expressing exclusively?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Nutrition' started by erin, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. erin

    erin Well-Known Member

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    Hi all! As I've mentioned in a previous post, I've been having problems with breastfeeding. I'm really trying to sort it out but it seems that whatever I try I end up with painful lumps that expand on my breasts and take usually a couple of days to subside, a painful couple of days really!

    Last time I got them, I posted in the forum and I ended up deciding to exclusively breastfeed every three hours, no expressing, no missed feeds for any reason. Well, it didn't work and during the weekend I had very engorged breasts - both of them - with big painful lumps!

    I don't understand what I'm doing wrong, last time I went to a breastfeeding group and the midwife running it told me that Maya is latching on well and that this is most likely not the problem. However, having trying everything else, I now decided to give it a final go and try and exclusively express to see if that makes any difference. I started off yesterday, expressing every 4 hours. I manage to get 3.5 - 4 oz each time, which seems to keep Maya (and mummy) happy. The lumps have disappeared more or less, the engorgement remains however. I really hope this wil work as I don't think I can live with those recurring lumps for longer - I will give up if it doesn't work.

    I have a few questions about expressing though. I use an Ameda dual pump (I don't express both breasts at the same time though, not that brave yet!) which the midwife from the breastfeeding group lent me for 2 months. When I start expressing I get a good flow but after a couple of minutes I have to squeeze my breasts in order to get some milk out - is that normal? Is that what I'm supposed to be doing? Also, if Maya wants more, how could I get my supply up? Would I have to express more often or try and express for longer at each feed even though nothing comes out? Has anyone tried to exclusively express? Do you think it's plausible? What is your experience?

    Sorry if this is long and thanks for all the help and advice!
    :hug:
     
  2. lauramumof2

    lauramumof2 Well-Known Member

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    hi erin,
    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I dont think your supply will last if you exclusively breastfeed. I think its the baby that really gets the supply to keep going but I dont know what to suggest with regards to the engorement.

    Sorry :(
     
  3. leckershell

    leckershell Well-Known Member

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    Think you meant express?

    I don't personally know but have heard the same, that a baby is better at getting the milk out than a pump, so you are expressing less than the baby would usually feed. This would then tell your breasts to make less milk, and eventually just lower the supply?

    That's what I understand of it, but no doubt the others will be able to be a bit more definate.
     
  4. lauramumof2

    lauramumof2 Well-Known Member

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    :doh: I did mean express. Pregnancy brain strikes again. I should just stick to reading the posts.
     
  5. valentine

    valentine Well-Known Member

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    Hey,

    I think SarahH expressed exclusively for the first 3-4 months, I'll send her a PM for you.

    So sorry to hear you are struggling erin - I really admire your determination. Have you tried calling the NCT b/feeding helpline or La Leche league to see if they have any advice?

    Xxx
     
  6. lozzi

    lozzi Well-Known Member

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    Sorry im not going to be of much use as i ahe never been able to express more than half an ounce personally...


    BUt have some hugs.. :hug:
     
  7. SarahH

    SarahH Well-Known Member

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    Hello!!! Sorry just got my PM from Valentine.

    I managed to exclusivly express feed Arianna for about 15-16wks or so. I wont lie to you it was really hard work, but I was determained to give her breast milk, but she would just refuse to latch on, even with all the help from ladies on here and the bf nurses.

    Luckily for me, my boobs were literally like cows udders. Once we were in to a good routine of feeding times I used to start expressing about 30min before feeding time. At first I could get about 4oz off, but that went up to 8-9oz after a while.

    I used loads of different pumps but always went back to the hand pump - found it to be more comfortable.

    Anything more, please PM me!!
     
  8. Sammystar

    Sammystar Well-Known Member

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    Hi hun

    You can exclusively express, I've done it.

    It is very hard work though, so prepare yourself for that.

    I used an Ameda pump and it was great. I did have LOADS of milk though!

    I would recommend pumping both breasts at the same time. Not only does it get supply up, it also means you get more milk in less time!

    Keep at it, you're doing a great job!
     
  9. erin

    erin Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for your advice! SarahH and Sammystar this is so encouraging! Well done to you both! SarahH, I would be happy if I could last for half the time you did; 15-16 weeks, that's amazing! :clap:

    I will try it for a few days and see if the lumps reappear. Maybe this could be the answer to our problem. I'll let you know how it goes.
    :hug:
     
  10. Marijana FC

    Marijana FC Well-Known Member

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    Hey Erin,

    I've been exclusively expressing for the last two and a half months. It is doable but very difficult especially if you don't have people around to help you. My baby is very needy aand I don't have family around to look after her while I am expressing Also, it takes a lot of will power to keep on getting up in the night to express although your baby is sleeping.
    But it is all worth it! Danica is growing beautifully and health visitors can't belive it's all from expressed milk! :D
    I am nevertheless thinking about stopping soon: it is becoming a serious strain. :D
    Anyway, good luck with it and write if you need help/support! :hug:
     
  11. batgirl3111

    batgirl3111 Well-Known Member

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    Breastfeeding for me just didn't work so I have been expressing aswell. I can't get enough to feed him all the time but I feed him breastmilk during the day and formula at night (it also means I get a bit more sleep as formula fills him up for longer). It is definitely the expressing during hte middle of the night which is hardest but I think it is worth it. I am so glad to see that other people are expressing so much as I thought I was alone.
     
  12. erin

    erin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your replies :) Batgirl3111, I also wanted to see how other mothers get on with feeding so I started a thread on feeding experience where I collect info about feeding habits. You could add your own feeding experience in my thread. I will be producing a graph with interesting information about feeding habits etc if I manage to get enough responses to make the results more representative. :)
     
  13. batgirl3111

    batgirl3111 Well-Known Member

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    I am now really concerned as the health visitor has suggested I give Daniel bigger feeds and I just don't think I am ever going to express enough. I don't know whether it is going to be worth me expressing if I can't give him what he needs. I am feeling quite depressed about it all, this is just not what I imagined would happen.
     
  14. Lucy*

    Lucy* Member

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    Dear Erin,

    I don't usually post here but I saw your message and wanted to answer. I have been exclusively expressing for my son for seven months now and still going strong. To start with I was only getting very small amounts - 2.5 ounces every three hours - and I had to supplement with a bottle of formula everyday. I persevered and ended up with 40 oz a day - enough milk to meet my baby's needs, freeze some and donate some to a milk bank.

    Initially I was pumping seven times a day. I am now down to three times a day, which is much more manageable. Ideally you should pump six or seven times a day to start with to build your supply up. You may then be able to start dropping pumps.

    Your original post was a few weeks ago now so let me know if you have any questions I can help with. It is hard work obviously but it can be done!

    Good luck,

    Lucy
     

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