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Breast feeding questions x2(17 Posts)
This is my first pregnancy and I'm a bit lost..
I'm planning on bf if I can however I've seen an amazing deal on a steriliser/ bottle/ bottle warmer, carrier set that seems too good to miss?!? Would I need all this stuff anyway or is it worth getting incase I can't bf?
Also would you go for manual or electric breast pump and any good makes??
Thanks as always!
In my opinion if you get all the bottle feeding stuff you are more likely to use it than get help with BFing (if you need it).
Do you think there are any reasons why you won't be able breastfeed?
When I had DC1 I bought an electric breastpump because it was on sale and I thought I was saving money. I didn't really use it so it was a bit of a waste of money in the end. IMO you will be able to pick up a breastpump as and when you need it in the future.
When I had DC2 I used a hand pump when I went back to work and really liked it, but again I would say that this would be something you can buy when you need it.
If you are worried about establishing BFing then there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself. I would recommend going to a BFing support group to meet other women who currently BF and any support workers who are pro-BFing (as not all are). Then if you do need any additional help you will already know where to go and you won't feel so fazed by having to get you and a newborn ready to go and find a new place! The other benefit of this is to see women BFing. I think many women having their first child have never raelly seen a BFing infant and it can seem a strange at first.
The other thing I would recommend is lots of skin to skin contact after birth. Prolonged skin-to-skin contact when possible has been shown to dramatically improve BFing outcomes.
Have faith in your body. It has grown a baby without any intervention, it will birth that baby and it has the means to feed your baby a perfectly balanced food specially prepared for your LO. Bfing is sometimes straightforward at first and sometimes not but it is IMHO always rewarding and a beautiful experience when well-established.
Honest answer? You don't need the bottle kit. If you express later in all you need is a steriliser for the pump stuff - I bought a microwave one for £8 in Mothercare.
If you want to do serious pumping at some point check out the hire options in your area - nct will probably either hire them or know. I struggled with a medals last time. This time I will be expressing when I go back to work at 9 months and I will be hiring a hospital grade pump - v effective and almost silent - a friend hired one lately I've seen.
Buying things for babies us quite a minefield, things I bought but never used for dd that ds dud use, ds lived her bimbo seat so bought one for ds he hated it etc etc third time around I'm nine the wiser!
Both mine were bf and I had to buy bottle when u went back to with (;expressed with dd, ds had formula in z bottle for one feed) so I don't know that much about bottle feeding. However, you may not need everything so may not be really such a good deal is what I'm trying to say. Friends who bought bottle warners, plug in things for the car and all sorts never used them. Think my steriliser wax about a tender, fitted in the microwave good for when nog needed, was steam but could also use Milton and cost I think a tenner. Deals that have all the 'essentials' costing more than £50? Chances are you won't need half if it so not such a bargain
Apologies for spelling, have had three unsuccessful eye ops as you can tell!!
I bought that sort of stuff before baby was born but fully intended to breastfeed. In the end, it was useful, given I wanted to express and give baby bottles if I wanted to go out BUT the bottle warmer is definitely a waste - most places out and about will provide something for warming bottles (but seem put out if you breastfeed ).
I would say save your money - if you decide to bottle feed or express, you will be able to get all the equipment after baby is born.
If you have the stuff, it makes stopping BF easier than if you don't have it. So I wouldn't get it if you're keen on BF-ing (like being on a diet: if you don't have junk in the house, you can't eat it!). The best advice I ever got about BF was to make the decision that it was going to happen (not that 'I'd like to', or 'Hopefully I'll BF', but that I would BF my baby and she would be fine).
The number of women who physically cannot BF is actually pretty tiny. Most often it's a lack of support/information which stops/prevents women. So the best thing you can do is read up about BF (and learn about things like growth spurts - feeling like the baby is constantly feeding and you're not making enough milk is NORMAL: it's generally NOT a reason to stop BF (although it often leads to women doing just that in the mistaken belief that the baby is suffering)). You'll then be better placed to cope when you hit a bump.
And I wouldn't bother getting any pumps etc until the baby is here. In the first few weeks you would be very very unlikely to have the time/energy/motivation/need to express anyway. Once you've got BF established, you can think more about how much you want/need to express and then decide on a pump based on that. Fairly obviously, getting a lot out with manual (eg if you go back to work and need to leave enough for an entire day) is hard work...
Adding to my essay... the only things I think you need at the start of BF (and indeed throughout if you don't express) are:
1) Nursing bras
2) Breast pads (as you nurse on one side, the other side will probably also release milk which you need to catch or risk it leaking through!)
3) Muslins to throw over your shoulder for burping baby afterwards.
Some people want a cover to use whilst out in public, but I don't see the point: you may as well wave a huge red flag and shout "I've got my boobs out under here!" they're so indiscreet (although arguably useful when baby's older and starting to get distracted by everything happening around her). I've fed in public loads and you honestly hardly need show any flesh at all...
Honestly I'd agree with everyone else. Having them there is more likely to undermine your confidence than anything else. If you change your mind further down the line, there will be a deal on somewhere.
I bought bottles ect and a pump before baby was born as I intended to pump and give baby one bottle aday of expressed that dad could give, ( they were also on offer)I found the pump useful as when my milk came in dd couldn't latch as they went to big until I expressed abit off then she was fine, I used it everyday in the end and found the electric one easy but was recommended that by my sis who had bought a manual, I didn't find it put me off, rather that one bottle a day seemed a pain and I wondered god how do people bother with all this cleaning sterilising etc but I'm glad I persisted with the one bottle of expressed aday as I never had any problem weening as dd liked both, it can be hard in the first week though to get used to it and you wouldn't give a bottle then till it was established so maybe like the others say you could buy if you think you want to do both and it's a good offer but leave them at your mums or somewhere where you wont go oh just get the bottles!!
That 'amazing deal' is only a bargain if you will actually use the stuff. Otherwise it is a complete waste of money. If you're serious about planning to breastfeed, then you probably won't use it. I wasted about £20 on buying bottles 'just in case' and they all went to a charity shop in the end.
Nearly all women can breastfeed if they get the right support. There are very few who genuinely can't (although of course lots of mums will tell you that they 'couldn't' breastfeed, no matter how hard they tried - and I think this is quite tragic, because mostly it is just that these mums didn't get the right support and information when they really wanted it).
It might be worth getting in touch with a breastfeeding support group near you (if there is one). They are always happy to talk to mums antenatally. For future reference, the National Breastfeeding Helpline is 0300 100 0212.
The Food of Love by Kate Evans is a good read if you are planning to breastfeed. It is accurate and well researched, it has lots of very practical advice, and I particularly like the cartoons.
I'd say not to bother if you're planning on breastfeeding you won't need them - spend the pennies on something else
I prefered a manual pump simply because I felt more in control (I used an electric one in the hospital and it was WAY too strong - owch!) I ended up treating myself to some of these: http://www.bras4mums.co.uk/carriwell-silk-washable-breast-pads-2469-p.asp - super soft breast pads & plenty of lanisoh cream too! Good luck! :D
Agree with watchagonna.
I just bought nursing bras/vests, nursing pads, lansinoh cream and Muslins. Didn't buy any formula 'just in case' as I didn't feel there was any reason to think I wouldn't be able to BF. I was then lucky to have a smooth ride when it came to BFing.
I ended up buying expressing kit when DD was 9 mos old as that's when I was returning to work. Ended up using that for three months til DD was a year (continued to feed her when I was with her but otherwise she had cows milk).
It's easy to spend money on things you don't necessarily need for baby. I know I've spent my fair share!
I bought both a brest pump and microwave steriliser and im still feeding dd at 20 months. (Hopefully not much longer). The brest pump was usefull for me when I was very engorged after my milk came in, however my hand could have done the same job. I have also used the steeilizing box that came with the pump a lot, but still see it as a waste. I plan to hopefully be able to get this dc to take a bottle of expressed bm so maybe everything I bought last time may come in use. After a very thorough clean that is. I was very determined to bf though.
I would wait, stock up on brestpads and find info for local breastfeeding groups possibly at a surestart/childrens centre. You can alway send someone out on an emergency bottle purchase if you need it. Or hand express and cup feed.
I exclusively breastfed and will definitely be doing the same again. I am going to buy another bottle set though as I did express a lot and give to baby in bottle in evening for last feed before night sleep and this also meant my DH could also feed with a bottle which he really enjoyed and made him feel far more involved. Also meant you are not tied to every feed. I did not give bottle though until breast feeding was well established but giving a bottle did mean he was used to feeding from a bottle so when there were times when I wanted/ needed to be away from DS for more than a few hours or my DH wanted to take him out we knew he would take a bottle. Agree though that you can get bottle feeding kits really cheap anyway so if you wanted to refrain until you had established breastfeeding and then look into getting bottle kit and pump could also do that.
I used a manual last time which I found easier as when got it going was definitely more suction power which helped extract a good amount reasonably quickly. I did try an electric pump which a hired from the local sure start just to test before buying as quite expensive and to be honest I found the manual easier to extract more and had much better suction power although I have seen electric ones that you can strap to your breast so you can have your hands free which could be useful.
I bought a breast pump and steriliser on a deal when I was pregnant and never used either, they periodically get moved from one storage location to another in my tiny house whenever we have a sort out.
So with hindsight I wouldn't have bothered, but I was pretty determined to breastfeed and having them in the house didn't change that.
I think all you need to focus on is giving the baby as many opportunities to feed as possible, whilst keeping yourself comfortable. They want to feed an awful lot in the early days, if it feels like you are feeding all the time, you're probably getting it about right!
The more often you feed the easier it should get for both of you, and they soon start naturally spacing feeds out, so just try to enjoy it while it lasts. The pinned to the sofa snuggling newborn phase doesn't last long and there are far worse ways of spending your time
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