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Formula in hospitals

(36 Posts)
tsw Thu 20-Feb-14 09:53:59

Expecting to be delivering soon (section) and I know the hospital do no t provide formula unlike another nearby hospital I am more familiar with.

Does anyone know have or have experience of how anyone formula feeding does so in such a hospital? Do they have bottles and sterilising equipment?

I plan to breast feed but don't like to be caught out so have a couple of pre-made formula bottles in my hospital bag just in case milk doesn't come in.

mrsmugoo Thu 20-Feb-14 09:55:25

Even if milk doesn't come in while you are in hospital you still breastfeed your baby colostrum until it does.

chocoluvva Thu 20-Feb-14 09:57:13

I'm sure your milk will come in. It'll be fine. smile

tsw Thu 20-Feb-14 10:01:03

I've been advised by a midwife (relative - works in the one where it is available) to bring some just as a precaution. I don't expect a problem but I like it there just in case latching is a problem or tongue tie or anything really as reassurance so if anyone knows what happens in these hospitals I'd appreciate it.

OneMoreCupOfTea Thu 20-Feb-14 10:02:31

You could buy a few of the ready made up and sterilised bottles, can be bought in more supermarkets, they are expensive but probably worthwhile until you go home

kalidasa Thu 20-Feb-14 10:05:41

Are you sure they don't have any at all? I breastfed successfully but we had a difficult start: DS didn't have that initial sleepy phase at all and sucked and screamed, sucked and screamed constantly. I was finding it hard to latch him on, and even once I'd got it, he carried on screaming whenever he wasn't desperately sucking. He was definitely getting the colostrum - they helped me express it a couple of times to be sure and actually they said I had a lot - but he was still screaming and in the end they did give him a bottle of formula in the middle of the second night because he was keeping everyone else awake as well as me. (They promised it would knock him out for hours, but in fact it only worked for about 90 minutes!) Sorry, long-winded story, but the point is that I'd be surprised if they don't have some 'emergency' formula for this sort of thing, even if they won't provide it for 'regular' feeds for women who have decided on ff. They used one of those 'ready made' little bottles, so no sterilising etc required. I breastfed until ten months in the end but DH continued to give him an evening bottle every couple of days through those early weeks just to give me a break, he was a very relentless baby!

We are hoping to have a second baby and hopefully § 2 will be more chilled! But I would definitely do this again in the same situation (actually I'd do it earlier). I would also pack a dummy.

tsw Thu 20-Feb-14 10:12:36

I don't know about at all but there are posters everywhere saying that patients are to bring their own.

I'm thinking of just bringing the ready made stuff and that there will be some equipment there. Would be odd not to have any and expect people to pack bottles and sterilisers, wouldn't it?

Just a worrier and like to walk in knowing everything I could have planned and arranged is so I know I would lose sleep over it

kalidasa Thu 20-Feb-14 10:18:45

Oh yes I'm sure they have the means to sterilise and so on. After all they must be sterilising things pretty regularly. I'm pretty sure they would produce some if necessary but I can see why you'd rather have the back-up. Good luck! Do you have a date scheduled for the section?

tsw Thu 20-Feb-14 10:23:56

Not yet no. Trying to pack bags and it's proving a challenge for baby with this and size of clothes (I have 3 sizes packed with instruction for dh to go shopping when baby is born for clothes, vests and nappies) as expecting a preterm delivery.

MyNameIsKenAdams Thu 20-Feb-14 10:27:32

Just take a few cartons and a couple of bottles. The ones I know of have buckets in the wards for sterilising.

HaroldLloyd Thu 20-Feb-14 10:29:31

I would buy a small pack if ready made bottles all the brands do a set.

In hospital when I had issues breastfeeding they had the little glass bottles with teats. When I had to get the expressing things sterilised they had the equipment but I had to keep asking they are so busy.

MinesAPintOfTea Thu 20-Feb-14 10:30:43

My hospital didn't officially provide formula but when DS had symptoms of low blood sugar (we had a couple of complications) they got some out for him to top him up.

Its very normal to expect planned ffers to being their own, but they are prepared if bfing doesn't work immediately.

KatAndKit Thu 20-Feb-14 10:36:32

If you plan to breastfeed I would not bother. Your milk does not come in for three days so you may be home already by then. Your body produces colostrum in the first days. For most healthy term babies this is all they need for three days. If a doctor decides your baby needs a formula top up for a medical reason such as prematurity or jaundice then the doctor will prescribe it. If you change your mind about breastfeeding your partner or other visitor can go to a supermarket and get a starter pack of sterile pre made bottles.

magichandles Thu 20-Feb-14 10:38:37

I can't breastfeed (medication) so I with DC2 I just took in a few of the premade cartons. The hospital had bottles and those sterilized teats in plastic which were available for everyone to use on the post natal ward - there were normal screw caps for people expressing.

Waggamamma Thu 20-Feb-14 10:42:11

These disposable bottles ready made feeds:

LurcioLovesFrankie Thu 20-Feb-14 10:51:23

Ask your own midwife about practise at the hospital you are actually intending to give birth in.

I would guess some hospitals may have a policy of asking women who intend from the outset to ff to bring bottles. But they have to have some sort of fall-back for women who intend to bf but find it harder than expected for whatever reason.

And they are not in the business of letting babies starve. For what it's worth, when I had my CS with DS, they did a heel prick blood test before and after his first feed to check blood sugar levels (not sure if this is standard or was because he was small for dates - 41 weeks and only 5lb 9). They weren't happy with his blood sugar levels, so he was tube fed in addition to my colostrum (mixture of me feeding him and pumping every 3 hours) until my milk came in (which took 5 days due to the section - midwives seemed to think this was pretty normal - their rule of thumb was approximately 3 days for a VB, 5 days for a scheduled section - 'cos you won't have had all the labour-inducing hormones washing around). Incidentally, I think it is possible to ask for donor breast milk in these circs if you have particular concerns about "virgin gut" (a friend of mine who had her 4th by crash section in the same hospital had "NO FORMULA" across her notes, and this was respected).

If your baby is normal birth weight they may well not be as worried (it is normal for full-term, average weight babies to lose up to 10% of their birth weight in the first week, then regain it).

crazykat Thu 20-Feb-14 10:53:32

You can buy formula in sterile bottles which you take the lid off and attach a sterile teat from a pack.

Cow&gate do a box of 15 (I think) bottles and individually wrapped years for each. SMA sell the bottles individually as the teats are in packed of two individually wrapped.

If you're hoping to BF I'd get the SMA ones so you don't end up with loads that you can't/don't use if BF is successful. Its most likely you won't need them as milk doesn't come in for a couple of days and the baby only needs colostrum which comes in straight away.

However there are no guarantees and if it doesn't work it's fine. I tried with all four of mine and was miserable when I couldn't produce enough milk despite feeding for 12 hours solid.

You know you'll have to stay in so its a good idea to have a backup plan.

crazykat Thu 20-Feb-14 10:57:54

I was told they have sterilisers but not bottles or formula. It would be much easier to have ready made bottles and just have to take the lid off, open the teat and screw it on ten throw away rather than have to faff about waging and sterilising bottles on the ward.

tsw Thu 20-Feb-14 11:01:40

Thanks ladies, I did not know they existed. I have a handful of aptamil bottles but they look more suitable given I don't anticipate actually using them!

Jolay100 Thu 20-Feb-14 11:05:14

I think hospitals that don't provide formula, mean they won't provide it for an elective choice to bottle feed. Pretty sure its part of the baby friendly initiative. They will all have it for times when it is medically indicated such as low blood sugar readings in the baby. So it should be fine to go without any formula, breast feed your baby on demand, which is the best way to get your milk to come in, and if there is a medical indication there would be formula provided.

Jolay100 Thu 20-Feb-14 11:09:48

ps in response to the comments about donor breast milk: I think most areas now have access to this but it is extortionately expensive due to costs of pasturising, making sure there are no potential infections that could be passed on etc. In my area its only given to premature babies less than 1.5kg in weight.

NancyJones Thu 20-Feb-14 11:09:50

Our hospital has this policy. Bf went ok for me thankfully but I did talk to the MW about it afterwards and she said they still keep it but don't encourage it. She said they need it for unforeseen circumstances such as a crash CS or a woman giving birth early due to something like a car accident and her not being physically able to feed baby initially it at all. She also said they have microwave sterilisers available for standard ff mums to use but don't provide the formula or the bottles.

So I'd say if you're planning to bf just buy one of those pre packed sterile bottles and a carton of ready made stuff to shove in your bag. They stay sterile for years so if you don't end up needing it it may be useful later on to keep in your changing bag as an emergency or fit a flight or something.

ReadyToPopAndFresh Thu 20-Feb-14 11:50:41

newborn tummies are the size of marbles! So even if you struggle with tongue tie etc you only have to squeeze enough in to a spoon for a syringe for the baby!

SomethingOnce Thu 20-Feb-14 12:51:17

My local hospital supplies sterile disposable bottles and teats (presumably easier and tidier than providing sterilising equipment!) but do phone to ask what the arrangements are at yours.

pumpkinsweetie Thu 20-Feb-14 12:57:54

I don't know the situation at your hospital, but I recently had a baby 6 weeks ago. My hospital doesn't provide anything by way of means of bottle feeding, you are expected to bring in your own formula and equipment. Changed alot since I jad my older children, they used to provide glass prepacked bottles of formula but now I guess they don't in an aid to push for more bf mums.

Fwiw it did push me to try out bf with my last 2 dc although I only managed to do it for 2 days. My friend who birthed at same hospital bought those sma plastic ready milk bottles and the teats to go with them. They are around 79p for each bottle and teats are 1.99 for 2, the teats can be sterilised and used again or you can dispose of them each time.
They also do packs of 6 glass bottles but they are v expensive

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