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Want to BF but also want to express... what do I need before baby arrives?

(11 Posts)
Haylebop12 Thu 09-May-13 21:13:58

Just that really. I am determined to give BF a go with dc2 as i didn't with dd. However, I really really want to express once BF is established so dh and dm can help out too.

What do I need to buy before babys arrival?

Bottles, pump, steriliser?

Any tips from those who have successfully expressed?

mytitsareonfire Thu 09-May-13 21:31:11

The advice I got was not to buy anything until the baby was born, you know..Wait and see how you get on first kind of thing. Which to be fair is really good advice.

However, I kind of went against the grain in regards to most of the advice and used my own judgement as to what would work best for me, my family and our lifestyle. Therefore I'm not advocating you do the same as me but here's my 2 cents.

I bought a tommee tippee closer to nature starter kit in the sales for £60. It has an electric steriliser, a cold water one, bottle warmer and more bottles, teats, storage wotsits and other bits and bobs than I would know what to do with. I also bought a cheap manual pump.

I expressed from when DD was a day old and gave her one bottle a day from then. I alternated the timing of this so as not to bugger up my supply. I then got quite ill as my section stitches reopened so bought an electric pump and DH fed DD whilst I could barely keep my eyes open. So those excess bottles came in handy!

I'm lucky in the respect that DD can switch between bottle and breast quite happily, I understand it's not always that simple mind.

mytitsareonfire Thu 09-May-13 21:32:01

Not a day old, 5 days old sorry!

sleepyhead Thu 09-May-13 21:32:31

I've expressed quite a bit (due to soreness and infection in the early days with ds1&2, and to stock up for nights out later on with ds1).

I use an Avent manual pump and Milton tablets for cold water sterilising, however when I was in hospital recently the midwives said it was fine to just thoroughly wash expressing equipment in hot, soapy water and then air dry and store in a clean, sealed container. Ds2 was only 2 weeks old at this point so it goes for newborns as well as older babies.

Having said that, in the early days hand expressing can be much easier than a pump and once you get the hang of it can be very effective (it's also much gentler on sore nips!).

Don't be discouraged if you don't get much out. I find that it takes time to build up to expressing any quantity. You can store small amounts in the fridge/freezer and add to it. There's loads of good expressing advice on

In terms of what to buy pre-baby, I'd maybe hold off for now and see how things go. Give hand expressing a go first if you need to express in the early weeks.

sleepyhead Thu 09-May-13 21:38:22

The ds's haven't had a problem with nipple confusion either - I used a cup with ds1 for a couple of days until I started to despair at the spillage and swapped to a bottle - still managed to bf for 14 months.

One word of warning, I've got an incredibly responsive supply which is great in terms of not having to worry about having enough milk, but a nightmare if I express too much. Blocked ducts and mastitis galore. If you're the same then be careful that you don't think it'll be a great idea to stock up, express loads, and then find have to keep going or get engorged.

catherine19 Thu 09-May-13 21:43:14

A steriliser and couple of bottles would be handy to get just in case breast feeding doesn't work out, it didn't for me and as dh was sent out to get me a pump and came back with a crazy expensive rubbish one while I was in hospital so we could give expressed breast milk I dread to think what we would hav ended up with If I didn't already hav the steriliser and bottles. I find hand expressing sometimes easier. Good luck wit h breast feeding, I think it's not really recognised that it is really hard!

chattychattyboomba Thu 09-May-13 21:46:03

I had trouble breastfeeding (my nips weren't the right kind apparently! Yes- it's a thing) i had to wear a nipple guard so that dd could latch but expressing was my back up.
Quite lucky she took the bottle so well- no confusion.. probably to do we used the nipple guards so similar shape.
I found a manual pump much better than the electric one.
Best bottles - Avent (collicky baby- we tried tommy tippee, midela, dr browns, yumi and countless others but avent worked best for us)
I would buy around 6 bottles- it sounds a lot but sometimes you can't be washing and sterilising all day long.
Also some freezer bags/containers for breast milk to store in the freezer.

TwitchyTail Thu 09-May-13 21:46:28

I've got on much better with my Avent handheld pump than electric pumps, even a hospital grade one. I think it's very individual. The Avent newborn bottles and teats are good - they're supposed to mimic the shape of the breast, which they sort of do. There is a microwave steriliser that goes with these although I just boil them up in a saucepan. Amazon is good and cheap for all this stuff.

rootypig Thu 09-May-13 21:50:20

I waited til after DD was born to decide what I needed and it was fine. The first few weeks were so consumed with getting to grips with BFing, adding expressing in would have been confused

That said, do you know anyone who would be willing to lend you a pump? I say this because some people get on really well expressing and others (with plentiful supply) struggle to get a drop. It would be a shame to spend £100+ and not use it. If a week or two in you do want your own, you can then order one online.

We've used the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature for mixed feeding and DD has always chuffed milk - EBM and formula - from them very enthusiastically.

and I don't think you need to sterilise any more, especially if you have a dishwasher. DD has had bottles since 3mo and I never bothered, she's been fine. I wash very thoroughly in very hot soapy water, check for any milk residue and air dry on a clean tea towel.

preggersbycheggers Thu 09-May-13 21:54:20

Advice now is that you don't need to sterilise equipment when it's expressed breast milk.

You still have to sterilise with formula though.

Good luck. I hope you find something that works well for you.

Haylebop12 Thu 09-May-13 22:06:16

Thank you for all your replies. As I'm only 18 weeks I've it a few more months to research but with the baby event on at asda I wanted to see whether it was worth it to get a few bargains in.

I'm so keen on being able to express that I think if I wasn't able to I may add the odd bottle of formula in to help me out. Given that baby will take a bottle. So, I've brought 6 bottles as they came in a six pack and a sterilizer. (I don't have a dishwasher! Unfortunately) I think I will leave the pump until closer or even after the time?

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