Breastfeeding

Expressing/pumping BEFORE birth?

Hi ladies,

I was told a few days ago, from my MiL that i should start expressing and pumping now at 35 weeks as this will encourage milk production, supply and help produce milk for the LO after birth. 

Sounds like good advice. But when I asked my MW, she said that I was risking over doing it and losing the pre-milk Colostrum before the baby was even born. 
But I'm 35 weeks and not leaked barely fluid from my breasts at all.. 

What do you think should I practise pumping and expressing or should I wait? I just want to make sure I have milk ready for the baby when she comes. 

Yes I'm a first time mum... xD

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Re: Expressing/pumping BEFORE birth?

  • No. Don't do this. 

    ETA: Actually your MIL and MW are both misinformed. What triggers milk production is the detachment of the placenta, so your milk will not be produced until LO is born. Your colostrum may start leaking before or may not, but it's hanging around in there right now. It will not be used up until your placenta detaches and triggers the hormone release that will lead to milk production.

    Either way, there is absolutely no reason to pump at all until well after your LO has arrived. Wait a month while nursing before you start pumping. HTH> 

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  • Just for future reference, MILs (and moms) aren't the best source of advice at times. When it comes down to it, I'd trust a Dr or LC over someone who did "such and such" 30 years ago.
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  • I would say don't do a thing!  Good luck with BF when baby gets here!





  • There is no reason to express milk before you have your LO.  Here is a link to kellymom.com which is the BEST breastfeeding information website I know of.  http://kellymom.com/pregnancy/bf-preg/05pumping/

    If you wish to put some expressed milk in the freezer for your unborn child, keep in mind that pumping is not likely to be very productive during pregnancy. Milk supply and pumping output will decrease due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy. Pumping prior to birth will not increase milk production for your unborn child or otherwise enhance lactation after birth. If you are hoping to induce labor, it is known that nipple stimulation at term (38+ weeks) can be helpful for ripening the cervix and inducing labor.

     

    If you are concerned about having milk for your LO when she arrives, I would suggest the following:

    ****Put your baby to your breast as soon as possible after her birth.  Even if she doesn't nurse, spend as much time as possible with her naked (or diapered) body laying on your bare chest. 

    ****Nurse your baby every time she shows hunger cues.  Feed her on demand rather than watching the clock.  Don't be surprised or worried if she want to nurse very frequently / constantly in the beginning.  Trust your LO, she will know what to do.   

    Common infant hunger cues include:

    Early
    • Smacking or licking lips
    • Opening and closing mouth
    • Sucking on lips, tongue, hands, fingers, toes, toys, or clothing
    Active
    • Rooting around on the chest of whoever is carrying him
    • Trying to position for nursing, either by lying back or pulling on your clothes
    • Fidgeting or squirming around a lot
    • Hitting you on the arm or chest repeatedly
    • Fussing or breathing fast
    Late
    • Moving head frantically from side to side
    • Crying
    Early hunger cue Late hunger cue

    http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/bf-basics/hunger-cues/

    ****Do not allow anyone to give your baby ANY kind of supplemention unless it is absolutely necessary.  This includes sugar water.  You need to have your baby nurse a lot to help build up your supply.  Bottles and pacifiers can mess up your LO's latch and make them not want to work hard to get the breastmilk since it is much easier to get milk from a bottle than it is from a breast.   

    ****If you want to do something now to help your chances of success, find a GOOD lactation consultant (preferable someone with an IBCLC certification).  Many people claim to be "lactation consultants," but really have very little knowledge of breastfeeding.  Also, many doctors claim to be breastfeeding advocates, but really have very little training and/or knowledge about it.  If you have any issues, call your LC and problem solve with them. 

    **** Hold, cuddle, snuggle and enjoy your baby!  She has just spent 9 months inside of your body.  She is going to want to be close to you and you will not spoil her by holding her. 

    ****Expect to spend the first 6 weeks doing nothing but nursing (and drinking tons of water).  Everything else is a bonus.  Accept help if it is offered in the form of cooking, cleaning and any other support you can take advantage of.  If you have a chance to get a shower, it has been a great day!  Wink 

    Read about "booby traps" (things that can get in the way of  BFing) here:  http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/116578/Breastfeeding_Moms_Face_Many_Booby

    Best of luck to you!

  • Holy hell.  What awful advice.  

    Pumping sucks so much, don't do it before you have to!  

     :-) 

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  • Thanks guys, it sounded like good advice to someone who knows little about BF but I thought I better ask the MW, surprised she didn't give me as much information as you guys. Or tell me that milk generally wont kick in till after the baby is born, :/ 

    And from what i've gathered and read it seems to be rather difficult and a pain to pump. So I'm glad I asked you. I'll read a bit more on BF and such on kellymom and from my books :)
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  • Toni79Toni79
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    I agree with all the PP. 

    mesmom2011 included some awsone info from kellymom.com.

    Also as PP mentioned, alot has changed in the last 30 years or so with respect to BFing.  My mom (who BFed 4 kids) told me I needed to "prep my nipples for BFing" but this view is also outdated.  Here's my post about that:  http://community.thebump.com/cs/ks/forums/thread/67173148.aspx

    BTW - I'm 38 weeks and I have not leaked anything at all.  Some people leak before birth and some people don't.  Its nothing to worry about.

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  • image Toni79:

    I agree with all the PP. 

    mesmom2011 included some awsone info from kellymom.com.

    Also as PP mentioned, alot has changed in the last 30 years or so with respect to BFing.  My mom (who BFed 4 kids) told me I needed to "prep my nipples for BFing" but this view is also outdated.  Here's my post about that:  http://community.thebump.com/cs/ks/forums/thread/67173148.aspx

    BTW - I'm 38 weeks and I have not leaked anything at all.  Some people leak before birth and some people don't.  Its nothing to worry about.

    I didn't leak at all before DD was born. . .

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