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Antenatal Hand Expressing for mothers with Gestational Diabetes

(34 Posts)
crystalmummy Sat 01-Sep-12 10:49:35


I am now 37 weeks and at a breastfeeding workshop i was told i should antenatally express colostrum and store for baby when i go into labour to help with his blood sugars. They have given me 20ml bottles but each time i go to express i only produce 1 drop from each breast and need to scrape it onto the side of the bottle. I can store in the fridge for 48 hours, so need to get the same bottle and do the same procedure in the evening - again only a couple of drops but the drops I originally scraped into the bottle have disappeared! And sometimes i cannot produce any drops at all and i am starting to get frustrated and anxious in a period of time leading up to labour where i want to be as relaxed as possible sad

Has anybody have experience of this that can share any insight please - i want to do whats best for my baby but can't seem to store much at all?

crystalmummy Wed 05-Sep-12 15:49:58

Thank you, 38 weeks today and literally crying over spilt milk!!! Must be having an emotional surge :-/

BasicallySFB Wed 05-Sep-12 15:51:25

I was quite literally mad when I went in for induction at 38 weeks - v v stressful for any pregnancy but even more so with added pressure and risks. Much thoughts and kindness smile

zoobaby Wed 05-Sep-12 15:53:46

Hmmm... Basically you're right about area's differing... my consultant was [hmmm] about colostrum expressing when I asked this morning and told me to stop looking on the internet for my advice (that's a true quote) confused. Haha.

I've also now been booked in for induction on the day my breastfeeding class was due to be held. I really hope this DVD I bought is worth the money. Or maybe I could just pop down there after? smile

BasicallySFB Wed 05-Sep-12 16:09:12

smile Good luck with induction!

Ilovekittyelise Wed 05-Sep-12 16:26:23

Hmmmm. I hate reading threads like this. I have type 1 diabetes. This is kind of typical of NHS advice to someone who hasn't really had time to get their head around their condition and the impacts it can have. This is how it works:

Your baby takes its nutrition from you across the placenta. If your blood sugar is higher than that of a normal woman (ie your diabetes is not tightly controlled), during pregnancy your baby will produce extra insulin to deal with this sweet cocktail, and will lay down more fat. The risk at delivery time is that if you have been running higher over the past few days/actually during labour, the baby will have produced high levels of insulin to deal with the rich cocktail to which it is accustomed, and suddenly the 'cocktail' will be withdrawn as soon as the placenta detaches, and there will still be high levels of insulin causing the baby to have low blood sugars.

Rather than faffing around expressing colostrum, I would advise making sure you keep your blood sugar tightly controlled in the period running up to labout, so that your baby doesnt have any blood sugar issues (and if you have done that all along your baby will be of a normal size). You didnt mention how you control your GD whether by diet/exercise or insulin, but when you go in to be induced, I suggest you do plenty of walking around the hospital, eat very careful, and test frequently. The induction process is likely to take a few days and this can be your focus.

BasicallySFB Wed 05-Sep-12 17:36:08

Great advice ilovekitty - though despite my generally very good BM control and DS being a healthy weight, his sugars were still low immediately following birth and for a while after - so glad we had the stock of clostrum while getting BF established with a sleepy baby!

I also second preparing for a long induction - we were lucky to be in a hospital with a fabulous coffee shop!

wanderingalbatross Wed 05-Sep-12 17:55:55

Sounds like good advice Ilovekitty, can I ask what you'd do during induction etc to control sugars well? Anything different from usual?

I'm only asking as I found it tough last time during induction - basically I turned up at the hospital, they presented me with their standard hospital menu and said "here, choose the good stuff". Was even worse after I got transferred to the delivery unit as "we don't do proper food here" (even though I wasn't properly in labour by that point and hungry). Then they wouldn't let me eat after the epidural and I was worried about low blood sugar then. I wish I'd had better advice about what to do during labour, and we're just about to start TTC #2 so the subject is on my mind again!

I did manage to keep my sugars under control during induction last time (over 3 days!!) due to DH bringing me lots of food in. Didn't manage to stop DD having a hypo though, but I think that was down to not getting feeding off to a good start in the first day.

zoobaby Thu 06-Sep-12 12:46:27

Thanks for your insights Ilovekitty and wandering.

Overnight I've had many questions pop into my head re: the practical side of the induction. Don't want to hijack crystalmummy's thread as it's about expressing colostrum, so made a new one here if anyone cares to offer advice about the actual induction.

crystalmummy Sat 08-Sep-12 08:01:44


On a much more positive note, the syringes are brilliant - the first one filled to 1ml in 48hrs and my second is a quarter of the way to that with after only 2 expresses out of 4 in one day so seeing some real results now.

Blonderthanred - syringes are definitely the way to go stored in breast storage bags x

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