Help! Want to breastfeed but also express, tips please(16 Posts)
My LO is due in about 3 weeks (if all goes to plan!) and I'm in a muddle over feeding tools.
I want to breastfeed but also express feed so my husband can get involved sometimes and also for when my house is busy with visitors (don't mind BF but will be easier).
I know I want an electric breast pump and I think I'll get the tommee tippee, but then wondering if I should get the tommee tippee express and go set (thoughts?), the tommee tippee full starter set, or just buy everything separately including steriliser.
My mind is a bit blown by it all I'm struggling to take it all in! Could you please share your experiences/thoughts?
Thanks in advance
My advice would be to wait until you've properly established breastfeeding before you start expressing (usually about 6 weeks) to avoid any supply problems and get into the swing of feeding. Expressing can be quite hard work and a newborn will need to feed at least every couple of hours initially. Introducing a bottle early can also lead to the rejection of breastfeeding. I'd be inclined to concentrate on breastfeeding and getting used to life with your little one first because it can be quite overwhelming. Good luck!
Yes that would be my best tip too. Just wait until baby has arrived and you're both beginning to get the hang of bfing.
If you want your DH to get involved until then, could he take the baby for a walk after a feed? This will give you a chance to have a bath or sleep. It will also expose LO to sunlight which may help with getting them to distinguish night from day
Could he do the baths too?
Oh and there is a good article here for the Dad-to-Be
Also agree with the pp's. Dont bother expressing until you are in the swing of breastfeeding. Doing both is the worst of both worlds. DH can do loads of other stuff to get involved. Nappies, winding, walking, cuddling, bathing. Skin on skin was also great for us when DS was newborn. Calmed him right down when on dh's chest and gave me a break.
I would probably wait until you're ready to start expressing before buying an electric pump. I ordered one with my first but breastfeeding didn't work out for us, and I couldn't keep up with expressing. When I had my second I followed the advice to exclusively BF for the first six weeks and by that point it was so easy that expressing and sterilising bottles seemed like such a hassle I never tried.
Some children's centres or other schemes offer hire of pumps if you wanted to do that.
Breastfeeding is so rewarding. I BF all three of mine until they were weaned. I never expressed as in the end if felt like more trouble than it was worth. Once you get going BF can actually be pretty easy and you can be discrete. DH was fully involved in everything else, bath times, nappy changes, cuddles, games, pushing the pram and keeping me supplied with drinks and food.
Don't fret about expressing, relax and enjoy your baby.
I agree with the advice to wait. I had a premmie who wouldn't latch so I expressed from the start. It was bloody hard work and often I was expressing while my husband was feeding. You end up with all of the sterilising and faffing of formula feeding plus having to spend time hooked up to the milking machine.
If once bfing is established you want to express sometimes I recommend the medala swing. Pretty much everyone I know used one of those.
Expressing in the early days will cause an oversupply. Which you do not want, believe me. <bitter voice of experience>
Im all for introducing the odd bottle before 6 weeks as otherwise they tend to refuse bottles down the road, which sucks. But I'd rather buy the odd prepared mini bottle of formula than a big old pump.
I expressed from about 4 weeks and tore my hair out ever trying to get enough to leave baby for a night. My supply wasn't great. I managed 7 months in the end but I think for my next one I'd BF for the first month or so then start giving one bottle of formula a day from then on to get them used to it instead of stressing about breast milk. I wouldn't worry about having everything from same brand as if you start bf then baby might not take the first brand of bottle you offer anyway! It's hard going at first but then it's the most convenient thing ever. Good luck!
Urgh hated expressing at the start. I had to with dc2 as she was not putting on weight. It was such a pain. Initially it feels like you are pumping for ages and producing hardly anything, and all your time is spent bf, pump, feed, sleep, bf, pump, feed sleep etc. Your supply will drastically increase after the first few months and then pumping is much easier and less time consuming.
If you are going to use a bottle at the start, you want to make sure you get one that most closely mimics the flow from a breast.
I used to bf and then hand over to dh so he could settle the baby to sleep, so he felt plenty involved!
The thing to remember is that if you give a bottle feed, you'll need to express then to compensate for missing a feed, especially in the early days when you're trying to get your supply going. So if you are busy with visitors and do a bottle feed, you'll also need to go and express, for your own comfort to avoid engorged boobs as well as to keep up your supply. I can't see the benefit of it tbh.
I would agree with hiring a pump if you need one rather than buying one up front. Some women find they can express very little, despite being able to feed their babies directly with no problems, so buying an electric pump could be a big waste of money.
I agree with pp,breastfeeding and expressing is the worst of both worlds! Some people find expressing really difficult and can make you worry you've not got a good supply when it's a poor indicator of supply.
DH can literally do everything else-all you have to do it sit and feed!
If you do end up expressing, look up 'paced feeding'.
I'm going to go against the grain as my experience has been different.
My daughter is now 9 weeks and I started expressing a little from 2 weeks, however, my reasons for expressing were slightly different to yours - I wanted to expose her to a bottle before 6 weeks as I have multiple friends whose babies refused bottles when they waited the recommended 6 weeks before expressing. As I managed to establish breastfeeding, I did not want to introduce formula. I was fully aware of the risk of nipple confusion and was extra careful with checking her latch (and re-latching if not ideal) until she was 6-7 weeks.
For the first 2 weeks, I only expressed small amounts (approx 2oz per session), and in most cases, my husband or I gave that feed the same day so she was familiar with the bottle. After she was 4 weeks, I started freezing the milk I expressed so it is there for the times I go out of the house without my daughter. As I ebf, I haven't left her for more than 3 hours (and don't plan to).
In terms of pump, I use the Medela Swing. A few on here don't recommend it because it is an open system but multiple people recommended it to me because it is gentle and I have no complaints with it. I personally haven't tried others so can't compare. I bought a starter bottle set for around £20 and I can't see myself needing any more bottles at all.
I do agree with most pp that expressing and breastfeeding is absolutely exhausting and I wouldn't recommend it on an ongoing basis. I currently have about 30oz of milk in my freezer in 2-4oz portions and don't express most days now. I have the supply for when I leave the house without her and I only express to top up what she has taken. I find it much easier to just feed her myself on a daily basis and when out and about.
It's good riddles that she's accepting the bottle for now. Some babies though do exert their preference for one method when they are a little older. Just thought I'd mention it so that it's not such a shock if she does become a bottle refuser
Riddles - DSIS opened up her open system pump and if you saw what it's like, you really wouldn't want to give that milk to your baby. DSIS had been meticulous with cleaning it too.
DSIS was gutted as she didn't get on with other pumps that well and had spent a lot of money on hers but once she saw it, there was no way she was able to carry on using it.
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