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Expressing before the birth

(13 Posts)
BettyBi0 Thu 07-Jan-16 16:36:25

I really struggled to establish BF last time around. It took 8-9 days before my milk came in after a planned c-section despite DD nursing for 10-12 hours a day. It took her 5 weeks to get back to her birth weight and that only happened when we added in formula.

Later found that DD had tongue and lip ties but main problem was just that she had a really high palate and a little mouth that she needed to grow into. I could cry just remembering the pain of feeding over the first 6 weeks. Anyway.... I'm determined to do something differently to magically make it better this time around.

Do you think pumping before the birth might help with supply? I didn't have much luck with expressing last time around and only managed about 30mls total every time I tried but I didn't start trying until about 6 weeks.

If so when should I start?

DisneyMillie Thu 07-Jan-16 16:38:59

I could be wrong but don't they day not to stimulate nipples while pregnant as it can cause contractions?

crumblybiscuits Thu 07-Jan-16 16:40:52

Nope to expressing when pregnant, can bring on labour.

buntingbingo Thu 07-Jan-16 16:44:09

I'm not sure about expressing. But I wanted to say that I had terrible trouble feeding my first two babies. Similar to what you describe. I've just had my third. We are in the first week and it's going really well so far! I don't want to jinx things but hopefully we will carry on doing well. Try no to think that it will go wrong and plan for it to go right.

I got everything I needed beforehand. Lanisoh. Shields (the avent things not nip shields) all that stuff. And I made.sure I ate and drank loads as soon as she was born as I really think that makes a difference.

Mostly think positive thoughts.

Iammad Thu 07-Jan-16 16:50:35

After 37 weeks it's fine, but it won't really do much as your actual milk won't come in until a few days after you have had the baby as your body gives of hormones then.
It's good that you want to prepare for breastfeeding, but don't get yourself in a state about it as it will effect it.
Have you got a breastfeeding adviser who could help?

ChicaMomma Thu 07-Jan-16 17:07:03

betty, i had all those same issues last time too. An 8 week nightmare before throwing in the towel.

I had a session with a private lactation consultant last week. She said to express from 37 weeks, and freeze the resulting colostrum in syringes which can then be given to the baby during those first few days when youre waiting for the milk to come in. As well as the colostrum they'll get from feeding in those few days.

She said a huge amount of milk production is mental- so corny as it sounds, listen to hypnobirthing tracks than centre around milk production, and 'think milk'. She has also put a plan in place to deal with the likely tongue tie (as it's genetic) most of which will not be of any use to you as i'm in dublin, but she says she will check the baby in the first few days herself, and then book me directly in with a surgeon who specialises in TT release locally. Either way, the quicker you deal with it (if necessary) the better for everyone. So early detection, early release. Do you know if they will do TT release in your hospital? Mine wont.. So lots of £££ to get it sorted but it will be worth it- then again, maybe i wont have any issues, she says your milk does come in quicker and more plentiful on 2nd prenancies!

Lastly she has recommend a cranio to go to that specialises in feeding issues, many of which are a result of birthing injuries (tortecollis etc).

firsttimekat Thu 07-Jan-16 17:21:18

The NHS advise colostrum harvesting pre birth for those with gestational diabetes, I had GD and froze the colostrum, so it definitely is fine to do it while pregnant. I don't know what impact it has on milk production but it was handy having some colostrum to give DS while we were getting the latch right.

moopymoodle Thu 07-Jan-16 17:22:11

I did it from 38 weeks 4o try induce labour. It never worked but my milk flow was amazing, he gained weight fast though and it only took 10 minutes feeding to satisfy him.

RNBrie Thu 07-Jan-16 17:50:52

Similar story here. Dc1 badly tongue tied, lost a lot of weight, never established feeding.

I antenatally expressed starting about 6 weeks before dc2 was due. She was also tongue tied so we supplemented with syringes until she was snipped (I continued to hand express). When she was weighed at five days she'd only lost 20g grin

I'll do the same with dc3. Don't worry about the nipple stimulation / labour thing. It's pretty much an old wives tale.

MsMargaretCarter Thu 07-Jan-16 18:18:26

milk supply once babies are born is down to supply and demand, but it's different hormonal processes that produce the first milk so no, expressing before birth won't help with supply as such. But as a pp said, you can freeze any colostrum to give if you have any problems again. Probably best done with the support of a breastfeeding counsellor or similar to ensure the baby is also feeding effectively in the early days. Hope things go well.

There is some evidence linking nipple stimulation to contractions btw but you would need to do it for hours to have any effect!

BettyBi0 Thu 07-Jan-16 21:05:29

Thanks - it's so nice to hear that it's been easier second time around for some. I think I'll try and find a lactation consultant to see just before and just after the birth to get in quick if there is tongue tie again. Having a little bank of colostrum in the freezer sounds good.

When it's just colostrum can you still use a pump it just hand express? I never really got the hang of hand expressing at all. Not sure if it's because my boobs are a bit loose/ loose skin iykwim. I guess it's just really small amounts to express before the birth so you would've wang to waste anything pouring between containers etc

ChicaMomma Fri 08-Jan-16 10:19:59

Yeah when it's just colostrum it's actually as easy to manually hand pump she told me- you really dont need the full goddamn apparatus (have nightmares about that thing!!!!!!!!!!!) so she told me to stretch the nipple out, they squeeze it back in (sorry not a very good explanation but i bet you'd find it on youtube!!)

I think it's definitely wise to have an LC at hand to check the baby at birth for TT- i'm not sure how TT is treated under the NHS but i know that in ireland it's not great, most maternity hospitals dont 'believe' it's as much of an issue as it really is- i sent in a stinker of a complaint about how my DS's TT went undiagnosed in the hospital last time. I think they'll have a red flag on my file this time as a result though, and hopefully treat it a bit more seriously than the last time! They totally fobbed me off! then the LC that i saw (at 8 weeks) said it was one of the most severe cases she had seen that yr, and the minute it was released his latch was infinitely better.. that said, at that point my supply was rubbish and i'd lost the will to live with BF anyway. Will be more prepared this time for sure.

Betty, go to your local pharmacy and ask them for 2 or 5ml syringes- once you tell them what tehy are for, they'll have no issue giving them to you- or easier again, ask for them in the hospital at your next appt. I got a bunch of them at my 32 week scan a few weeks ago- i'm 35 weeks today so i'm actually going to start hand expressing this weekend. If it makes me go into labour then so be it- the baby is bloody massive anyway, 5'5lbs at 32 weeks and forecasted to be a 9-10 pounder by full term! anyway, IMHO, none of these things are likely to bring on labour unless the baby is actually ready. best of luck! Make the milk be with you smile

BettyBi0 Fri 08-Jan-16 13:57:57

Thanks so much chicamomma - may the milk be with you too! X

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