First time mum - BF and expressing!(9 Posts)
I'm not due until February, but am already thinking about BF. I have my heart set on doing it but would really like to be able to share feeding with my DH too.
People have mentioned to me that expressing into a bottle can be confusing for a baby and I should only do one or the other (ie bottle or breast feed) - is this true?? Does this mean that I would have to express all feeds so that my husband can feed the baby?
I am getting seriously confused... In my idyllic world I would BF and express a bit during the day while DH is at work and let him give the last feed from a bottle.
If anyone has any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated!
Congratulations on your pregnancy. As long as you wait until breastfeeding is established (around 6 weeks)there shouldn't be a problem with your baby taking an occassional bottle. It is recommended you don't offer a bottle too early as this can cause nipple confusion.
Some babies do refuse to take a bottle (lot's of posts on this) but all three of my DSs have been fine taking an occasional one.
I do struggle with expressing in that I don't seem to get a lot of milk when I express, but find if I do it first thing in the morning I can express more.
Different things work for different people, so you are going to have to wait and see what your milk production is like and what your baby is like. Like you I thought it would be wonderful to express milk in the day and pass baby over to DH at 9pm so I could go to bed.
However for me personally, expressing was very uncomfortable and not very productive. Ok if I needed to eg to go out and leave the baby with babysitter or DH but definately not worth it if I was in the house, even if I could otherwise be asleep!!!
Best not to express too much at the start (eg in first few weeks) because baby can prefer bottle as its easier for them, and because it can impact on supply as baby is more efficient than pump, but lots of people BF and give one bottle each day.
DH did lots of other things, eg always did bathtime if he was in, never felt he was missing out by not being able to fed. BFing in the scale of things last a very short time!
My ds has had a bottle occasionally since 4 weeks old and hasn't had any nipple confusion - though I have used breastflow bottles which are supposedly more similar to breastfeeding.
I didn't get on with expressing though, and certainly wouldn't bother just so dp could have a go. Easier just to breastfeed! However, if we go out and leave ds with a babysitter, or on the night I go to an aerobics class and dp has to put the baby to bed we just give him formula.
I was expressing from 2 weeks to supplement ds (at Breastfeeind COunsellor Midwives' suggestion) so bottle confusion is not inevitable. I did however, initially "top up" with EBM after a feed and later, when I was, for a short while, giving every alternate feed as EBM, would express at the same time (or shortly thereafter). (Fed ds for 13 motnhs BTW)
If you are going to express, morning is a good time as there is plenty of prolactin in your system then. In the evening, you may find that yuor child decides to cluster feed anyway.
Thanks for your messages! I honestly never realised how confusing the whole issue could be!
I guess I would just like DH to enjoy the closeness of feeding, but I am probably a bit niave and it would be easier just for me to do feeding!
I'll let him change some extra nappies instead!
prettybird - what is cluster feeding? Is it where they feed a little bit over many many hours??
"That's right: "cluster feeding" is common in the evening when they have a lot of feeds close together. It's not something to get concerned about (which some people do) about whether the baby is "getting enough".
There are other ways your DH can enjoy closeness besides giving a bottle - one thing my DH did in the early days was to wear the baby in a sling for an hour or so in the evenings to give me a bit of a break. I really think it helped with bonding.
I only expressed when I wanted to go out, DS took the odd bottle no probs. DIdn't really bother expressing 2nd time round.
Agree there are lots of other lovely ways for dads to be involved. DP has always been in charge of bath time and nappies - having your DH do any night time nappy changes means he can be involved in the night feeds too, and you get to go back to sleep quicker
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