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Will I need bottles, formula etc if breastfeeding?

(29 Posts)
chipsandmushypeas Fri 28-Sep-12 09:29:00

Expecting first dc in December and plan to breastfeed. Should I buy a couple of bottles, formula and a steriliser just in case it doesn't work out?

Thank you

chipsandmushypeas Fri 28-Sep-12 09:29:50

Also I saw some nipple coolers/relief in John Lewis, are they any good? I think they were medala nipple covers or something.

justabigdisco Fri 28-Sep-12 09:33:28

You'll find differing opinions on this. I didn't buy any of that, and was glad I didn't. I might have been tempted during those hellish early few nights to give 'just one bottle' which would, in my opinion, have affected supply.
I know others who BF who did have the emergency supplied and felt secure in the knowledge that they were there 'just in case'.
I suppose it depends on the type of person you are! Don't forget though, most people in the UK live within a short distance of a 24hour supermarket!

RikersBeard Fri 28-Sep-12 09:33:53

I really wouldn't. Aim for success. If at some stage you do decide to switch to formula you can get them. You don't want a whole bunch of plastic clutter in your kitchen if you don't need it, and if it's there and you do encounter any bf hurdles then you might resort to using it but regret it afterwards.

If you really want to bf then any problems are solvable in the vast majority of cases.

MrsTittleMouse Fri 28-Sep-12 09:34:34

No. smile

Unless you are in a very rural area, where it's going to be hard to get hold of these things. If you live anywhere need a 24 hour Tescos, then there is no need.

Breastfeeding doesn't always come easily, and it really doesn't help to have bottles and formula in the house, as it can encourage family members (who don't understand, or who really want to feed the baby themselves) to crack out the formula when all you really need is a bit of moral support and being looked after yourself. Mumsnet is very good for the moral support and the practical tips, by the way. smile

RikersBeard Fri 28-Sep-12 09:36:44

With my first baby I had some tough bf nights and had all the kit been there I reckon I would have used it. And in the early days it can affect your milk supply

TittyWhistles Fri 28-Sep-12 09:37:31

It's a good idea to have a steriliser and bottles and storage bags along with your breast pump if you have one.
If you don't plan to express though you don't need all that extra expense right now.
I would wait and see.
All these things can always be bought at a moments notice if you find you want to formula feed or express.
I've never used nipple covers (bfed 3 dcs)so I don't know if they're any good sorry but I would guess they are good if you are really sore and are thinking of giving up bf because of the pain.

lyndie Fri 28-Sep-12 09:37:49

Two schools of thought on this one! You might not need them and will have wasted your money, also the temptation might be there to use them if you're having a bad day. Also supermarkets and things being open virtually 24 hours your DH could always nip out and get some.

Or you're like me and want to be prepared (for every eventuality!) in which case buy some bits to have in the house. I did buy the nipple shields etc but only used to shells in the end. Rather morbidly I did think that if DH was coming home with a baby and not me sad then it would be a stress that he didn't need (was very unwell first time so not an overreaction I felt).

Good luck on whatever you decide and with your new baby.

MrsTittleMouse Fri 28-Sep-12 09:38:20

Cross posted with everyone else. smile

Plus, if you have a baby that will not under any circumstances take formula, you will kick yourself for shelling out all that money for expensive plastic clutter.

AnitaBlake Fri 28-Sep-12 09:39:38

What everyone else said. I didn't have any of the ff stuff in when I had DD, and we fed very successfully, whereas my sister had everything ready just in case, both hers were ff'd fairly quickly. You can get everything you need in an emergency.

chipsandmushypeas Fri 28-Sep-12 09:47:56

Thank you for replies, I was thinking the same thing - I might be tempted when it gets tough and I really want to bf successfully, really looking forward to it smile

I've got a electric medala pump that was given to me by a lovely couple who only used it for a couple of weeks, they also bundled in some bottles, storage bags and lansiloh (sp) cream smile they sterilised the pump. I heard its not good to pump until bf is properly established and I don't particularly plan to until maybe he's a bit older.

BaronessBomburst Fri 28-Sep-12 09:53:28

Pumping can help you get BF established. My milk took a long time to come in and I had to pump after each feed to help get my supply up. Giving your DC expressed milk in a bottle won't help establishing feeding, but the pump might come in handy!

Startailoforangeandgold Fri 28-Sep-12 10:01:48


RikersBeard Fri 28-Sep-12 10:16:43

You don't need a sterlilser for expressed milk, hot soapy water will do (unless baby prem or unwell).

I did use my pump in early days as DS2 had jaundice and didn't poo for ages, but we fed via syringe so didnt need any kit other than pump

Think positive. I never needed any bottles or formula until I went back to work when DD was 7mo. I opted for pre-made cartons because I was too lazy to make from powder. Also at 7mo, she was only drinking a carton a day, which works out just slightly more expensive then powder. So basically even if you have to go back to work early, you can still skip all the sterilizing and formula paraphernalia.

I didn't need pumping to get BF establised either. Just lots of feeding, whenever the LO squeak.

Oh and I hate hate hate pumping. It's a right PITA.

Seriouslysleepdeprived Fri 28-Sep-12 10:27:02

I didn't buy anything either as i really wanted to breastfeed & had read in here it would be better not to. It was tough in the beginning & while I didn't ever want to cave, I had lots if pressure from family etc. if it had been in the house at the wrong moment who knows...

What I do wish was that i prepared a bit more by getting a book on breastfeeding. I bought The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding which is great, talks you through all the practicalities, stages, trials & tribulations. The politics of breastfeeding is also an interesting read.

If you can try & to a breastfeeding meeting somewhere once you go on maternity leave. Le leche league are good, a bit hippy but nice & informal. They LOVE to see pregnant mums smile

chipsandmushypeas Fri 28-Sep-12 10:56:33

Thank you! Great advice.

Thanks for the tip Baraoness didn't think of that! I guess I meant latch confusion with bottle and nipple before established, not sure.

seriously I have a book and will get reading as I bought it when I was so early on but time to get cracking I guess. My hospital run breastfeeding workshops and I will look up la leche league too!

MrsTittleMouse Fri 28-Sep-12 11:00:51

Ah yes, I completely agree with onelittle - pumping is a PITA. I saw a summary of expressing here on MN once and it was so true. It went something like this:-

BF Mum cleans and sterilises pump equipment.
BF Mum works herself ragged trying to express milk (I only got an ounce or so at a time).
BF Mum decants milk into bag and carefully labels and stores it.
BF Mum sterilises bottles.
BF Mum warms milk and puts it into bottle.
BF Mum hands baby and bottle to family member.

Family member sits in comfy chair and feeds baby and glows about how wonderful it is that they are helping the BF Mum so much.

BF Mum washes up bottles ready for the next time.

Optional extra - BF Mum uses the time that the baby is being fed to catch up on all the chores that wouldn't otherwise get done.

I'm not knocking EBM completely - some women find it much easier to express than I did, and it can mean the difference between staying at home for 6 months and getting out for some one on one time with DP/DH. But I went through all the above, and ended up...

DD1 - using the odd bottle of formula once BF was establised well, so that I could go out.
DD2 - giving up on the whole idea of bottles, as she hated them so much and just BF her.

Seriouslysleepdeprived Fri 28-Sep-12 11:06:46

Chips you are way ahead of me then grin

I went to the hospital & NCT breastfeeding groups but neither were useful unfortunately. Lots if breast is best & how to hold & latch your baby (yeah right). Not much on how to actually do it, using both sides, establishing supply etc. hopefully yours will be better smile

SummerSolstice Fri 28-Sep-12 11:12:17

I had bottles, a steriliser and an expresser before my baby was born. No formula.

I had intended to express before day trips to avoid having to do so in public but after a few weeks it's so natural to you that you find your nips out in all sorts of strange places!

Having formula in may be tempting which is why I avoided buying it. Six months on and we are still going strong with the breastfeeding.

Wigeon Fri 28-Sep-12 11:25:12

I got a steriliser (NCT nearly new sale), pump and some bottles (freecycle) because I thought I might want to do the odd bit of expressing after 10 weeks or so.

I also bought two cartons of ready made formula in case I was hit by a bus and my poor child would starve if there wasn't anything to give her, and DH would be so traumatised that he wouldn't be able to go out and buy some milk for her blush blush. Needless to say I wasn't hit by a bus, DD was exclusively breast-fed and I gave them to a friend after a while grin.

So in short: you definitely don't need to stock up on formula, but you might want bottles, a pump and a steriliser if you plan to express. Although shops are indeed open after your baby is born, and it's pretty easy to pick them up afterwards!

Also, just to say that pumping in order to increase supply isn't that common - most women are able to establish a supply just by feeding the baby very frequently in the early days. So don't worry about that in advance! smile

jkklpu Fri 28-Sep-12 11:28:42

Don't. And, when the time comes, if you do want to pump some time, don't worry if the Medela pump doesn't work out (didn't for me). Some people have much more success with a manual pump, eg Avent (I certainly did). But as others say, plan for success and don't buy any ff kit. You will want Lansinoh cream, though.

Wigeon Fri 28-Sep-12 11:33:54

I didn't buy and didn't need Lansinoh. That was 9 quid well saved!

SarryB Fri 28-Sep-12 14:42:21

I bought 2 bottles, a couple of ready-made formula cartons and some sterilising tablets (much cheaper!!). I also took a sterilised bottle and carton to the birthing unit, because if I was suddenly not able to feed, I wanted OH to be prepared with milk!

We did have trouble BF, but I wanted to be prepared. We live in a very rural area (1 hour from midwife unit, 2 hours from nearest 24 hour Tescos!).

Also, initially I wasn't fussed about whether the baby was BF or FF - I wanted to try BF, but was happy to FF as well, and knew that I wouldn't ever want to EBF. I did pump during the first 6 weeks to help supply. Baby is now combined fed (one bottle of formula a day), we could do EBF, but I don't want to!

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