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    Default Expressing during pregnancy - how to store the milk

    I'm 36+3 weeks so am going to ask my midwife tomorrow if it's ok for me to start hand expressing colostrum. I've been reading about it and lots of people say to store it in syringes in the freezer, but doesn't it leak out? Also how do you get it into the syringe, I can imagine pulling the bit out and expressing into the back / top of the syringe but again, doesn't it run out?

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    Default Expressing during pregnancy - how to store the milk

    I Hand expressed from 34wks as bubs was always coming out at 37wks. I used 3ml syringes and expressed into a small baby bottle. Then put the syringe in the bottle and pulled it back to fill it. I managed to fill 1 each day and store in the freezer like that with a date on it in a lunch box

    Edit it never leaked at all you need pressure put on the top for that to happen

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    JR03  (09-03-2017)

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    If you have a medicine cup you can express into that too. If your Midwife has some expressing syringes she can give you, hopefully she will probably give you some caps for the syringes too.

    Jump on the ABA website for information on how to safely express and store your colostrum. For example, you can express for one day, freeze all the colostrum into one syringe but you just have to make sure the colostrum is the same temp when you put it into the syringe.

    Also, ask your Midwife for some hospital ID stickers to put on your syringes if you're planning to take them into hospital. Write on the sticker the date and time of the first expression included in that syringe.

    Just be mindful that once defrosted it's only good for 24hrs. I hate it when people come in to be induced and bring all their expressed colostrum with them as inevitably it's defrosted by the time they give it to me, and there's no guarantee they'll actually deliver within 24hrs. All that hard work could be for nothing. It's so sad! If you have risk factors such as diabetes etc, leave at home until you've actually had Bub and then get someone to bring it in.

    I've already grabbed a stockpile of syringes and caps from work haha. I plan to start from about 34 weeks.

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    babybeeno1  (09-03-2017),JR03  (09-03-2017)

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    Thanks ladies for your responses. @M'LadyEm if my midwife doesn't have any, are syringes with caps something you can buy at the chemist?

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    Probably not. I've not seen them at a chemist before, just regular syringes. Hopefully your Midwife can give you some today!

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    Just a Q - why do people express/keep colostrum? Is it so you have a lot when baby is born or does it help bring on labour after a while (hence why not to statt to early?).

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    Nipple stimulation can bring on labour, which is why the recommendation is to wait until you're close to term to start.

    Expressing of colostrum is actually recommended for people who have risk factors such as diabetes (gestational, type 1 or type 2), as having the expressed colostrum handy after birth can be given to bubs who may have issues maintaining their blood sugars after birth. Also, if you know in advance you're going to be separated from baby at birth for medical reasons (i.e. Bub needs to go to the nursery) then having some stockpiled colostrum can be helpful so you're not under stress to express straight away after birth to have something to feed Bub if you're not wanting to give formula.

    Me personally, I have polycystic ovaries so I'm really not sure how my milk will come in. So I plan to express a couple of times a day from about 34 weeks, so that if I have issues with supply in the early days, I'm not going to be super stressed about it (as cortisol, the stress hormone, inhibits milk production).

    Also some women just like to have it as a back up so that if they have a sleepy baby in the first day or so (which is totally normal mind you!), they still have something to feed Bub if they're too sleepy to attach to the breast.

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    My reason for wanting to do it is because my daughter was born via emergency c-section under a general anesthetic and were separated for 3 hours as there were some complications with my surgery. I'm really hoping for a VBAC this time so hope not to be separated but just want to prepare for it so baby isn't left hungry for hours following birth.

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    Wow this is so cool and interesting. I have never heard of expressing colostrum during pregnancy... I've never had any colostrum I've noticed to express until after the birth. Im definitely going to research it this time. My last baby was a footling breech and huge emergency and they had to give her formula after birth because I was unconscious. I didnt mind though, but the staff were SO stressed out explaining to me why they had to give her formula, it is like they expected legal action! Really when it comes down to it, the baby is a person too and their health is just as important. But it would have been so nice to have colostrum they could have given her. Im really excited I found this thread.

    Could you buy lots of syringes and freeze the colostrum in the syringes individually? Would that work? Because newborns really dont drink a lot of colostrum in the first couple of days.

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    My supply built very quickly from expressing antenatally; I had 10 x 5ml syringes frozen, then I started freezing it in BM storage bags due to the quantity and had about another 300ml frozen.

    When bub arrived, I had the syringes with me and I wasn't separated from him so thought the colostrum would be wasted, until they tested him and he had jaundice and they wanted me to give him 42ml top-ups between breastfeeds, then it went up to 50ml the next day! So I got hubby to bring in all the milk I had frozen at home. It was great because it meant he didn't have to have any formula, and I started expressing in hospital as soon as he started needing the top ups so I was always a few feeds ahead of him. It helped significantly and the midwives were so impressed with my supply.


 

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