If you intend on breastfeeding, what needs buying before the birth?

(72 Posts)
FoofFighter Wed 13-Feb-13 20:00:44

Just that really smile ^

FoofFighter Wed 13-Feb-13 20:01:13

Does everyone buy emergency bottles/formula just in case?

cheddarcheeselover Wed 13-Feb-13 20:03:57

I didn't, but I was probably a bit naive/bloody minded.
you don't really need anything, muslins for mopping up puke, but you'd need them anyway, one of those special cushions, but I just used a pillow...

CheungFun Wed 13-Feb-13 20:06:11

I didn't get the hang of breastfeeding, but I did end up expressing for a couple of weeks, I'd say you might need the following:

* breast pads
* nipple cream
* steriliser
* bottles
* electric breast pump
* nursing bras

My mw told me not to buy any formula just in case, but my mum told me to...so I bought some formula and I'm glad I did grin

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Wed 13-Feb-13 20:06:57

I didn't buy formula, and wouldnt say you need to unless you live n the middle of nowhere. It sort of sends a message that you half expect to fail. If you need it, you probably live near enough to a 24hr shop or know someone with some when the time comes.

I would just stock up on tea bags, chocolate & borrow as many good DVDs as possible.

KatherineKrupnik Wed 13-Feb-13 20:07:40

I didn't buy anything in advance, except breast pads, nursing bras & nipple cream. A few weeks into it I got given a breast pump & a bottle.

Don't forget the shops will still be open once you have given birth smile

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Wed 13-Feb-13 20:08:02

Def Muslims however you feed. Lanisoh cream for cracked/sore nips. The curved pillows are good, especially after a c-section but know loads of people who didn't bother. Beauty of bf is you don't need a lot.

missorinoco Wed 13-Feb-13 20:08:40


Muslins, but get those however you want to feed.

Worth getting breast pads, but it takes a few days for the milk to come in, so you could send out for them post partum.

I would leave a breast pump until afterwards, and I say that as someone who sent DH out as soon as I got home from the hospital.

Chocolate, Lots and lots of chocolate. When the milk comes in, so does the hunger.

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Wed 13-Feb-13 20:08:56

Oh yes to ^ ^ - forgot about the stuff that you wear!

lagoonhaze Wed 13-Feb-13 20:09:02

Lanisoh and breast pads.

Possibly womanly art of breastfeeding.

If I had formula in house I would have used it in moments of doubt. The next day/a few hours later my resolve had strengthened.

kilmuir Wed 13-Feb-13 20:09:18

breast pads, lots of them.
plenty to drink, water, squash etc. BFeeding made me very thirsty.

Indith Wed 13-Feb-13 20:10:03

Unless you live miles and miles away form civilisation then don't bother buying stuff. I bet there is a 24 hour supermarket you can send someone to in a panic if you need to! THough if bf is going that badly that you absolutely NEED formula RIGHT NOW then your child is probably dehydrated enough to need hospital anyway!

I'd say you need

2 nursing bras, fitted in late pregnancy
breast pads
try to score a couple of sachets of lansinoh for free. If you get sore nipples after then you can use that for a few days then get to the chemist, produce your maternity exemption card and get some for free using the minor ailments scheme. It costs £10 a tube otherwise!

Laughing at 'Muslims' grin

WildRumpus Wed 13-Feb-13 20:11:24

I have never bought emergency supplies 'in case' for any of mine. Maybe I was lucky. Or stubborn. Or a bit of both. But breastfeeding has always gone pretty smoothly. My top tip for the first few weeks is not to try to enforce a routine. In the very early days and weeks you, your baby and your boobs need to synchronise your supply and demand. All my babies have been biggish and have fed a lot at the outset while they get my milk supplies up to the level they need. And don't be surprised if it takes 3-5 days for any serious milk to come in after birth. In the meantime just feed away. Good luck!

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Wed 13-Feb-13 20:11:43

Oh and Surestart sometimes loan out elec breast pumps- I bought one and could never get the hang of it so a bit of a waste of money.

noblegiraffe Wed 13-Feb-13 20:12:49

Nursing nighties with buttons
Nursing tops - ones with buttons are easiest for the first weeks of bfing when you need to get your whole boob out

Wishiwasanheiress Wed 13-Feb-13 20:13:07

Lansinoh cream and nipple guards

Toast123 Wed 13-Feb-13 20:16:58

Lanisoh- buy the smallest quantity you can because a little goes a long way and I've no idea how anyone could ever use a whole tube even with three children.

Some good books- I read loads when feeding.

A boomerang shaped cushion- loads of new ones on eBay and much cheaper than the ones specially marketed for feeding.

If you can afford to, a really comfortable rocker chair.

Don't buy bras until about 2 weeks of feeding or you'll need to buy another size.

TheYamiOfYawn Wed 13-Feb-13 20:18:59

You don't need anything, but if there is an antenatal breastfeeding class you can go to, I'd suggest you go. Information and support are more useful than any gadgets. You will want a couple of nursing bras, and dome breastfed (but don't get a huge box because lots of people only need them for a few weeks). Lansinoh cream might be handy. The Food of Love is a nice breastfeeding book which is handy, and it's worth having the details of local breastfeeding counsellors and support groups in case you have problems.

KatherineKrupnik Wed 13-Feb-13 20:19:38

I've never bought nursing tops, but I did buy some cheap vest/tank tops from Primark & cut boob holes in them. Much cheaper!

LemonBreeland Wed 13-Feb-13 20:20:34

Lansinoh for sure.
A couple of nursing bras
A feeding cushion is very useful

lcdaff Wed 13-Feb-13 20:21:36

For the first few days of breast feeding at home I really wished I'd invested in a good sports bottle I could drink from easily and drop at a moments notice without making a mess.
When I first got out of the house choosing one that suited me.

leedy Wed 13-Feb-13 20:24:51

Stretchy crop top style BF sleep bras from Mothercare are perfect as nursing bras for the first few weeks until your size settles down - antenatal estimates of what my nursing bra size would be with DS1 were totally wrong.

Piemother Wed 13-Feb-13 20:26:00

This time around I love my towelling backed breast pads or thru are bamboo or something - washable anywAy. Otherwise boots ultra slim pass are good because thru are bigger.
If you fancy a nursing pillow Dunhelm sell v shaped pillows for about a tenner plus covers for )2.99 in lots pretty colours. I recommend them to my ladies I peer support and I bought one too they are fab grin

NulliusInBlurba Wed 13-Feb-13 20:27:38

I treated myself to one of those U-shaped pillows, and it was invaluable for supporting my arms while feeding, and even providing support for the baby (to stop her rolling away). 14 years later and we still have the thing, but with a replacement cover - I use it for reading in bed now.

I also got in advance: three nursing bras and breast pads, Should have got Lansinoh from the start, made the mistake of waiting until my nipples were really sore before using it.

After about five weeks, once BF was really established, I got a pump, 6 small bottles, and a set of bags for freezing milk (they have a measurement scale on the side so you can know how much you've expressed, and you write the date on the side when it was pumped/frozen). DD1 tended to be asleep around 11pm, so i got into the habit of pumping then every evening and freezing it. When dd1 was 6 weeks I started very limited work - away from home for just 5 hours - and DH used the frozen milk with the bottles. We never bothered with sterilizers, but boiled the bottles for 10 mins each time.

To start with I rented a medical grade pump - huge brute it was - from a chemist. Once my body got more used to the process I bought a cheaper one.

One thing I never did was get formula in 'just in case'. Like Yellow said, it's setting yourself up to fail. If ever you feel there isn't enough milk, the first solution is to keep on and on feeding, which will increase the supply. If that doesn't work, it might be tongue tie or some other issue that needs investigating, but nothing that needs immediate formula feeding.

KB02 Wed 13-Feb-13 20:35:33

Definitely second going to a breast feeding session or support group. Ask mid wife or sure start for details, get lots of leaflets. Remember nose to nipple , tummy to mummy . I went to 2 sessions and it definitely got me prepared as to latch ing on correctly etc. Good luck and I hope you enjoy it as much as I am.

FoofFighter Wed 13-Feb-13 20:55:05

wowsers lots of replies thank you smile

<furiously scribbling>

Nightmoves Wed 13-Feb-13 22:44:17

My big donut pillow saved my life I'm sure, or at least my back. Did without for a week and remember thinking it was the most comfortable pillow in the world ever when it arrived. I was also so glad I bought my pump. Ended up with a delay to my milk coming in and was sent home from hospital on 4 hourly pumping schedule. I so wanted to do everything properly and would have been out my mind if I'd had to send DH to shops for a pump and learned how to use it etc on the same day I got home. They are expensive but I was sure I wanted to bf so knew it would come in handy at some stage.
Also lanolin - amazing stuff.

I did buy two bottles and a few cartons of formula - just in case. Gave me peace of mind that if it wasn't working, I could still feed baby without panicking. But then - we are about 1 hours drive from anywhere that would sell bottles!

I used during BF:
hand pump (loved it)
electric pump (hated it)
storage pots for storing milk in the fridge (never froze any)
6 bottles.
nursing bras - bought after I gave birth as the ones I bought before were far too small! Ended up wearing cheap vest tops with no bra for the first week.

lastseenleaving Thu 14-Feb-13 09:53:09

Comfy nursing bras. Bravado great as they are stretchy so fit while you change shape - I got mine while pg.

maybe one pack breast pads,.I didn't leak significantly with either DC but they were handy to keep Lansinoh off clothes.

Lansinoh - great for nappy rash and general sore skin even if your nips are ok. grin

If I hadn't been planning to express at work I wouldn't have bought bottles. I've never bought any formula.

If you could buy having confidence in your nor'easter ability and lots of patience for sitting still for weeks that d would be good. smile

lastseenleaving Thu 14-Feb-13 09:54:45

Oh I do use my widgey pillow lots, its handy for wobbly learning to sit up babies too.

lastseenleaving Thu 14-Feb-13 09:55:44

Your body's ability. I don't even know how to write nor'easter.confused confused

stargirl1701 Thu 14-Feb-13 09:58:09

I wish I had read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding before I have birth.

I found Lansinoh nipple cream very useful!

I ended up sending my DH for

Nipple shields
Breast shells
Hydrogel breast pads
A breast pump

All the best!

Bramshott Thu 14-Feb-13 09:59:50


dinkystinky Thu 14-Feb-13 10:03:51

Breast pads
pump to relieve engorgement if need be and steriliser
breast feeding bras
lots of pillows to get comfy with

and the number of your local BF support group, BF counsellors/peer supporters, La Leche league etc.

If you need formula, you can buy ready made cartons from supermarkets if you live in a city. Likewise if you need bottles you can get them readily from supermarkets.

apachepony Thu 14-Feb-13 10:06:34

Lansinoh, bra.
Wish I had bought a pump in advance, it's just they were so expensive!

RuckAndRoll Thu 14-Feb-13 10:18:36

Thanks for this thread foof, I naively thought boobs and baby was enough!

List so far:
Boobs and Baby

<edits list to include other useful stuff>

BigPigLittlePig Thu 14-Feb-13 10:18:44

We bought 3 or 4 little cartons of ready made formula, as LO was due on Christmas eve and I was terrified it would all go tits up (excuse the pun) over the bank holidays. DD rocked up 5 weeks early and is now 11 weeks old - cartons remain unopened in the wardrobe but it was reassuring to know they were/are there so a mad dash out isn't needed with screechy wailing baby, if the need ever arose.

We bought an Avent starter pack with a few bottles/teats and microwave steriliser, again iin case things went wrong (I was clearly quite anxious with hindsight). Cheap and has come in v useful as I express now. I would hold off getting a pump until LO is here.

Breast pads, muslins, cheap stretchy vest top under a looser top works for me when I'm out, a couple of good nursing bras (I got fitted after the birth as she was early).

I got some lansinoh cream, my mw said if your latch is good you won't need that. And she was right blush

BigPigLittlePig Thu 14-Feb-13 10:20:19

ruck cakes and biscuits and drinks are the mainstay of what you need! And new batteries in the remote control grin

Eskino Thu 14-Feb-13 10:26:15

Cakes, chocolate and a footstool.

Wallison Thu 14-Feb-13 10:36:33

Definitely breast pads, nursing bras, plenty of loose vests so that you can wear two and do the 'one pushed under, one hoicked over' thing, Lansinoh, muslins, big pillows with pillow protectors on. And maybe a couple of DVD box sets - you'll be spending a lot of time sitting down.

FoofFighter Thu 14-Feb-13 12:43:56

Liking your list Rucknroll wink

I did bf my first years and years ago but got no support whatsoever and then obviously failed to continue past a couple of weeks hence the not rreally knowing what I might need.

I do remember having oversupply though, is that liekly to still be the case or does it change with each baby?

Mookymoo Thu 14-Feb-13 13:08:37

one of the best tips I've got from mumsnet was to invest in some vest tops that are stretchy to wear under your top (obv over your nursing bra), so that when you bf in public you can pull the top of vest top down, pull your jumper or whatever up but then don't have your stomach on show

Mookymoo Thu 14-Feb-13 13:08:55

whoops sorry, duplicated 'hoiked up' post!

FoofFighter Thu 14-Feb-13 13:22:12

I have some bump bands, they'd do the job wouldn't they?

IdaClair Thu 14-Feb-13 13:31:29

bump bands don't work, after the baby is born there's no bump to hold them up!

FoofFighter Thu 14-Feb-13 14:04:09

I'm quite chunky so there probably will be for quite a while blush

Toast123 Thu 14-Feb-13 16:24:28

Marks and Spencer's do some great stretchy long vest tops which I tucked into jeans and then sort of hoiked down at the top. Breadtfeeding vests with clips seemed to be quite tricky to do up afterwards with clippy bras too.

shelley72 Thu 14-Feb-13 16:28:59

everything that has already been suggested. oh and the remote control / a good book / magazine as you can be stuck to the sofa for HOURS. i liked johnsons pads as they were quite soft, and last time around discovered the bravado bras which were also v comfy so comfy that i still wear them now blush

indith this lansinoh / exemption card trick - how does that work exactly? i have spent a fortune on the stuff in the past!

nancerama Thu 14-Feb-13 16:31:10

Our local NCT breast feeding counsellor ran a dad's session with her husband. It's a real pity that this isn't standard everywhere as DH was so well briefed on latches and techniques that I had round the clock support to draw upon in the early days. If you can get your DP on board and get him reading books and watching DVDs it really will be a huge help.

shelley72 Thu 14-Feb-13 16:34:36

agree nancerama my DH paid attention to the BF bit of our ante natal class, even though i wasnt sure if i would suceed at BF. he managed to get DS to latch properly, get him positioned correctly and kept me going when i felt like giving up. he knows so much now i think he could probably retrain as a BFC!!!

nancerama Thu 14-Feb-13 16:39:25

Our NHS BF classes were mothers only. There is so much to take in that it seems crazy that you can't take anyone, male or female as a supporter.

TempusFuckit Thu 14-Feb-13 18:47:32

Lansinoh. As you've gathered from the other posts it's the best, but thought I would add do not be put off by the cost, cheaper ones are useless if your nipples are really sore.

And stretchy vests - or any stretchy low cut top, doesn't have to be sleeveless, just wearable under your looser tops.

I'm on DC2, and I am putting the very different, blissful early bfing experience this time round to getting my latch checked and readjusted several times while in hospital. Don't be afraid to interrupt a feed as many times as you need to in order to get it right from the get go.

Jenijena Thu 14-Feb-13 20:38:33

Having a Savoy cabbage in the fridge around your due date would be useful. And you can always eat it if you don't put the leaves in your bra for relief.

In future, I'd have some nipple shields in the house just in case. Because if things have got so desperate you want to use them, you probably want to use them now, not after a trip to the shop...

On having formula in the house, I had someone in my NCT group who, due to a traumatic birth, never had her milk come in (dont know full details) It was a bank holiday weekend, overnight, and the baby was screaming in hunger with no formula in the house, and no shops open, even 24hr. On reflection, having a couple of cartons in the house and a bottle doesn't seem so bad compared with the trauma she and her husband went through in feeding their baby that night (and the paranoia they have to this day about running out of milk).

RightUpMyRue Thu 14-Feb-13 21:00:01

Things you can (but don't have) to buy:

Breast pads
Nursing bras

Things you might find useful:

National Breastfeeding Helpline - 0300 100 0212

La Leche League Helpline - 0845 120 2918

Link to Kellymom

Link to The Breastfeeding Network website listing of support groups.

What would also be really, really useful is to attend some BF groups now, antenatally, so you can talk to other BFing mums and supporters about what to expect in the early weeks so it doesn't come as too much of a shock that your baby wants a LOT of feeding and close contact with you. It's normal and OK and doesn't mean your milk isn't satisfying or good enough.

Find out what support is available locally to you from your midwife, children's centre and HV/0-19 team. Equip yourself with as much knowledge as you can now so as you're prepared for when your baby arrives.

KatAndKit Thu 14-Feb-13 22:40:41

I got bottles in advance because I intended on doing expressing eventually. I got a manual pump and waited till later to shell out on the electric.
I did not get formula in advance as I did not want it to be there to sabotage my bf efforts during a bad night when we were not thinking straight. If it was really needed then supermarkets are open round the clock anyway. There isn't going to be some "emergency" that means you need formula right away.

The thing I agree with most is to find out in advance how to access help if you need it.
And also the cutting holes in vests instead of getting pricey bf vests and clothes. Cut the slit just underneath your breast on both sides and then when you lift up the slit, the fabric will provide some cover. This DIY vest system allows you to wear all sorts. It is especially great under a wrap top or dress.

LadyWidmerpool Thu 14-Feb-13 22:54:05

Boots washable breastpads are very comfy. I heart Lansinoh too. Muslins. Loads of snacks. The most important thing for me was my supportive DH.

Contradictionincarnate Fri 15-Feb-13 11:20:35

I used lanisoh and Asda own cream ...lanisoh was good as a protective barrier but I slathered on (think cup cake) the Asda one after feeds it went on very easily!
I think my iPad really helped in early days for night feeds watching tv fbooking at the like.
lots of maternity bras are good cos your in them 24/7 I find matalans to be the best as there are no bones and the ones that look like training bras best not the ones that look like real bras. a

Twattybollocks Sun 17-Feb-13 11:04:57

Nursing bra, breast pads, lansinoh. Wouldn't bother with a feeding cushion, I find they place the baby too high for my boob size, but If you have small pert boobs it may help. Pillows are just as good, plenty of time for you to buy a cushion when you have worked out what's comfy for you.
Wouldn't bother with a pump unless you know you will be expressing, hand expressing is very effective once you have the knack and it's a good skill to have as way less faff than pumping I find.
I had a single ready made formula carton and some bottles, but then I knew dd would be having the odd bottle when I leave her due to the horses, so it's not like i was buying something that wouldn't get used.
Def have phone numbers for helplines - a 24 hour one if you can find it because it's usually middle of the night when it all goes tits up in the early days.

thehumanegg Sun 17-Feb-13 15:28:19

Its not a buy but I wish I'd known how to hand express to relieve engorgement and help baby latch once milk was in or got one of the midwives show me instead of just thinking it wasn't working. Looking back I was too squeamish and doing it too gently.

Pandasandmonkeys Sun 17-Feb-13 23:55:33

I've been EBF my DS for 4 months, I've needed.....:

Nothing!! (Except Muslins)

However I bought in advance:
Expensive nipple cream - never needed it
Feeding pillow - found this very uncomfortable on my c section scar so I never used it and now he is too big for me to be able to use it!
'Just in case' formula - never used this bit I found it very reassuring in the first weeks to know it was there IF I needed it.

Once I started expressing so dh could feed I was glad I had invested in a good quality pump.
Milk storage bags for the freezer

From my experience, don't buy more than 1 or 2 feeding bras until your milk is in as my size changed dramatically and the size I was spilling

Pandasandmonkeys Sun 17-Feb-13 23:56:37

Out of the recommended size a week after birth!! I'm now on my 3rd set as my size is still changing all the time! Good luck!!!

nancerama Mon 18-Feb-13 09:17:30

Bravado seamless silk bras are amazing. They stretch and are less structured so they adjust to your ever changing shape. I suffered recurrent bouts of mastitis due to fitted bras no longer fitting. Never happened again after I bought the Bravado.

roseum Mon 18-Feb-13 13:09:56

In the early days: snacks, and bottles of water - I had 'feeding stations' one upstairs, one downstairs so I didn't have to traipse around the place with a yelling baby. I was absolutely ravenous at first, so the snacks were definitely required, especially at night - dried apricots, muesli bars, bananas, chocolate. Bin also useful for all the rubbish from the snacks! Was DHs job to replenish the stocks.

I also had a radio/ mp3 player/ laptop to hand for the night feeds, plus a small reading light - to help keep me awake, and to help me see the latch in the early days when neither of us knew what we were doing.
I just used to use ordinary pillows to raise DS up to the right height to make feeding easy for both of us.

Also useful - DS was born in the winter and I used to get really cold doing the night feeds (am a pretty cold person anyway) so had a big shawl to wrap up in and lots of fleeces to hand.

Tops that undo down the front/ nursing nighties - I got cold (as mentioned) plus confused at night, so something I could unbutton was easier than trying to raise and lower different layer of clothes to get a boob out while staying warm (old soft men's cotton shirts worked well for me).

Nursing bras for night - more comfy to have some support and something to hold the breast pads in if you leak at night (a waterproof mattress protector was also useful for this, but has also been useful since when DS has vomited/ spat calpol everywhere/ etc).


Margie32 Mon 18-Feb-13 14:40:50

If you can stretch to it, get a couple of nice nursing tops. I'm 10 weeks into bfing DS2 and I'm so sick of wearing the same 2 or 3 tops everyday plus I'm constantly having to wash them as DS2 always seems to be sick on me when I've forgotten to put the muslin on my shoulder! I've just been looking on boobdesign.com - it's not cheap but I might treat myself. Which reminds me, be warned that the ability to shop online while pinned to the sofa for hours is a recipe for serious overspending...wink

Marking place for later

What lots of previous posters have said:
*most important, a very supportive DH/DP. Mine came to our NCTbreastfeeding class so knew how to help
*nipple cream, my midwife said use it like lip balm, put it on before you get to the point if needing it.
*I also bought cheap stretchy vests from primark
*I also refused to have formula in the house, there were so many times I was ready to give up, but like others have said, the next day my resolve was stronger than ever

Expect BF to be tricky or even difficult at first, I was distraught at first because I expected my boy to know what to do and he didn't for a few days. We soon got over it and I love feeding him now.

Good luck

FoofFighter Mon 18-Feb-13 17:44:38

This is all so so useful smile

charlottery Mon 18-Feb-13 18:02:15

The thing I found most useful was the kindle!
Have TV remote close at hand, along with food and drinks. If you start feeding without any of these, it is your dp's job to find them immediately.
Also useful were breast pads and lansinoh.
I did buy some formula in, as I had a difficult time with dd1, and ended up bottle feeding her, and was too nervous to do without having any in the house. Haven't used it though, 18 months on.

blondecat Mon 18-Feb-13 18:40:49

10000 Muslins

Breast pads

A good pump

These strange snail like things from Earth mama Angel baby - you hear them up and stick on 1 minute prior to BF and they ease let down

13Iggis Mon 18-Feb-13 18:54:25

With my second baby I got a "my brest friend" feeding cushion from ebay (re-sold it too) which I loved - it is firmer and flatter than v-cushions or pillow. But you only use it for a few months really, then baby is too big.
I never used pads, didn't need to.
I have a fancy pump but it is hit or miss whether you'll like them/need them I think.
Maybe a book (or google) pictures of attachments, as I was a bit clueless about this and thought would happen with no intervention from me - it didn't!
Good luck!

Rhienne Mon 18-Feb-13 22:01:12

I second what someone said upthread about a good drink bottle. I have one that has a bite-valve and a straw. Was the best thing I took with me for labour, first days in hospital, and feeding at home again. Doesn't spill, no need to open anything - just bite down to suck, no need to tip up to get the liquid from the bottom. Brilliant to have next to you in bed, no need to stretch (ouch!) to the side table.

Camelbak do a good one, or there's now other cheaper brands.

This is what I give all my friends at their baby showers now! So far had nothing but positive feedback. grin

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