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Thread: Talk to me about EE

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Adelaide SA
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    Default Talk to me about EE

    We are having a few issues with ds2 and i suspect it could be due to me having such a strong let down and so much milk that he cant keep up and ends up getting really upset and windy. I am trying to express for the next couple days and feed him from a bottle (the medela calma bottle) and will see how this goes but im wondering about EE long term. How do people do it? How many times do you need to pump for a 4 week old? At the moment i will pump about 250ml every 4 hours. I have a toddler also so not sure how it will work around him. I understand that it is harder than simply breastfeeding but at the moment im finding breastfeeding so hard i wonder if this is a better option for us. Id like to hear from people who have done this to see if its even something i should consider.



    Thanks for your advice.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2008
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    If the let down is the issue then he will grow into it with time (over the next few weeks) - so don't move to full time EE, make sure you have a couple of suck-feeds a day so he remembers how.
    My DS believed that boobs were for sleeping on, so I mostly expressed for the first couple of months. 5 or 6 times a day. By 6 weeks I was expressing over a litre a day...
    He eventually got the hang of staying awake and we were able to move on to suck-feeding.

    If you have a fast letdown, try feeding with you lying on your side and bub lying on his side on a towel. That way he can just let the excess milk flow out of his mouth without being choked.

    Good luck!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2007
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    The first 6 weeks with a new baby is really tough (you have a couple of weeks to go yet). But, I have to tell you honestly, excusively breastfeeding is not the solution if you had planned on giving your child breastmilk for any length of time. And you can sort out the breastfeeding. It will get a whole lot better, and quicker than you think.
    Right now, like most mothers, you probably have a relative oversupply for your baby's needs. Your milk supply is driven by your hormones - prolactin, in particular, which is at a high level now. Over the next few weeks your prolactin levels will go down to a fairly low/normal level - but your milk supply will be controlled by your baby's sucking. To be honest, 4 pumpings a day will not cut it. And your milk supply will gradually reduce. Babies are designed to feed 8-12 times in 24 hours, but few of us will use the pump 12 times in 24 hours.
    In the long run most of us who have had a baby and a toddler find that breastfeeding is easier - you have a spare hand for a start.
    What you might find helpful if you haven't tried it yet is *block feeding* - your baby feeds as often as he wants in a 4 hour period - but from the same breast (then swap after 3-4 hours) Your other breast will get very full. If it is uncomfortably full, express a little off to ease the pressure. The rationale - baby can feed as often as needs, but the breast will be relatively emptier. So he will get a smaller quantitiy of milk which is higher in fat (keeps in satisfied) but lower in lactose and volume. Many mothers find it helps.
    Exclusive expressing is a solution in a situation where a baby is not able to feed directly at the breast - but it's a last resort.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    ACT
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    I'd agree with the advice above that exclusive expressing should be a last resort, however if all else fails it's a way of getting breast milk to your DS. Have you read the Exclusive Expressers sticky? As an EE I read it a few weeks ago and it was great to read others stories. It's certainly not the easy way to go and I dare say more of a challenge with another child. Hopefully the sticky will help you weigh up your choices.

    Good luck with it all.

  5. #5

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    Have you tried laying down once he is attached or leaning back in a recliner? That used to help me heaps when i had a strong let down

    I also fully expressed with Ds2 for 10 months. I used to pump every 3-5 hours during the day. I had a car attachment for my pump so if I needed to go out I could pump while out as well (i had the electric medela pump ~ blue one)

    It really isn't any harder then BF or at least I didn't find it so. I did have a 4yr old though but I still found it fine. It just became like a routine after a bout a week

    If attachment is fine though I would def try the leaning back thing as that really helps..

  6. #6

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    My honest advice would be to persist with the BFing. I would hate for you to regret it down the track if you don't. BFing can be tough in the early weeks, even when you've done it successfully before....I'd say it's early days yet to be making that call.
    I had problems feeding Pie (long story) and I ended up EE for 14 months. I still have days when I feel sad & wonder if I should have persisted for longer, tried harder. I know that I did the best I could at the time, the constant struggles were doing my head in. But I hear of babies who went back to breastfeeding when they were 2,3,4 months old, and I wonder....Anyway the point of which is, i undersatnd when you say it's a struggle now. I know how debilitating it can be to be struggling with BFing. But long term, IMO it's worth persisting with it. Also worth considering - I certainly weaned earlier than I would have had she been feeding from the breast.

    Having said all of that... if you decide to go that way, then it is certainly do-able. I pumped every 3.5 hours from the start, with a slightly longer stretch overnight. I increased it to about 4 - 4.5 hourly pumps at around 2-3 months, I think. I was getting up to express every night (around 1am) until she was 6 months old - that was probably the hardest part. I did have a great supply so didn't have to fight with that.
    I used a double electric pump, the Ameda Purely Yours, I cut holes in my bras so I could pump hands free & I had a car adaptor so I could pump in the car. I had great support from my husband & older kids... it can be done.

    Just make sure it's really, truly the path you need to take before you shut the door altogether on feeding from the breast.

    Best of luck

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    I agree check out the EE sticky (a bit proud of that one lol) it's a hard road for sure but possible with a good pump and a handsfree pumping bra! Good luck with whatever you decide

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