I’ve now started expressing milk for Baby B, just like I did with Toddler H. She’s only had a few bottles because I’m really happy that I’ve managed to exclusively breastfed her for 3 months. Second time around, I’ve found breastfeeding easier I’ve found expressing has been more difficult, slower and also harder to fit in as so often I’m chasing a toddler all day and don’t really have time to sit down. Let’s face it the blog has been a bit slower since I became a mum of two! So here are a few tips I’ve discovered (and rediscovered) to make expressing easier, quicker and fit in around our new life…
1. Time of day/Morning pumping
I seem to get a lots more milk pumped in the morning than at night. I’ve found playdoh a great distraction for Toddler H while I do a morning pump as Baby B sleeps. I guess as Baby B has bigger gaps between feeds through the night I’ve a bit more milk stored up.
2. Pump when baby has missed a feed
This is one tip I think everyone discovers – that leaking explosive breast that hurts. Grab that pump and relieve that pressure, it really helps and I’ve found I can express quite abut of milk quickly so it doesn’t even take much time. It also saves the bed sheets of it happens at night!
3. Pump after a feed
I read this somewhere and must say I did this quite often with Toddler H, when I had more time.
4. Have a muslin handy
Pop a muslin under your pump and wipe as you move the pump away to stop any drips landing on your clothes
5. Collection shells
Use a breast milk collection shell on the other side, you might get 1-2 ounces of letdown milk.
Also use a collection shell on the other side if you’re feeding after a big gap/missed feed/first morning feed
6. Be comfortable
Sit comfy and be prepared to swap hands if using a manual pump. I’ve also heard that having baby close by or a picture of them will stimulate your emotions and milk instincts.
Oh and definitely remember to shut the blinds!
7. TV series indulgence
It can take a while to express so as well as making sure you’re comfy and the blinds shut, definitely have a TV series to indulge in – my personal favourites have been How I met your mother, Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars!
I don’t remember any problems expressing with Toddler H, she was tongue-tied so I started in the first week, but with Baby B I was only getting a tiny bit of milk after half an hour. With Baby B I started pumping much later – at 10 weeks and I’m not sure if that has made it slower for my milk to adjust and come out. I’ve no idea. I can say that after a couple of weeks of expressing every few days it’s much faster now. I’ve also taken my tips above on board as evening pumping seems to result in next to no milk – literally 1 ounce after 20-30 minutes, whereas morning pumping or after a missed feed or when I wake in the morning, I can get 4-5 ounces in 10 minutes.
I have found the time it takes to express worth it and hubby loves being able to help and give an occasional bottle. It’s his bonding time. I also love that in theory I could go out. On. My. Own. Wow!
If you’re just starting out breastfeeding, or expecting a baby, I’ve a list of products I found really useful for breastfeeding/expressing and had all ready for the birth of Baby B, after learning a few lessons the hard with with Toddler H. It’s also worth me saying, if you’ve just had a baby, it might be painful at the start, but both times I found it did get better.
Good luck if you’re setting out to start expressing, or finding it hard and slow. Do let me know if these tips help, and share this post if you have friends due babies, with newborns or facing these hurdles x