determined to BF- what to take into hospital to give birth?

(65 Posts)
buttershy Fri 15-Apr-16 09:57:14

Hi all,

I'm 24 wks pregnant with 1st baby and absolutely determined to the point of obsession about breastfeeding, hence why I'm already thinking about this topic- what to take into hospital?

Here are a few things I thought might be useful to take in my bag, please say if you agree/disagree and if there's anything else you'd recommend! (Please note I saw a sign in my hospital that said no formula or bottles are provided including sterilising facilities?!)

1. Doidy cup
2. Medela nipple shield
3. Medela hand held breast pump
4. Nipple cream (I have the earth mama Angel baby one, worth picking up lanisoh too?)
5. Nursing bra and button front shirts/nightie
6. Breast pads

Do you think I should also take in a few cartons of ready mixed aptamil and a bottle, in case it doesn't work out or I need some time to figure it out without baby starving and being distressed?

Also, if I sterilise things at home, e.g the breast pump and store in a ziplock bag does that stay sterile for a few days until needed in hospital?

Is there any other prep I should be doing? I have bought 'the womanly art of breastfeeding' and check out blogs and YouTube videos. I didn't have a lot of success getting in touch with la leche league BF consultants but hopefully there is one who might be available to call out in an emergency!

Thanks all!

jusdepamplemousse Fri 15-Apr-16 10:18:51

They will have sterilising stuff at hospital and also emergency formula if you need it.

I wouldn't bother with pump either I don't think. Just colostrum first few days which can be hand expressed fine if necessary and again if you need a pump for whatever reason they'll have good electric ones at hospital?

I would add multi mam compresses to your list though. And a heat pack in case you're still in when milk comes in.

Ask the midwives for tonnes of help.

Make sure you're stocked up on painkillers at home.

Underbella Fri 15-Apr-16 11:14:11

All you need are your boobs grin

If you encounter any issues with breastfeeding, they can be overcome. Especially if you're determined like you say.

And again, if any issues arise, there's gadgets out there to help. Nipple cream was a lifesaver (for sore nips while they were toughening up) , nipple shields saved breastfeeding for me and DD1 (didn't need them for DD2) and the breast pump helped to relieve the engorgement with DD2 who was a very sleepy feeder.

Breastpads are great for catching the leaks from boob that is not being fed from!

Congratulations flowers

Starspread Fri 15-Apr-16 11:27:39

Doidy cup afaik not useful, as newborns are too tiny to sip from anything - plus their tiny tummies can't take much at a time anyway (hence colostrum, which comes more by the drop than by the oz!)

Just your boobs. No need for pump, or extra kit, or anything like that. A tube of lanolin, in case your nipples are a bit sore to start with. A large flask or bottle for you to fill with water (after a c section it was a bit of a mission for me to get up to refill a tiny cup and I was incredibly thirsty; weirdly the amount of water I was drinking drew not-entirely-positive comments, but I figured I was thirsty because I needed water, so kept going)

A friend advised me that having formula 'just in case' may actually work against breastfeeding. Unless you're somewhere incredibly remote, even at 1am at home (and certainly in a hospital) you'll be able to get hold of formula if you really want to. But if you have it in your bag, the temptation to pull it out may be greater.

Don't worry! A medical friend recently described it to me as 'babies are born soggy'. While they dry out to normal-human-levels, that's your grace period for getting breastfeeding up and running. You've got at least a day after birth before you seriously need to worry; full-term babies are born with stores of nutrients to help them. Congratulations and good luck!

eddiemairswife Fri 15-Apr-16 11:33:50

Start massaging your nipples for a minute or so each day.You can use any cream (I used nivea). I read this in a baby book years ago when I was expecting my 1st baby, and I never experienced any soreness.

TimeOfGlass Fri 15-Apr-16 11:39:03

Breastpads, nipple cream, nursing bra and clothes suitable for breastfeeding, yes. I got some nighties with the drop down clips on the straps from Mothercare, but pyjama bottoms and a vest top you can lift up would also work fine.

I wouldn't bring a breastpump to hospital. I had to express milk for both my DC in hospital. I was shown how to express colostrum manually into a syringe, and then when my milk came in, the hospital had their own hospital grade breastpumps for me to use.

The hospital I had my DC in also had a policy of not providing formula, but they did keep formula to give to babies who were in the neonatal unit, or who were in the post natal ward and needed formula for medical reasons (e.g. DS2 needed formula top-ups to help treat jaundice before my milk came in, and the hospital provided the formula needed for the top-ups).
The hospital also provided disposable cups for giving cup feeds to newborns when required, so I don't think you'd need a doidy cup either.

Reading up on what to expect is also a good idea. And make sure to be proactive in asking the midwives and breastfeeding support workers for help if you need it.

TheEmperorNotTheSalad Fri 15-Apr-16 13:58:18

You just needs boobs and Lansinoh in hospital.

Watch YouTube vids as much as possible to learn how to latch.

GoodbyeDoggy Fri 15-Apr-16 14:01:53

I just took my boobs and some comfy bras and shirts. You probably won't even need breastpads as your milk won't come in for a few days.

Do you plan on staying for long? If not have a bag of things you might need but leave it at home, there's not much space at hospital for bags and bags of stuff.

kinkytoes Fri 15-Apr-16 14:07:17

From your list I only took 5 and 6. Lansinoh I needed after a couple of days so no harm in taking that too. You won't need to pump as hand expressing alone should be enough for colostrum. Hopefully you won't be in hospital for more than a couple of days.

Good luck!

bigmamapeach Fri 15-Apr-16 14:56:32

Definitely agree with those who said you just need your boobs!! Maybe google the YouTube videos on breastfeeding from global health media -- they are really good. And can think about going to a local drop in group if one near you to see other mums and chat to peer support people about what it's like! Hope all goes great for birth and beyond!!!

Coconut0il Fri 15-Apr-16 21:42:42

Easy access tops and bras. Depending how comfortable you are feeding in front of visitors. Sometimes I just pulled my whole boob out, other times I was glad to be able to do it discretely by pulling a top up and a vest downsmile

TheDornishmansWife Fri 15-Apr-16 21:46:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nottalotta Fri 15-Apr-16 21:50:58

Agree just boobs and lansinoh. I did leak on day two so breast pads Aswell.

Salmiak Fri 15-Apr-16 21:56:02

You won't need pump, cup, etc. Just bring

Loads of breastpads, lansinoh nipple cream, nursing bra, vest tops

You can write on your birthplan that you want immediate skin to skin contact, that you wish to have the latch checked at every feed (just buzz the midwife and they'll check it for you), and remember to feed often - look for signs of hunger before the baby starts crying for a feed. Once you're out of hospital go to a local breastfeeding support group (la leche or childrens centre)

TeaPleaseLouise Fri 15-Apr-16 21:59:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whifflesqueak Fri 15-Apr-16 22:00:04

one of the joys of breastfeeding is that it does not necessitate lugging around loads of equipment.

BBQueen Fri 15-Apr-16 22:06:26

Definitely Lansinoh, and remember to apply it both before and after each feed if your nipples get sore.

pearlylum Fri 15-Apr-16 22:07:25

Nothing. Just breasts.

buttershy Fri 15-Apr-16 22:09:20

I seriously can't thank you all enough for your wonderful advice! I can see I was getting far too excited with my list and that paring it right down is needed!

So it seems from what most people have said the essentials are just a nursing bra/pjamas top, a few breast pads just in case and lanisoh cream. I'd also heard about not getting formula because of the temptation to resort to it so it's interesting so many of you have said that. I will leave my husband a note with what to get in an emergency (honestly he's pretty useless)!

I haven't spoken to my midwife yet about feeding intention, seeing her next week so will be sure to find out from her what support I could access if needed in hospital and when back at home. It's good to see so many of you comment about making the most of the support in hospital-I knew BF was heavily on their agenda but didn't know realistically whether they would have the time to really help. Also will continue with the YouTube videos etc.

Any other tips on preparing boobs/nipples for feeding? I read about applying nipple cream during pregnancy, I imagine it's the action of getting them used to touch as opposed to the actual cream that does them good, not convinced but worth a try?

Thanks again everyone!!!!

BennyTheBall Fri 15-Apr-16 22:11:14

I knew I was going to breastfeed.

I just took my breasts. I did nothing else, no cream - nothing.

I didn't need breast pads until my proper milk came in a couple of days later.

TheDornishmansWife Fri 15-Apr-16 22:18:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pearlylum Fri 15-Apr-16 22:19:18

I wouldn;t bother with the cream either. It's useful for moist wound healing, but it won't prevent sore nipples by lubricating them or anything.

There is nothing you need to do to prepare your breasts,
I would recommend attending a breastfeeding support group before birth- La Leche League and NCT welcome pregnant women at their meetings.
Buy a copy of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.
The type of labour you have and what happens immediately after birth can have a big impact on getting breastfeeding off to a good start.

Trying to have an unmedicated labour will ensure an alert baby who is keen to root, similarly lots of skin to skin contact immediately after birth stimulates a baby's initial rooting reflex and can have a very positive effect in the success of breastfeeding.

FusionChefGeoff Fri 15-Apr-16 22:29:04

Early on I did need my pump to sort of 'suck out' my nipple to make it easier for DS to latch.

I also hand expressed colostrum so a small feeding syringe was very helpful to get enough down him to stop the desperate screaming and allow us both to concentrate on getting a good latch.

Reading the feeding boards is great preparation!

Good luck

BennyTheBall Fri 15-Apr-16 22:31:01

My opinion is that over researching, studying, stressing can just be too much pressure.

I didn't give it too much thought, I just knew that was what I intended to do. I might have been naive or stupid - but it worked out for me as I planned.

My babies probably made life quite easy for me as they seemed to know what to do straight away - perhaps because I had easy births without medication and they were plonked straight onto my bare chest and just rooted their way onto the breast.

There will be loads of support for you if things don't go as planned wrt feeding.

JasperDamerel Fri 15-Apr-16 22:38:14

I think the main things for breastfeeding are:

1) think about breastfeeding in your birth plan - things like skin to skin with the baby, delaying weighing, injections etc until after the first feed, seeing if your baby will breast crawl, skin to skin with an alternative person if you are too ill after the birth etc.

2) being prepared for breastfeeding to go well by reading up on normal breastfed baby behaviour.

3) having lots of potential sources of support in case breastfeeding doesn't go smoothly - know the phone numbers for the national helplines and local breastfeeding counsellors, find out where your nearest breastfeeding g support group is, know how to contact the bread feeding coordinator in hospital if there is a problem. Know where to find good advice online (Kellymom is good, as is the infant feeding section here).

Read The Food of Love, because it's informative, lovely, more accurate for the UK than the La Leche League book, and it's very easy to read.

I think that a lot of breastfeeding stuff comes down to environment - if you are around lots of people who have breastfed and know a lot about breastfeeding, then lots of potentially serious problems can get nipped in the bud, and for bigger problems you get help with identifying and sorting out the problem, which means that you really only need to worry about the very big breastfeeding problems, like insufficient glandular tissue or a poorly baby.

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