Re: Pumping / Expressing Milk - loads of questions?????
Welcome! And congratulations on the pregnancy!
I'm sorry you had such a tough time nursing your eldest. It sounds like you had a very stressful experience! But I'd like to encourage you to try nursing again- every baby is different, and your new one may latch right on and never have a problem. You won't know unless you try! I'd also like to encourage you to contact a lactation consultant (preferably one with the IBCLC credential) right now, and make an appointment now (so she can evaluate you and your needs), and one for very soon after you give birth. Sometimes hands-on help is what a struggling mom really needs! The reason I recommend trying nursing out is because exclusive pumping is a more difficult road to travel than breastfeeding straight from the tap- it can be harder to maintain/increase your supply, hard to find time to pump while trying to care for small children, challenging to store all the milk, etc.
But that's not to say that it can't be done! Lots of moms manage it, and you can, too!!! You can start pumping as soon as your baby is born. You should pump as often as your baby feeds- so, aim for 8-12 times in the early days as your supply is getting established. I would pump at least every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night. As far as what pump you should get, you're going to want the very best double electric pump you can afford. Don't waste your time with a manual or single electric pump! I think a lot of exclusively-pumping moms have the Medela Pump in Style. I would talk to the LC about which pump to buy/rent.
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"