Friday, 4 July 2014

How I make expressing breast milk work for me

In my last post I shared my personal breastfeeding story. If I could breastfeed without pain, I would. But I find I have a much better relationship with Joseph now that breastfeeding directly from source has been removed from the equation and if I have more babies, I will try to breastfeed them. I try to keep formula intake to a minimum, but I'm not afraid to use it any more.
L: Leftovers from first breakfast
M:  Second breakfast
R: 'Spare' milk that I'll store in the fridge
I try to start pumping between these times:


  • The early morning session time varies the most as it depends on what time Joseph wakes in the night.
  • A session can take anywhere between 25 minutes to an hour. 
  • I aim for 6oz per session but sometimes I get less and on occasion I've got as much as 8oz.
  • I recently went on a progesterone only pill 'Cerazette' but I found my supply dipped so I stopped using it after two weeks, however this could have been to do with the period it induced or because I wasn't eating as much porridge. (I've been eating porridge since Joseph was born just to fill myself up as I wasn't getting much time to eat but I later found out that it's thought to aid milk supply).
  • I wash and sterilise the pump parts once a day and store them in a sealed freezer bag in the fridge. 
  • I find it most convenient to wash and sterilise the parts after the 9.30am expression as I can bung all the parts in a freezer bag and go out, if I'm going out for the day, and they're ready to use when I need them in the afternoon. 
  • If I'm spending the afternoon with friends or family and we're indoors, I'll bring my pump with me and use a private room. 
  • If we're going out, I'll try to find out ahead of time whether there'll be somewhere I can go, otherwise I'll either pump before I go out or straight afterwards. 
  • I give Joseph the breast milk at room temperature, only warming it if it's been in the fridge.
  • If I pump more than 6oz, I'll store the rest, even if it's just another half an ounce in a sterile bottle in the fridge and add to it throughout the day.
  • I follow La Leche League's guidance surrounding breast milk storage
  • I do not store breast milk that's left over from a feed.
  • I use an Ameda Lactaline personal double breast pump and hands free bra
  • I transfer the milk into Tommee Tippee 'Closer to Nature' bottles and Joseph is still on a newborn teat. I recently bought 6 260ml bottles for £10 from Mothercare in a sale. 
  • I use Aptamil first milk formula.

Joseph's feeding:
  • 7-7.30am: offer 6oz of breast milk expressed at 3.30am. He usually drinks around 5oz.
  • 11-11.30am: offer 6oz of breast milk expressed at 9.30am. He usually drinks it all.
  • 2.30pm: offer 6oz formula. He usually drinks around 4oz. Sometimes this is breast milk if I've accumulated enough.
  • 5-5.30pm: offer 6oz of breast milk expressed at 3.30pm. He usually has half.
  • 6.30- 7pm: offer the remainder of the breast milk from 5pm. If he wants more and I have spare milk in the fridge, I'll warm it up and offer it to him. 
  • 11pm: dreamfeed 4-5oz breast milk expressed at 9.30pm.
  • 3-4am: offer 6oz formula. He usually takes around 3-4oz.

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Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. It really means a lot! Nicki x