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Colostrum Harvesting

(13 Posts)
Karmin Thu 11-Aug-16 16:07:51

Because of my GD, my midwife has spoken to me about harvesting some colostrum into syringes which I then freeze and bring with me when I get induced, I will be starting this on Saturday when I reach 36 weeks.

Any tips and hints to how to do it and collect it, I tried to have a go and it just kind of oozes and I get sticky I can manage to do it with my partner there with the syringe sucking it up but i'm not sure how to do it on my own!

Also how much am I likely to need?

f1ddlesticks Thu 11-Aug-16 16:16:02

Very hot flannels, like a compress, on your boobs, after a shower - makes it come out easier, a bit less sticky and easier to get into the syringe. It's not the most fun process but as you get closer to the end of pregnancy it gets a bit easier, from what I remember! It really is like gold dust though, can help prevent low blood sugars in baby after birth - worth trying if you can manage it.

f1ddlesticks Thu 11-Aug-16 16:26:07

Oh and to answer your other question, I took about 5 syringes into hospital (could have done more but didn't realise how useful it'd be, and also couldn't be bothered - wish I'd done more!). Despite having excellent blood sugars all through labour etc DD still had low blood sugar after all that colostrum. This time I'll try to take more! My consultant was surprised this happened though, so I don't really know what other experiences people have had.

Mummyme87 Thu 11-Aug-16 21:48:16

I did it from 35/40 as didn't want baby to have formula and wanted extra supplies if any problems. I had 100ml expressed by 41/40 and he used all of it as was in NNU for 11 days and could breastfeed at that time.

Maybe Google expressing into a syringe, it's a knack you learn by practice

redisthenewblack Fri 12-Aug-16 10:27:11

Depending how much you can produce, I found it easier to express into a tiny pot then suck it up with the syringe afterwards until I got the hang of it.

seven201 Fri 12-Aug-16 14:57:18

To do it by myself I propped a mirror on my knees so I could see properly to catch every single drop. I only got about 3ml in total though so every drop did count for me. I just couldn't get more out and only had a few days as I had a very late gd diagnosis.

SockQueen Fri 12-Aug-16 22:30:17

Any good guides on how to do this? I'm 36 weeks now and not the slightest sign of anything being produced.

AveEldon Fri 12-Aug-16 22:37:46

I didn't bother expressing in advance and despite ending up on the sliding scale for the last hour or so of labour my baby didn't have any blood sugar problems (no formula either)

Mummyme87 Fri 12-Aug-16 22:57:22

It's not just about blood sugars. Poor feeders, poor supply initially due to blood loss, tongue ties causing latch problems, babys admitted to NNU, unwell mothers.

I think colostrum harvesting should be encouraged for everyone.

I didn't have GDM but I sure as hell needed my 100ml of colostrum

AGruffaloCrumble Fri 12-Aug-16 22:58:44

I used my manual pump and managed to put away a couple of ounces of colostrum.

29redshoes Fri 12-Aug-16 23:08:37

No tips from me but just to echo other posters, I really think everyone who is planning to breastfeed should be encouraged to do this.

I wasn't high risk and there was no reason to think there would be any issues in advance, but as it turned out I had to have surgery under general anaesthetic immediately following DD's birth, due to retained placenta, so was separated from her for several hours. I also haemorrhaged badly and lost two litres of blood which affected my supply.

I didn't harvest colostrum before DD was born (had never even heard of it) but certainly plan to do so with my next baby.

seven201 Sat 13-Aug-16 08:52:19

Sock Queen there's lots of guidance online. Basically you need something to collect it into (my hospital gave me lots of sterilised 1ml syringes). The guidance is to hand express but I just couldn't do it. I used a manual pump to get tiny drops on my nipple then sucked them off. I got hardly anything (every bit counts though!) but some people get loads! Then you put it in the freezer and take it with you where it will be put in the freezer again.

PeppaPigStinks Sat 13-Aug-16 10:35:20

Have you seen the gestational diabetes website, there is a whole section on harvesting.

I have found after a couple of tried every other night I have been able to get a good flow out of my super boob (sadly the other side is just a drip ) try catching the drips in a tea spoon and then getting with the syringe!

Good luck

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