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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

I have a quick question and I wonder if you lovely ladies can help me...

I'm loosely following the Gina Ford routine for nap and feeding times and so far my little man is happy and contented on it (he's just over 2 weeks old).  The only problem I seem to be having, is that GF says to express at 6.45am and again at 10.45am.  As I don't seem to have the time to express at 10.45am I'm expressing both breasts at 6.30, roughly 1 1/2 - 2oz per breast, this is for my DH to do the 10pm ish feed.  Now during the day, my milk seems to get less and less so that by the feed I'm giving at 7pm ish just before his bedtime, I've hardly got enough to satisfy him.  Then by the time he wakes at 2am for his next feed (after having a bottle of ebm at 10pm ish) my breast are very full and engorged. 

Do you have any suggestions as to how I can turn this around so that I have a full supply during the day, then my breasts get a chance to refill between the 7pm and 2am feed?  Would it be better to express in one go say around 9pm or something?  Any later and I may as well do the 10pm feed myself so would rather not do it later than that, but do you think that would work?  He's just gone through a growth spurt too, so have been worrying that I've not got enough milk - it's such a worry!

Sorry, I'm a total newbie to all this stuff!

Thanks in advance,

Laura x
 

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Hi Laura

Have a look at Jeanette's guidelines for increasing your milk, make sure you are eating and drinking enough - drinking is especially important.   I have to say I think part of the problem is that you are trying to express too much too soon.  I've been feeding my 2nd baby for 9 weeks now and I would say that my milk is well and truly established now but I only express once a day if that!

Generally it's not recommended that you start expressing until your baby is at least 6 weeks old, unless you have to for medical reasons such as a baby in SCBU.  This is because if you are establishing milk production naturally it can take up to 6 weeks for your feeding schedule to settle down and for your breasts to naturally make enough milk to supply your baby's needs, and it's quite an amazingly fine tuned process, with your baby regulating how much you produce by how much he feeds.   I generally only express when I can tell I have a very full breast first thing, I feed first and then express the other side.  Or else I express in the evening after I've put baby to bed, again when I know I've fed as much as I'll need to and there's going to be a gap in feeds while the baby's asleep.    

It seems to me that by expressing so much and also doing regular feeds during the morning and then continuing through the day, if you then go to bed and dont' feed again til 2am, your breasts are used to producing every few hours and then suddenly you're not feeding for longer so that's probably why they get full and painful.  So I would have thought the later in the evening you express the better probably, so that you don't fill up too much between the 7pm and 2am feeds.
There's no reason I can see why you can't express later than 6.30.  There's also nothing wrong with your baby having a feed from you at 10pm instead of an expressed bottle, it just means that your DH can't do it. 
Your breasts will start to produce according to demand, so if you keep expressing and feeding according to the GF schedule the theory is that you will start to produce enough to meet the requirements and your breasts will get used to the timings. 

I never did the Gina Ford routine so my advice is only in relation to my own experience of breastfeeding. I have to say that expressing twice in the morning at 2 weeks old is one of the reasons I wouldn't have been able to do it!  I'm sure someone will be along to give you some GF advice soon.  ;)

good luck,
Claire

 

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She's a bit confusing old GF isn't she though I love her to bits!

Claires given some good advice but on the flip side of that I was expressing 5 times a day from week 2 with my twins and I have a lot of milk!!

Firstly - when DH does a bottle at 10pm you need to express that feed off so your breasts know the milk is still required otherwise they will assume your baby doesn't need a feed from 7pm to 2am and will cut back on the amount they make.  I would express off a full feed at 9.00/9.30pm to be given at the 10pm feed, I wouldn't do it earlier than 9pm if you are feeding at 7pm to give your milk chance to build between feeds. 

If you are just wanting a bit extra for storing in the freezer suggest you take off a little bit early morning when breasts are very full.  I generally expressed before I fed the girls, took off 2oz of each breast or so and then fed baby.  Your breasts will adapt to the extra demand after 48 hours. 

You do have less milk as you go through the day anyway - I don't have great amounts in evenign but my 2 sleep through now from 10pm to 7.30am so there must be enough there to satisfy them!

In the meantime eat lots, drink lots, fennel tea and fenugreek are fantastic for increasing milk supply and do PM me if you want any more advice
xx
 

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Laura
hi again.  I've been giving it a bit more thought - and just a couple of things to add:

Try not to worry that you're not producing enough to satisfy him at the 7pm feed - unless he's giving you reason to think that, if he's going to sleep and lasting til 10 and again til 2am then he's probably fine!

You are very likely producing enough for your baby's needs so long as he's feeding OK and you can't see any other signs that he's not satisfied.  I presume if you're doing GF that you are feeding according to a schedule of every few hours - at 2 weeks you should not need to worry about any extra measures to get your supply up other than good diet, sleep and looking after yourself, your milk has not long come in so it's still adjusting and will do with each feed, unless you are really experiencing problems things are fine. 

Kabby's absolutely right that the more you express the more you may produce.  I'm just not sure why you need to express any more.  (Kabby I understand why you have done it with your twins - I am impressed - 5 times wow! how do you find the time with your babies?!!  :eek:
Personally Laura, I would not sacrifice good feeds for the sake of expressing unless you intend to do something with that EBM - feeding is the goal here, rather than expressing, which is a bonus.  So make your expressing fit in with you and when you feel full or uncomfortable - as K says nearer 9pm sounds ideal.  I understand you are expressing one feed so DH can do the 10pm bottle, but I don't really understand why you would regularly express another feed every day - what for?  I have a decent stock in the freezer from occasional expressings when I feel extra full or my baby has skipped a feed (or as Kabby points out, replacing dad's nighttime bottle feed - though if that makes me that full I usually prefer to do the feed myself, but I dont' mind staying up beyond 10pm).  If you're expressing a 2nd time every day are you not just building up a massive freezer stock?  There's only so much EBM you can use!

try not to worry, it sounds to me like you are producing plenty of milk.
Claire x

 

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Ah - well the expressing 5x day didn't last long believe me, at the start at bf'd took 1.5hrs followed by 20 mins expressing and I was feeding 3 hourly.....god thinking of it now makes me wince!!  I was actually doing it to top up my poor feeder but I weaned her off the bottle and back onto full breast at 7 weeks and dropped the expressing.  Long term expressing isn't great for milk supply or sanity  ;D

Laura - Claire is absolutely right in that if your baby is settling well between feeds (and your nightime waking shows this) you have enough milk.  I do think that re-reading your post you just want your milk for the 10pm feed and if this is the case I would suggest you do as posted earlier, express a full feed off near 10pm.  I believe GF suggests expressing so that when your baby goes through a growth spurt there is milk there ready for it (i.e. you've got a slight oversupply due to the expressing).  Personally I found that if your baby has a growth spurt your breasts catch up anyway within 24 hours so you just have to put up with a day of extra feeding and a bit of grizzly baby before  you have enough milk to satisfy.  If that is the reason you are doing the extra express then you could drop it if you wanted.
x
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi and thank you SO much for your advice and comments  :)

Yes, I'm only expressing for the 10pm feed and so far have no stock in the freezer!  My main worry was that over the last few days I can't seem to satisfy him at the 7pm feed and it felt like I didn't have enough milk. 

Last night, DH came home from work at 7pm and the little man was in a right state even though I'd just fed him - DH ended up giving him the bottle of ebm that I'd done that morning for the 10pm feed and he drank the whole 4oz :eek: so can only assume he's going through another growth spurt?  Incidentally, he never lost any of his birth weight, going from 7lb 10oz at birth to 8lb 7.5 at day 5 and 8lb 13oz at day 10 so think he could just be a hungry baby due to his growing?

So last night I ended up expressing another 4oz at about 10pm (he was still fast asleep as he had the ebm bottle about 8pm ish, not very GF routine!!) and had the whole lot when he woke up at 1am (again, not in routine!), then went until 3.30am, then until 6.30am...so think he was getting enough at those last 2 feeds.

Starting from today, I haven't expressed this morning and will try doing so at about 9pm ish instead to see if that helps my supply during today and hopefully he'll get enough at 7pm, as I wont have any ebm to give as a back up  :-\.

I'm doing my best to eat and drink well - in fact, I'm drinking nearly 4ltrs of water a day - not out of choice, just as I'm so damn thirsty!!

Thanks again for your advice, it's been very very helpful.

xxx
 

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Sounds like a growth spurt to me...in those instances I just abandoned the routine and fed my 2 whenever they wanted it!  Your breasts are miraculous things and will soon make enough milk to satisfy him if you keep putting him to the breast when hungry.  He's doing well going 3 hourly between feeds at night.

I swear by chocolate, flapjack, doughnuts, etc for milk supply..... ;D ;D ;D.  On a serious note though make sure you get enough rest - thats important for milk supply as well
x
 

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Laura
hope it went better today. 
it's probably another growth spurt, when they are only a few weeks old, almost every day can vary anyway in terms of how much milk they want - as you and they are still getting used to the whole feeding lark.  They can practically have a spurt in the space of a few hours or just a day, where they want to feed frenetically and then it calms down again.

I'm with Kabby on the chocolate and flapjack!!  ;D ;D

Claire x


 
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