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Planning for feeding - how does it work?(22 Posts)
I'm very much hoping to breast feed baby 1, but I know from friends and family that things don't always work out as hoped and I may need to bottle feed. The two options seem to have quite different requirements in terms of bras, pumps, sterilisers, bottles etc, so I'm curious - how do you plan for feeding baby? What should I buy before he's born?
I got some nursing bras and that was it. You can get everything else quite easily if you need to, whether that's bottles and formula or a breast pump. I guess it depends where you live but my local supermarket sells all that stuff and is open late every day except Sunday.
Don't buy a pump yet. You may never need it and you've wasted £100 (on a good one).
Bras, your boobs will change heaps in days, I bought 2 ugly but larger nighttime bras from m&s. I just went up a back size and up a cup. You can slip them on and stuff nursing pads in until you are ready to get well fitting ones.
Like Better said, you can get bottles and stuff so easily nowadays, but if it puts your mind at rest get a Tommee Tippee bottle with a size 1 teat, and a couple of bottles of small ready made formula. At least if you have a panic of 'am I making any milk?' at 3am, I know I did, you know that your baby won't starve!
A good breast pump. Go for Avent. The trouble is that your milk usually arrive a day or so after birth where you wake up looking like Dolly Parton. They may be so engorged that baby can't find a nipple to latch onto. That's where the pump comes in handy. However don't feed your breast milk in a bottle as baby will get used to bottle teat and may then refuse the nipple as it's two completely different ways of operating a little mouth.
Use a soft plastic spoon and tip it in if you have to. Hopefully you won't have to do that at all as it's messy. I had problems with both mine and with no 2 I gave up altogether.
Don't let your boobs become too full as you can get Mastitis. Better to extract to chuck out than to risk that. Oh and forget about buying a bra until you have been breastfeeding for at least a week as you won't be able to predict your size.
It is not easy so don't beat yourself up if it endd in tears and formula...or breast milk by bottle. That's the next best thing and then daddy can be involved too;-)
So to recap- breast pump, steriliser, a few bottles and teats and nipple cream. For starters.. Good luck
Oh yes, nipple cream! How could I forget. That Lanisoh stuff is genius. Not cheap but makes good lip balm also!
The Avent Comfort hand operated pump is under 30 quid on Amazon and if you don't use re-sell it.
I used formula with DC1 so bought bottles, steriliser and a a tub of formula.
I wanted to breastfeed number too but looked out bottles and steriliser just in case but happily never needed.
I wouldnt say you need any of that though unless you are secluded as you can get from anywhere if need be.
I bought 2 packs of boots washable breast pads, a tube of Lansinoh and 4 stretchy bras (beauty bra?) and then got some proper nursing bras after 6 weeks when the milk had settled (more reliable sizing apparently).
I did but breast milk storage bags and an electric pump later on but found that I struggled to get anything out, she stressed with bottle and it was easier just to breastfeed so never really used them.
You do need to do some research rather than buy stuff. Try reading through
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
The Food of Love
Before you give birth, make contact with your local bf cafe, LLL meeting, etc. Put the numbers of the bf helplines in your phone. Find the name and number of the Infant Feeding Specialist at the hospital.
Stuff to buy:
Breastpads (normal & hydrogel)
If you need other stuff, you can send DH or order online.
Get the minimum. As cheese said, easy enough to send someone out to buy stuff if needed, my take was that having it in the house would make it more likely I'd cave at the first hurdle.
I'd say you need boobs, 2 nursing bras (get measured at 36-38 weeks, stretchy cups that cover a range of sizes good whilst your milk comes in) a tube of lansinoh nipple cream and one pack of breast pads.
What you really need is information and support - the book The Food Of Love by Kate Evans is really good, make sure you have numbers for local BF support and if possible go along before baby arrives to say hello. Have the numbers for the BF helplines written down, ask for help frequently in the post natal period, and tell family and friends that what you want is support to breastfeed, and that they can be most helpful by doing other things for you to give you time to learn a new skill.
At about 3am on day 4 I didn't have enough milk and had to give some formula and was very pleased I had some ready made formula ready to give ds though not in a bottle that early we gave it to him in a tiny sippy cup that we got at the hospital. I think it's worth getting a couple of bottles as it's likely you will use them at some time even if it's for expressed milk ages in the future. However you can get them in any decent supermarket. I used my breastpump loads but know many who never used one- as expensive I would hold on getting one of those. In any case unlikely that you would express in those early panicky days.
What I needed most of all with my two was peace and quiet to learn it...but alas..family came over straight away and then I had an audience and felt bad to leave for bedroom as I could be hours. If you are shy like me make sure friends and family know to give you and your baby space and time.
If you want to BF then personally I wouldn't buy anything formula related at all. If it's there, then the temptation is to use it when you're struggling to get the baby to latch
or get comments from the MIL about how you're 'starving that baby'.
As others have said, educate yourself about BF, get the number of a lactation consultant/La Leche League organizer, a few nursing bras and pads and you're pretty much good to go. That's one of the many benefits of BF: the minimal cost.
A pump isn't necessary to begin with. If anything's going to put you off BF, being hooked up to one of them will... I would strongly advise against using one until your supply is fully established: it can be very disheartening to pump and pump and only get a few ounces out.
Also be sure to check out the BF forum here and post questions. There are a lot of people with a lot of knowledge.
If you want to BF then the number of people who truly cannot is very very small. The huge majority of people who try and don't continue do so because of a lack of knowledge and support (for example - a baby asking to be fed 20mins after a feed just ended likely does not need supplementing with formula: it is asking for more milk to up your supply, probably because of a growth spurt. Giving formula is the worst thing you can do, but people do so because they're worried and then their supply never increases, so they have to use more formula etc etc).
Or you may find it incredibly easy - I know I did. Only thing I wished I had bought in advance were good washable breast pads. You'll need them either way to avoid damp circles on all your clothes! I loved the ones they sell in Babiesrus, but any with a layer of PUL or fleece work well. I bought a pump and bottle much later on and just used the tommee tippee manual one, although I have big boobs and I hear it works better on those. My perkier friend found the avent one better.
Don't know if anyone has mentioned this but nipple shields were my saviour in the first week or so when your nipples get scabby and sore. The cream is great as well but the shields make a lovely barrier for before the cream starts to work it's magic.
You need boobs and support. That's it. I second recommendation to go along to bf support group antenatally. They will welcome you and answer questions and you'll know what the setup is if you need them later.
Loads of support, I failed with my first due to lack of it. Had I had more support I would have fed and probably escaped a bit chunk of guilt which contributed to pnd.
Breastpads and nursing bras are the only two really essential thing.
Good to have - fridge magnet with NCT LLL contact numbers on.
have you seen much breastfeeding? If not pop into a local drop in centre to see some actual breastfeeding happening having an idea of how it works will help you know what is normal and to be expected. Are you doing NCT classes? they should have a breastfeeding session.
You may never want to express even if EBF. I EBF for 6 months then returned to work FT. DS had breastmilk when I was there and formula when I wasnt. We BF for 2 years.
I BF my first for 3 month but lost the milk due to having emergency surgery..
But my life savior was the
nipple shields. As one of my nipples where flat my son couldn't latch on really good.
And the bonus was, I could pump and give him the bottle. He never noticed the difference. As he was about 2 month old he sometimes refused to get fed through the shield. And he still took the bottle without problems..
I'm pregnant now with dc2 and will do the same thing. Starting with the nipple shield and pump so my DH can feed the baby too and I can go shopping or catch up on some sleep
Oh and I didn't had problems with cracked nipples or any other problems. Except my DH had to massage them as they sometimes got to full and I started to feel feverish. Didn't had a pump then
You absolutely MUST read this. So many people think they're 'doing it wrong' because they don't understand newborn bf and wrongly think that the baby is starving.
It doesn't help that many if our mums and mil's will have bottle fed so will offer completely different feeding advice.
Good luck xx
(I don't know anything about the website I've copied that from but I couldn't find that article anywhere else) TIMELINE OF A BREASTFED BABY
foodiemum that link is amazing, am reading with interest!!!
Isn't it flymo79, it really should be available to all bf mums to be!
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