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expressing/bottle feeds

Hiya, im only 13+5 but ive started thinking about feeding- also in breastfeeding-.
I really want dh to be involved too and was wondering how realistic it is to express so baby can regularly be fed by both of us? tbh im also not entirely comfortable about getting my boobs out every other minute to feed.
I was just thinking how practical it would be? Also i was thinking of using tt ctn range as its been recommended a lot to me along with the medela swing breast pump- what do you think?
Any help would be fab.
xxx

Replies

  • Hi Kaiti,

    It's certainly doable to mix feed with expressed milk and plenty do it. I had to mix feed from the start as LO was an early baby and struggled to breast feed and gain weight. I was BFing for 20mins and then offering a top up bottle with every feed.

    Initially I was expressing and offering her what I got in the top up but to be honest I struggled to get enough for full feeds and had to supplement with some formula. After a couple of weeks (I think, can't remember how long), I decided to stop expressing as I had no time to actually enjoy my baby as my day would be:- BF 20 mins, burp, offer top up bottle for further 10-15mins, burp and put baby down to sleep, express for about 45mins, clean pump, sterilize pump and by the time all that was done it was pretty much time to start again! It was making me miserable so I cut the expressing and just did 20min BF followed by top up of formula and I was so much happier.

    This is just my experience and every one is different.

    Once you've got the hang of BFing you may find you're more comfortable to feed in public so don't rule it out. I was never comfy doing it in public and only did once in my 14 weeks of BFing. I found it hard to be discrete as I also had to use nipple shields and felt clumsy when not at home. But again just my experience.

    I would advise you to have a rough plan of how you'd like to feed but to remain flexible and follow your LOs lead when they arrive. Do what is best for you both.
    xxx
  • Hi, my LO would not latch on and suck at all, so I was expressing exclusively for a couple of weeks then mix, now formula. My experience was that it was difficult getting enough milk by expressing as it's not as efficient as a baby. The medela swing was ok, but I was expressing almost all day so I hired a double pump, plus extra accessories so didn't have to sterilise quite so often. Also got pumping bras so didn't have to hold onto the pump(s) which is essential. It was still tough though, seemed to be whenever LO needed cuddles I was stuck to a pump - having the motivation to pump through the night was also tough as I was so tired, but it is essential to keep milk supply up.

    I had a bit of added stress as I didn't want to be doing it, I wanted to BF and was very upset every time I tried and it didn't happen. For 3 weeks we fed LO with a medela cup feeder so that she wouldn't get nipple confusion. Then because we had to start topping up with formula as she had a growth spurt and I couldn't keep up, and the stress was too much we decided to switch to formula and use bottles. I still expressed for a few more weeks until I dried up as I expressed less and less frequently.

    Before I 'gave up' she had actually started sucking, but her latch wasn't right and I had to take her off after a few seconds so she didn't damage my nipples so she still wasn't being breastfed. I feel really guilty now that I gave up too soon, but at the time it was so upsetting I felt I couldn't keep trying. However, I kept giving her 'access' to the nipple in the hope that she might pick it up as she grew. But it seemed as soon as she'd started on bottles she got nipple confusion and completely went backwards and didn't latch on at all. I did start with the CTN bottles, but they were collapsing and she was dribbling everywhere so went on to Dr Browns.

    A final observation, if you feel uncomfortable getting your boobs out, that's all you do when expressing. If anything you are exposed a lot more & if you have visitors you really can't do it in front of them as it's much more difficult to cover up than breastfeeding (and also unnatural so it seems even weirder iykwim).

    There are people who exclusively express though so it can be done. Also if breastfeeding is going well then you can start expressing on top. But I would not hope to do a lot of expressing from the start if you want to give breastfeeding a good go.

    HTH


  • thanks for the replies ladies, you've given me a lot to think about x
  • I exclusively pump and have been for 12 weeks, it's hard up until they're 6 weeks old then it's a lot easier image x
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