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Breast feeding and bottles "just in case"

(24 Posts)
MrsGiraffe12 Sun 20-Apr-14 08:01:37

Basically I couldn't bf my eldest. He was 8 weeks premature, had a ventilator and I found expressing milk painful (bled from nipples whilst doing it) and also never seemed to have much milk which I was told could have been a side effect of the medication I was on due to the PET.

Fast forward 6 years and I'm pregnant with DC number 2. Really really want to breast feed this time and have read a lot of stuff (la leche league etc) and have booked for breastfeeding workshops and the like so am a bit more prepared than last time.

My question is, my husband thinks I should buy some bottle and formula "just in case" I have problems again with feeding. I said to him that having them in the house will potentially undermine my confidence as I know they are there to use if the going gets tough and may make me quit easier.

My theory is supermarkets are open 24 hours in this day and age so he could easily go out and get some stuff if i desperately need it right? Plus with a planned c section I'll be in hospital a few days and have stated on birth plan I want additional support in feeding as it didn't work last time.

Basically - would you buy bottles and formula just incase or do you think it could hamper chances of sucessful breastfeeding having them there?

Thanks and sorry if this is a waffley post x

Wishfulmakeupping Sun 20-Apr-14 08:05:45

I know where you are coming from but I did have the bottles/formula etc and I'm still feeding dd (14months now).
I won't lie - week 4 when dd was constantly feeding and my nipples were agony- it did cross my mind that the formula was there ready to go but i didn't use it. Think for me it was a comfort blanket 'just in case' but we didn't need it in the end.

qazxc Sun 20-Apr-14 08:18:57

I have a steriliser, pump and bottles in case. It makes me feel better/safer that I have them, hopefully they won't be used for a few weeks till i express but I just thought that having a screaming hungry baby for an hour or more while DP is standing bewildered in the supermarket (and probably coming back with wrong stuff) would be too distressing. This way if BF doesn't happen DP only has to pick up formula.

SpiderRoaster Sun 20-Apr-14 08:19:44

I wouldn't have them in.

Is DH attending the bf workshops with you?

Is he reading the books too?

He needs to.

Successful bf journeys normally have a supportive partner too, so I would drag him along to a bf cafe / support group at the beginning (or even whilst pregnant) so he can hear first hand from professions what is "normal" breastfeeding (ie cluster feeding, on demand feeding etc etc).

The bf support group I run on Facebook is open to all parents or relatives, as the general feel is that mum whose bf'ing needs full support from everyone.

The bf cafe I went to always welcomed partners, they listened to the advice given and would remember it on behalf of the mum who's in a daze, tired and anxious.

I'm with you, tesco is open 24 hours smile

TobyLerone Sun 20-Apr-14 08:22:47

DD2 is 14 weeks old and I don't have any bottles/formula in just in case. I don't even own a steriliser.

She is DC3 and I've never had FFing stuff in until I've needed/wanted to use it.

I agree with you, OP, that it's not hard to go out and get the things you need at any time of day. Good luck!

deepinthewoods Sun 20-Apr-14 08:35:16

I wouldn't have them. It's a reminder that things may fail and having a positive attitude helps breastfeeding.
Also if you do run into problems rarely does it mean that a baby is not getting any breastmilk at all, more usually it may mean a reduction in amount consumed, but no real harm even if it means waiting a few hours till shops open.

Formula is rarely the answer to a breastfeeding proble, that vast majority of difficulties can be solved without resorting to formula.

Spiderroaster are you a breastfeeding counsellor?

soupmaker Sun 20-Apr-14 08:36:08

I was very glad I had a hand pump and bottle stashed away in a microwave steriliser box at the back of a cupboard with DD2. She had a tongue tie and ended up being bottle fed for a week.

I did the dazed and confused run to Asda on a Friday evening to pick up a bigger steriliser and a couple of cartons of formula. Wasn't fun.

DD2 EBF since she was 2 weeks and a complete bottle refuser. She's 8 months!

Do what's right for you and good luck.

MrsGiraffe12 Sun 20-Apr-14 08:36:51

Thanks all for your opinions and advice :-)

I really want to feed this time so will defiantly get DH to come along to the workshops with me x

deepinthewoods Sun 20-Apr-14 08:37:52

At a push- even in the case of a complete latch refusal you can always hand express and feed using an egg cup, spoon or shot glass. You don't need any fancy equipment. I have never owned a bottle, sterilizer or pump.

Writerwannabe83 Sun 20-Apr-14 08:51:23

I fully intended to breast feed but I still went out and bought a steriliser, a pump, some bottles and a tub of formula. I think I did it because if anything happened to me and I had to go into hospital (I also had a CS and other health problems) I had to know that we had the equipment in that meant DH or someone else could feed DS in my absence.

Breast feeding was very difficult at first end admittedly, on two separate occasions when DS was screaming in the night, I told my husband to go and make up a bottle because I was at breaking point as I couldn't get DS to latch and feed. However, both times, by the time my DH reappeared I had changed my mind and persevered with getting DS attached.

DS is now just over 4 weeks now and we have cracked breastfeeding but I still feel reassured knowing there is formula and bottles in case of emergencies.

MrsGiraffe12 Sun 20-Apr-14 09:48:09

Hmmm. I may just buy the one bottle and travel steriliser and a bottle of ready made formula. That way it's there for a single feed and if need more DH can go and get it :-)

SpiderRoaster Sun 20-Apr-14 12:42:15

deep no, not a bf counsellor but know many who are grin I point people in the direction of professionals as they are out there but you have to find them and not be afraid to go along to these bf cafes - they're a great support for everyone. I did the bf Peer Support course whilst on maternity leave, loved it and love helping by offering experience where I can (online, friends etc). I don't give advice, just recommend and ask questions to get the person thinking about it. The fb group is great, was initially local but has expanded - bit like the Breastfeeding and bottle feeding board on MN; other mums (and dads) helping out others. Partners and family can make or break a bf jounrey sometimes, they're so important to educate.

mrsGiraffe why don't you get a hand pump, an Avent one is about £15 and comes with a bottle. You could then but perhaps one or two cartons of first milk and keep them in the cupboard.

MrsGiraffe12 Sun 20-Apr-14 13:09:55

spiderroaster thank you so much. Your really should consider being a breastfeeding councillor , your advice has been very thorough and helpful!

Everyone else, thanks again :-)

SpiderRoaster Sun 20-Apr-14 13:21:40

<blushes> I love the helping bit but I don't think it pays enough to make a career out or it grin I like the voluntary side too. It's nice to 'pay it forward' - I had tons of help and support from many different people, I'm just giving something back now in between full time work, toddler, house and 'me' time grin

All the best with your pregnancy mrsGiraffe and your bf journey. It doesn't matter if it is a day long journey or 3 years, it's your journey and your decision to carry on or stop is exactly that, your decision. You sound fantastically prepared and more aware of some of the bf 'barriers' that you may need to over come. I can highly recommend visiting It's good for evidence based info to send to others to educate.

missknows Sun 20-Apr-14 13:38:13

I am going to go against the grain here but I asked a similar question on another forum before my baby was born and kept being told not to get anything in as I would give up in the middle of the night and turn to formula. I did get some ready made cartons in to give me some piece of mind and 13 weeks in I haven't had any desire to use them.

My reasoning was slightly different. I was concerned that if I was in an accident or something, the last thing my husband would want to have to do while worrying about me is try and find somewhere to get formula to feed the baby in an emergency. The main reason for thinking this though is because my cousin had a baby a few months before me and when baby was 3 days old she got rushed into hospital and ended up having surgery. Her partner was left at home with the baby. She was bottle feeding anyway so it was fine but I just like something around for piece of mind just in case.

So I think you should do what you feel is best for you. For some formula in the house might be seen as temptation but for me it is certainly there for piece of mind.

Littlef00t Sun 20-Apr-14 15:42:27

You can get a set of 6 starter bottles. Tiny single feed, with own teat. I am ebf my 6 week old and have given her two in first 4 weeks, both late evening after cluster feeding for hours and she was fussy, didn't seem that hungry but wouldn't sleep either. Used them to ensure she was full before persevering with sleep.

means you don't need to buy bottles, steriliser etc.

Littlef00t Sun 20-Apr-14 15:43:50

Doubt I will ever use the others but was comforting knowing they were in the cupboard.

BonaDea Mon 21-Apr-14 10:58:36

I agree with you. Don't get them!

Or at least don't buy the actual formula. We had bottles and steriliser because it was something that even if we didnt ff we would still use. Formula is the easiest thing to buy -24 hour supermarkets, garages, convenience stores. The bottles and sterilising stuff maybe less so.

Good luck. If you are really worried and can afford it, meet a private lactation consultant before the birth. Talk through your concerns, get some advice. More importantly she will then know you and can be on hand to come visit either in hospital or at home if things are a bit tricky.

Pigginnora Mon 21-Apr-14 18:43:25

Dc6 was born 11 weeks ago.

I most definitely did have some formula & bottles in the house.

I've never used them.

After 6 babies, i know sometimes no amount of preparation, reading, classes or workshops will make your individual experience with bf that particular baby successful.

Best advice,? be prepared but keep an open mind.

Very best of luck.

Midori1999 Mon 21-Apr-14 18:55:24

Well, having 'failed' to BF my first three DC, having exclusively expressed for one in NICU and now managed to successfully EBF the last two, I agree with you. I have never had formula in the house 'just in case' and it's been fine. Plus, evidence shows that if you don't/didn't have formula in the house then you're more likely to successfully breastfeed.

By all means have bottles if you think you may use them later, but otherwise, surely it's just an extra expense at an already expensive time?

jenny373 Mon 21-Apr-14 18:58:31

I had 2 ready made bottles of formula to use in case of emergency ie if I had to go anywhere without baby
Didn't use them in the end

FoodieMum3 Tue 22-Apr-14 14:20:43

I'm buying a backup tin of formula just in case but really really hoping I won't need it.
In fact bf is one of the things I'm most looking forward to about this baby blush and would love to keep it up. I didn't do it for long on my 2 DC.

I'm not anti formula by any means but both babies had severe digestive problems with formulas sad

I'm buying bottles anyway as I will express after 6 weeks FC.

FrankelandFilly Tue 22-Apr-14 21:14:25

I bought this before DD was born. It meant I had a pump and bottle to hand if needed, and I did end up using it to express in the first week or so. It then lay unused until last week when a nasty bout of mastitis kicked in and has been a godsend to take the pressure off my infected boob as DD can't latch to it in it's current swollen state.

I didn't buy any formula before she was born, though I did cave last week and buy some ready made bottles. They're still sitting unopened in the cupboard as I'm bloody stubborn!

Imeg Wed 23-Apr-14 14:36:05

I had some ready made formula in 'just in case', along with a basic bottle which could be boiled if necessary and it was very useful in the early days when I was struggling with recovery from a completely unexpected c-section on top of trying to get the hang of feeding. I think it helped avoid a vicious cycle of me getting more and more stressed when feeding was difficult, thus affecting milk flow and making feeding more difficult. So for us I feel it helped with breastfeeding. Even just knowing it was there made me feel more relaxed because I knew we had another option if I really got to the end of my tether. He's now 6 weeks and we are doing well with breastfeeding.

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