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Breast milk?!

(23 Posts)
WhoUsedMyName Fri 06-Nov-20 10:53:43

Please talk to me about pumping and storing etc
Have bf a few times but never for long never expressed or stored and would really like to do it for a while if poss

OP’s posts: |
ThornAmongstRoses Fri 06-Nov-20 17:56:07

Most importantly, how old is your baby and how is it currently being fed? You mention you’ve only breast fed a few times so I’m assuming you are giving bottles of formula?

How many tomes have you breast fed and how did it go?

Is an end goal that you want to breast feed your baby or do you simply just want to give breast milk in a bottle?

WhoUsedMyName Fri 06-Nov-20 18:28:22

Sorry that wasnt a great post. I'm currently 31 weeks pregnant and have other dc that I didnt keep it up with I think partly due to age and situation etc

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ThornAmongstRoses Fri 06-Nov-20 19:47:44

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

Exclusively pumping from the start is very hard work and if possible, it’s easier to solely breast feed for the first 4-6 weeks to really get a good milk supply before looking at the complexities of expressing.

A breast pump will never be as effective as a baby when it comes to telling your body to produce milk, and nor will it be as effective as getting the milk out of your breast.

You can buy/rent hospital grade pumps but again, although they are fantastic, they aren’t as effective as building up a milk supply as a baby breastfeeding would.

Expressing is also very time consuming and it may be difficult to do it regularly when you have another child to care for, and unless you are expressing 8-10 times a day then your milk supply won’t really build.

Is it that you think expressing would work better for your circumstance than breast feeding would which is why you are considering it?

Have you spoken to your midwife about it? She could probably sign post you to some breast feeding specialists or breast feeding supporters who could talk to you in depth about the pros and cons of expressing.

There is also an infant feeding topic on Mumsnet where you will probably be able to read many women’s experiences of expressing in the early days and you may be better prepared for what to expect.

WhoUsedMyName Fri 06-Nov-20 20:18:29

Thank you ☺️
My milk is in already a lot considering how far along I am. I do plan to breast feed mainly although my dh wants to take me to a spa for my birthday when ds is only a month old and I will be going back to work when he is 7months so would be good to have a supply I guess, but as I have never stuck it out longer then 6 weeks I have never expressed. So just didn't really no where to start

OP’s posts: |
strawberrycherryblossom Fri 06-Nov-20 20:32:28

@WhoUsedMyName I think general advice is to wait until your milk supply is established before you really start pumping. Rough guideline is to leave an oz for every hour you will be away (for babies 1 month +, obviously very new babies will drink less!).

If you want to BF, I'd suggest picking up a cheap manual pump or Hakka but don't invest in anything fancy before baby is here and you know what you're doing. I used a manual pump to express off a little when my milk came in on day 3 so it was easier to get baby to latch.

You can store breastmilk in the fridge or freezer. It can last a few hours at room temp, 6 days in the fridge (at less than 4 degrees) and 6 months in the freezer (at less than -18 degrees). You can't refreeze milk once it's been frozen and defrosted.

If you want to add milk from multiple pumping sessions into one bag that's fine, but make sure it's the same temperature as the milk you're mixing it with (so if you want to add to a bag in the fridge, chill any expressed milk to fridge temp separately before adding to the existing bag).

If you want to leave baby for more than a few hours at a month old you will probably need to express while you're away. Manual pumps are your friend here!

If you want to include odd bottles of expressed milk as well as bf, have a look at pace feeding. This mimics what it's like feeding at the breast and helps to prevent a bottle preference.

Good luck!

WhoUsedMyName Fri 06-Nov-20 21:10:16

Thank you so much that's been really helpful smile when you read leaflets and online all seems so much and confusing x

OP’s posts: |
frankiefirstyear Fri 06-Nov-20 21:25:35

I bought a hospital grade double electric closed system pump and exclusively pumped milk when my daughter was a baby.

The pump I bought (calypso) came with storage bottles but I also used baby bottles for storage.

It was quite exhausting tbh but I'd do it again if I was having more children. I would pump every two hours for 45 mins, regardless of whether my daughter wanted fed (she slept quite well so I was pumping through the night despite her sleeping), I found this the best method to keep the supply up. I also had (sorry can't remember the name) a silicone pump that suctioned onto the breast that I wore while I slept or when ever I could - this caught any leakage.

I began pumping before baby arrived but got very little, I was able to freeze it though and I felt confident she got the colostrum due to my efforts 😅.

Afterwards I sold the pumps (closed systems are safe to be sold on) for just under half the retail price.

WhoUsedMyName Sat 07-Nov-20 10:13:07

Very interesting have heard great things about calypso maybe I should invest. Thank you

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FizzingWhizzbee123 Sat 07-Nov-20 18:15:57

Read up on excess lipase. I learned that hard way after freezing litres which became unusable. Try a small test batch to freeze.

WhoUsedMyName Sat 07-Nov-20 18:46:15

I have never heard of it will have a look

OP’s posts: |
Mylittlesandwich Sat 07-Nov-20 18:48:46

I found exclusive pumping made things more difficult. DS couldn't breastfed (I know now it was due to bad reflux). So I expressed for a week, I found it very time consuming on top of having a new born and ended up formula feeding.

Ohalrightthen Sat 07-Nov-20 19:11:32

My best advice would be don't set your heart on it. I really struggled to express, barely got more than 3oz at a time, and the stash in the freezer was more precious to me than gold. DD flat out refused to take a bottle, every single bag that got defrosted was poured down the drain. It was heartbreaking. With DC2, if i need to give a bottle, it will be formula.

WhoUsedMyName Sat 07-Nov-20 19:12:51

That's what's has happened to me in the past and I've given up within a few weeks I see mums that do it with ease and it's cost efficient and seems to make sense so I'm hoping I can do it all this time round

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BlibBlobBab Sat 07-Nov-20 19:24:23

Congrats on the pregnancy op! I bf my dd and like you had planned to pump alongside. I thought it would be easy, I tried all the tricks like looking at DD or a pic of her while trying (can't remember what else now) but I just never managed to produce much milk that way. Breastfeeding was fine and she gained weight as she should, but I did not seem to respond to the pump. It was so depressing to sit there for hours and have like a dribble of milk by the end of it. Hopefully it works for you as lots of women do manage it successfully, but don't get too set on it is my advice. (Sorry I hope that doesn't sound too negative!)

BornOnThe4thJuly Sat 07-Nov-20 19:28:54


Read up on excess lipase. I learned that hard way after freezing litres which became unusable. Try a small test batch to freeze.

Me too, extremely frustrating!

Good luck with it all OP 😊

WhoUsedMyName Sat 07-Nov-20 19:59:55

Yeah I think I am just hoping for the best so fingers crossed but I guess it doesn't work for everyone smile thank you for response

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frankiefirstyear Sat 07-Nov-20 21:54:14

Forgot to mention I found it really helped to continually massage my breasts during expressing. Every part of them and I'd find pushing on certain parts would increase 'value'. Good luck

WhoUsedMyName Thu 12-Nov-20 10:39:12

@frankiefirstyear how far was you when you started pumping? And did you get much out at all. Everything says not to pump whilst pregnant but would be great to get milk flow before ds arrives x

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Harrysmummy246 Thu 12-Nov-20 10:50:28

You will not get your milk in before the baby arrives. That is triggered by giving birth and hormones released then. It's just not biologically possible.

And pumping is sooooo much harder work than just BF. All the downsides to both BF and FF and few of the upsides

WhoUsedMyName Thu 12-Nov-20 11:01:03

Yeah that's mostly what I have read tbh, I really want to breast feed for a long time but be able to hand over to my dh when needed and just hope I can get a good supply some mums I no are just naturals and there freezers like a gold mine of milk 😂

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Harrysmummy246 Thu 12-Nov-20 14:41:56

Honestly, wait til 6 weeks to get BF established or you will end up with oversupply (been there, not fun)

Accept that the spa at 1 month may be optimistic (and you'd quite possibly need to pump while there, many massage oils etc unsuitable if BF and lying on your front might be uncomfortable, even if you have a very easy birth without stitches etc!)

I went back to tutoring once or twice a week when DS was about 4 months, and in those sessions, either my mum or husband would give him a single bottle of ready made formula. BF the rest of the time.
There are ways round it but making BF work will take some time to get it established

frankiefirstyear Thu 12-Nov-20 17:34:28

I only had about 5 days to go. The advice from HV differs so much but I was happy with what I done and it was more beneficial to me to do it that way (exclusive pumping and giving in a bottle). Breast milk will come in sooner for some than others - my SIL leaked extremely early on during both her pregnancies. I just didn't want to lose any of it tbh!

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