For mothers, breastfeeding is quite a rewarding and wonderful experience but is not devoid of its own challenges. There can be two kinds of cases which occur. New-born babies might face difficulties in learning to breastfeed or latching on to the breast. In the case of older babies, they might stop all of a sudden after breastfeeding properly for weeks or even months!
How to Express Milk if your baby refuses Breastfeed?
What do you think might be causing hindrances due to which the newborns or older babies refuse to breastfeed? It involves inefficient latching which makes sucking the nipple ineffective and the baby will be unable to access milk from the mother’s breast. Other reasons include the baby being premature, presence of flat or inverted nipples, a birth injury or disability of the baby or if there has been a delay in the mother’s breast milk production.
So, how to express milk if your baby refuses to breastfeed? Mums who face difficulties in breastfeeding are advised to start expressing in the first few weeks after birth itself.
Should Mums Be Expressing A Certain Amount Of Breast Milk?
When it comes to producing milk, a varied amount of milk is produced by mums throughout the day. So, they should not be worried about the quantity of milk they are expressing but try to express in the mornings and evenings to check which time is most ideal for them. The average baby between 1-6 months of age requires around 800 ml of milk per day. The same amount of milk will be consumed by babies in 4-6 feeds while some require 9-12 feeds for the same. The pumping capacity of every mother is different and she has to decide how much milk is enough for her baby and how frequently she needs to express! One supermom might pump out 90 ml in one go while another might only express around 60 ml/pump! Just do what works best for your little one and keep him well-fed and happy.
What are some ways to feed babies Expressed Breast Milk?
Mums can take note of a few methods which are good alternatives to feed babies their expressed milk. The very first method which will come to your mind is definitely via a bottle! Feeding devices are designed in such a manner that they are equipped with the same sucking mechanism on bottles like babies desire while breastfeeding. Cup-feeding is yet another method preferred by mothers for their babies from an early period of time. At a starting point of 6-12 months, older babies can start feeding from sippy cups.
How to know how much Expressed Milk to feed the Babies?
As I mentioned above, 800 ml of breast milk is what the average baby consumes in the age gap of 1-6 months. If you are wondering, yes, there are babies who drink more too! And fortunately, there are mums who make a lot more milk as well! Keep one thing in mind, in terms of breastfeeding, the fat content of the breast milk undergoes a change depending on the beginning or end of the feed. It transforms throughout the day. It is completely normal if one baby requires more milk than another. Let them have as much as they like and flash you contented smiles at the end of the day!
When are the best times for Expressing Breast Milk?
Mornings are perfect if you believe in expressing your breast milk occasionally before going out. Or if you plan on resuming working, expressing and storing a sufficient supply of milk in the freezer beforehand is a good idea.
Occasional expression of Breast Milk - Mums usually prefer expressing in the mornings because the supply of milk during this time is abundant. You know what would be a good idea? To express when the baby is peacefully taking a long nap! This is ideal right after cluster feeding where the babies feed continually from early to mid-morning and then fall asleep for longer durations. This gives the breasts plenty of time for refilling after cluster-feeding and also allows some time before the baby’s next breastfeeding session to be full of milk again! Mums are only advised to express daily if they are in dire need of boosting their milk supply; else one to few expressions per week should be sufficient for the baby’s nutritional needs. Also, what mothers need to understand is that if they keep channelizing the body to create an extra expression regularly, the body will keep forming extra feed to such an extent that the breasts will be full even at times when mums don’t even plan on expressing! So, take care of the supply-demand principle the breasts function on i.e. baby=demand, breasts=supply; and act accordingly!
Resuming Work & Expression of Breast Milk - Thinking of resuming work but have a baby to feed? Expressing breast milk six weeks before returning back to work is always ideally suggested. This is so that you do not have to express too many times per day and can still store a good amount of milk as backup. Your main motive here is to make sure that your baby’s normal breastfeeds are taken care of while you are at work via expressed milk. Hence, it is instrumental to maintain a good supply. If your baby is used to 2-3 feeds in 8 hours, you might have to express twice during your working days. Expressing always gives a boost to your supply and can increase the chances of breastfeeding as well! So, give your cute one a lot of happy feeds and cuddles and you will not realize as to when the triple wonders of expressing, feeding as well working falls into a smooth routine!
When your baby says no to breastfeeding, expressing milk is the best solution as it is advantageous in other ways as well. It still ensures best nutrition, flexibility in terms of a work-life balance for the mother and most importantly, gives your partner a chance to feed & bond with his baby too!
Published on: 02nd September 2021