Do I need to pump?(11 Posts)
I am pregnant with my first and am generally clueless, so would appreciate your advice.
I plan on breastfeeding when baby arrives and am wondering if I need to buy a pump?
I am generally quite lazy and am not sure if it makes sense to get a pump or not. Can I just feed baby? Or is the pump a necessity? If so why?
Is it because it would allow you to have some time away from your baby? But then wouldn't you need to express at the feed time anyway? Or is it vital to boost your supply? Or because people want to build up a stockpile of frozen milk for a later date when they might stop breastfeeding, but can still give their baby breast milk? But then wouldn't milk made for a newborn contain different things than for an older child?
As you can see I am pretty confused. Please enlighten me!
I only started pumping when ds went to nursery 2 days a week at 8 months. Didn't bother expressing whilst out as supply was fairly stable by then.
But even if you do need to leave milk and want to express, that means you can have mire than the gap between one feed away from baby.
I'd not buy one just yet and think about it once you and baby have settled down post-birth.
I pumped at start with both dc to give sore nipples a break. Also helped milk come in post c section
No, you don't need a pump (despite what many books, shops, magazines etc will tell you), although if you are planning to be away from your baby for work or any other reason then one might be useful later on.
Alternatively, you can express by hand (no washing up!), it takes a bit of practice but most people are able to do it.
You can get pumps in supermarkets now so it'll be easy enough to get one if you need to, but a pump is definitely not an essential piece of kit.
I started pumping in hospital so DD could have top ups. I was using nipple shields and the hospital said I had to express because she wouldn't get all the milk off and I needed to to prevent mastitis. I used an electric pump in hospital and managed with a hand held pump at home initially.
We introduced a bottle at 3 weeks - gives me a break and allows DH to be involved. It started to get tough to express enough for a decent bottle so I bought an electric pump which has helped massively.
You're right in that the quality of the milk changes so you wouldn't want to stock pile too far advance.
I didn't get a pump in advance because I didn't know how things were going. The hand pump was only £20 and sufficient initially so it might be worth giving that a whirl first. I would honestly see how you get on before spending any money on pumps. Good luck with it!
The main reason for using a pump would be to allow someone else to feed your baby, if you wanted to go to the dentist for example or simply if you want DP to get involved in feeding too.
Perhaps if you do go for it try one of the manual pumps first as the electric ones can be expensive and not everyone can be successful at expressing (and some babies aren't keen on taking a bottle).
I bought a pump and DD will take a bottle but TBH I've not needed to express very often. It is nice though to know I could do it if needed.
You can freeze BM but some babies aren't keen on the taste of thawed milk so I wouldn't stockpile a load of it to begin with until you're sure baby will take it.
Congratulations and good luck with the BFing!
Also, morning is best time to express as milk supply is highest then - I would express 3oz off before DD woke up. You can still feed from that breast after but flow won't be as fast.
I only ever expressed once a day if that but BM keeps for 5 days in the fridge. You can build up enough of a stash for a night out etc without having to freeze any if you start expressing a few days in advance.
I would say wait and see how you feel once the baby is here and once you can see how feeding is going. You only really need a pump if you want or need to spend time away from the baby for whatever reason (more than the time between feeds). Some people pump because they are returning to work and want their baby to have breastmilk whilst theyre away from them, some people so they can have a break and let dp help with feeding, and others just for occasional time away from their baby. Pumping isnt something you have to do (unless there are technical problems with feeding).
If you do think youd want to express some, id advise to be prepared that it isnt always easy/you dont always get large quantities. I thought you could just pump a quick bottles worth when you needed one but it takes practice and time to slowly build up a store i have learnt! For this reason, i only pump very occasionally when i really need to leave my baby (or really want to have a few drinks) and am glad i didnt buy any expensive equipment.This isnt the case for everyone...some people have an abundance of milk that they can express easily, but i just wouldnt rush into buying any expensive equipment until you have figured out whether you want to, how often you want/need to, and how easily you can express.
Just a note...obviously i'm not saying you have to pump if you have technical difficulty with bf...as you might want to ff instead if this is the case...just meant that pumping isnt essential in bf if it is going smoothly, it is just something you might choose to do
I brought a very basic Avent one and it came with 2 bottles and it was only about 18 quid.
Didn't use it immediately as hand expressing was easier enough (to relieve engorgement)
Used it a bit later to build a stock pile in my freezer. Turns out, dd was a bottle refuser so never used half of it.
I found expressing for someone to give a bottle a ball ache (I went to my sports team matches at about 7weeks so did do it) because it messed my supply up (as in it increased because I was pumping at obscure times to leave DP with a bottle 'just in case') DD wouldn't need it and I'd feed so my supply would everywhere.
Like a pp said, if you express at same ish time each day, that's probably better. I did master (eventually) expressing off one the same time as feeding off the other that worked for me.
I brought two pumps. Wish I never bothered, never use them.
If you are planning to leave for a time fair enough. otherwise it's far less hassle just to feed
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