how long and how often to express

Share you hints and tips for expressing and storing breastmilk. Whether expressing just occasionally or exclusively, share and support one another here.

how long and how often to express

Postby mon80 » Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:51 am

I have started expressing so that my partner can help with the feeds.

How many times a day should I express and for how long? When is the optimum time to express (during or sfter a feed)?
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Re: how long and how often to express

Postby PellyintheWilderness » Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:18 am

Hello, and welcome to the forum!
I suggest you call the ABA Helpline for information and suggestions about expressing. A lot will depend on how old your baby is and how often you want to give expressed milk.
There are lots of ways that partners can help with feeds that don't require you to express - I never expressed a drop for my little twins, but my DH did all the night nappy changes and brought the babies to me to feed in bed! He's a keeper :wink:
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DS1 May 2005 bf 37 months
DS2 Nov 2011 bf 36 months
DS3 Nov 2011 bf 38 months
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Re: how long and how often to express

Postby fellare » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:19 pm

How often:now evert often you feel like
When: when you feel like it.

Really, there are no rules. Lots of people never express. I did, so i could have a drink without worrying about ds wanting a feed at the wrong time, before the alcohol had disappeared. And l expressed for work as well. But i was quite used to it since i also expressed to donate.

I never expressed so my husband could enjoy feeding. He could do thousands of other things to bond.
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Re: how long and how often to express

Postby Yankee » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:37 pm

Hi and welcome.

If you're talking about your partner doing a feed whilst you sleep or whilst you're out, everyone is different but you may find it takes 2 or 3 or even more 'sessions' to get enough milk to replace a feed. Please don't think this means you don't have enough milk, it's because your breasts make just enough milk to feed your bub, so you're asking them to make a bit extra.

There's a great ABA page about expressing and storing milk. Make sure after you express you put it in the fridge to cool down. You can add more milk to it, but you must cool down the fresh milk before you add it to the stuff in the fridge.
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Re: how long and how often to express

Postby Nedsmum » Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:45 am

I had a lot of milk (oversupply) and found that it was a big problem if i 'skipped' feeds as I would get quite bad engorgement and blocked ducts. I did express quite easily, but never more than 20mL at one time, and then would fridge then freeze it. I had quite a stash but never really used much at all - my babies were not at all interested in taking a bottle, and if I did thaw some for them (grandma insisted I left milk even if was just for half an hour babysitting).... They almost never consumed it... The mum=milk association was very strong. My babies would breastfed 2-3 hourly when they were with me, but could go 4-5 hours with grandma... They just 'hung out' for me to get back.

The one time I did go to a wedding, I got so overfull after 5-6 hours that it was very uncomfortable and I ended up phoning grandma to bring the baby as I could not express easily and clear the accumulated milk..

I know some mums do like to express and don't find it too much of a hassle, but for me it was never particularly important... I had surgery when my second child was 8 months old, and he had solids and a little bit of expressed milk in between, but the anaesthetist had no problem with me breastfeeding once I was in the recovery area.
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