times can I type it wrongly!!

kindmuis Sun 24-Jul-05 17:25:56

NotQuiteCockney, I do pop him on occasionally but as I said he only takes the nipple to the hard pallet which is that pinching feeling - ouch! Not sure if he has tongue-tie. He is also such a wriggler - once you get him latched on he pulls himself off. I had lots of tears for the first 7 weeks!

kindmuis Sun 24-Jul-05 17:34:32


Thanks you have been recommended! Glad to hear you were able to go so long. I was thinking of definately keep it up until he finished all his immunisations - ie. 6 months at least. I have started to express regularly for the last 3 days or so (in between having guests) and it has helped. How long do you express on a 'normal' session? Is 30 min enough? I am pumping at about 4am in the morning for at least 45min and then again at 6.30am. I've got the double pumper so that is helping time wise. I have started taking fenugreek tabs. What about Fennel tea - do you find it helps aswell? Funny, when you have enough of a supply for at least 2 feeds, you produce more than when you know you have only half a feed for the next one! Can you remember how you increased the amount to give them? Did you up it every week or every 2 weeks? The HV said give 10ml more and see if they take it. Well, my boy is like a dog (hubby's words) he will eat and eat and just have NEVER refused his food or the bottle when he had enough.
Was it difficult to get the milk to eventually dry up or did you suffer with sore boobs?

fastasleep Sun 24-Jul-05 21:09:21

I didn't dry up, I did get sore boobs on and off.. I never tried fennel tea, although eating it did help, so keep it up unless it's vomitus

My DS, unfortunately not like yours! Has never been into food to the point of taking everything offered lol so if he seemed hungry I just gave him another half bottle, I must say though I stored and fed DS my milk in 100ml amounts so there was as little wastage as possible... I hope yours doesn't guzzle you out of house and home if you try the give him what he'll take approach though, as long as his weight is rising in a nice steady curve then he's fine - it's probably best to keep an eye on the weight, if only for your sanity!

I'd say optimum pumping time is 20 minutes for each breast, obviously if both at once then that's only 20 minutes... the longer you do it though the more stimulated they will be... and the more you cut down on the amount of times a day you pump the more time you should add on, I'd add on 10 minutes per breast for every pump you drop (when you feel comfortable enough to drop pumps that is, which may not happen for some time!)

Your night thing sounds perfect, you're doing brilliantly, you will make it to 6 months you're being so brill even putting yourself through this for him, if you ever find it too much and really feel like you have to give up, don't feel guilty... most mums never even try this, and for good bloomin reason!

fastasleep Sun 24-Jul-05 21:13:30

I should add! That although my milk never stopped lol I did get pregnant the very second I stopped pumping, so my poor boobs never got chance to recover..

The best way to stop is to gradually drop the amount of time you pump, then the amount of pumping sessions and then stop... don't go cold turkey, you shouldn't get mastitis that way...

(Think that's about it!)

kindmuis Sun 24-Jul-05 21:37:15

Thanks for the info. You are such help if anything just to keep me going! yeah, can understand why some moms don't try it and I don't recommend it to all mums.
Can you remember how much you use to get out? I'm just about hitting 900ml and feeding about 130ml at a time. He is still on 3 hourly feeds but today tried a 4 hour inbetween and he took an amaizing 180ml in one go! He has had some mad weeks when his weight increased too much (if that is possible) - instead of 6-8oz a week he was putting on 12! He did get that gene from both is parents - we love our food!!
The minute I start to have extra milk in the fridge and start thinking of freezing - he takes more so don't think I will be dropping any pumping just yet.
Has your 2nd one been born yet? If so, are you breastfeeding successfully this time around?

fastasleep Sun 24-Jul-05 21:39:44

I'm 27 weeks gone, but worrying already lol... I found as soon as I had plenty in the fridge his appetite would grow too, just to be annoying!

I can't remember what I got out in the early days but from 6 months onwards I averaged from about 1000 to 1500 mls, and that was more than enough to satisfy him...900ml at this stage sounds really promising it's great he's putting on so much weight, I feel sorry for your boobs though!

kindmuis Mon 25-Jul-05 14:04:31

Well, congrats with the pregnancy. Do you know what you are having? Thanks for the info once again!

Boobs are ornaments at the moment - nobody comes near them!

fastasleep Tue 26-Jul-05 11:53:30

Awww poor you and your boobs! I'm having a girl called Sophia and she is going to have a suck like a vacuum cleaner *pokes belly!*

best of luck with the expressing

kindmuis Mon 01-Aug-05 16:14:21

Good luck wiht Sophia - lovely name. Here is to her sucking like she should! I bet you it is mostly the boys causing problems!

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