4 weeks in.....thinking about options, advice needed(7 Posts)
My daughter is 4 weeks old and exclusively BF. She feeds regularly every 3 hours for between 30-50 minutes. She seems happy and she wakes once at 3am for a feed so we are able to sleep from 12-3am and 4-7am.
I am feeding on demand and not looking at the clock really as she seems to have fallen into the above pattern by herself, so, so far so good i think.
I have a few questions. Id like to be able to maybe get my husband involved in feeding, so, if i express will it be a nightmare trying to get her to take a bottle? How long would it take her to "get it" and what bottles would you recommend?
Also, if I do express (its only for convenience, so I could go out and about on my own if needed) would it then confuse her when she goes back to the breast? I am only talking about 1 feed by bottle, eg, last feed at night, or maybe one in the day occasionally.
Im rambling i know, but is it really worth the hassle to express for convenience, given the pattern she has fallen into.
Thanks in advance x
I used to regularly give expressed bottles, especially as I went back to work full time at 14 weeks. The bottles I used were the Medela Haberman teat ones. They're designed for special needs babies, but are great for normal babies who are also breastfed, as they're the only teat that the baby actively needs to suck on to get milk out. All the other teats I found still dripped milk through, even the slow flow ones.
You can get Medela Haberman teats from larger Mothercares or by mail order. The Medela Swing pump is also a very good one to get if you are going to be expressing a lot in the future.
I used the medela calma flow teats and bottle, they are sold as being like breastfeeding...ie baby has to suck to get the milk it doesn't just flow! They were not that great and expensive, my lo found it really difficult to use. I am not sure whether it was just the bottle she wasn't a fan of or if it was just the fact she preferred being at the breast! I used the medela manual pump as our intentions were to not use it very often and it is a good pump for infrequent use! Despite numerous attempts to get our lo on a bottle so dh can participate in the feeding and not feel so useless she just won't take it! So I have written off any idea of the slimmest chance of being able to escape for just an hour or so of freedom!!!
With taking a bottle, I think it is sometimes the luck of the draw tbh. You can try to introduce a bottle once bf is established e.g. 1 month old however there are some babies who never take one at all. My nephew refused a bottle from the day he was born, whereas I didn't introduce a bottle to my dd until about 2 months and even so she has always been happy to switch between bottle and boob. We used MAM bottles or later Tommee Tippee ones.
The action used by the baby to suck milk from a bottle and milk from the boob is different. There is therefore a risk that a bf baby who is offered a bottle will then get confused about bf. But I think so long as bf is established and you are only rarely offering a bottle you would be unlucky to get a problem. However, if you are concerned about this you could consider feeding from a cup?
Expressing works really well for some. Although from personal experience I found it difficult to find a time to express a decent amount without interfering with the next feed. DD went through a phase of waking up for a snack at around 5am where she would only take one side before going back to sleep, so I would get up and express the other side which would yield about 4oz. In end end, getting up at 5am was tiring and not as attractive to me as staying in bed
I also rarely gave her a bottle as if I didn't feed her regularly my boobs got full and sore very quickly, so yes for me it was more of a hassle than it was really worth.
One tip for expressing which I would do differently next time though - If you freeze your bm, it's better to freeze it in 1oz portions rather than say a 4 or 5oz load in one bag. Less waste. I had mine frozen in big portions and ended up chucking most of it away once it was defrosted as I might only need an ounce or two (sigh!).
Good luck and congratulations on your baby. I'm so glad things are going well for you
I was told to avoid using a bottle until bf was established, so I waited till 6 weeks. I use a Mendela electric pump, which is expensive, but worth every penny for me. Expressing is relatively slow (takes 10 minuts to do 50ml and I need about 110ml for one bottle feed) and I can only get one feed a day (110ml). However, expressing does not hurt at all, if anything it makes my nipples less sore.
We use Nuk bottles and only OH bottle feeds her (I was advised to keep solely to the breast so that she would not expect a bottle from me). DD took to the bottle immediately and it hasn't affected her bf at all.
I know there is a lot of advice to avoid bottles and dummies. However, I started on bottles at day 3 due to really sore nipples and major pain (thrush). I just went on the principle of major confusion, so we had three different teats plus dummies, DD didn't have time to get used to any one thing. We had no nipple confusion or bottle-laziness (which I think is a bigger risk than nipple confusion), and succesfully breastfed/expressed to 15 months. A lot depends on your baby and how adaptable they choose to be.
something to consider as it's early days, is that if you leave the baby for a while you may need to express during this time for your comfort.
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