Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:39 pm
Post subject: When to express?
Throughout pregnancy we'd decided I was only going to breastfeed for a short time. Partly because I'm only taking a few months off work and I didn't want LO getting attached and partly because I'm only small chested and had kinda convinced myself I wouldn't be able to anyway (silly I know).
Well LO is 16 days old now and we're still going . I'm loving it, but finding it so demanding. She can seemingly feed for hours at a time, but we think a lot of it is comforting as she tends to play about at the nipple. She has got a really good latch and seems to be getting enough milk but sometimes she just pulls herself off and on.
Have bought a pump and am thinking about starting to express. The midwife said to wait to 4 weeks, but the health visitor said now is fine, but no later than 6 weeks. I just really don't know what to do. I feel like a failure if I stop, even though have already done it for longer than planned. OH is desperate for me to stop as he thinks it's too hard on me and he feels helpless. Also I think he feels he is missing out a bit by not being able to feed her.
Know it's got to be my decision but just wondering what your opinions/experiences are?
Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:53 pm
If you are loving it, could you try a mix? Maybe express for night feeds so husband can get involved and bf in day?
It takes a little while to get used to expressing and you may not get as much ad she drinks, at least at first do might be an idea to express a few lots before you get started giving her it. I would also store in 2-3 ounce lots so not wasting too much if not drunk all. You can get special milk bags that can be stored in the fridge or freezer. I believe it can be kept 5 days at back of fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.
IG you decide you want yo still do some feeding, I would pick one time a day to express, so u don't mess with your supply too much.
Some peeps express one side while feeding on other. I couldn't do this as bubs fed both sides every feed but I believe works for some.
Hope helps. Most important thing, whatever you decide, is that you and bubs are happy. However you choose bubs will be fine.
Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:01 pm
It's funny how advise differs isn't it. My HV told me not to express before 6 weeks so as not to upset supply.
I can't tell you much about expressing other than I was rubbish at it and couldn't get much out.
What I will say about breastfeeding is it gets sooo much easier. My OH often said I should stop in the beginning as he wanted to be of more help till I told him to be more supportive.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:07 pm
I had to express for the first five weeks after Frankie was born as she wouldn't latch. I personally would listen to the hv as they tend to deal with aftercare and I think it's to do with baby not accepting a bottle as easily if you don't introduce it before 6 weeks - I dunno how true that is though.
I'm happy to give any advice you need. With storing the milk I wouldn't worry too much about splitting it between bags unless you're freezing it. You can always use part of a bag rather than the whole contents to stop wastage. you may need to express over a day or two to have enough for the first feed but after than you can express when you don't feed. To be honest it's a lot of effort if you don't have to do it - feeding, expressing, washing and sterilising instead of just feeding! I would just keep feeding if you want and ask your partner to help in other ways. Asking you to stop if you don't want to is a little unfair in my opinion, but often men don't get how close it makes you feel.
Good luck in what ever you decide!
Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:36 pm
I expressed for the first few months of my older boy's life as he was in PICU. I then went on to breastfeed him until he was 26 months. In my experience expressing is a chore while breastfeeding a baby is lovely. My experience makes me wonder if you may find expressing much harder work than feeding. I could be completely wrong of course.
If you want to continue breastfeeding then go with what feels right to you.
Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:06 am
Thanks for all your replies. Yes you're right, expressing is hard work. We decided to stick to a routine and use a bottle in the evening when she was most demanding. Increased the amount I was expressing over a few days and she always drank the full amount (5oz on Friday!). Seemed to end up very colicky after trying various bottles so we've decided to leave it for now. Was so hard to see her screaming in pain.
Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:29 pm
She may have taken in more air when bottle feeding and had trapped wind as a consequence. The action of sucking on a bottle and boob is quite different, at least you had a go and were able to make an informed decision.
I know you havent mentioned it but I'd be aware of combination feeding too soon, my friend began giving formula on her son's last feed of the day and found that her supply suffered. I dont think it would be a problem when your supply is more established but early on it can lead to mastitis and/or milk supply problems.
If you do want to try again with the bottle, I would make sure you sit her quite upright and wind her part way through the bottle and afterwards. You could also try adding gripe water to help with the wind.
My daughter had awful colic brought on by lactose intolerance and her screaming was the most awful thing!