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Due in 5 weeks, want to breast feed. What do I need?

(78 Posts)
RockLovesMincePies Mon 27-Dec-10 15:26:31

This will be my 2nd child, but I gave up breastfeeding my dd (now 6) after about 5 days out of sheer frustration.

I am due dc2, a little boy, at the end of Jan and this time round I am determined to give breast feeding a good go this time. But I am not sure what, if any, equipment I actually need.

At some point I would like to try and express so that DP can have a chance to feed his son, also in the hope that we can get out together occasionally which means leaving baby with a family member.

So, what do I need to buy and what are the best makes? Looking at the breast pumps that are available the electric ones are way out of our price range, are the manual ones any good?

Any advice will be gratefully received.

vintageteacups Mon 27-Dec-10 15:34:11

Hi rockloves.
I would suggest you getting some bottles (just in case) and formula. Therefore, if you come across any huge probs you cannot sort out over a weekend or night, then you have them to fall back on.

A manual breast pump, such as the Avent Isis is a good idea.
However, it's better NOT to express in the first 4 weeks, unless really necessary, so that your supply gets established.

Any time you give a bottle rather than breast, means your breasts will think they don't need to produce as much milk and your supply will reduce - just something to think about.

Some mop up cloths always a good idea and breast pads - some disposable for when you're out and the washable ones are fab for when you're at home. way cheaper and easy to wash and dry.

Above all - I would recommend getting as much info on BF technique before you have your son so that you have the optimal opportunity to continue feeding without any probs.

Probably the most important tip I could say is remember that unless there's a physical why a woman cannot breast feed, then your breasts will never run out of milk. The majority of women who stop feeding within the first few days or months think they have 'ran out of milk'. This sadly, in the most part, just isn't true.
Hope it all goes well - I'm sure you'll be great smile

harecare Mon 27-Dec-10 15:40:18

Buy nothing. You won't be able to express for a few weeks anyway. Trust in your boobs and just feed when hungry and sleep when the baby does.

RockLovesMincePies Mon 27-Dec-10 15:40:47

Thanks vintage, that's really good advice. To be honest, I felt really let down by the health professionals when dd was born, every single mw/nurse I encountered in hospital showed me different techniques for latching dd on and nothing worked.

Then when I got home the mw from my Dr's surgery showed me how to do it properly and was quite cross I think that I'd had such rubbish advice in hospital. However, by that time I had bleeding nipples and felt so ill from my c-section that I couldn't cope and had to give up for my own sanity.

I plan to have some bottles and "emergency" formula in the house in case I have a crisis.

Dozeyland Mon 27-Dec-10 15:49:03

- Breast pads
- Muslin cloths
- lansinoh cream
- pump (but you can hand express)
- bottles to express in

well this is some of what i've used. (BFing 8week old )

BabaTaz Mon 27-Dec-10 15:52:12

I'd suggest not spending a fortune on a breast pump until you are certain your LO will take a bottle, DD took a bottle from 5 - 8 weeks old and has refused since (now 19/20 weeks)

The other thing I would suggest is saline nasal spray, a god send for clearing their nose if your LO get bunged up at any point. DD has a cold at the moment and it's really affecting her feeding.

Good luck

vintageteacups Mon 27-Dec-10 15:52:49

harecare - buying nothing is a bit of a risk, although I agree about feeding on demand and letting your baby tell you when he wants a feed.

I breast fed for 18months, then 21 months and I'm a breast feeding peer supporter so alhtough I'm not advocating formula, I do think it's better to be prepared for all eventualities.

Another product (the only one I would name) is Lansinoh. I know it's expensive but it's really worth it, especially if you had cracked nipples before.

Vaseline works just as well but I would start using something now and then after every feed to prevent cracked nipples. Do not leave breasts to air dry - as soon as scabs form, is when the problems begin. Moist wound healing is much the prefered way of healing skin.
Your MW should be able to give you a few Lansinoh sachets if you ask her. Unlike bf supporters, MW's are allowed to recommend products.

CharlotteBronteSaurus Mon 27-Dec-10 15:54:16

I gave up bfing dd1 after 3 weeks, following some spectacularly poor advice.

dd2 is 8 weeks and bf is going well. IMO you will need:
-Support and information - I was better informed this time, for example about frequency of bf. DD2, like dd1, fed hourly for the first 4 weeks. I was advised before that this was Not Right, and Something must be Wrong. I knew this time that was tosh, and DD2 now feeds 2-3 hourly. So find a bf group, get on MN loads in the early days, have the support line numbers to hand.
- good nursing bras
- breast pads. I got thrush in my boobs, so now only use the washables, as they are more breathable
- lanisoh
- muslins
- vest tops a size too big. these are for wearing under another top, so your tummy is covered when feeding. much more discreet than any special feeding top.

good luck!

vintageteacups Mon 27-Dec-10 15:54:45

To ease over full breasts and to promote a good latch, hand express for no more than 15 secs on effected breast(to prevent let down and increased milk production) to release some milk and reduce pressure.

rabbitheart Mon 27-Dec-10 15:56:51

Hello, uhm I'm sorry but I have to disagree. Do not get in formula, that truly is not a good idea if you want to establish breastfeeding. Unless there is a medical reason why you cannot breastfeed, there should be absolutely no reason for you not to breastfeed. Having formula about will not help, and may be far too much of a temptation when tired etc. Plus as vintageteacups said, babies are far less likely to take to the breast after a bottle - at such an early stage this can be really detrimental.

Yes breastfeeding can be bloody tricky if it's not done right, but once you and your baby have got the hang of things it will be a doddle!

Make sure your baby has established a good latch before you leave the hospital. There should be lactation experts there. They will also be able to put you in touch with a lactation expert that can come to your home if need be. Also join a breastfeeding support group if you have one nearby.

All I ever needed was a load of muslins and breastpads (essential).

Dozeyland Mon 27-Dec-10 15:58:20

I still have a fast let down, so i tuck a muslin into bra...

2 rounds of thrush, mastitis and open sore.

still going strong - i will not give up (I keep telling myself this lol

vintageteacups Mon 27-Dec-10 16:02:44

I disagree about the formula. I really do think it's the Devil's invention.......however, say if a mother has to be rushed into hospital without the baby, or if the baby suddenly just will not feed, then having a tin (or cartons) in the cupboard should only be there in case and provide reassurance in an emergency.

I think it's naive to think buying formula will make you give up breast feeding. Moreover, it's surely just being prudent.

If someone is going to give up, then they will up.

vintageteacups Mon 27-Dec-10 16:11:23

dozey - have you had any help regards attachment? You're doing really well if you've suffered all of that and still feeding. So are you still having the probs or have they gone away?

I was like that with DD1 but like you, was determined to carry on feeding.

beanlet Mon 27-Dec-10 16:14:03

Boobs :-)

Don't get formula in; you're just setting yourself up for failure.

Do buy an electric breast pump beforehand -- I love my Medela swing -- and a couple of baby feeding syringes and bottles. My DS had the crappiest latch in the world and was born in the hottest week of the year. I was terrified he was going to get dehydrated while we sorted out feeding, so I expressed colostrum and fed him by syringe several times when things got hard. I really think my electric breast pump saved my baby's life (OK, exaggeration, but it certainly kept us breastfeeding). I didn't buy one beforehand because I thought breastfeeding would be easy, and I had to send my dad and DH out to buy one urgently as soon as we got back from hospital.

Muslins

Lansinoh

and if you are prone to painful nipples, Medela breast shells (note, NOT the same as nipple shields), which keep your clothes off your sore nipples and catch the drips as well.

beanlet Mon 27-Dec-10 16:15:39

Oh -- and I had agonisingly sore nipples for 6 weeks, and it was only sheer determination that I WOULD breastfeed my baby come what may that got me through. It's now delightful -- but I totally understand why people give up.

vintageteacups Mon 27-Dec-10 16:16:44

ooh - [crosses legs thinking about rubbing nipples on clothing]

SilkStalkings Mon 27-Dec-10 16:26:14

Spare bed for DP if possible. Co-sleeping for the first few weeks til BF reaches comfy levels is a lifesaver. You want to be able to take over a whole double bed for feeding while you doze, you DO NOT want DP rucking up your carefully arranged layers of drip towels and you DO NOT want to be worrying about how much sleep he's getting. He really must look after himself for the first few weeks.

Ask for professional help - from BF counsellors eg NHS or NCT, not midwives or HVs. Remember that BM is what human babies are designed to drink and what boobs are designed for. A long time ago, you would have grown up in an extended family with babies BFing all around so experienced support would have been there for you. It's a lost art but you can find it.

Have faith in the magical 6wk mark, things really do get settled by then.

AnnieLobeseder Mon 27-Dec-10 16:30:08

Lansinoh. If you get nothing else, get lansinoh and use it from the first feed. It will save your boobs.

Otherwise, just muslins and breast pads, and boobs of course!

It will hurt to start with. Let-down is toe-curlingly painful at first. But it gets better so quickly. It won't be easy, but it's so worth it once you get established.

As for pumps, I had an Avent hand pump which did the job just fine. Don't worry about it just yet though. If for whatever reason you find you can't bf, you won't have wasted your money.

Dozeyland Mon 27-Dec-10 16:40:46

Vintageteacups

I go to Baby cafe every week, they've helped loads. cousin is BF counsellor.

still have thrush but going much much better

vintageteacups Mon 27-Dec-10 16:46:03

that's good then Dozy -that you've had good support.

Annie your experience will not necessarily be the same for anyone else. Often many women don't even feel let down and by saying "it will hurt to start with" is putting your negative experience upon others.

In the world of breast feeding, every woman is different and by assuming that everyone has the same pain threshold or same symptoms/problems etc can be detrimental to their breast feeding experience.

SilkStalkings Mon 27-Dec-10 16:47:21

Actually, I's recommend seeing a BF counsellor within a couple of days. Even if you think you're doing fine, they can assess your positioning etc and save you future problems. I went back to the hospital BF clinic 2 days after birth and was taught to hand-express by mine which was amzingly useful. My DS2 was described as a 'little pickle' by the BFC so it was great being able to top him up with a syringe of EBM during the first few days until we both got the hang of it.

organiccarrotcake Mon 27-Dec-10 16:51:22

I am not at all convinced that it's a good idea to have formula in the house. I see no point in it at all. In the case of an emergency where the mother is taken to hospital the mother can very often continue to breastfeed anyway and if not the hospital will supply formula in that kind of emergency. Otherwise there is just that temptation to just give it a try, especially at the beginning where the baby is feed, feed, feeding and it feels like it will never end, and the baby is crying, and seems hungry, and just see if a bottle helps...

Everyone feels sleepy after a huge Christmas meal and giving a bottle of formula to a newborn will often completely settle them and send them off to sleep after they've been suckling for hours and fractious. This seems to prove that the baby was hungry whereas in fact it's just the same effect as an adult eating way more than they needed. The first 6 weeks or so are really tough and you need to trust that your body can do this and just keep going.

Find out where your local breastfeeding groups are - often at a Children's Centre. Keep the NCT breastfeeding line number on your fridge (0300 330 0771) and call it whenever you need help or advice, or just reassurance. Your hospital may have properly qualified lactation consultants - see if you can get to see them before you go home and see if they do a home visit service.

While formula is very best avoided, remember that if a bottle is given it's not the end of breastfeeding. Have faith in yourself and your baby, expect the first 6 weeks to be tough but know that they will pass and try to be kind to yourself.

I also love co-sleeping and find it much easier to get through nights that way. It's worth practising feeding lying down so you can at least have daytime naps with baby suckling and snuggling with you. That's good for your milk production as while you're lying down and napping, and baby is suckling, you're going to get a nice boost of milk-making hormones.

RockChick1984 Mon 27-Dec-10 16:54:31

I've bought a set from babies r us with bottles, steriliser etc it's tommy tippee an is on offer for £49ish, also bought their manual pump again on offer, as have been told this is the best make, the bottles r called closer to nature an apparently the teats are really close to nipples or something! I hope to breastfeed but also like u I want to be able to let dh feed and to occasionally leave my son with my mum, so once I've established breastfeeding I'm gunna try to express milk as well xxx

AnnieLobeseder Mon 27-Dec-10 16:54:35

Vintage - really? I thought the first few feeds did always hurt. I don't know anyone who found bf-ing painless.

I'm not trying to be negative, but realistic. Some women aren't expecting any pain at all and are so shocked and surprised by the pain that they give up immediately. I wish someone had warned me!

organiccarrotcake Mon 27-Dec-10 16:56:29

teacups it's a fair point that it's not always painful to start with and not to put people off by saying so, but I think making the points that it CAN hurt and the first few weeks CAN be really tough is important. So often we hear mums saying "I just wish I'd known this was normal". "If I'd expected it I'd know it would pass".

While established BFing should be comfortable, it can be painful to start with but knowing that this is temporary is important (but getting help from the beginning makes sure that any problems are rectified immediately).

dozey have you seen the Breastfeeding Network's leaflet on treating thrush?

www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/pdfs/BfN_Thrush_le aflet_Feb_2009.pdf

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