If you intend on breastfeeding, what needs buying before the birth?(72 Posts)
I second what someone said upthread about a good drink bottle. I have one that has a bite-valve and a straw. Was the best thing I took with me for labour, first days in hospital, and feeding at home again. Doesn't spill, no need to open anything - just bite down to suck, no need to tip up to get the liquid from the bottom. Brilliant to have next to you in bed, no need to stretch (ouch!) to the side table.
Camelbak do a good one, or there's now other cheaper brands.
This is what I give all my friends at their baby showers now! So far had nothing but positive feedback.
With my second baby I got a "my brest friend" feeding cushion from ebay (re-sold it too) which I loved - it is firmer and flatter than v-cushions or pillow. But you only use it for a few months really, then baby is too big.
I never used pads, didn't need to.
I have a fancy pump but it is hit or miss whether you'll like them/need them I think.
Maybe a book (or google) pictures of attachments, as I was a bit clueless about this and thought would happen with no intervention from me - it didn't!
A good pump
These strange snail like things from Earth mama Angel baby - you hear them up and stick on 1 minute prior to BF and they ease let down
The thing I found most useful was the kindle!
Have TV remote close at hand, along with food and drinks. If you start feeding without any of these, it is your dp's job to find them immediately.
Also useful were breast pads and lansinoh.
I did buy some formula in, as I had a difficult time with dd1, and ended up bottle feeding her, and was too nervous to do without having any in the house. Haven't used it though, 18 months on.
What lots of previous posters have said:
*most important, a very supportive DH/DP. Mine came to our NCTbreastfeeding class so knew how to help
*nipple cream, my midwife said use it like lip balm, put it on before you get to the point if needing it.
*I also bought cheap stretchy vests from primark
*I also refused to have formula in the house, there were so many times I was ready to give up, but like others have said, the next day my resolve was stronger than ever
Expect BF to be tricky or even difficult at first, I was distraught at first because I expected my boy to know what to do and he didn't for a few days. We soon got over it and I love feeding him now.
If you can stretch to it, get a couple of nice nursing tops. I'm 10 weeks into bfing DS2 and I'm so sick of wearing the same 2 or 3 tops everyday plus I'm constantly having to wash them as DS2 always seems to be sick on me when I've forgotten to put the muslin on my shoulder! I've just been looking on boobdesign.com - it's not cheap but I might treat myself. Which reminds me, be warned that the ability to shop online while pinned to the sofa for hours is a recipe for serious overspending...
In the early days: snacks, and bottles of water - I had 'feeding stations' one upstairs, one downstairs so I didn't have to traipse around the place with a yelling baby. I was absolutely ravenous at first, so the snacks were definitely required, especially at night - dried apricots, muesli bars, bananas, chocolate. Bin also useful for all the rubbish from the snacks! Was DHs job to replenish the stocks.
I also had a radio/ mp3 player/ laptop to hand for the night feeds, plus a small reading light - to help keep me awake, and to help me see the latch in the early days when neither of us knew what we were doing.
I just used to use ordinary pillows to raise DS up to the right height to make feeding easy for both of us.
Also useful - DS was born in the winter and I used to get really cold doing the night feeds (am a pretty cold person anyway) so had a big shawl to wrap up in and lots of fleeces to hand.
Tops that undo down the front/ nursing nighties - I got cold (as mentioned) plus confused at night, so something I could unbutton was easier than trying to raise and lower different layer of clothes to get a boob out while staying warm (old soft men's cotton shirts worked well for me).
Nursing bras for night - more comfy to have some support and something to hold the breast pads in if you leak at night (a waterproof mattress protector was also useful for this, but has also been useful since when DS has vomited/ spat calpol everywhere/ etc).
Bravado seamless silk bras are amazing. They stretch and are less structured so they adjust to your ever changing shape. I suffered recurrent bouts of mastitis due to fitted bras no longer fitting. Never happened again after I bought the Bravado.
Out of the recommended size a week after birth!! I'm now on my 3rd set as my size is still changing all the time! Good luck!!!
I've been EBF my DS for 4 months, I've needed.....:
Nothing!! (Except Muslins)
However I bought in advance:
Expensive nipple cream - never needed it
Feeding pillow - found this very uncomfortable on my c section scar so I never used it and now he is too big for me to be able to use it!
'Just in case' formula - never used this bit I found it very reassuring in the first weeks to know it was there IF I needed it.
Once I started expressing so dh could feed I was glad I had invested in a good quality pump.
Milk storage bags for the freezer
From my experience, don't buy more than 1 or 2 feeding bras until your milk is in as my size changed dramatically and the size I was spilling
Its not a buy but I wish I'd known how to hand express to relieve engorgement and help baby latch once milk was in or got one of the midwives show me instead of just thinking it wasn't working. Looking back I was too squeamish and doing it too gently.
Nursing bra, breast pads, lansinoh. Wouldn't bother with a feeding cushion, I find they place the baby too high for my boob size, but If you have small pert boobs it may help. Pillows are just as good, plenty of time for you to buy a cushion when you have worked out what's comfy for you.
Wouldn't bother with a pump unless you know you will be expressing, hand expressing is very effective once you have the knack and it's a good skill to have as way less faff than pumping I find.
I had a single ready made formula carton and some bottles, but then I knew dd would be having the odd bottle when I leave her due to the horses, so it's not like i was buying something that wouldn't get used.
Def have phone numbers for helplines - a 24 hour one if you can find it because it's usually middle of the night when it all goes tits up in the early days.
I used lanisoh and Asda own cream ...lanisoh was good as a protective barrier but I slathered on (think cup cake) the Asda one after feeds it went on very easily!
I think my iPad really helped in early days for night feeds watching tv fbooking at the like.
lots of maternity bras are good cos your in them 24/7 I find matalans to be the best as there are no bones and the ones that look like training bras best not the ones that look like real bras. a
Boots washable breastpads are very comfy. I heart Lansinoh too. Muslins. Loads of snacks. The most important thing for me was my supportive DH.
I got bottles in advance because I intended on doing expressing eventually. I got a manual pump and waited till later to shell out on the electric.
I did not get formula in advance as I did not want it to be there to sabotage my bf efforts during a bad night when we were not thinking straight. If it was really needed then supermarkets are open round the clock anyway. There isn't going to be some "emergency" that means you need formula right away.
The thing I agree with most is to find out in advance how to access help if you need it.
And also the cutting holes in vests instead of getting pricey bf vests and clothes. Cut the slit just underneath your breast on both sides and then when you lift up the slit, the fabric will provide some cover. This DIY vest system allows you to wear all sorts. It is especially great under a wrap top or dress.
Things you can (but don't have) to buy:
Things you might find useful:
National Breastfeeding Helpline - 0300 100 0212
La Leche League Helpline - 0845 120 2918
Link to Kellymom
Link to The Breastfeeding Network website listing of support groups.
What would also be really, really useful is to attend some BF groups now, antenatally, so you can talk to other BFing mums and supporters about what to expect in the early weeks so it doesn't come as too much of a shock that your baby wants a LOT of feeding and close contact with you. It's normal and OK and doesn't mean your milk isn't satisfying or good enough.
Find out what support is available locally to you from your midwife, children's centre and HV/0-19 team. Equip yourself with as much knowledge as you can now so as you're prepared for when your baby arrives.
Having a Savoy cabbage in the fridge around your due date would be useful. And you can always eat it if you don't put the leaves in your bra for relief.
In future, I'd have some nipple shields in the house just in case. Because if things have got so desperate you want to use them, you probably want to use them now, not after a trip to the shop...
On having formula in the house, I had someone in my NCT group who, due to a traumatic birth, never had her milk come in (dont know full details) It was a bank holiday weekend, overnight, and the baby was screaming in hunger with no formula in the house, and no shops open, even 24hr. On reflection, having a couple of cartons in the house and a bottle doesn't seem so bad compared with the trauma she and her husband went through in feeding their baby that night (and the paranoia they have to this day about running out of milk).
Lansinoh. As you've gathered from the other posts it's the best, but thought I would add do not be put off by the cost, cheaper ones are useless if your nipples are really sore.
And stretchy vests - or any stretchy low cut top, doesn't have to be sleeveless, just wearable under your looser tops.
I'm on DC2, and I am putting the very different, blissful early bfing experience this time round to getting my latch checked and readjusted several times while in hospital. Don't be afraid to interrupt a feed as many times as you need to in order to get it right from the get go.
Our NHS BF classes were mothers only. There is so much to take in that it seems crazy that you can't take anyone, male or female as a supporter.
agree nancerama my DH paid attention to the BF bit of our ante natal class, even though i wasnt sure if i would suceed at BF. he managed to get DS to latch properly, get him positioned correctly and kept me going when i felt like giving up. he knows so much now i think he could probably retrain as a BFC!!!
Our local NCT breast feeding counsellor ran a dad's session with her husband. It's a real pity that this isn't standard everywhere as DH was so well briefed on latches and techniques that I had round the clock support to draw upon in the early days. If you can get your DP on board and get him reading books and watching DVDs it really will be a huge help.
everything that has already been suggested. oh and the remote control / a good book / magazine as you can be stuck to the sofa for HOURS. i liked johnsons pads as they were quite soft, and last time around discovered the bravado bras which were also v comfy
so comfy that i still wear them now
indith this lansinoh / exemption card trick - how does that work exactly? i have spent a fortune on the stuff in the past!
Marks and Spencer's do some great stretchy long vest tops which I tucked into jeans and then sort of hoiked down at the top. Breadtfeeding vests with clips seemed to be quite tricky to do up afterwards with clippy bras too.
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