Expressing Breastmilk

Melanie - posted on 12/31/2008 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My son is now 5 weeks and I'm breastfeeding. He will soon have to go to daycare and I'm realy batteling with the expresing of breastmilk to get him to drink from a bottle. What can I do? I realy don't want to feed him formula!

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Krista - posted on 01/10/2009

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Congrats on your choice to breastfeed!! If you are good at using the breast pump...get lots stored up before you have to go back. Your son will eat, when he is hungry. When he realizes he is still getting the good stuff he will eat. If your not around he my also take to the bottle a lot easier. It's very time consuming but you can also use a syringe to feed him. That is what they do in the hospital when you rest after delivery. If for some reason you can't continue to express enough milk to keep up.....trying formula earlier might not be a bad idea at least at the sitters.

Sara - posted on 01/04/2009

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I'm not sure what you've already tried, but if you're still working on him taking the bottle, I'd recommend having someone else give it to him, and you need to leave the room or better yet, the house. That way your baby can't smell you, and you won't be tempted to rush in if it doesn't go well. He'll get it!

As for pumping, I'll give you my schedule as an example. I've been doing this since 12 weeks, and she's 4.5 mos now:

We get up at 6, and I feed my baby. Then I pump both sides (since I'm pretty full if she has gone all night without feeding). I give my baby a little "top off" feeding at 7:30/7:45 just before I bring her to daycare. I leave her 3 - 4 oz bottles and 1-2 oz bottle. Sometimes she needs to 2 oz bottle at 3:45-4:15, and I pick her up at about 5:10, so they do that for me so I can mostly feed her myself.

I pump through the day at 10 am, 12:30 and 3 pm for about 15 minutes. My morning pumpings are usually most effective, and I've heard it said that an empty breast produces more milk. Sometimes if I need extra milk, I'll pump again after her last feeding at night. I generally don't get a lot then, but if I do that for several days, I generally manage to increase my supply.

Good luck! Leaving your child to go back to work is awful, but you will get used to it! And you can keep BFing!

Kerian - posted on 01/01/2009

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have u tried breast compressions while pumping. i find i getr an extra ounce out if i do them.

Rebecca - posted on 12/31/2008

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Oh and by the way, I think one of the most important things to remember is that no matter how you work it out, it will be fine. When you're going back to work and your baby is so little, everything feels really really magnified and important, emotions run rampant, and it's hard to remember that you're doing fine, your baby is healthy, and you're a good mom. In 5 years, this will only be a little story for you to share with some other new mom who is figuring out how to negotiate the same thing. There are many many right ways to do it, and you will find the right way for you - and even if it doesn't work out great right away, it will right itself as you go along. It's great that you're asking the question, but don't give it too much weight - just love your baby, keep him safe, and know that he's not going to starve!

Kristin - posted on 12/31/2008

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And try the Advent bottles, they are the best. No messing with bags, no peices to put back together or anything like that. :) We tried several different bottles, it was the only one my so would take :)

Kristin - posted on 12/31/2008

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I had this same problem. I had a hard time breastfeeding. I pumped like crazy, took special pills, drank special tea, it was a huge pain. Anyway, at 8 weeks, my son started daycare and I had no choice but to ween him onto his bottle. He will eventually eat when he gets hungry. You aren't doing him any harm by giving him formula if he has had breastmilk for the first few weeks. The Colostrum comes out only in the first few days and it has the most immunity boosters in it, so dont' feel guilty if you have to switch to formula. It's just gotta be done. It's expensive...but it is what it is I guess! Breastmilk is always best but sometimes for a working mom, you have to do what you have to do and he's gotten enough of the most important immunities already anyway.

Wendy - posted on 12/31/2008

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I found that a double electric pump like the Medela mini electric pump was a great investment, I could pump both breasts at once and seemed to get a lot more milk. It was great for pumping during tea and lunch breaks when I went back to work as well. I also found that the peristalitic nipple teats work great, e.g. Pigeon, not sure if you have them were you are but worth a try. Mostly though don't stress, these things take time and patience and each baby is different. Also remember that if he is breast feeding most of the time there won't be much extra milk, when you go back to work you will feel the difference:) Good luck.

Rebecca - posted on 12/31/2008

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First: don't panic! Just keep doing what you're doing - I pumped as much as I could and froze it while I was home (I had to go back to work at 8 weeks), so there was a pretty good supply in the freezer before I ever left home. That, along with what I could squeak out while I was at work and then extra at home on the weekends, meant that by the time my son weaned, we still had a huge back-up supply.

I would also suggest never giving your son a bottle unless you are not around him. Your supply will stay stronger the more you can nurse him - we never gave my son a bottle until the day I went back to work, which freaked me out at the time because what if he wouldn't take it and starved to death - but he did fine. My husband waited until he was sort of but not super hungry, offered him the bottle, baby was a little startled, then realized it was just food, and was very happy to eat from that. But he still would nurse immediately when I got home from work - I think we both missed each other, so that was a great way to reconnect at the end of the day!

Powe0124 - posted on 12/31/2008

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My daughter (now almost three) never took more than an ounce at a time before starting daycare at 12 weeks. I was very worried and tried every type of nipple, but when it came down to it she did fine after a couple days at daycare. They get hungry and will eat, so don't worry too much about it. By the way, I coped with those first couple months back by just imagining her sleeping the whole time I was away, which wasn't that far from the truth. Good luck!

Jen - posted on 12/31/2008

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Just keep trying with the bottle. I started my daughter from day 1 with the bottle knowing she would be going to daycare. Luckily we didn't have any nipple confusion. Try the Dr. Brown nipples they work really well. Also just as a side note. When he does go to day care make sure that he's used to the bottle and used to other people feeding him. I say this because day cares have to throw away breast milk if the baby doesn't drink it. They're not allowed to put the bottle back in the fridge. My daughter's milk got dumped a few times because she wasn't used to a set amount of milk in the bottle.

[deleted account]

I had to do the same thing with my son. My nurse had me pumping even while he was nursing so that my body would keep up. You might have to try different bottles to see if there is one that wont nipple confuse him. I found one and mine went back and forth pretty easily. Start now though. Also I spent the money on an electric pump. It really made the difference and I was able to nurse till he was well over one. He did decide at about nine months to go fully off the nipple. But he went straight to a sippy cup. That was a way that he did not get so confused also. You might be able to go to a local pregnacy crisis center and they might donate or sell you the electric pump. Thats where I got mine.

Carrie - posted on 12/31/2008

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I had problems getting my milk to come in at the very beginning, so the LC had me pump like crazy while I was in the hospital. After I nursed my son, I had to pump. She said to always pump for at least 5 minutes after the milk stops flowing. This helped me - and when he wanted more than I had, I would pump more to boost supply. Maybe this will help? However now that I am back to work and have to express milk every day - my supply is slowly going down, no matter how long I pump. The little ones are just so much better at getting the milk out that a machine. We have had to resort to supplementing with formula while he is at daycare. He eats about 6 oz at a time - so we will mix 4 oz breastmilk with 2 oz formula. So he is still getting mostly breastmilk, and I can keep up with the expressed supply.

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