View Full Version : expressing
Can anyone give me some advice on expressing?!
A Bit of back ground - DD has just turned 3 months and has only been having 5 feeds a day for around 2 months now. She is an efficent drinker and feeding usually only goes for around 15 - 20 mins, that's both boobs but sometimes she wants to keep sucking but there is nothing left! She was weighed on friday and had put on 1 pound or just under 400 grams in a month so she is now12p 10oz. I know that my boobs are supposed to settle down around now, but the full feeling has pretty much gone (except after her long sleep at night) and I never leak anymore. Don't get me wrong that's a good thing -I'm just scared that my milk supply is lessening, so i got myself a breast pump to help me boost it up. I just don't know if I'm being paranoid. :confused:
But now I'm not sure when to express. What if I wait a couple of hours, do it, and then DD wakes up- she wont have anything to drink!! Could I give her the bottle? What if she wont take it?!! :eek: I was thinking of doing it now, it's been around 4 hours since her last feed but I'm so scared she is going to wake up! even though this is generally her long sleep, but she only fed four times today, so she just might!
I have used the pump twice now - after I have feed and changed her and she is back in bed but I think I've got about two mills!! :(
Well any advice would be fantastic thanks guys!
Hip hooray for boobs! :D Especially the use to which yours are being put ;)
Ok Lessening supply? Very unlikely in an exclusively bf baby. But what does happen around the age that your baby is, is the boobs have become keenly attuned to only making what she needs and not extra for just in case. So no, very unlikely that you're making less. And if you want to make more, it will only happen if you let her suckle more because demand creates supply. That's why comping is just slow weaning - take out a feed and the boobs don't produce as much and on and on until no more milk. Tragic. The other key to your boobs becoming finely attuned is not being able to pump much. I feed a 23 month old many times a day and since it's been his main food source his whole life and he's healthy and thriving, he's obviously getting enough. But I cannot for the life of me pump anything out at all. I've tried pumping with him on one side causing a let down and I got about 20mls total. Breasts just get really fussy and unless you have breasts that are happy to be pumped, you'll find you don't get any milk that way!
Weight gain is a particular bugbear of mine. When you look at your child's weight, bear all this in mind:-
1. Those charts are based on ff babies from the 1970s and bear almost no relation to bf babies in 2005 as a result.
2. Weight gain is meaningless over such a short time. If your child was consistently losing weight and obviously unwell then it might be part of a larger picture. Healthy thriving babies are obvious at any weight. My son has weighed 10 kilos for nearly a year but is obviously quite fine!
Also, in terms of pumping to increase your supply and there not being milk on board for your daughter, well breasts aren't jugs. If you attach a baby and they suck constantly for an hour you will have several let downs in that time. Breasts are constantly producing and never really empty. When it gets a little low, the baby will want to change sides. When you swap back, there'll be plenty again and a fresh letdown with help out with that.
Try this for some good explanations. Sounds like it's all working swimmingly and you should go on as previous! :)
The following are NOT good ways of judging
1. Your breasts do not feel full. After the first few days or weeks, it is usual for most mothers not to feel full. Your body adjusts to your baby's requirements. This change may occur quite suddenly. Some mothers breastfeeding perfectly well never feel engorged or full.
5. "I can express only half an ounce of milk". This means nothing and should not influence you. Therefore, you should not pump your breasts "just to know". Most mothers have plenty of milk.
Thanks JanetF!!! That was the reasurance I was looking for! :) It's just so hard to really know if what you are doing is the right thing, you can do all the reading in the world but it's not the same as someone with experience giving you advice.
Actually I think the reading of stuff by people who specialise in breastfeeding is pretty useful ;) Remember that your body knew how to nourish and grow your baby in utero and now your body knows how to nourish and grow a baby on the outside! Trust your body, trust your baby and trust in the process. It all works beautifully!
I do agree, I can't emagine how I would've cope with out my BABY LOVE book! I bit the bullet last night and after DD had been asleep for 2 hours I got the pump out - I got around 40 mls this time! She ended up sleeping till 3:30 (11 hrs after her last feed!) and had a fantastic feed. I think I'll try pumping each night after she is in bed that way my boobs will think that she is having that extra feed even though she isn't and my supply will keep up. Also means that I will get a nice little stash for when I have a drink!!
I have worked full time for the last 3 months in an incredibly physical job, but religiously every 3 hours I took myself off and expressed for my daughter, I couldn't have survived without my pump. All I can say is please be carefull boosting your supply by expressing, I did this before I went back to work so that I would have a stash in the freezer when she went into care, and my doctor said to be very careful and aware of any changes in my breasts and watch our for mastitis (which I have already had once). I am now at home again full time and still enjoying breast feeding my little girl. :)
I had the same concern maggies mum!!!! but your little girl is sleeping really well- so she must be feeling full!!!
Thanks JanetF for that info- i must admit i was really worried i wasn't supplying much because my boobs didn't feel full!! JanetF, my little girl 31/2mths is now feeding every 2 hpurs- i thought it was a growth spurt but it has been going on for 3weeks??? Is she not getting enough? i have tried to stretch her out to 3hrs buut she gets really cross- and i get distressed so i have been just feeding her? is this normal cause i was led to believe that she should be up to 3-4hrly by now!
She is not an overweight baby- 62cms- 5.7kgs- but just seems hungry alot!!!
My little girl is also just over 3 months old. She sometimes feeds every 2 - 2.5 hours during the day. At first it worried me but now I know she is happy when I feed her whenever she needs it.
I wouldnt worry so much about how often to feed them. If she seems hungry then put her on the boob - It has worrked for me. Sometimes she will go 3-4 hours during the day but when she gets unsettled she seems to want to drink more often.
2 - 2.5 hours is perfectly normal. Sometimes if you take them out for a walk or something you can stretch it a little but if it's what makes them happy, then go for it! It will never be so simple to supply all your child's needs in one easy package ever again through their lives or yours. Bf supplies so much more than just optimal nutrition :)
A lot of women start panicking around the 3-4 month mark but it's just your supply settling down. Remember, demand creates supply so you can never run out if you feed the babe whenever they need it!
A handy tip:
If you want to express, best time to do it is first thing after the morning feed - more milk is produced after a good night's sleep apparently! I always found I had extra at that time. The other time I used to express was after bub had finished on the breast - I would have to combine a couple of efforts to equal one feed but at least that way you know that there will be plenty there when bub is due for a feed again.
Hope this helps.
A lactation consultant once told me that the best time to express to boost supply is 20 minutes after a feed. And it doesn't matter how much you get - its the stimulation that matters (you can also use your baby for this if that suit you and her!).
I tried expressing 20 mins after the feed and couldn't really get much a couple of drops! I've found if I wait about 3 to 4 hours after Mags last feed for the day when I'm pretty sure she's down for her long sleep I can get quite a bit expressed, the other night I got 70mls!!
I was a little scared about doing this incase she woke up, but she hasn't yet, and if she does I suppose I would try and let her feed from me first and then if she wasn't happy I would attempt giving her the bottle.
There have been a couple of reasons whey I wanted to express:-
1. I had a bit of a panic attack thinking my supply was dropping off, I was wrong Maggie just got very good at what she does and my boobs just settled down into doing what they were made for!!
2. I thought it might be nice for DH to share in the beautiful feeding experience, there's nothing like those big sparkling eyes looking up at up so lovingly!
3. And lastly I suppose this is more of a selfish one but so I could go out and have a couple more drinks than usual, or even just a whole afternoon/day out alone with my girlfriends. I know this might sound awful but sometimes I think you need a break so you come back fresh and happy!! Don't get me wrong I'm VERY happy being with my bubby girl!! :)
Can DH have some lovely skin on skin cuddles with bubs and get some more closeness that way? My ds is about to be 2 and we still have lovely cuddles like that :) Enjoy!
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.9 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.