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Breast pump useful from birth?

(10 Posts)
KatyS36 Wed 26-Aug-09 14:39:39


I'm 32 weeks pregnant with my first child. I plan to breast feed, and was intending on buying a breast pump so I could occasionally leave DC with husband / others.

We had a nursery appointment at a store. The woman was very helpful generally, but we were advised to see how we got on before investing in a breast pump.

My understanding (haven't done antenatal classses yet) was that they can be useful early on if your breasts 'overfill' and need some emptying before the baby can latch on. The nursery adviser just said I could hand express or the hospital may provide a manual one.

I consider my comfort important and was thinking if i was planning on buying one I might as well get it now 'in case'.

Is this sensible, or would I genuinely have absolutly no need for one in the first few weeks?

Advice please

MrsBadger Wed 26-Aug-09 14:49:47

the advisor was (for a change IME) quite right

you genuinely have absolutely no need for one in the first few weeks

if something awful happens eg babe on SCBU and you end up needing to express the hospital and/or the local NCT will be able to lend you a pump.

If you have low supply or worry your milk isn;t coming in a baby generally works much better than a pump to boost it.

if you have oversupply and your boobs get too full for the baby to latch on comfortably then hand expressing a little is all you need.

I am trying to think of a tactful way of addressing 'I consider my comfort important' in the light of forthcoming labour, birth and the first six ghastly weeks... was that smiley meant to convey sarcasm and/or cynicism?

KatyS36 Wed 26-Aug-09 14:55:13


Thanks for your advice Mrs Badger.

What I meant was if I can improve my comfort even a little bit in some way then that would be good, but I'm not expecting to be comfortable

CMOTdibbler Wed 26-Aug-09 15:06:46

I agree that the nursery advisor was right. Hand expressing is all you need for occasional expressing or to relieve engorgement - it's really very efficient.

It's best not to express or use bottles in the first 6 weeks as you mess up the supply and demand that is important in lactation, so you'll have plenty of time to decide if you need one

MrsBadger Wed 26-Aug-09 15:08:40

oh in that case hand expressing (in the shower is good) will be all you need

iirc the green/purple NHS book has a good hand-expressing bit

KatyS36 Wed 26-Aug-09 15:16:00

Lovely, thanks all.

I don't need one immediatly then

Rhian82 Wed 26-Aug-09 16:17:48

Hmmm, we bought one before the birth and it was invaluable. DS wouldn't latch on to feed at all, so if we hadn't had the pump he'd have been on formula. As it is the pump got us through the first week or so before DS figured it out, and he's now 10 months and has never had formula Plus obviously it came in useful again later on so I could go out and when I returned to work.

I suppose we could have bought one after he was born when we realised we needed it, but we were barely up to leaving the house for days, so emergency shopping trips into town would not have been fun.

ChocOrange05 Wed 26-Aug-09 19:05:54

I bought one before DS was born and started using it at 2 weeks so DH could give a bottle in the evening. In my post-birth state I don't think I would have wanted to be going to mothercare to check out the various types so I am happy I did my research and had the pump at hand when I needed it.

I think I always knew I would use one at some point (as long as I could BF), I wanted to BF for at least 6 months but also wanted to go out in that time so a breastpump was essential to let me express either for a feed or to empty full breasts.

If you think you will need one at some point then I think its useful having it before.

BTW - I have the Avent Isis IQ which I recommend. HTH, and good luck with your pregnancy! smile

caen Wed 26-Aug-09 20:38:53

I know how to hand express now but not when my milk first came in - it takes a bit of practice. When I was sobbing in pain with engorged boobs it was my lifesaver. I still remember that night now.

At three weeks my nipple was so mangled I ended up expressing half of feeds - again invaluable when you're knackered, hormonal etc. Glad I didn't have to leave the house to find one!

KatyS36 Fri 28-Aug-09 14:30:29

Many thanks to those of you that came on and gave a different opinion! I'm now buying one! The scenarios you have described are what I was worried about. Even if they are low risk I can see it being worthwhile, and I will need it in the longer term anyway. I just won't open it and if for some reason I can't breastfeed it can either be returned of ebayed.

Many thanks to everyone though.

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