Baby Hints & Tips

Expressing breastmilk quicker

Tips for expressing breast milk fasterI’m a first time mum with 9 day old daughter and I am after tips for expressing breast milk faster. I’m struggling with breast feeding, I’m expressing at the moment as she’s destroyed my nipples from not attaching properly. It takes me hrs to express. It’s an electric advent, I aim to get 70ml for her feeds, this can take from 45min to 2 hrs. My breasts seem very full, and have tried expressing at different times of the day, it doesn’t seem to make much difference. Do any mums have any suggestions on how to speed up the expressing process please as it’s all I seem to b doing atm, I’ve also got some formula as sometimes I just can’t keep up with her feeds.

  • Definitely hire a hospital grade pump if you don’t want to buy one. I persevered with a tommee tippee one for 12 days and then bought the Ameda Purely Yours. Went from 50 ml in an hour to 200ml in 15 minutes. A long rectangular wheat bag across my chest for a few minutes before expressing and then while I was expressing helped me too. Also, after my nipples were completely desolated by bub, we discovered tongue tie, a super high palette and a positional turn were impacting. If you can, have a private lactation consultant come to your house and give you a hand. That was the best $200 I spent for 3 hours of hands on advice – and ultimately referred us to osteo for some help with bubs neck (stopping a good latch) and the dr for the frenetomy (tongue tie release). It’s exhausting, I know, feeling like you JUST finished expressing and it’s time to start again. I haven’t been expressing for 5 months, and I STILL call the couch I sat on the ‘express couch’. Hang in there lovely, talk to the ABA and if all else fails, whatever you do, don’t let the ftm guilt of not being able to feed get to you. Your only priority is getting bub fed. Happy Mumma, happy bubba, no matter what anyone else says.   Kayte
  •  I am a ftm now with a 14 month old. I found the first 7 weeks the hardest for breast feeding but I am so glad I persisted through the expressing (which I hated and felt like a failure every time I expressed) as i am still feeding today. When I started expressing I could only get 20mls after 30 mins plus. I was able to get it upto 100mls on a good day but mostly sat around 50mls each express time. I was put on medication in the first week and tried to come off at 6 months but my supply nearly stopped so still on the medication. In the first couple of months I took lactation biscuits, fenugreek supplements and fennel tea regularly throughout the day, and still have oats each morning for breakfast. If you don’t have a recipe for the biscuits let me know and I can message you. Also putting warm face washes on before you feed also helps with let downs etc. take care and rest as much as you can. Child health nurses told me to only express 10-20 mins each side so I had a break as well. Blessings and hugs.   Tenielle
  •  I had similar problems. I have good milk supply but haven’t found a pump that can express more than a few ml. I also tried to drink heaps of water. I had sensitivity in my nipples to start with but persevered and they toughened up- maybe have a lactation consultant check latching to assist with any difficulties?   Caitlyn
  •  Also forgot for the first 20-30sec of expressing I pump the pump really fast to simulate what bub does this makes your milk let down quicker then I go to the longer slower pumps once the milk starts flowing.   Do you look at bub while your expressing for some reason that helps me also relaxing your shoulders and neck and visualizing the milk emptying out of the milk ducts (I know it sounds weird) but seems to work lol best of luck, have you got nipple cream that helps as does nipple shields.   Jess
  • Absolutely recommend short term use of nipple shields, they saved me! Also, I found it helpful to have bub next to me when expressing for faster letdown. Lastly, I have the electric and the manual Medela pumps and I always had better results with the manual one. Most of all, hang in there, you’re doing an amazing job and its hard work!   Alexei
  •  My first born didn’t latch on at all so I expressed for the first 3months till one day she latched back on. Manual expressed worked best, it seemed to have more suction which led to me then expressing well over 150ml each time. I would consider a lactation specialist also. They have been a godsend to a lot of my girlfriends. Good luck.   Natalie
  •  First I would like to say good you for hacking it out even though it is getting a little tough for you. It’s nice to see a mum who won’t quit after hitting a hurdle. Now onto your question, for your nipples have you tried Lansinoh nipple cream? All my kids are born tongue tied and the do a real number on my nipples in the first few weeks until I get them fixed up. I end up bleeding, cracked and crying every time I attach a baby. Also make sure that bub is not infect tongue tied as if they are this could be making it hard for them to attach properly. When it comes to pumping I have always found if I can have some skin contact with bub while I’m feeding I let down easier and have even on occasion pumped one side while I feed off the other. I really hope any of this has helped. Congratulations on that wonderful baby you have and good luck with your breastfeeding journey.   Katrina
  •  Oh you poor thing, I can truly sympathize. I have not read all comments so apologize if repeated. Try Multi-mum compresses, and Petit Bisou nipple shells – can buy on Internet. I had the same problem as you – sore cracked nipples for 8 weeks and those compresses were so amazing and the shells stopped rubbing on my clothes! I still use them now if he has chomped on them too much! My son had a tongue tie snipped at 4 weeks and made so much of a difference. I also could only express max 60 mLs, don’t think I have the most amazing milk supply but we manage, it’s enough for him, just takes a while to feed him. Whilst it takes some people 15 mins to feed it takes me 50 to feed him! It will get better so hang in there but don’t stress if its too much, formula can give your nipples a break. I paid for a lactation consultant also and she was a god send. Great to have someone sit with you and help with positioning etc. If you are with the ABA they can send someone to you. Good luck and I hope it gets better very very soon.    Rachael
  •  I used the medela swing which seemed to work very well and was much better than the avent. But try not to put too much pressure on yourself BF doesn’t work for everyone and if you are feeling to stressed about it that can be damaging to. If you have to feed you baby formula it’s not the end of the world! As soon as I stopped stressing about it my supply picked up. At 4 months I ended up stopping BF as it was just too much stress for me and my body and was not making for a good relaxed environment for my LO. We are both much happier and healthier now!   Emily
  •  Have you tried nipple shields? They were my life saver when my bub tore my nipples to shreds.   Megan
  •  Also to help my engorgement, doc put me on penicillin due to infection and i ‘d apply cold compression after feeding then apply heat compression before feeding while massaging x   Haido
  •  Def use your milk as often as possible on those cracks and continue to do so when you feel confident enough to attach again.   Meghan
  •  I used an electric Avent and if I massaged my boobs while expressing it would come out much quicker. Also if you have it in a wrong angel or something it won’t work as well. If if get the perfect angel it would spray out of so many holes for ages and would fill a 250ml bottle in 10 mins. So they are my tricks, massage the hard areas get a perfect angel and make sure you get the right motion going. Those pumps rly are good they mimic babies sucking actions once you program it in. Go fast at start then long slower ones like a baby does Also try nipple shields I too had to wear them! They saved us from failing at the start! Good luck I hope it works out for u I know its super stressful xxxxxx    Laura
  •  Please note (not sure if mentioned before as i havn’t read all posts but) how much u express is no indication of how much milk u have. As expressing is completely diff to a baby suckling. Just because you can’t express much does not mean u don’t have enough. Hang in there and yes talk to an LC and get lots of support. 9 days is very early days. Xx   Leeza
  •  So many good suggestions in here – I will second a few as I ended up pretty much exclusively expressing for my twins for 6 months: Lanisoh is a must! Hire or buy a hospital grade double pump (medela or ameda are great) I was getting 150-200ml in 10 mins. Massage down towards the shield while pumping. Reusable cotton nursing pads are a dream and much kinder than the disposable ones. If you are serious about continuing and want to breastfeed defo consult a lactation professional – they can come to your home and help you! Good luck!   Karita
  •  FENAGREEK – herbal pill that brings in the milk it worked wonders fgor me and im a new mum of an 11day old…nipple shields by Medala are helping me feed her also…Haido
  •  Check if bubs has an upper lip tie or tongue tie. They can make it difficult for bubs to attach properly and cause you a lot of pain.   Amber
  •  A warm bath may help. Use a manual pump though! And this may sound very unconventional and probably way too soon after having a baby but my milk would pour out during sex!   Beth
  •  If its not already suggested (I’m sure it is but not reading all comments lol).. Have her checked for tongue and lip tie. Utilize a nipple shield, and if it’s possible stay away from the bottle and formula. Expressing isn’t a true sign of your supply, and you need to drink loads of water and eat as healthy as possible. When settling for expressing try and relax, turn your mind off, it can help with letdown and you can use the nipple shield with expressing also. And speak to a lactation consultant.. x   Jo
  •  I had very similar feeding issues; it turned out my baby was tongue tie. Even after having that addressed she still couldn’t latch on well and wouldn’t stay on. Unfortunately I had to start formula feeding at 5 weeks but she’s happy and growing fantastically! Even on the bottle she’s not great at latching/sucking so we’re seeing a Osteo seems to be helping. Stayed relaxed and do what’s best for you two. Good luck.   Mesina
  •  Good advice! While you’re in the shower you can practice expressing. By hand…I found it to be fast and best for nipples …relax and remember patience is a virtue! I’m sure you’ll do what is best for you and your baby, and do it well. Kind thoughts going your way!   Sue
  •  Massage and stimulate your nipples as much as possible, nice hot water running down them also. And express whenever you can, because the more milk you let out (feeding or expressing) the more your body will make in order to keep up. You may have extra sensitive nipples as well.   Sharni
  •  Nipple shield!! There nipple savers!   Smash
  •   Dampen some disposable breast pads, put in the freezer and hen take them out after 30 minutes and put them on, will help to ease engorgement.   Melanie
  •  If you can get your hands on a double pump, do both breasts at the same time for 10 minutes.. Have a break for 10 minutes, then do another 10 minutes .. Double pump initiates a double let down and can often help milk flow more easily.   Melanie
  •  Well done. Number 1, she is 9 days old, all this is absolutely normal. Because your milk has come in and your breasts are engorged bubby CAN’T get a latch on, it is impossible for her. Best tricks I found after successfully breast feeding 5 kids are 1. In a hot shower, massage and express as much milk as you can before feeding(Yes this will make more milk but she will start to catch up soon in how much she will take, they only take tiny amounts at 9 days) If your breasts aren’t so full she will be able to get a good latch. 2. Cold cabbage leaves from the fridge, wrapped around each breast inside your bra will help bring down any swelling due to mastitis coming on if the milk isn’t being drained enough, you will notice a bit of a temperature and blotchy red marks on your breasts if this begins to happen (You may need antibiotics for this)But the cabbage will greatly reduce any swelling and soreness. 3. Relax because as I said this is all normal. Sometimes to get my body to relax enough for my milk to let down when one of my bubs was in Intensive care I would sniff his little clothes and the scent of him would help the let down reflex just nicely.   Sheryl
  •  All I can add to the other suggestions ( which are great) is to place a warm but not hot washer over your breast before you begin to express, and massage your breast gently, stroking toward the nipple which will hopefully help stimulate your let down reflex. Good luck.   Michelle
  •  I was in the same situation about 8 weeks ago try warm shower .I have an avent electric pump and mine is great while expressing try massaging your boob that your pumping and also true to have as much skin to skin contact as you can it will help with increasing ur supply also make sure to also go see a lactation specialist at your local health care clinic its free and the more stressed you get the less milk you will get remember to that if the breast doesn’t work out and you have to put bub on formula it’s not the end of the world bub is still getting what it needs .some mums that breast feed have a way of making non breast feeding mums feel bad the key is to be enjoying this time with your new baby.   Debbie
  •  Try using nipple shields. Lots of lasonil and try holding bubs in different positions to see if she latches on better. I struggled through the first 8 weeks of breast feeding my first with bleeding nipples. I cried every time I had to feed coz it hurt so much. Be persistent. It does get better. And your doing better than me. I could only express like 50mls max when I tried expressing. Good luck.   Belinda
  •  Maybe try nipple shields so you can feed her off the breast. Btw 70ml is awesome!   Natasha
  •  Oh hun, I feel for you, this sounds like my story completely! My bub wouldn’t attach properly and he shredded my nipples, there is no other word for it! Turns out he had a soft palate issue which was picked up by my chiropractor of all people even after seeing two different lactation consultants first who couldn’t work out why he could latch but not stay on the breast (kept pulling off every few seconds). Unfortunately his soft palate issue was picked up after we had moved to formula feeding otherwise I would have happily stayed breastfeeding. Good luck, I hope you can find some answers quickly, it’s not nice to be in pain.   Leanne
  •  Hi, I’ve been there and know how hard it is. My LO seemed to attach well however would fall asleep after 5 mins which I thought was him. However after three weeks of him putting little to no weight on ( 50gr) I was told to do formula tops ups and express after each feed to bring my supply up, they also put me in motillium to help. Once I started expressing I realised he was falling asleep because there was nothing left for him, I would express for hours and only get 20 – 40 ml. Expressing is really hard work and takes its toll on you when you are already tired, overwhelmed, exhausted and feeling like you’re in over your head. After nearly a month of feed, express, give bottle of expressed and formula top ups I was a wreck ( and my supply only picked up to about 60ml for an hour’s expressing ). My CHN told me to drop the expressing, offer the breast first and then offer a formula bottle after that. Our whole life changed overnight he was happier because he was actually full, he started gaining weight and being more alert and I wasn’t an exhausted wreck. I really hope that for you the expressing ect works, and that you can get into a rhythm with your bubba, BUT if you can’t don’t beat yourself up, I had a lot of guilt over offering formula but after seeing the difference in him, and my mental health I was able to let a bit of that go. If you would like to talk please don’t hesitate to contact me, I really feel for you and would like to support you if possible. Xx    Kelly
  • Hun google ‘pink or blue’ you can hire top of the line breast pumps (you get a brand new attachment) I did and was pumping both sides filling up a bottle in 10 mins! Was the best. Apart from that get a lactation consultant to come for a home visit and maybe try nipple shields. Good luck

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