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Colostrum after birth (bottle feeding)

(69 Posts)
likeacrow Mon 06-Feb-17 09:59:20

I'm going to be bottle feeding (definitely not breast feeding so no point in going down that road on this thread) but don't know whether to give the first bit of colostrum. I feel like I'll be expected to but will this then lead to being "encouraged" to carry on for 24 hours, then the first 3 days? I don't want to breastfeed so feel like this will be starting down a path I don't want to travel down.
Can I still do skin to skin without giving colostrum? Is it painful to express colostrum instead?
Just wondering if anyone has been in a similar position, how they dealt with it and what their experience was...?
I am well read up of health benefits of colostrum and breastfeeding so don't need advice on that.
Thanks smile

MissMrsMsXX Mon 06-Feb-17 10:01:46

You won't be able to express so early on.... or if you do it will be hard. Colostrum is a magic thing, much like breastfeeding generally, and so if there is a way to give this to your baby it would be fantastic.

I can't offer any further advice as you wish to bottle feed and very unMN of me but I find that position really weird.

MauiChristmas Mon 06-Feb-17 10:06:01

I had to hand express colostrum into a syringe and syringe fed my baby the first few days, it's not painful. I was planning to breastfeed so I can't further comment really.

LoveDeathPrizes Mon 06-Feb-17 10:08:04

I did express colostrum. It is possible. I did it antenatally from 37 weeks up to 42 weeks to build a stockpile in case baby couldn't latch or BF for the first few days. The good thing about colostrum is that it doesn't 'run out' as such - even if you express before the birth, you'll keep making it until your milk comes in postpartum.

You'll need a good pump, syringes and a lot of patience. But it would be much easier to do from the breast if you want your baby to get the colostrum (could you use a nipple shield if this is the problem?)

LoveDeathPrizes Mon 06-Feb-17 10:09:26

Sorry - of course you could hand express. I never worked that out myself!

likeacrow Mon 06-Feb-17 10:10:07

What position is weird MissMrsMsX? You have no idea why I'm choosing not to breastfeed if that's what you mean and I find your passive aggressive manner of basically having a dig then putting a line through it ----really fucking rude and----weird. Just accept someone else might have a different perspective.

cansu Mon 06-Feb-17 10:10:17

I would just put baby to breast for first couple of days. Then switch to bottles or suplement with bottles until home. I think in reality this is what most people do anyway whether they intended to or not.

HarleyQuinzel Mon 06-Feb-17 10:10:57

You can hand express colostrum into little syringes. It doesn't hurt at all.

I found midwives to be very pushy with BF (I planned to but found it difficult) but all you have to do is say no. If you bring your own bottles and formula no one should say anything.

SerialReJoiner Mon 06-Feb-17 10:11:55

You could probably hand express colostrum. There isn't much of it, but it will be beneficial to baby no matter how much you give.

You can feed your baby how you like - if you feel this strongly about your position then just make that clear with the nurses/midwives. They can't force you to do anything.

kel1234 Mon 06-Feb-17 10:11:56

I chose to exclusively formula feed. My baby was placed on my chest, the midwife knew I didn't want to even try breastfeeding, so the baby was placed with his mouth away from my breast. I held him there for a few minutes and then the midwife took him to get him cleaned up.
When it was time I just gave him the bottle of formula from the starter pack.

Gladiatorsready Mon 06-Feb-17 10:13:18

You can hand express but that takes quite a while and when I was in hospital the midwife had to help me as it can be tricky to do. I found when I managed to get baby to latch properly it was so much easier. Tbh I would just take each day as it comes, when you're in hospital they may assume you want to breastfeed if they see you doing it but as wards are very busy now I don't think they would be pushing you to breastfeed as they have to look after lots of woman some who will want more help on the breastfeeding front so will prob focus on them. I think you're overthinking it,go with whatever you feel comfortable. Congratulations and good luck

likeacrow Mon 06-Feb-17 10:14:27

"Magic thing" Jeeze. I honestly find this attitude so off putting. How condescending.
Thanks in advance for advice related to what I've actually asked and not trying to push the breastfeeding agenda.

SockswithSandals Mon 06-Feb-17 10:14:32

I expressed colostrum into syringes a week before baby was born and kept them in the fridge then continued to express the colostrum, give her that and then give her a bottle. I didn't breast feed but wanted to at least give the colostrum which is very easy to hand express. Good luck flowers

likeacrow Mon 06-Feb-17 10:16:56

Thanks all, some good advice smile Interesting to hear your experience kel1234.

gamerchick Mon 06-Feb-17 10:18:11

Well the way I personally see it is your milk comes in anyway so why waste the colostrum? My friend gave it a shot, just nursed for the first few days and then switched to formula. She missed out on the sore nipples part at least.

Nobody can force you to continue if you don't want to just do what you want.

BunloafAndCrumpets Mon 06-Feb-17 10:18:17

Yes you can hand express! I did as my baby couldn't latch and I also wanted her to benefit from the colostrum. You will need some 1ml syringes. You can buy them from a pharmacy in advance or ask a mw on the ward. You just sort of squeeze your nipple (ask for help if it's not working) and colostrum will pool in blobs on the top of it. You or your partner can then suck it up with the tiny syringe and squirt it into the baby's mouth. To be honest a pump was useless with me for colostrum as you only get a few drops at first and they got stuck in the mechanism of the pump most times!

Or yes you could put your baby to your breast and then stop and switch to bottles when your milk comes in (as this is the point at which colostrum per se finishes)

Hope all goes well.

littledinaco Mon 06-Feb-17 10:21:04

Skin to skin is still beneficial-you may find baby might 'crawl' to your breast as it's their instinct and what they are designed to do.

You can hand express colostrum. You wouldn't be able to put it into a bottle though as there is only a small amount and it will just stick to the side of the bottle. You could hand express into a small syringe though and try to give to baby that way.
Expressing is really hard for most people and you probably wouldn't get much. Baby is FAR more efficient at feeding that you would be at expressing so would get a lot more by feeding themselves.

You can still give colustrum then switch to formula but I would say it's far, far easier to breastfeed the colustrum than to express it.

Its not necessarily painful to hand express colustrum but it's very difficult to get the teqnique correct and then get it into the syringe and then try to get syringe into baby without then spitting it all back out!

It also takes a lot of time to sit expressing and you'd have to consider if baby is hungry are you going to get someone to give them a bottle while you express colustrum-then baby will probably be too full to take colustrum and be sick! Also, you may feel quite exposed expressing so if in hospital you may want to consider this as you'll have HCPs coming in and out and once you manage to get into the rhythm of expressing and it's working you don't want to stop as then you have to do the hard work all over again to get it flowing again!

Sorry, I know that sounds really negative about expressing bit just trying to be realistic as it really is hard work.

likeacrow Mon 06-Feb-17 10:21:13

Kel1234 did you take one of those starter packs of ready to drink formula with teats into hospital? Was one pack enough for your hospital bag?

likeacrow Mon 06-Feb-17 10:22:50

littledinaco useful advice thank you.

likeacrow Mon 06-Feb-17 10:25:49

This might be a stupid question so bear with me, but if I breastfed colostrum would baby "get used" to the breast and then not want to take a bottle?

Positivitee Mon 06-Feb-17 10:26:16

I gave (recently born) DD2 colostrum for just under 24 hours from my breast (actually squeezed it then dribbled it in to make sure she was getting some) and then bottle fed. I had no intention of continuing to breastfeed and openly told the midwives. Nobody pressured me to continue although they did say that once my milk came in properly I may be uncomfortable... my milk never came in the colostrum just stopped in day 2.

RJnomore1 Mon 06-Feb-17 10:28:41

I hand expressed colostrum because my youngest was preemie and in scbu. It's not easy and you only get a few ml and yes you need a syringe not a bottle but it's doable.

Millions of babies thrive very well on formula so please don't feel pressured if you know what's going to work for you. I do suspect feeding directly might be easier for the colostrum though. But you do what's right for you and do not be made to feel guilty.

littledinaco Mon 06-Feb-17 10:33:02

Maybe get some syringes to take in and just see how you feel at the time.

It's your baby and if you want to breastfeed them colustrum and switch to formula no one can stop you!
Good luck.

SpookyPotato Mon 06-Feb-17 10:37:31

I'm the same as you OP, having second baby soon and plan on just giving first bit and then formula. I did the same with the first... it was easy to put him on my nipple so he got it and then switched. He never looked for my breast after and loved the formula far more than my boob!

littledinaco Mon 06-Feb-17 10:37:56

I don't think baby would 'get used' to the breast in that short a time. They are very adaptable at a few days (even a few weeks) old so I don't think you'll have any difficulties getting them to take a bottle.

Remember, more people breastfeed for a couple of days and switch to bottles than people who go onto breastfeed for weeks/months.

I think it's lovely that you are looking to formula feed but still want to give baby colustrum.

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