Timing of expressing

HI Sorry another expressing breast feeding question - a big thank you in advance.

I would ideally like to breast feed but may have my partner give a bottle of expressed milk in the morning and evening. From peoples experiences if you therefore don't feed from the breast at these time do your breasts still fill up with milk and become painful (as you are not emptying them)? Also when is the best time in the day to express to fill the bottles for these 2 feeds?

I hope that makes sense and again thank you.

6 Replies

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  • Yes they do, and exciting doesn't stimulate milk supply in quite the same way as feeding an infant, so it's best not to start giving the baby a bottle until you have a well established milk supply. You could still express and freeze the milk for when you have a good supply, though.

    Apparently the best time is night time. Woo hop. It really depends on your baby and your supply, though. I have high supply, ava rarely feed from both breasts during any feed, so whilst or after I feed him, I could express the other breast. I would advise you not to do this whilst your baby still cluster feeds as they might be hungry again a few minutes after a feed and the milk is gone! Or you could express the breast you feed from to ensure it is fully empty, which in turn improves supply.

    I only really express when my son is in hospital or a bit to have done when he can't breathe that I can syringe feed him, as he won't take a bottle. Don't get all kitted up with expensive stuff when you might find when he comes along that fitting in an hour pumping is impossible and that you don't want to or he won't take a bottle. Lots of people I know have lost lots of money on fancy electric pumps that they never used and got a fraction of the price at resale.

  • Thank you. Sorry what is cluster feeds? Our antenatal classes have an evening on breast feeding next week so hoping to learn more then

    Guess every baby is different as some don't appear to have an issue switching between bottles/breasts. Wonder why that is.

    I thought that about not wanting to waste loads of money but there isn't anyone I can borrow one off to try. I feel very scared of the whole thing

  • Hi Nelly, don't be scared, you'll be fine. You'll find out what you need to know once you start and if you think that you'd like to try expressing then you can always go get a pump then. as for hubby's bonding time there will be other chances for him to have one-to one time with your baby. co-bathing is a great way for dads to get the all important skin-to-skin which he won't get from feeding a bottle, unless he takes his shirt off. When breast feeding goes well it is a pleasure for mum and baby as we both get a wonderful release of oxytocin and you'll probably find that you want to feed your little one with your milk supply naturally varying to meet his or her needs ... try not to worry, best thing is to read up on active childbirth as a drug free, natural birth free from interventions is the best way to ensure successful breastfeeding. how far along are you? My third is due mid april x

  • Hi amazed thank you for your reply. I'm 32 weeks but currently breach so there is talk about a possible section or if he turns an earlier induction. Think the tight of constantly feeding worried me as people say it can be every 1-2 hours. Plus I'm not confident about doing it in public although I appreciate this may change

  • Try looking into acupuncture to encourage baby to turn, best if it is done around 34 weeks I think, doesn't involve needles just moxabustion (heat) applied to the little toe (! can be very successful though)... I know that breastfeeding can be more difficult after a caesarean but it will be a case of finding the position that works for you and your little one.. best of luck x

  • Your hospital should have an infant feeding team and they often hire out breast pumps. You cannot organise your post baby life before they are here. Cluster feeding is when they need to feed constantly for hours, or every twenty minutes or so, which usually, for people I know is the evening, and happens for the first few weeks.

    Many babies have problem going from breast to bottle. You can read up on nipple confusion. It is not advised to introduce a bottle before 6 weeks if you want to give breastfeeding the best chance of success. You can syringe feed, but frankly just sheet having a baby moist people don't want to go anywhere without their baby so you don't need a bottle. Some people also recommend that if you do need to give a bottle, it should be mummy, as this means baby still only expects food from you.

    Just enjoy doing things for yourself at the minute and try not to get into a state about expressing. You may find you never do it. I've only done it to donate to the milk bank, which I did without using a pump, and when he's been so ill he couldn't feed.

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