Breast feeding question...(16 Posts)
I’m expressing a little off each breast before feeding my 5 week old as I have over supply in each breast. During the day when he is hungry I manage this as mum or dh will hold and smooth the increasingly hungry baby as I use my hand pump.
During the night I want to try and set my alarm for before the baby wakes to express, so I can feed him why he is calm and put him back to sleep without him getting really hungry and grumpy first! My question is how soon before feeding should I express? If I get timings wrong and express and hour before baby actually wakes for a feed is that pointless, will I need to express again and this defeat the point? What about half an hour before? How quickly does milk ‘refill’ as it were?!
Note- If I don’t pump baby chokes and splutters as let down is too much (think water pistol ) midwives recommended this method and to gradually try and express less and less each time. It takes me 10-15 minutes if expressing before baby can latch on at the moment and that is a slow improvement from before.
This sounds stressful, hard work and I really don’t think it’s the best way to deal with it.
Pumping will only increased your oversupply. I too has this issue with DC1. I would just let him latch and suckle, unlatch as he started to struggle with the flow, let-down into a Muslin that I kept handy (or into a breastpad if not - slightly grim but it worked), then re-latch. He would be cross for the few seconds it took to get rid of the let down but was fine after that.
It’s impossible to time feeds at 5 weeks and your sleep is more important that waking to pump in the night. Feed on demand, avoid pumping and hand express if needed and your supply should settle over the next few weeks.
Seek some advice from LLL or a local bf support group if you need. Good luck.
Not really answering your question, but I had similar problems and really think expressing should be avoided. Do you make sure he feeds from above so gravity helps - laid back nursing or something it's called. Also if he latches as soon as he stirs he should feed more calmly when he's still half asleep than in a frenzy after waiting 15 mins. Feeding lying down helps too. Your supply will settle, but I imagine it's more difficult if expressing is confusing things.
Agree with PP's, expressing will exacerbate the problem.
If you must express, only do enough to trigger let down then latch baby on. It's preferable though to just unlatch baby at let down, spray into a muslin then latch back on, as baby will learn to cope.
I have overactive let down, and DD2 can now cope with it. I expressed with DD1 and supply never regulated, with DD2 I resisted temptation to express and supply nicely matches demand now. Still resemble a firehose at let down though.
Expressing isn't the answer for an oversupply, its only going to make it worse. Just feed your baby on demand. To reduce your supply back to normal you can block feed but you must do this with caution as at 5 weeks your supply isn't fully established. To block feed, you feed your baby on demand but only using the left breast for 3 hours, then only using the right breast whenever your baby wants feeding for the next roughly 3 hours and repeat. If your baby is struggling with a fast let down when you have just swapped breasts, hand express just enough to be more comfortable or for the first let down then latch your baby but remember the more you express, the more you will produce so your oversupply will get worse.
Ideally you need real life support from someone with a good amount of breastfeeding education i.e La Leche League or an IBCLC (midwives don't always have the best lactation training!), especially while block feeding at an early stage. There are some very good Facebook groups where you will receive support (although there are also some not so good ones - pm me if you need a recommendation).
Agree with others - absolutely no way I would be waking up ahead of night feeds to express. I did this (briefly) with ds1 and it created more problems than it solved, mainly because of extreme tiredness and dealing with a screaming baby who then took a long time to settle, which in turn meant less sleep all round and lots of horrible extra hormones to deal with.
Practise hand expressing excess let down and work on that. It will calm down much sooner than using a pump.
Good luck, you will get there
Gosh no don't express, that will make it worse. I expressed to up my milk when my son was 2 weeks old (other issues with him) and once I had regained my supply my boobs flipped into over production mode. I was drowning in milk.
I purely bf for 2 days and the milk calmed down a lot.
Breast pads and Old towels are your friend!
Thanks for all the advice - I was told by one midwife to express prior to feed, another to let him latch on and try to keep him in position and let milk flow onto towel if too much. It’s not a few minutes of spray though, it lasts for ages. Another breast feeding support suggested hand expressing in the shower, but the spray will come out without me even touching my breast and last for at least 10-15 minutes from one of my breasts
We had a trip to a&e yesterday as babies breathing went a bit funny, and paediatrician thought it might have been due to baby latching on to too much milk, some getting into windpipe and he trying to get past that. The doctor came to this conclusion after hearing about my over supply and that the baby had coughed after his feed. He said to express first as milk going down the wrong way can lead to infections.
Breastfeeding help line support suggested laying down with baby on top of me to feed, which I am trying and is a bit better but there’s just so much milk at each feed it a milky mess for the pair of us, results in baby bringing milk back up, being sick, being extremely gassy (we are using infacol too).
It’s hard work this breast feeding business.
I had an oversupply, one of my babies changed her technique and regularly let it out of the side of her mouth! Laying on my back worked for another, use muslins and maybe damp flannels that can be thrown straight in the wash (cut up an old towel?).
Mine calmed down over time.
Have you looked at Kellymom website? Lots of good advice about many aspects of bf.
Expressing will increase supply so not ideal as it may be making the problem worse.
I used the side lying position with my baby who sussed out how to let it flow Out of her mouth whilst feeding!
Oh no! Terrible advise to pump - your body will just make more milk ! I had a massive oversupply and forceful let down . I let him latch a minute then let it spray onto a Muslin . It takes a few weeks of doing this but then your body will realise you don’t need the extra milk and will stop producing it . If you hand pump, the problem will not go away !
I came on to agree with pp about block feeding. I had really bad oversupply and the expressing solution made it worse to the extent that I ended up with mastitis. Block feeding sorted it very quickly - & almost too thoroughly. Proceed with caution.
It is hard work, this breastfeeding business. Being told it does get easier used to annoy me no end, but guess what?...
What I will say is this: There is NO easy way to feed a tiny baby. I have had the full range of new born feeding experiences, for reasons I won’t bore you with, but they were all hard. Until things settle down, it is difficult.
However, if you are both lucky enough to be willing and able to breastfeed, and manage to tough out the early days, from my experience it becomes the much easier option.
Well done to you, whatever happens, you’re doing a great job
Use breast shells. Inside your bra on the side you are not feeding from, the milk from the letdown is collected, you can even empty and replace during a feed. I used to freeze it, so that DH could do an occasional night feed.
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