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Confused on bfeeding accessories options! What works whats doesnt?!

(17 Posts)
KathleenMay Fri 28-Aug-09 10:11:09

I would like to breastfeed (I'm 34 weeks ) but would like the dad to be able enjoy feeding as well (and take some night-time feeds!) so looking at breast pumps etc.

I'm so confused! I like the sound of the medela swing. Prefer the sound of tommee tippee closer to nature bottles, though dont know much about medela ones. And have been offered an Avent steam steriliser (dont have a microwave). Can all these things work together even though they are different brands? I assume I'd have to get medela milk storage bottles for the pump and then transfer milk to tommee tippee bottles?! All seems like a lot of work.

Blue in the face reading reviews and descriptions on the web, looking some advice.

Also, I dont know how much I will be wanting to express, hopefully not 100% of the time but certainly enough for a couple of feeds a day. How many bottles am I going to need and how many storage bottles/bags? I would have no idea!

Hulla Fri 28-Aug-09 12:00:17

Hi KathleenmMay, I'm afraid I won't be much help as my dd isn't a fan of the bottle but I have had to try again recently (going in for an op and want to make sure I have some ebm for dd just in case).

I have the medela swing and find it great now but I don't think expressing (or bottle feeding) is advised in the first 6 weeks while you get established. I could be wrong - someone will know.

As for bottles and steriliser - we have a tommy tippee steriliser and MAM bottles and they all work fine together. I guess you could get by with one bottle if that was all you had - you'd just wash after each use. I'm not sure there is a minimum but MAM bottles come in packs of three in Boots. I think some sterilisers come with bottles - you could start there?

I don't know a great deal about storage but Boots and some supermarkets sell milk storage bags. I'd start with one pack (think they usually have about 20 in) and once you've got to the end of that you'll probably have a better idea of what you need.

Good luck!

p.s. you've probably already got all the accessories you need to bf!! wink

Hulla Fri 28-Aug-09 12:01:41

p.s. I've only ever used the bottle that comes with the Medela pump and just transferred to storage bags. I don't think its worth buying more.

ShowOfHands Fri 28-Aug-09 12:07:10

Don't worry too much as you probably won't be introducing expressed feeds for the first 6 weeks anyway so you don't need to have it NOW.

You don't actually need to sterilise but I understand that you might like to.

My dd never took a bottle, wasn't remotely interested but would drink expressed milk out of a cup. There are plenty of other things that your DH can do too and you might find that expressing, storing, defrosting etc for a couple of feeds a day early on is more hassle than just bfing and getting dh to do cuddles, bath, nappies, settling instead. Just be flexible about what might happen.

Hulla Fri 28-Aug-09 12:13:51

Agree with SOH I bought it all before dd was born because I was convinced it was essential. Its just easier to bf dd and let dh do something else (bathing, changing nappies - I get the good deal really!!). grin

TomThumbMum Fri 28-Aug-09 14:18:38

I have the medela swing, tommee tippee bottles and avent steriliser - all work well together. I started expressing when ds was 3wks old, its hard work, a bit of a faff and I also found it tiring. I never managed to express more than 4 oz in one go. I would wait and see how it goes as you might not be able to express enough for two feeds every day - as ShowOfHands says, its alot of hassle. I ended up stopping at 6 wks and just feeding instead. The equipment has proved very useful for those rare occasions that I get a night off so definitely worth having and getting used to expressing with in my opinion.

octopusinabox Fri 28-Aug-09 15:06:37

This time round I've barely used the pump at all as I find it just too much faff and hard work - I've never been able to get much out though. I've used both the medela electric (not the swing the smaller one) and an avent hand pump and much prefer the avent one as it's easier to control.

I can't help with a steriliser as I never had one - I only used a travel bag type or a big tub with milton (when I had thrush). Presumably any steriliser should work with any bottle/pump but you might not get as much in if they are different makes (just guessing though).

Pumping for a couple of feeds a day is quite a big commitment and you may well find it too tiring and not worth the effort so I wouldn't fork out too much at first. It would take me about 3 days to get one feed and my daughter wouldn't even take a bottle.
If your baby doesn't take a bottle then you might have to try different types of bottles/teats etc anyway. Sorry if this sounds negative but it does seem that expressing is one of those things that seems a good idea in theory but not quite so easy in practice.

On the other hand everthing I've said might well be rubbish and you'll be able to pump loads and your baby takes any bottle as lots of people have no problems with - hopefully that's the case for you

Chunkamatic Fri 28-Aug-09 15:33:33

I would agree that it is worth waiting to see how you get on before buying all the equipment. From what I remember it is better to get breastfeeding well established before you introduce bottles, whether they be of ebm or not.

I had the medela swing and used it a fair few times after the first 6 weeks, but then it was just too much hassle. DP did quite enjoy giving the last feed before bed (pah! still never made him sleep for more than an hour at a time!) but stressing about getting enough out or making sure things were steralised just got too much. As time went on I found difficult to express any great amount - I think this is quite common and something you just dont know till you get there.

Take your time with it, get all the kit if you want to - you will get to use it at some point i'm sure - but in the first instance just relax and enjoy your new baby when he/she arrives!

Good luck

Babieseverywhere Fri 28-Aug-09 15:48:19

One of the best things about breastfeeding is that you don't need to bother with bottles and sterlising etc.

If you husband insists on feeding the baby a bottle in the evening, it would be advisable for you to pump at the same time to avoid stertching the time between feeds too much. As doing this in the early weeks/months when you are trying to build up a decent milk supply, will have a negative effect on your milk supply. Which defeats the idea of having a break IMO.

I would wait and see how things go, for a start many women find it easier to hand pump and that requires no equipment just freezer bags for the milk.

llareggub Fri 28-Aug-09 15:59:52

I started expressing very early with DS1 and it was a nightmare in hindsight. DS2 is 17 weeks and has had a couple of bottles of EBM and it is so much easier not to express all the time.

My advice to you is to delegate bathing to your DH rather than the odd feed. Honestly, it just isn't worth the faff.

I co-sleep so all night feeds are lying down so I get plenty of rest. You'll have to express when your DH is giving the bottle or you'll mess up your supply, so it isn't really restful.

If you do buy bottles, I personally think they are all much of a muchness. My DSs have never been bothered about which bottle they use.

stantonjulie Fri 28-Aug-09 17:52:14

is there any point in getting a bottle warmer? any advice on warming ebm?

MrsBadger Fri 28-Aug-09 18:31:45

no point gettign a bottle warmer - for ebm it's easiest to do stand the bottle in a jug of hot water, and for formula you should be making every bottle up fresh anyway.

Rhian82 Fri 28-Aug-09 19:55:41

I originally had a Tommee Tippee hand pump, which came with a steriliser, then bought a couple of extra bottles. Eventually that broke and I bought the Avent hand pump, which I still sterilised in the TT box - it was a bit harder to get it to fit, but still worked fine. I stored the milk in the Boots own brand bags, which were great and I think the cheapest, and still used the TT bottles for feeding.

KathleenMay Wed 02-Sep-09 13:03:21

Thanks everyone for the advice. Sounds like it may not be as great as I thought... except handy for the odd night off perhaps. I think I'll wait till after the birth and sort something then...
Maybe I can delegate DH the nappy duties wink

hanaflowerhatestheDM Wed 02-Sep-09 13:10:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WoTmania Wed 02-Sep-09 14:39:03

LLL have a good info sheet aimed at Dads.
It might be worth getting that? It provides hints on how to help/support you and things they can do to help bonding which don't involve feeding the baby.

FWIW with DS1 I was doing an evening course so from 6 weeks to around 12 weeks DH did 1-2 bottles once a week. DS2 and DD have never had bottles and he says he doesn't feel he missed out at all and he has a really good relationship with all of them.

If you are worried about nighttimes/tiredness maybe get info on safe co-sleeping? I find it a great help with nights as DD now latches herself on.

HTH and goodluck with the birth etc.

lynniep Wed 02-Sep-09 14:52:41

Oh bless you - it is a minefield isnt it.
Not too much to add from previous posters apart from I agree - dont worry too much about it now. WAIT until baby arrives.

a) take the steam steriliser just in case you need it - you will be able to fit most stuff in there

b) dont assume you'll be able to express - even when I went through a period of having loads of milk, it took me about a week to express enough for ONE feed. On the other hand you may be like a tap!!

c) dont assume that an electric pump or indeed a manual one will work. I found hand expressing was the only way I could get anything out. If you can borrow something or get a hand me down to try out do that rather than forking out on a new pump which doesnt work for you.

d) dont assume that that baby will take a bottle or take the bottle you give it. I tried the Tommee tippee ones and he wasnt having any of it, so they ended up on ebay. He took the Avent ones ok though (Which is annoying cos I dislike the Avent bottles - I find they leak)

e) I dont get bottle warmers. DS had all his formula at room temperature. (He was mix fed from about 4 months) Any expressed milk was put in a bit of hot water first to take the fridge chill off it. He didnt care - to him milk was milk!

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