Just after some advice. I didn't want to breastfeed with my DS now almost 4 but I had so much milk leaking out before and after birth it seemed a waste.
I am not interested in breastfeeding (for various reasons and I don't want this to turn into a breast is best debate)
But wondered if it was worth trying to express from the start or if it doesn't work like that?
You mean to express and feed to baby from the outset? I'm pretty sure I've heard of women doing it, so it is possible, although it's hard work (time to express, clean the equipment, and then feed it to the baby). However, even if you could only manage doing it for a few days/a week/a couple of weeks though, or even just to express and give the colostrum, it would be fabulous for your little one.
You could do with finding a support group for advice irl. Someone else might have a suggestion of a good one (all the bf ones I can think of, eg la leche league, are more on the actual breastfeeding side, although probably would know about it).
You can express, some people do manage to exclusively express. However, it is very hard work as to build and maintain a milk supply you need to express as often as a newborn feeds including at night so you end up with double the work as you need to express plus feed and of course all the cleaning of bottles.
Expressing means you will be triggering milk production which if you don't want to feed means that it will take you longer for your breasts to stop producing milk. If you were to start and then stop you will find yourself in considerable discomfort so you would have to drop expressing gradually, one session at a time and let your breasts adjust.
Giving some breast milk will be great for your baby though so if you want to do it then go for it, even if it is just for a few days and then tail things off and let your breasts settle.
With my dd I expressed and bottle fed. It was a constant cycle though, it felt like I was always either expressing or feeding or sterilising. I only kept it up exclusively for 2 weeks, and then combined formula and breast milk feeds up until 6 weeks, at which point I used only formula.
I am glad that dd did get some breast milk though, despite the constant cycle for those couple of weeks.
If you end up having the same problem as last time (loads of milk) then it might be worth expressing at the beginning and using that to feed (either exclusively or in addition to formula), purely to help prevent your boobs from getting engorged. Then you could taper off as you wanted.
You might want to look into hiring a really all singing all dancing breast pump though, as from what I have seen (and I stress this isn't personal experience), most electric breast pumps are only really designed to be used once or twice a day, so you run the risk of it conking out if you are using much much more often than that.
Hospital grade pumps are fairly immortal, super efficient, and you don't have them cluttering up the house at the end of it!
It is possible to express only, it may be tricky initially to get supply established, but once your milk is in, expressing will be pretty effective at emptying the breast.
I used a lactaline double pump when i went back to work as it was quicker than pumping each boob seperatley.
You could breast feed for at least the first few days?
I exclusively expressed DD for over 5 months so it is definitely possible. It is time consuming, especially in the early days but once you get into a routine it becomes much easier. It worked for me and I'm happy to try and answer any questions you might have if it helps.
I expressed for 6 months and never had any real issues with my supply. I used a avent pump and got on fine with it.
If you have made the decision not to breastfeed (no judgement here) then you haven't got anything to lose by trying.
Thanks all, it sounds like it is do able even if a bit time consuming.
cornberry in my op I stated I wasn't interested in breastfeeding at all. Not even for a few days.
orangemouth What bottles did you use - can you still just use normal ones.
Also, in hospital having just given birth I'm not sure about how I can express straight away - would it be worth giving a premade formula for the first couple of feeds?
Yes you can use any bottles.
For the very first feeds you will only have colostrum so you would need to hand express that as its to thick fir a pump, the midwife can show you how to do it effectively but it can be hard work and you might not get enough. You could start expressing a couple of weeks before your due date and use that aswel ir use some formula if needed. Once your milk comes in though they will have pumps for you to use.
You can (as others have pointed out) but it is very very hard. (exclusive expressing was my plan - but my DD hated bottles and I didn't mind breastfeeding anyway... If you did want to do it for a while you could always donate any "extra" to a milk bank (my hospital doesn't have one which I still find annoying) xx good luck xx
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