how soon did you start expressing?

After our breastfeeding struggle the past 2 days I have been giving S formula feeds and some breast using nipple shields. Ive had the health visitor here today and put S to the breast without the shields for the first time and was pleasantly surprised at the lack of pain! Im wanting to start expressing if possible so H can help in the evenings and maybe when out and about too. Just wondering how soon everyone started?


  • I started when S was 4 weeks old on the advice of midwife so that my supply was established. Not sure if that applies if you're mix feeding though? Sorry not much help! Are you feeling better about things? Glad you've managed some pain-free feeds, that's great :)

  • I wouldn't substitute the evening feeds for bottles as that's the feeds that will increase your supply and its the fattier milk to help with him growing. I expressed from 4 weeks. Can help out maybe doing a morning feed or one during the night?

  • B is now four weeks and I've only managed to express twice as she feeds so much I don't have the time of any milk left in my boobs!!

    I'm hoping in a couple more weeks the feeding will settle a bit and she'll go a bit longer between feeds so I can try to express.

  • Feeling much better about things but really difficult deciding what is best going forward for both me and S. I thought about expressing something for the evening feeds as it was this that I was struggling with. She wants to be fed from 5pm-3am constantly and it was making me really sore. I don't know whether I can bf exclusively after the struggle we've had so thought expressing would be a compromise as I would love her to get as much breast milk as possible.

    Also, any tips on keeping her awake during feeds? She often dozes off which I think is part of the reason for her being there all night!

  • The evening cluster feeding does ease off, but I know its hard.

    S used to fall asleep all the time, my hv suggested stripping him off, blowing in his face, gently nipping his ear lobe between my fingernails, scratching the soles of his feet. I eventually found tickling his nostril with my little fingernail woke him best!

  • Sam, just wanted to say that you are doing really well to persevere. I had a very similar problem with my first-cracked bleeding nipples, constant feeding baby, which (rightly or wrongly) I found really hard to cope with. The midwives were great and suggested top ups of formula and we eventually got there. I was expressing from week 2 I think. By the time O was six weeks though, we had issues with silent reflux and we mix fed until he was 9 weeks, when I stopped feeding. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted. I'm hoping this time round (due in 3 weeks) things will be easier, but I guess what I'm trying to say is don't feel guilty or any pressure to make any particular choice. You must do what is right for you and baby.

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