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Antenatal expression of colostrum

(12 Posts)
MsBranwen Mon 16-Oct-17 17:01:32

I'm almost 38 weeks and anticipating potentially having quite a lot of intervention in my birth so thought it would be useful to start expressing colostrum into 1ml syringes in case I have to be separated from my baby or have any early feeling difficulties.

I tried for the first time this morning, tried to get really relaxed and do massage first but still only got a couple of drops from one boob and none from the other.

Has anyone else tried expressing antenatally? How did it go for you. Would love any ideas or tips you have to offer.

Lozmatoz Mon 16-Oct-17 17:09:05

You get minuscule amounts of colostrum. And this is pretty much all the baby needs initially. The more you do it the more you get out. Try massaging your breasts with your knuckles from the top towards nipple before you try and express

AgentCooper Mon 16-Oct-17 17:23:13

I didn't express colostrum ante-natally but did in first week of my wee boy's life (he's 2 weeks old) as he was very jaundiced and just couldn't feed at the breast, and was on a phototherapy board for a few days. As Lozmatoz says, you do only get wee bits but those is all the baby needs initially.

Have you got those wee plastic 1ml syringes, and do you know how to use them to sook up the colostrum from your nipple? Also, I didn't know at first how to press my nipple to get anything out (finger and thumb in C shape around top and bottom of areola and press down). A hand pump also got me a decent amount.

I really hope all goes well with your birth and wee one, and think expressing in advance is such a good idea.

AgentCooper Mon 16-Oct-17 17:24:07

Those are, not 'is' smile

MsBranwen Mon 16-Oct-17 17:57:32

Thanks guys! I was hoping for a bit more of a flow I suppose but think I just need to keep at it. I've got some 1ml syringes that are about 5cm long, probably got about 0.01mls this morning! But I will persevere and try the knuckle massage and maybe look into getting a hand pump, though not sure if the colostrum will just get stuck in that as it's so thick?

MrsCharlieD Mon 16-Oct-17 17:58:56

I did it from 38 weeks last time as I knew ds would be born with cleft lip and palate and unable breastfeed. Initially I got nothing more than a few drops but this improved over the 3 weeks until I had him and I had about 5or 6 syringes. Once I'd had him and my milk came in I was able to express loads.

PinkHippo1 Mon 16-Oct-17 20:34:24

Following this thread as I've bought some of the little 1ml syringes to try to harvest colostrum antenatally. Those of you that managed this, did you hand express directly into the syringe or did you express into a cup or something first? The syringes are much tinier than I expected and I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to express directly into them!

GingerHanna Mon 16-Oct-17 21:22:43

@PinkHippo1 I express a few drops out and then use the syringe to suck them off my nipples. You won't be able to express directly into the syringe.

PinkHippo1 Mon 16-Oct-17 21:54:32

Thanks Ginger...sounds like it might take a bit of practicesmile

Soon2bemum2017 Mon 16-Oct-17 22:29:19

I have been hand expressing since 36 weeks (just over 2 weeks) i've found there are very precise areas around the areola i need to be expressing from to get the colostrum to come out.

I started with 1ml from each breast once a day and now get 2.5ml from each breast twice a day. The key is to get yourself nicely relaxed infront of a long tv program and just take your time smile

Foggymist Mon 16-Oct-17 22:46:34

You won't get a flow of colostrum, as mentioned it comes in tiny amounts and isI too thick to really flow. I hand expressed colostrum for the first time about 10 hours after my son was born and got 0.5mls, midwife said that was loads as they need so little.

AGnu Mon 16-Oct-17 22:48:42

You can express directly into the syringe if you get caps for it. Remove the plunger bit & put it somewhere clean, pop the cap on & express into the end the plunger came from. Don't overfill the syringe because when you replace the plunger you'll need to flick at the syringe to get the air bubble to the top before removing the cap, slowly pushing the air out & replacing the cap.

I had to syringe feed my first for a few days because he just wouldn't take to breastfeeding. I expressed antenatally for DS2, just in case & am currently 36w & have accrued a grand total of 3ml for DC3 so far!

Aside from the massage & just trying it regularly, there are some foods that are supposed to help with milk production. Oats & fennel tea, among others, I think! As others have said, take your time, relax & keep at it. No point in using a pump at this stage - you'll only be getting drops out, the pumps are only really useful once your milk comes in a few days after birth.

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