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did anyone express from straight away?

(30 Posts)
HappyGirl1 Fri 26-Nov-10 23:31:33

I'm 38 weeks pregnant and just wondering if anyone expressed from straight away? I'd quite like to breastfeed but would like to express as soon as possible but not sure how well that would work..

LilRedWG Fri 26-Nov-10 23:36:59

I did. DD was born with the notion that breast feeding entailed latching on, having one mouthful, maybe two, and then falling asleep. Everyone in the hospital - including the cleaning staff I think - tried to wake the child but she was having none of it. So I expressed every four hours whilst DH gave our lazy girl her bottle of EBM.

One thing I will say is that this is extremely hard work, so if you are considering exclusively bottle feeding EBM then be prepared.

I've no doubt I will be told I am wrong but I thought I'd give you our experience.

JennyWren Fri 26-Nov-10 23:43:43

I expressed large quantities for both my children - one of whom took the same attitude as LilRedWG's DD and the other refused to BF at all. Both came round to the proper method of doing it eventually grin but in between there was 6 weeks or so of very heavy duty expressing. I echo LilRedWG in that it is exceptionally hard work, and I wouldn't encourage anyone to try it as their preferred choice if their baby was willing to feed directly. But if you're thinking of expressing a little to allow an occasional feed then that would be quite straightforward - just please don't overdo the expressing if your baby does feed directly as well, or your body will think you're feeding twins and you'll overproduce for your needs and may have problems with engorgement.

Hope this helps.

deleting Fri 26-Nov-10 23:53:35

I did. similar situation to lilredwg. early, small baby who couldn't latch on or stay awake. expressed and tried to pour/syringe it in. exhausting. he woke up and got the hang of it after a couple of months. Not sure if expressing so early might mess up supply though, in the short term anyway.

LoopyLoops Fri 26-Nov-10 23:56:59

Yes, massive amounts. DD was in NICU, and they sent me away with a hospital grade pump. NICU started to refuse to house the prolific amounts I produced, their freezers were too full! Still have some in the freezer now, 17 months on...
As soon as I has to give back the hospital pump I could hardly pump any at all. It is all about the quality of the pump.

Quite a few friends of mine had to express for weeks - babies wouldn't latch.

I don't see how it would be a problem tbh.

midori1999 Sat 27-Nov-10 00:03:42

Similar to Loopyloops. My DD was in NICU, so I expressed from birth. By hand at first, then hospital double pump after a few days. Breast milk works on supply and demand regardless of whether you're expressing or breast feeding. I was expressing every 3 hours and once at night and by day 9 was producing 5 oz each time each side in 15 minutes.

With DS3 I exclusively expressed as he couldn't latch. By 3 weeks my milk was drying up so much I had to stop expressing. I now know this was due to poor advice at the time. No-one told me to express at night and no-one told me to express at regular intervals. When I told the health visitor I was changing to formula as my milk was drying up she just said it was probably a good idea

I am not sure if giving a bottle can interfere with the latch early on and I think it is better to establish BF before offering a bottle, but I may be wrong.

HappyGirl1 Sat 27-Nov-10 00:04:30

thanks so much for the advice everyone

LilRedWG Sat 27-Nov-10 00:06:30

I hired a hospital grade Medela pump and got copious amounts too.

chipmonkey Sat 27-Nov-10 01:33:46

The usual advice under normal circumstances is not to express for 6 weeks as it can lead to oversupply.

Like others, my ds3 was in NICU/SCBU and I expressed from birth. Every 3 hours and once at night. It was difficult and tedious and I wouldn't recommend it unless you had to. When I left hospital and had to visit ds3 my supply did drop but luckily at that point he could come home and I could feed him directly.

With ds4,after about 3 weeks,I would express one feed every other night and give him the EBM in a bottle to get him used to it but now wonder whether that was all a bit pointless!grin

Why do you want to express Happygirl?

RobynLou Sat 27-Nov-10 01:42:13

I tried to express in hospital to cupfeed DD, but it was before my milk had come in so it was pretty hopeless really - when its so early on that you're still just producing colostrum the volume is so small and it takes so long to get a tiny amount, it's pretty soul destroying. Once my milk came in it was fine.

LisasCat Sat 27-Nov-10 07:59:53

I expressed from about a week after birth. DD was BFing perfectly well, but as DP wasn't living with us then I predicted we'd need a big old frozen supply to give some flexibility, and I'm so glad I did. In the first days I was only getting 2-3oz into the freezer, and wondering if it was worth it. Once I switched from an electric to a manual pump I was getting 7-8oz a time. Then DP was able to take her out for a day at a time from 10 days onwards, with me expressing during that day to replenish freezer stocks. She became a little marvel, switching seamlessly between breast and bottle.

It was a bit of a mission, especially carrying around the pump if out of the house and co-ordinating access to a freezer and cool bag (such as during a friend's wedding, to which DD was only coming for a few hours, I was there whole day, and put some expressed milk in the pub landlord's freezer - good thing I knew him!).

But it gave us so much freedom. And when I had to start work after 4 months and DD was in a nursery across the road, we managed to keep her on breast milk until 9 months, which I think was a pretty awesome feat. People did wonder what the little bags of white liquid were that they kept seeing me walking about with.....!

BootifulBernie Sat 27-Nov-10 08:17:30

Voice of doom here. I did and it really messed with my supply. I had a lot of milk as it was, but expressing just led to massive engorgement and mastitis / an abcess.

thegrudge Sat 27-Nov-10 08:22:05

I did for my tubefed ds.

A friend of mine expressed exclusively for 6 months with both her dcs. She had a hospital grade pump and expressed every 3 hours night and day.

Its very hard work compared to actual bf.

LilRedWG Sat 27-Nov-10 13:27:19

thegrudge - six months! That takes some doing. I managed three months and couldn't have done anymore.

kitstwins Sat 27-Nov-10 18:27:34

I did. Premmie twins who were tube fed (but not SCBU) so it was the only way to get my milk into them as they had no suck reflex. It was hard work - endless expressing, which was tiring and boring. I interspersed it with the occasional 5 second breastfeed, which was all they could manage before passing out from exhaustion. I did this for 4 1/2 months with the help of a hospital grade dual breast pump (the Ameda Elite - cleared my milk from both breasts simultaneously in around 12 minutes) but it doesn't stimulate your milk in the same was as breastfeeding so my supply was dwindling by the end. I was barely clearing anything by 16 weeks which is why it tailed off.

It's fine. I'm really glad I did it as without a breastpump I really wouldn't have got my milk into my babies, but it was a bit of a slog. I'd say combined is fine - breast/formula/EBM or breast/EBM, etc. but exclusive feeding with expressed milk would be hard work. Do-able but as others have said it's not as straightforward as breastfeeding.

chipmonkey Sat 27-Nov-10 22:57:04

Kits, how did your twins not go into SCBU?

bessie26 Sat 27-Nov-10 23:11:43

Like most of the other replies here, I expressed from the start due to DD being prem & in SCBU. Did it every 3 hours (5 during the night) for 3 weeks using either the pump at the hospital or our own electric pump at home. It was sooooo tediously boring I really wouldn't recommend you do it out of choice.
Pumping didn't adversely affect my supply though, by the time she started bf I was producing twice as much as she was taking & the hospital told me to start storing it at home as it was taking up too much room in their fridge!

I would say, get comfy with bf first, then think about expressing!

kitstwins Sun 28-Nov-10 14:59:44

Chipmonkey They nearly arrived at 25 weeks (and 28 and 30 and 31...) so I had steroids. One lot at 25 weeks and the other lot at just over 30 weeks. They were born at 35 weeks and their lungs were fine due to the steroids but neither had suck reflex. Twin One could occasionally latch on but only for a couple of seconds but Twin Two was smaller and much more feeble and had zero suck reflex - would just howl if you tried to latch her on. It was pretty horrendous.

Ironically enough had I been on a NHS postnatal ward following delivery they'd have gone to special care as there wasn't the midwife support for tube fed babies and it was hospital policy for them all to go to SCBU. However, I was on a private ward afterwards and technically supposed to have full-on midwife support with the tube feeding and my consultant said they'd do better out of SCBU. The reality was no help with tube feeding as the midwives were so rushed helping with the chronically understaffed NHS postnatal ward (understandable - it was rammed and there were four sets of twins alone born on the same day as mine) and my husband and I were shown how to do and left to get on with it. It was fairly traumatic - trying to get milk down babies and syringing their stomach acid back up to litmus test that the tubes were properly sited. Oh what fun we had!

Although we got through it I do think Twin Two would have fared better in SCBU - she was very poorly and we struggled to get milk into her. Syringing milk into her mouth every hour or so to get her weight up.

chipmonkey Mon 29-Nov-10 00:17:51

OMG, kitstwins, that sounds a nightmare!shock There was only one girl in our SCBU who tube-fed her own babies and they had been there for 10 weeks and she was a nurse herself!
In a way, though, I did feel that SCBU was not necessarily the best for our 32 weeker. It was very toutine driven and they only let him try to bf after I suggested it and I had already bfed two babies. If I hadn't said anything, he would have been ff. Which is not a terrible thing, obviously but I do think they should have been more pro-bfing.

midori1999 Mon 29-Nov-10 08:05:43

chipmonkey, I wonder if that is something specific to your SCBU? Different, I know, but the NICU (well, and the high dependancy and SCBU) that our little girl was in strongly encouraged breast feeding and encouraged the use of donor milk where Mum's couldn't breastfeed or didn't want to.

buttercup123 Mon 29-Nov-10 10:10:57

Happygirl, I don't have any personal experience (pregnant with my first), but a couple of friends have told me the following (which may be of some help):

1. They found it really useful to express in the evening, so that their DH could do the final late night feed (at say around 10pm). This meant that they could get an early night and get some hours of kip in before being up for the feeds in the wee early hours...

2. Advice I've been given is to go for the Medela electric pump. They are apparently a million times better than the manual ones (although that does seem to be at odds with Lisascat's experience...).

PheasantPlucker Mon 29-Nov-10 10:15:55

I had my dd1 at 27 weeks, and expressed using the hospital grade (Medeala??) pump, so she could be tube fed with breast milk.
The pump was really good, I had one at home, and used one of the 3 hospital ones in the expressing room at the NNU.
Breastmilk was hugely encouraged at our NNU, and mothers were very actively supported.

Poledra Mon 29-Nov-10 10:25:24

I was truly truly shit at expressing with DDs 1 and 2, using an Avent handpump. DD3 was admitted to SCBU 12 hours after birth, and was tubefed for 5 days. I managed to express for her using the hospital electric pumps (when I could find them angry the number of times I had to ask to the mws to go round the beds looking for a pump which wasn't being used.....).

Gave up the expressing as soon as I could get DD3 out of the UV lights and on to feed properly - it was just too much hassle for me (and I knew I was taking 12 months off work).

I did DD3's tubefeeds myself too - apparently, I was an exception in SCBU, as I did her feeds, changed her nappy, gave her her meds etc. - I couldn't do anything else for her (not even hold her for a few days) so I really wanted to do whatever I could. The nurses quite liked being assigned to DD3 - I was in SCBU for a shift handover one day and the outgoing nurse said to the new shift 'Oh, this is <Pol's DD3> - you don't need to worry too much about her, mum does everything.' Each to their own though - I don't think I'd have been so keen to do it for my first baby, but I was much less scared by the third.

Poledra Mon 29-Nov-10 10:25:54

Wow, that went really off-topic there - sorry for the stream of consciousness blush

chipmonkey Mon 29-Nov-10 18:26:09

midori, I'm in Ireland and we generally have a lower bfing rate than in the UK. A lot of the nurses were older women and it's probable most of them ff their own babies. In fact, the only two members of staff who were very pro-bfing were an Asian nurse and and Asian paediatrician both of whom told me to go home and bf and not bother with the pump. The Irish nurses told me to go home and bf but to "top-up" with EBM. I listened to team Asia!grin

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