exclusively expressing

Hi everyone

Sorry I've been awol lately just very busy.

Did anyone exclusively express? Ive been doing this for 6.5 solid weeks now and im seriously wondering if I can carry on. I know the pros completely outweigh the cons and imo ive only one con which is I cant be out of the house for any longer than 3.5hrs....its makibg me think I cant do anything and it rules every decision. Im working on a time schedule.  But then I wonder how many times ill actually be out the house for aby length of time that I cant express somewhere. 

The bf lady has been trying to get me to transition into bf but its too difficult like the last 2 weeks ive managed 5 full feeds but I can only try bf when h home as if it does or doesn't work ive still got to express n if it doesn't work ill have to feed n settle her before I manage to express n by that point my boobs would kill.

Did anyone manage to transition Im finding myself no longer wanting to try bf as its too difficult to transition over as sometimes ive tried bf n she wont have any of it. Xx

Please talk me into keeping up with expressing I know its still best for me n Isabelle. ...im just having a bad day with it. X


  • Firstly, well done for going for over 6 weeks...I managed a week and it was hard going! I know you said you're struggling to bf but could you try going to a bf support group or get someone round to you (as many times as it takes!)? Obviously that would make your life so much easier but I understand it is very difficult. My lo latched about day 5 and it took a lot of practice and even more support. Luckily there was a breastfeeding cafe at the hospital which helped immensely and I'm lucky it was there. Check to see if there is anything similar near you. Also la leche league offer telephone support and are lovely!

    If you are still struggling could you mix feed, express morning, late afternoon and evening and formula feed in the day so you can get out more? Do it over several days or you'll become engorged. That way she's getting the benefits of bm and you get a break and are able to leave the house x

  • No advice sorry boris because we are exclusively formula feeding but well done you for going this long expressing. As smarties says have you considered combined feeding of expressed and formula just to take the pressure off a little bit. You've already given your baby a fantastic start to life but try a local bf cafe if there is one, or ask your HV. Hope you are well otherwise lovely xxx

  • I did it for 6 weeks. Stopped because I tried lactose free milk then various others for his allergy but even if I hadn't, it was getting very expressing for half and hour, struggling if he was crying, feeding him etc. I also kept it up for as long as I did as I was rattling with omega 3 pills to try and help repair his brain damage ( I know that sounds daft but I thought it can only help, worth a try etc). If it weren't for those factors I don't think I could continue long term. It's very tiring and time consuming.

    No one would think bad I you if you stopped. You've already given her the best start you could. If you're just having a bad day give it a few more and see how you feel before deciding anything x

  • Well done for doing this so far, I did this for the first 3 months as b was prem, I found it very difficult especially at night when I was awake for an hour and a half expressing and hen giving him a bottle. After 3 months I just couldn't carry on as it was so restrictive, and was taking its toll on me, I started mix feeding for a few weeks as I had quite a bit stored in the freezer, it really took the pressure off, but after him being used to the bottle I decided not to try breast feeding, you have to do what's best for your family x

  • Sounds like you have done an amazing job expressing for this long, I found it hard work just in the first week and that was with a very sleepy newborn, i can't imagine when feeding on demand and through growth spurts etc. I hope you can find some help to establish bf if you want to keep trying but please don't feel bad, whatever the outcome, whatever you decide will be best for your LO, feeding has to work for both of you and there is nothing bad about formula. Perhaps mix feeding might be the best of both worlds for you?

  • Hi Boris hope you are well! I have also been awol as had an eventful last few weeks of pregnancy but my little boy is 6 weeks now and, like you, I have been expressing for that time. Last week I made the decision to stop as it was really taking its toll but I am still expressing now morning and night to try and relieve some of the pain.

    It really was such a hard decision to stop and not one I have made lightly but I was getting exhausted being up for nearly 2 hours in the night expressing, sterilising and then doing night feeds too.

    Also going out (we are sometimes out for 6-8 hours in the day) I'd take all the stuff with me and have to find somewhere to express every 3 hours!  It is hard going.  You have done amazingly getting to 6 weeks - is she having any formula top ups? This is what ultimately swayed my decision - I was only expressing enough for 2/3 feeds a day max and he was having so much formula as it was that moving to just formula didn't seem such a huge step.

  • I think expressing is very hard work and I was never able to get the hang of it. BF is also hard work in the first few weeks but does eventually settle and become easier. If you really want to get on to BF from the breast I'd recommend spending a couple of days at home where you just focus on the BF. If that is not successful then you could look at mixed feeding which would take the pressure off somewhat.

    There was someone on here (well the old Hitched) who did manage to express for months but her baby had a cleft palate I think. Most people I know have eventually given up because its so time consuming without the convenience of feeding from the breast.

    See how you feel, you don't want to feel trapped or resentful of the baby because of expressing. You've done well to get to 6 weeks.

  • Hi ladies thanks for ur replies ill try and continue for as long as I can mentally. Iwish I had the time and energy to want to give bf a good go but I just know the times she wont feed from me is when im on my own and even after ive fed her I wont be ablepto settle her. I really wish it was easier to transition from expressing to bf. She hasnt needed any formulatop ups I produce 180-200 ml every 4 hrs. Plus a whole bottom draw in freezer stocked up for when she needs more than I can produce.

  • I think you are doing amazingly. I managed for over 6 months, but only because Luke was in hospital for all that time (and more) so my routine was very different from having a baby to care for at home.

  • Sorry this is so long, grab a cuppa before you start !

    Oh Boris, I've been where you are and it's bloody hard.  It was 6.5 yrs ago now for me and I still think it's the hardest thing I've ever done certainly mentally and emotionally.  Can I ask why you are expressing?  Is it a latching issue or more complicated medically than that?  Are you seeing a BF clinic or specialist?  What do they say and what have you already tried to get closer to feeding direct from the breast?

    I was discharged from hopsital with a perfectly latched feeing baby, (according to the ward MWs) by day 5 we were readmitted as she'd lost almost 15% of her birth weight.  She hadn't actually been sucking or getting any milk at all but being a first time BFer I had no idea what it should feel like and didn't know she wasn't feeding, essentially I starved her for the 1st 5 days of her life.  So that's when the expressing began as she was, by that point, too weak to suck on a boob so a bottle was the easiest and quickest way to get something in to her.  She took a bottle easily and like you I was able to express more than enough for her needs.  Her problem was that she had a prefect latch, so it looked like she was doing the right thing, she just wouldn't suck when on there.  We went to the BF clinic twice a week for 6 weeks and tried just about everything they suggested, from skin to skin, to cup feeding, to putting her to the breast for 10 mins before offering the bottle, to taping a ng tube to my nipple and putting the other end in a bottle of milk, the idea being that when she sucked on the boob, she would get the immediate satisfaction of milk and learn to associate the two.  

    Feeding basically took up our whole day, every feed took 3 feeds i.e put on boob, then bottle/ngtube feed, then express.  I did learn to express out and about and time expressing/feeding so that we could go out though, I expressed in peoples houses, in the back of my friends land rover whilst going up the M1, in the car whilst camping, we even managed to co-ordinate expressing and feeding so that we (H, baby and I) walked up (and down) Snowden when she was 8 weeks old!  I had a double pump at home and used a Medela swing when we were going out.  At night I didn't bother with putting her on the boob and H fed her while I expressed.

    By 6 weeks one of the BFc spent ages with me and huzzah, she fed, so stupidly I decided to go cold turkey and refused to give her any more bottles, as of course she could feed properly when she chose to.  Big mistake, within 2 days I was hugely engorged and then the milk just dissappeared, leaving me with 2 saggy spaniels ear on my chest.  Do NOT try that !  It took 72 hrs of expressing every 3 hrs day and night, to get my supply back and was hell.  I was at breaking point by then though, we'd tried everything suggested, the BFCs were out of new ideas so I resigned myself to just expressing and feeding, forget even trying her on the boob as she just wasn't doing it.  That honestly did feel like a weight lifted from my shoulders and halved the time feeding took.  

    So we carried on for another 6 weeks just expressing and giving it to her from a bottle, didn't put her to the boob at all which took a lot of the frustration out of the process.  It worked but was still time consuming and not ideal as a forever solution.  At 12 weeks I felt like I'd given it my best shot, and maybe it was time to give up, so I got the formula and more bottles in and set a date for switching so I could prepare myself mentally.  I never wanted that day to arrive and felt like a failure but I just couldn't carry on the way we were.  What else could I do?  So the d

  • Hi trio wow thanks for ur reply. Wow what a read ive had a hot choc n now ready to reply myself.

    In hospital after having izzy at 38 weeks via c sec she was extremely mucosy this made her full and not want to feed. Bit she fed a few times only ever with mw help.

    She was then jaundiced as she wasnt eating enough and sgain struggled to get latch right and to get her to stay awake n feed from me. Started to give mire cup feeds than bottle.  Left hospital on day 5 and she was wighed lost 9% cue me feeling guilty altho at home she was certainly having more cup feeds than bf.

    Had bf support lady come out and ended up ringing mw infront of my ssying mum has very large flat nipples baby very sleepy please send someone to check baby over.this scared me completely knocked my confidence even further making me think something was up with her. Anyhoo I then made decision to express as she wouldn't latch right or sometimes not even be interested in boob she would turn her nose up to it

    That was the trouble she was lazy and obv something wasnt right the times she was wiling to try she had couple of sucks then cry as if something wasnt right.

    Over the next few weeks saw a lady from infant support on bf and never really got much help at them.either izzy wasnt hungry at time they came out or over hungry and distressed before they got here in which she would say oh give bottle dont try.

    Over the last few weeks ive tried bf and sometimes she has turned her nose up sometimes she has latched perfectly and fed full feed yet next feed nothing. Not fussed st all.

    I too dont feel bondef with her and I hate to admit this and so ashamed but not enjoying being a mummy atm.

    Ive not a clue what made those feeds successful. I can't recall anything being different.

    I think its a fewcthings with the transition I honestly don't know where to stsrt with it how many complete feeds woukd I need to do to make tge transfer complete without needing to express I feel like ive no idea where to start with it. Her feeding times are so random anywhere from 2.5 hrs to 6 hrs in between. So im worried leaving my boobs that long but I feel I just dont know where to start with it all. And I think mainly that lady really scared me when she rang n asked someone to check baby.

    I have decided im jot ready to give up on either yet so defo a few more weeks at least.

    Id love some help from an internet weirdy lol im Midlands where are you???

    Thanks so much for you help I really appreciate it.


  • I'm on my phone so sorry if this is short and sweet. Due to F being ill we had to use formula in hospital alongside bfing meaning my wonderful latched baby got mega confused and couldn't work out how to remain latched on.  I gave up at 2 weeks old but spent three days then in tears and I decided not to quit and reestablished bfing.

    I then spent weeks trying to bf and regardless of if it worked or not i then had to express every three hours day and night as my supply was messed up. I would offer the breast and if he refused I bottle fed and then expressed. I didn't do anything but this really and I didn't bond with him properly for weeks. My supply got established but he still didn't latch right so I gave up and just expressed but my supply suffered as a result so one last ditched attempt I went to a bfing group and they sent a different health visitor out who suggested nipple shields and we haven't looked back.

    I haven't managed to get him off the shields and I still express at least twice a day. He sometimes, like today, point blank refuses to fed from me so I give ebm then express. I have no idea why he refuses me sometimes or why he can't stay latched on but the nipple shields have meant that since 6 weeks old he has been exclusively bf (well used formula once in an emergency as no alternative with me).


  • Nipple shields would be worth a try, just make sure you hand express some milk into the teat first (also express a little into her mouth so she knows milk is coming). Medela shields are the best by far. Do you double pump? If not that would mean you could pump every six hours instead. When out and about if wouldn't worry about missing a pumping session occasionally as it won't harm your supply. Babies can sometimes go much longer between feeds especially if they are sleeping in a car/being pushed around shops. Or take a pump that runs on batteries and express in the car or even use a changing room at the shops!

  • Hi tweetie pie thanks for ur advice ill certainly give nipple shields a go. Ive been told from the beginning that ive got to express both breasts empty every 3 hrs. I already hadcthe swing so instead of buying a double i borrowed my friends n i express both at same time every 6 hrs. I only get a max of 100ml each breast so to keep up with her demand I need yto express both every 4 hrs ideally to compensate any growth spurts.

    Ill certainly order some shields and try that.

    Yes I have on occasion expressed on journeys but my pump is so loud id be embarrassed in public maybe a disabled toilet but surely hygiene would be a factor. Anyhoo thanks very much. Take care. X

  • You should be very proud to have expressed for this long! It's hard work.if it is important to you don't give up!

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