Expressing question

Lily is 10 days old and I'd quite like to start expressing soon - I'm not intending to offer anything other than the breast until she's a bit older but I would like to have a back-up plan in case I get stuck somewhere without her and hubby needs to feed her (had the nerve to nip to the Post Office the other day & had to abandon my quest for stamps after hubby called & everyone in the PO could hear Lily demanding her dinner down the phone!)

Is there any reason not to start? Any tips? (how often, etc?)


  • It depends on the kind of freezer you have. but BM can be stored for up to 6 months in the right freezer do some research online to see what type you have. x x
  • I there glad all is going well. You can store EBM for 6 months in the freezer so plenty of time to use it up - we've still got some now that I am using up on Max's cereal so should be fine.

    No reason not to start now. I needed to express for Max to have top ups when he was tiny so because it was a neccessity I expressed after EVERY feed - this does increase your supply and I leaked LOADS and am sure it was partly down to this. First thing in the morning is definitely the easiest time to express and you will get most then but in the evening may be useful too.

    I agree and found Manual pumps RUBBISH wish I hadn't spent on them. I too got the medela swing and it was a life saver and is safely stored in the cupboard until the next one hopefully arrives.

    Any more questions would be happy to help! image
  • Well they say that it is a bit better to wait for the milk supply to be fully established, before you start expressing. ( I think full establishment is like a month or smth).

    My Hugo is 3 months now, I am still not expressing, because I have a ton of milk, and I fear if I start I will get even more!

    I think on websites like laleche and so on there are really good tips how to start of the expressing and how to fit it in into daily routine.
  • Thanks ladies, you are always so helpful. Going to have an experiment now just to see what happens :\)

    About how much would a newborn drink at each sitting? (ie how much can I expect to express, ball-park?) And will the milk just stop coming when the boob's empty?
  • Hi

    Milk will stop when boob empty but its worth giving it a good shake and storing it in two bags if you get lots; my lo only took a couple of oz at first and its so depressing to tip your milk down the sink.

    Don't forget to label the bags so you can use them in date order - i found an old one lurking in the freezer months later!
  • You may not get much to begin with - some people get loads, others very little. I tried to express early on and got less than an ounce! My lo was putting on weight so I was producing enough! Now I get about 3oz in 15mins (both sides) then if I wait 10 mins i;ll get another z if i'm lucky. If lo misses a brestfeed - eg if I go out and and leave her with her dad - I can get 5oz plus in 5 mins just from 1 side!

    I think that my instructions for the pump said to just express for a min each side 1st time then build it up. To help, you can imagine your lo feeding and look at lo.
  • To work out how much to give in a bottle my hv told me:
    babys weight in lbs divided in half would be the right amount in ozs (so 9lb8oz you would offer 4.5oz of milk to) but I always added an extra oz just incase as you don't want to not have enough! But he didn't always drink it all and I think only a couple fo times drained the bottle. To freeze it we used ice cube trays (we measureed the ice cube trays first and each 'pot' was 20mls so we knew that we could get however many cubes out and that was x number of ozs so easy)

    I never expressed till I didn't get anymore as I sometimes sat for 20mins and still got some out so I would get bored. I just used to express for 5 mins of each boob so 10 mins in total. Just do whaever works for you!
  • Ooh thanks again all, help really appreciated. Just did 15 mins & got just short of 3oz from one boob - didn't empty it, just got bored.

    Not going to express regularly just yet, just wanted to see what happened really. Might have to invest in an electric one - as a first-timer that was fascinatng, but I can see how it might get boring!

    Haha, I'm sitting here just staring at the little pot, feel so proud!

  • hiya
    this is where i go against the 'wait until youre established' info - I'd recommend starting expressing asap, as it really really helps to have that extra feed there already when they hit their first growth spurt. It makes it much easier to deal with, even if you never express afterwards.... choose one time of the day when you can get ten mins to yourself and express from both sides, or just one, or choose two times during the day to do it, and have two extra feeds there....

    i swear this is why Ollies first growth spurt was easier to handle.

    the new guidelines for storing ebm is up to 8 days in the fridge (depending on the temp and how often it is opened) but usually up to 48 hours in most norma fridgs, up to 6 months in an upright freezer that isnt used too much, or if you have a deep freeze/chest freezer you can store it at the bottom of that for up to 12 months, depending on how often it is opened (if you go into it everyday then it would be safer to use it within 6 months say...)

    I found it easier to pour it into bags for storage as they took up less room, but then I was storing 150+ feeds....

    I bought an avent electirc and it was great, quiet and fast and I could get up to 6 oz a time withing about 5 mins.
    I used to break this into 4 or 5 oz bags (Ollie was 5 months at the time) and also had some 2oz bags as well so if he wanted more i could give him the extra 2 oz....
    a newborn could be taking anything up to 3 or 4 oz, depending on their appetite.

    Dont worry if you dont get any out sometimes, if you keep trying it then your body will get used to feeding an extra feed.

  • Just adding - if you put it in the fridge it should be at the back and near the bottom. I find that it only lastsd a few days in my fridge before it starts to smell funny.
  • The having some ready for the growth spurt theory sounds good - thanks Stephe. In the back of my mind I think that's why I want to get going sooner rather than later - I want to start stockpiling "just in case".

    Thanks for the tip about fridge storage, Loopy Loo, I wouldn't have known that.
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