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Thread: Early days of exclusive expressing

  1. #1

    Default Early days of exclusive expressing

    DD2 was born last week at 36+3weeks and due to health issues, she is in NICU and unable to breast feed so I am stuck with pumping.

    We are on day 5 and I just had a couple of questions.

    When I first started using the pump, the mw told me to do 10 minutes, I'm now doing 15 minutes but should I be doing longer?
    Today, i got about 45ml first thing this morning, and then around 30-35ml since then. Is this about right for day 5? When should I expect to get more?

    Any tips for exclusive expressing?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2006


    Congrats on your baby and well done so far!
    The ABA has a new article up on exclusive breastfeeding. You might also find contacting the helpline really useful, too, if you haven't already.
    I hope she's able to come out of NICU soon and you're doing well.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Warrnambool Vic


    Congratulations on the birth of your little one. It is a very stressful time to have your baby in NICU. At day 5 it sounds like your milk is coming in which is right on schedule. 10-15 mins pumping would usually be fine - the key is how often. A newborn baby would feed at least 8 -12 times or more in 24 hours - you are trying to use the pump to replicate this so you need to express at least 8 times in 24 hours - you need to express every 3 hours. Right now your hormone levels are high - so you need to get your baby making milk for the big, healthy baby she will be in a few weeks time, not the sick little baby she is now. Over time your hormone levels will drop, which is normal and it will be harder to increase your milk supply. Getting the right equipment is important. You need a hospital grade hire pump - ABA will be able to hire you one at a good rate. If she is allowed out of a humidicrib you can give her access to your breast - she doesn’t have to suck or remove milk, but just know that being at the breast is a good place to be.

  4. #4


    I was where you are 6 weeks ago so I know how hard it is. I was expressing 2.5-3 hourly during the day and 4 hourly overnight initially to get my supply going and after around a week went to 3-4 hourly. I always kept pumping until the flow started slowing down. I found that by doing this my supply increased quite quickly. Just looking at my records and day 5 I was getting 40-60ml a session and day 6 60-90ml. By days 9-10 I was expressing 800ml(ish) a day and I tried to hold it fairly steady around that mark (so started stopping around the 100ml each time as I didn't want to increase much more than that). Make sure you store it well. I literally have litres and litres in my freezer from those few weeks.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Early days of exclusive expressing

    I agree with what the others said.

    Just to add if you are comfortable and still have milk after 10-15 mins pumping by all means keep going until your breasts feel empty. When DS3 was born at 33 weeks I would pump for as long as I had milk and it was comfortable.
    I did end up getting 200ml per breast at one stage, so I would also suggest that if you start getting heaps of milk stop around 100ml.

    Wishing you the best!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    North West Victoria, Australia


    I agree with Chrispe. I was told 10mins a side and at one stage was pumping between 400-500ml every 3 hours. Dolly Parton had nothin on me!!

    The LC in the NICU helped me reduce that down a bit.

    Good luck and I hope your angel gets to come home soon.

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