Expressing milk

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babyblossom Posts: 78
Girls, I will admit to being a clueless firstimer with plenty of questions! I am wondering about expressing milk, can this be done pretty soon after baba is born? I know women can have issues with baby not latching on properly etc. would a solution to this be to express instead? Im sure its not this simple and this is me being very naive.. does expressing take alot of time? would appreciate your comments and thoughts.
ghostchild2 Posts: 6237
DS was in SCBU when he was born and at the begining he was fed through a tube so I expressed. The hospital had a room and gave me equipment to start with. You need to express every 4 hours to build and maintain your supply. I then bought a pump and continued to express for about 4 weeks. I won't lie it was hard. It takes time to express and then you have to clean and sterilise the equipment etc and then DS would need feeding and changing etc in between. It can be done though and you might find easier than I did :wv
FoxyLockz Posts: 2448
I was thinking about this too. I had my mind made up that I'd bottlefeed but i would love to be able to get the best of both worlds. I read somewhere that about 3 days after you give birth your milk comes in but before that does, you produce colostrum and your baby can feed on this too. Breast Feeding is a touch subject on here as i've seen from several threads but expressing is yet another way you can benefit from both worlds.
ghostchild2 Posts: 6237
Just to add that from what I've read Expressing in some ways is harder than BFing. Also my milk never really came in properly so I also had to use formula.
PaniniRoses Posts: 3628
It's generally recommended to express only once your supply is established, usually about 6 weeks, but there are a lot of women who express before that. One of the things about expressing exclusively from very early on is that it doesn't stimulate the nipple in the same way as a suckling baby does so you don't always get the same demand-supply chain (with bf, the more the baby feeds, the more your body produces, hence during growth spurts, babies need to feed a lot more than usual for a couple of days which increases the supply to what they need as they grow). Tbh, I can't tell you much more than that because I found any time I did express it caused over supply issues for a few days and since DD wasn't keen on a bottle til she was nearly 5 months, it just didn't seem worth it! If you post over on M&K there are lots of mums there who have expressed and can give you better advice. And you should check out which is the bf online bible! Just on expressing being the best of both worlds, I found it so tedious when I did do it - it can take ages to get what you need, and you've still got all the washing and sterilising of pump pieces and bottles. And once I got the hang of it, and we were lucky, DD and I took to it very well and had very few problems, I bf'ed any and everywhere, whereas there is no-where I could have pumped in privacy other than my own home. Then again, as I didn't do it very much, maybe there are strategies I just don't know about. Good luck and enjoy whatever you decide!
strangeangel Posts: 1269
From my limited experience I wouldn't say it's the best of both worlds, though it is a handy option if needed. I expressed from day 2 as DD had trouble latching and it's hard work doing that regularly and then all the cleaning that's involved. But once DD was able to feed properly I stopped the expressing and in general if you're not having problems with feeding to begin with, they recommend waiting until your supply regulates after 6 weeks before introducing it. Feeding directly was always the easiest option for me, so I never expressed on a regular basis, but later on when I needed to leave DD for a few hours I'd just express once a day for a day or two beforehand to have one bottle ready and in that regard found it very helpful. But the regular expressing for someone else to give a feed just didn't seem worth the hassle to me. Everyone is different there, though, so see how it goes for you.
Daff Posts: 11644
I expressed daily on both girls, in fact was expressing while reading this post, and once I'd a good supply in then it was fine - started doing it daily from about 4 weeks but it wasn't til after 6/7 weeks that my supply was good enough to get any great quantity. nothing will stimulate milk supply like the baby nursing but for those who want to just express you can do it but it takes time and determination and I think they're brilliant for doing it cause it's hard work. if you're BF and want to express then it's easier. I have a routine now and it works great. The pump is washed and put in steriliser in the evening. In the morning I stay in bed and feed dd2 off the right boob and DH goes down and turns steriliser on. When I come down it's ready to go and I pump on the left boob while eating brekkie - cause I do it daily I have a good supply in that boob and get 5/6 ozs in abour 4/5 mins. I then put the whole pump (not the motor!) in to the fridge and pump during the day if I have a few mines spare and feel like I've a good supply there - you pump the opposite boob that LO has just fed from. Usuualy thoug I'm so busy that it's evening before I do. DD2 gets a few ozs of expressed milk at around 6 as this is mad time in our house getting them both ready for bed. DD2 custer feeds then and I'm often on my own and a few nights dd1 would be screaming with hunger but dd2 would be too for feeding so it wasn't working. Now she gets her few ozs and then after they settle I pump both boobs (from teh pump in the fridge still set up!) to keep my supply up in the evening in case I haven't got expressed milk some day or we're out at that time and she needs feeding. I didn't do this on dd1 and my supply was gone at this time of day and we had to have a bottle for her. Then I wash the pump and it all starts over again!