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What equipment do I need to buy if intending to breastfeed?

(52 Posts)
NutBiscuit Mon 12-Nov-12 14:36:48

Sorry if this sounds like a stupid question....but I'm really confused about what 'stuff' I need to buy before baby arrives if I'm intending to breastfeed. Will I definitely need a pump and bottles, or is that only if I want to express? Do I have to express??? Will I then need a steriliser too? Nipple shields? Nipple cream? I am overwhelmed by all the available bits and pieces in the shop and just really want to know what the essentials are, and what is just 'nice to have'.

Also, I've had really confusing advice from various friends regarding having a 'back-up plan'. My cousin told me I should definitely have formula and bottles available in the house in case breastfeeding fails so that I don't have to stress about getting to the shops but then other people have said that this can encourage you to give up too easily. Any thoughts would be welcome.

forevergreek Mon 12-Nov-12 14:43:34

I would get in some nipple cream.
And leave everything else. Buying bottles and formula can be too tempting and a waste if you don't use. A steriliser isn't needed unless bottle feeding ( and you can boil in pan to sterilise if needed). And pump is v expensive if not needed.

Maybe take a look at a few online/ in store to get an idea of what you may choose if needed, but everything can be brought v easily as you need it. ( amazon even deliver that afternoon or next morning If you need, otherwise stores are open where someone could pick up for you)

forevergreek Mon 12-Nov-12 14:44:22

The above items can cost hundreds so you could spend on something you really need/ want instead

ElphabaTheGreen Mon 12-Nov-12 14:48:52

I bought a whole set of bottles which I've never used, and by the time I tried a bottle with DS he wouldn't have a bar of them. They were bloody expensive Dr Brown's as well.

Agree that all you need is nipple cream. Everything else you can get if/when you need it.

Belmo Mon 12-Nov-12 14:49:44

I wouldn't - I bought all that stuff, spent a fortune and never used any of it. Hated expressing and baby wouldn't take a bottle anyway. You can always buy stuff later if you really need it!
I used Lansinoh, nursing bras (but might be best to buy a v cheap one now and see what size your boobs end up!), breast pads (but only needed them for a week), loads of cushions and a second hand nursing chair which I loved but could have done without.

Chickchickola Mon 12-Nov-12 14:52:29

Just get some nipple cream (Lanolin) and breast pad things that you put in your bra to stop leakages soaking your clothes. I think these are the only things you need beforehand.

I did use nipple shields when I got really sore and they were a lifesaver for the couple of weeks I needed them.

After breast feeding was established I got some bottles, hand pump and steriliser. I am really glad I didn't have formula as I might have been tempted to give up and I'm happy I persisted. With 24 hour supermarkets you can always get everything when you need it.

nellyjelly Mon 12-Nov-12 14:53:15

Wait and see how it goes. If BFing takes off you won't need anything tbh. A few muslins are useful to put over your shoulder and breast pads for leaky nipples.

Edma Mon 12-Nov-12 14:53:56

I agree. Get some Lansinoh and I would recommend a sling!

JudeFawley Mon 12-Nov-12 14:57:27

Breast pads. I went through hundreds and hundreds.

Breast shells - as my 'other' boob would gush when I was feeding, so I collected the milk in these as breast pads couldn't contain it.

TryDrawingAPicture Mon 12-Nov-12 15:00:13

Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, you can always send someone out pop out for bottles etc if you decide to use them.

The things I think would be helpful are:

Go to your local bf group whilst you are still pregnant. They will be delighted to see you and will give you good pointers. Also, if you then do have any trouble breastfeeding, you will not be walking into a room full of strangers when you go for help. 

A bf group is also a good place for a first "public" feed. If by any slight chance your boob decides to flop out on full view, no-one will notice :-D

Fill your cupboards with cake.

Finally and optionally, a thermos sailing mug is handy for keeping your tea warm whilst your drinking arm is holding the baby or changing a nappy.

VolumeOfACone Mon 12-Nov-12 15:00:44

I never needed nipple cream, or shields or anything, but I had to use pads for two and a half years!
Belmo you only needed them for a week, I am so jealous!

Muslin cloths are handy, yes.

titan Mon 12-Nov-12 15:02:39

I had terribly sore nipples from about day 5-10 and found the Avent breast shells really useful to put in my bra to protect from friction. If you have easy access to send someone to a big boots store or have next day delivery on Amazon Prime you can get things like that only when needed though. I hated lansinoh as it's very sticky and with sore nipples it was painful to even rub on. I preferred the Earth Mama nipple butter. Only needed to use it for the first two or three weeks though.

IWipeArses Mon 12-Nov-12 15:06:14

You might need some stuff, but you might not and you won't know what you need until you need it.

For instance Lansinoh was an essential when DS was born, the tube I bought when DD born is unopened.

Breastpads are a pretty safe bet though.

BitBewildered Mon 12-Nov-12 15:07:48

Nipple cream. Determination. Breastfeeding bra. Supportive people to bring you sandwiches and cake. A u-shaped pillow to lay DC on while feeding helped me. Lots of women need breast pads, but not all, so don't buy millions!

choceyes Mon 12-Nov-12 15:11:52

I only ever needed Lansinoh and a couple of breastfeeding bras. I bought a very expensive breastfeeding pillow and what a waste of money.

Pinotgrigioplease Mon 12-Nov-12 15:12:52

I would agree with the advice about lanisoh and breast pads. This was all I used for the first month. Once BF was established I bought a pump and bottles to express but this isn't necessary unless you want to. I'm still BF 8 months in and from about 4-5 months I was able to stop using pads.

NutBiscuit Mon 12-Nov-12 15:19:17

Thanks all! This is really helpful. Will def go with the nipple cream then and I guess see how I go. Belmo touched on another point I was confused about actually - the mysterious 'nursing chair'. Do I need a special chair? If not, what sort of chair do I need to use at home? Does it just need arms? Or will a breastfeeding pillow get round all of that?

Sorry for the million and one questions - none of my close friends have breastfed, and my cousin who started off breastfeeding gave up after a week so I have no-one to ask in real life smile

Teladi Mon 12-Nov-12 15:20:30

I would say to get in nipple cream and breast pads as they are what you are most likely to need on an immediate basis.

I would also say to do your research regarding the other paraphernalia that you might need. I'm pretty sure my situation rarely happens, but I did end up needing nipple shields, bottles, a breast pump, equipment for sterilising, and I needed all of that stuff when I was still in hospital. So my DH went and got it all from Boots. It would have been good if I had been able to give him a bit of direction regarding brands and the sort of things I might prefer, rather than us both feeling like we were in the dark. I was in a hormonal haze and was not able to be doing all my Googling in hospital.

givemeaclue Mon 12-Nov-12 15:21:48

Dvd box sets for the hours of feeding to come (applies whether bottle or breast)

choceyes Mon 12-Nov-12 15:22:02

You can breastfeed in any chair. Although a chair without arms or the sofa is better, as sometimes the arms get in the way of positioning the baby properly.

givemeaclue Mon 12-Nov-12 15:23:50

Don't need a special chair but yes to the cushion or v shaped pillow and take it with you to hospital (label it with your name)

GreenShadow Mon 12-Nov-12 15:28:42

The only thing I needed was muslins and for a short while at the start, breast pads.

Never used nipple cream.

And I always went in to it with the attitude that I was going to breast feed. Never really occurred to me that I wouldn't, so never had any 'back up' plan or equipment.

Enjoy your chance to relax and bond with your baby.

MrsHoarder Mon 12-Nov-12 15:29:23

Breast pads and muslin clothes (fit modesty and sick-catching. I got a water bottle with a flip top so I could always drink when ds does but that'snot necessary.

Don't get a special chair, and a few sofa cushions I found more flexible than the special ones (stock under his body so I can move a hand to have a drink.

Don't have a hot drink whilst actually bfing. Cousin was hospitalised from having a cup of tea dropped on her. Child drinks are much safer, have tea when baby naps.

nickelrocketgoBooooooom Mon 12-Nov-12 15:31:37

flask (for your cups of tea)
breast pads. I didn't believe that they would leak after the first few weeks, but they both "let down" at the same time and only one is covered by mouth.

you don't need a special chair, but I find I need a cushion behind my back and it's easier on the settee than on a chair.

MrsHoarder Mon 12-Nov-12 15:32:00

Cold drinks obviously

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